Friday, January 29, 2016

Nancy LaTourne Shows Why Bernie Would Make a Bad President

I think she puts it pretty succinctly:

"The more I listen to and read about Bernie Sanders, the clearer it becomes that there is one central theme we need to understand about him on which almost everything else rests. It is what he clarified in the last Democratic debate."

"In all due respect, you’re missing the main point. And the main point in the Congress, it’s not the Republicans and Democrats hate each other."

"That’s a mythology from the media. The real issue is that Congress is owned by big money and refuses to do what the American people want them to do."

"Notice that he didn’t say that “Republicans are owned by big money.” Sanders believes that ALL of Congress is owned by big money. That’s what he means when he says that the system is rigged. His view is that the gridlock we are witnessing right now is not a result of ideological differences. It is because big money is in charge and that makes Congress oblivious to the needs of the American people."

I've felt all along that Bernie overstates the issue of money in politics. Certainly it's important-Citizen's United was a disaster; though when HRC gets in she will be able to put in judges who will overturn it or fix it. 

But there really are differences between Americans. This is something Bernie doesn't account for-honest ideological differences over things like a woman's right to choose, gun control, issues of race and gender, etc. 

My point is not that money in politics is not important but that he is reductionist in seeing it as the root of everything. 

One of the big stories of the GOP in recent years is that the donors-the Koch Bros, etc-have wanted immigration reform but that the GOP Congressmen's voters at home wouldn't let them do it. 

To go back to the issue of woman's right to choose-this is not just an issue of money. It's ideology. There are many Americans who really think this is 'murder.'

In a sense you can call PP part of the Democratic party Establishment. But if so, this just shows not all Establishments are bad. 

As Propane Jane says, we have a Democratic coalition-the Obama Coalition. There is no need for a new one. 

Lobbyists are also not understood. Lobbyists don't make politicians take votes they otherwise wouldn't. Politicians have lobbyists for issues they already agree on and look just for practical, logistical advice for. 

So in a way PP is a lobbying group. But do they need to be curtailed? This would actually take away the voices of many women rather than increasing anyones voice. 

Here, though, I think LaTourne nails it on the problem of Bernie:

"Unsurprisingly, people don’t like being told that they are part of a rigged establishment or that they are a shill of the insurance companies - it is pretty much guaranteed to end any reasonable discussion on actual issues. To the extent that charge is thrown at Congressional Democrats, it probably explains why so few of them have endorsed Sanders."

"This is unfortunate because it creates divisions rather than coalitions. Of course it is no more true to assume that money plays no role in political differences than it is to say that it is the only reason for them. Life is never that black and white. Developing a real movement for change requires that we actually listen to each other and sometimes make the tough call on who we can work with and who we can’t. It’s hard work. There are no easy outs and sometimes you get burned. But simply assuming that anyone who disagrees with you is bought and paid for is childish and divisive."

Yes, except for Bernie it is black and white. Money in politics is the sole root of all evil. Get rid of money and everything will be peachy. 

But this is the trouble with Bernie Sanders' record. He has no history of building any coalitions. Which is telling. Barney Frank said that in Congress Bernie was his own worst enemy by being so sanctimonious he alienated allies. 

Again, I've said he's the leftist version of Ted Cruz and I wasn't kidding. 

Why else does someone like Peter Shumlin who also tried single payer in his own state not support him?

If even those who agree with him don't support him what does this tell you?

When he was asked at a recent debate what happened to single payer, his answer was that you have to ask Shumlin. 

This is the sort of nonresponsive answer that underscores the problem. If he at least could speak to what went wrong there-why did it fail in a small, progressive state yet will succeed in a large country of 50 different states?

That he simply sidestepped the question confirms the worst things about him. That what he says is just aspirational. 

Which is a problem as most Democrats are in a pragmatic mood right now. 

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