A casual follower of mainstream media “news” cannot help but be impressed by the disproportional attention given to Senator Bernie Sanders and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
However, less impressive is their success in Congress. The two legislators might be adept at grabbing public attention, but they rank as two of the least effective members of Congress.
“Effective” Members of Congress
The Center for Effective Lawmaking (CEL), a consortium of the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University, regularly rates the effectiveness of members of Congress.
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The CEL’s method is elegantly simple. For example, they looked at the list of proposed bills during the 116th Congress (January 2017-December 2019), disregarding “commemorative” bills such as naming courthouses. The CEL does not weigh the ideology behind any bill. The only criteria are (1) who proposed it and (2) if it passed.
On their scale, the most influential member of the House of Representatives was Rep Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) with a 10.3 score, almost twice that of number two Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon). The most effective Republican was Michael McCaul of Texas. The most effective Senators were Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Of these cited, only Sen. Rubio gets an occasional mention in the national mainstream press.
Why Do They Get So Much Attention?
Contrast those scores with those of Sen. Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). Of Congress’s 240 Democrats, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s effectiveness ranked 230th. Only three Senators were less effective than Sen. Sanders.
Despite their dismal effectiveness ratings, Sen. Sanders and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez get many chances to make their points in the media. Each has a big following on “social media.” However, when it comes to passing laws, neither one gets much done. It is hard to explain their outsize portion of public attention,
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The reason is more ideological than political. Sen. Sanders and AOC play up their personalities to conform to their leftist beliefs. Their leftist worldview sees systemic injustice in everything. The emphasis is not to solve the problem but to change the system to a socialist one.
Their real goal of the two legislators – and they pursue it diligently – is to create controversy and generate class struggle. Getting bills passed only helps perpetuate the system. Thus, they do not cooperate with others. They have the added advantage of leftist journalists that give them maximum exposure.
Despite their ineffectiveness, the voting public should not ignore Sen. Sanders or Rep. Ocasio-Cortez. They should be denounced for the harmful philosophies they promote.
We Have Been Here Before
The results of this thinking are everywhere. Its first effect is the expansion of government powers as part of changing the system. It gives rise to massive welfare programs, which portray the government as the savior of those living in poverty.
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The second effect is the destruction of moral codes. Thus, believing that they “deserve” more, mobs burn American cities. Parents who never married raise children in “families” that never really existed. Schools and universities teach lessons of division, and their students become ever more dependent on the government. Politicians defend high unemployment benefits, and legitimate employers cannot find entry-level workers.
Government is their god, from whom all blessings flow.
Sen. Sanders and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez sing a siren song that lures America to the rocks. The goal is not cooperation but division. Their congressional voting records confirm this dismal result.
Image Credit: Matt Johnson (CC BY 4.0)