The Sanders Institute, the vanity project vaguely defined policy nonprofit founded by Bernie and Jane Sanders, has a distinguished list of “Fellows,” a title with few if any actual duties.
It’s impressive. Robert Reich, Bill McKibben, Cornel West, Danny Glover, Ben Jealous, Nina Turner…
… and Tulsi Gabbard.
Gabbard used to be an interesting political phenomenon with some solid progressive credentials, but she long ago became an unreliable self-guided policy missile. She just had a star turn at, ahem, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where she “defended parents protesting at school boards, attacked Big Tech censorship and referred to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as an ‘autocratic leader’ for his response to the trucker protests against COVID-19 mandates,” according to the Washington Times.
Yep, it’s time again for another round of The Veepies, our awards for stupidity and/or obtuseness in the public sphere. Got a lovely crop of stupid on offer.
First, we have the It Worked So Splendidly Last Time, Let’s Run It Back Again Award, which goes to the folks responsible for exhuming the cold, rotting carcass of the Sanders Institute. Yep, the Sanders clan’s vanity project think tank is once again open for business, thanks to a big fat chunk o’change from… wait for it… the Bernie Sanders campaign! Gotta do something with all those $27 gifts they couldn’t manage to spend during the actual election season.
For those just joining us, the Sanders Institute was founded in 2016 by Jane Sanders and her son David Driscoll, who — mirabile dictu — emerged from what I’m sure was an exhaustive nationwide search to become SI’s executive director. Well, the Institute posted a bunch of essays (mostly recycled from other media) on its website and had one big conference in 2018, but was shut down in May 2019, sez the AP, “amid criticism that the nonprofit has blurred the lines between family, fundraising and campaigning.” Ya think?
There are a few differences between the original and SI 2.0. Sanders comms guy Mike Cesca told VPR that none of the campaign’s money would go toward pay or bennies for Sanders family members. Which is kind of an admission that they screwed up the first time.
Also, two different spokespeople made reference to “the transition” from winning votes to educating people, which makes you think he’s not running for president again, and makes you wonder whether he’ll run for another Senate term in 2024. The new Institute will also include an archive of Sanders and his family… hmm, sounds like a think tank vanity project.
After the jump: A daycare misfire, a self-inflicted social media disappearance, and incompetent fiber installers.