How does an independent senator, who refuses to accept the false constructs of the Republican right and its media echo chamber, who calls out compromising Democrats, and who rejects the centrist fantasies of so many pundits, keep winning elections by overwhelming margins? And what can progressives learn from his political success—and aggressive progressivism—as they engage in the fiscal-cliff fight, prepare for the coming Congress and set the stage for the elections of 2014 and 2016?


To begin with, Sanders does not accept conventional wisdom, and he does not play by conventional political rules.

John Nichols (read more)

MOST VALUABLE SENATOR: BERNIE SANDERS
Principled and populist, yet practical enough to get things done, Sanders points the way for progressives in the next Congress by reminding them they can win if they address the stark reality that “there is a war going on in this country…a war being waged by some of the wealthiest and most powerful…against the working families of the United States of America, against the disappearing and shrinking middle class.”

Read all of John Nichols’s 2010 Progressive Honor Roll.

MOST VALUABLE SENATOR: BERNIE SANDERS

Principled and populist, yet practical enough to get things done, Sanders points the way for progressives in the next Congress by reminding them they can win if they address the stark reality that “there is a war going on in this country…a war being waged by some of the wealthiest and most powerful…against the working families of the United States of America, against the disappearing and shrinking middle class.”

Read all of John Nichols’s 2010 Progressive Honor Roll.