The Problem for Bernie Sanders: The Narrow Lane to Hillary Clinton’s Left

30 Apr 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Bernie Sanders of Vermont to enter 2016 pr….

The presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders, a senator from Vermont and self-described socialist who will most likely champion the liberal cause, won’t change that fact that Hillary Rodham Clinton is poised to win the Democratic nomination without a serious contest. That’s true even though the Democratic Party’s liberal activist base, which strongly opposed her bid in 2008, has considerable reservations about her ties to Wall Street, her foreign policy, the recent allegations about foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation and the revelations about the private email account and server she used when she was the secretary of state. Sanders told The Associated Press. “I’ve run outside of the two-party system, defeating Democrats and Republicans, taking on big-money candidates and, you know, I think the message that has resonated in Vermont is a message that can resonate all over this country.” Mr.

Yet despite for the most part lacking a credible threat from her left, Clinton has spent much of her campaign thus far at least sounding like more of a liberal than she ever did in the Senate or during her presidential campaign in 2008. It’s been enough to cause some lefties, like this author, to express cautious optimism that HRC 2016 might not be the centrist, neoliberal blah-fest many expected. Henwood has long been a merciless critic of Democratic timidity and the party’s embrace over the last generation or so of neoliberalism; but when the anti-HRC cover essay he wrote for Harper’s last year took off, his critique of the would-be president and her ex-president husband was elevated to another level of prominence. He generally caucuses with Democrats, and has been speaking out on what he calls a “rigged” economy that works for the rich and powerful at the expense of average Americans. “What we have seen is that while the average person is working longer hours for lower wages, we have seen a huge increase in income and wealth inequality, which is now reaching obscene levels,” he said.

Sanders plans to focus on three core issues – income inequality, campaign finance reform, and climate change – informal adviser Tad Devine tells Politico. Clinton will have an easy road to the nomination: The left wing of the Democratic Party just isn’t big enough to support a challenge to the left of a mainstream liberal Democrat like Mrs. The 73-year-old said his message would appeal not just to Democrats, but to independents and Republicans as well, and said he’d release proposals to raise taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations and offer tuition-free education at all colleges and universities.

Recently, Salon spoke over the phone with Henwood about Hillary Clinton’s campaign so far, as well as her worldview and what he would expect from her if she were to become president. That might seem somewhat surprising if you’re an affluent, secular, well-educated person living along the coasts, in places like Bethesda, Md., Berkeley, Calif., or Montclair, N.J., where the party really is dominated by the uniformly liberal voters who love Elizabeth Warren and harbor at least some reservations about Mrs. Before we get into it, just to establish your priors for those who aren’t as familiar with your politics: Is there any realistic situation where you could imagine voting for a Democrat in a presidential election?

Clinton, promising to talk “very strongly about the need not to get involved in perpetual warfare in the Middle East.” Money and politics will also be a central theme in his campaign, including a push for a constitutional amendment to overturn the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision. “But can we raise the hundreds of millions of dollars that we need, primarily through small campaign contributions to run a strong campaign? Sanders himself plans not to go for the big campaign cash that has become a hallmark of modern campaigns, and instead will solicit small-dollar donations, according to reports. “The one thing he’s determined not to do is to be another Ralph Nader. Elsewhere, the party includes a large number of less educated, more religious — often older, Southern or nonwhite — voters who are far from uniformly liberal. The majority of Democrats and Democratic primary voters are self-described moderates or even conservatives, according to an Upshot analysis of Pew survey data and exit polls from the 2008 Democratic primary. Nader, a six-time independent presidential candidate, was accused of taking crucial votes away from Democratic nominee Al Gore in the razor-close 2000 presidential election.

When there’s a Republican in office, a lot of progressive-leaning people would say, Oh, you need to get the Republican out and get the Democrat in and things will be better. But the “mostly liberal” Democrats barely outnumber Democrats with “mixed” or conservative policy views, according to the Pew data, which classified respondents based on how consistently they agreed with Democratic policy positions. So, having a Democratic president probably makes some people’s lives marginally better; and it’s good for my people — radicals — to have failed Democrats in power.

The Post recalls his “calling card moment” in December 2010, when he “thundered for more than eight hours” from the Senate floor about a tax cut package and Congress’s failure, in his view, to adequately fund education and social programs. “With his trademark sarcasm, he mocked the rich, yelling: ‘How can I get by on one house? They helped give Hillary Clinton a wide lead in the polls in 2008, until Barack Obama won Iowa and built an enormous lead among black voters — who represent about 20 percent of Democratic voters. It was later printed in a small book.” According to advisers, Sanders’s announcement Thursday will be low key, followed by a larger kickoff rally, likely in Vermont.

Clinton’s left would probably stand a good chance of faring well among very liberal voters again, but would struggle to build a broad enough coalition to have a plausible chance of winning the nomination. Watching the reaction to the “Clinton Cash” book has been very funny: they hate the thing so much, but I think part of the hatred is fear, because they’ve got no back-up plan. So I’m guessing you don’t find the responses to “Clinton Cash” that have come from the Clinton camp and their sympathizers particularly persuasive? I talked to Dick Morris — and I know Dick Morris is a pretty shady character in some ways, but he’s a smart fellow — and … he kind of predicted what she would be like: more hawkish, with populist talk, but still phony. If she can raise money from the kinds of big money people she’s planning to raise money from in the coming months — Wall Street, etc. — then we’ll know that there’s really not too much substance behind the talk.

I think they’re very much of that jet-setting Davos-man milieu; and it’s really hard to think her moving against the people who are now her people in a meaningful way. What about how she might interact as president, if she wins, with the growing social movements on the left — the Black Lives Matter, Fight for 15, Occupy-offshoot groups, et cetera?

Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

About this site