Friday, February 12, 2016

Bernie Says He'll be Better on Race Relations Than Obama

This is the danger of his rather one dimensional message. For a hammer, everything is a nail. It's not just that he said he'll be better at race relations as a white man than the first black President.

But it's also why he thought that:

"And while both candidates performed well initially in talking about systemic racism and reforming the criminal justice system, it was Sanders who stumbled when a moderator asked if race relations would be better handled under him than the current president. It was a foreseeable trap – asking a white man whether he’d do a better job on race issues than the first black president – but Sanders didn’t seem to see what he was walking into."

“Absolutely,” he said in response to the moderator’s question before slipping into his classic stump speech. “Because what we will do is instead of giving tax breaks to billionaires, we are going to create millions of jobs for low-income kids so they’re not hanging out on street corners. We’re going to make sure those kids stay in school are able to get a college education.”

This goes to another real weakness of Sanders-the question of identity politics and intersectionality in things like race and gender. 

He believes that the way to deal with race relations is getting tough on Wall St. This is something that most black leaders and activists don't believe. 

As to the question of Obama, he also stepped in it. He critiqued Obama earlier in the day in a rather Green Lantern way-he had failed to show 'leadership.' 

James Clyburn says he will endorse someone next week-he's still being coy at to who but you expect it's Hillary. Even in 2008, he remained neutral between her and Obama. 

Congressmen Clyburn gave us a hint who it would be when he said the candidate who can best defend and build on Obama's legacy. 

Al Sharpton also sounds like he may be endorsing Hillary next Tuesday. 

Bernie last night tried to frame it as he's simply disagreed with Obama, not that he was a failure. He insisted Obama had a great record. 

Of course this is Hillary's whole point. He was a great POTUS and yet he took Wall St. money. How is that possible according to Bernie's understanding of physics?

But as HRC rightly pointed out, it's one thing to disagree with Obama-that is natural. It's another thing to see his legacy as not worth defending. Of saying he didn't go far enough so lets start over. 

Like with ACA. Did it give us universal care? No. But it gave us a lot more than before. Suppose that the Dem goal of universal care is a 100 floor building. Obamacare gave us 60 floors. 

Do you get in a bulldozer and knock the whole thing down and start over again? Or do you add to the 60 floors you already have-and are under attack by the GOP Congress?

Bernie clearly got frustrated on the issue of Obama accusing Hillary of a low blow. But as David Axelrod notes it wasn't. It's the truth. Bernie had been friendly with those who wanted to primary the President and spoke about it in late 2011 and early 2012. 

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