Saturday, February 13, 2016

Hillary Rules out Making Promises She Can't Keep

There is a real unsung virtue in this. Charles Blow argued the other day that part of why a lot of African-Americans aren't feeling the Bern is they don't trust politicians in general and Bernie's extravagant promises without any clear blueprint of how to get there makes them trust him even less.

For me he sounds like a game show host or maybe even more like a telemarketer. You win a new car and an all expenses paid round trip to Bermuda. 

Like a telemarketer does, when questions are raised as to how this passes Congress or what taxes need to be raised we hear But wouldn't it be wonderful to have a new car and an all expenses paid round trip to Bermuda? Why does Europe have it and we don't?

I've done telemarketing and you want folks to focus on the aspiration you're trying to draw for them not the details of why you are giving them such an allegedly great deal and how it's done.

Hillary made this point today at a speech to a union hall in Las Vegas. She also pointed out the weakness of Bernie's tendency to ignore identity politics in the place of just hammering the banks all day. She is speaking to some real concerns of black and feminist activists here:

"Part of Clinton’s speech zeroed in on Sanders’ call to break apart big banks. Sanders' campaign has tried to link Clinton to Wall Street financiers by highlighting speeches she delivered at their companies and for taking campaign contributions from them."

“Not everything is about an economic theory,” Clinton said. “If we broke up banks tomorrow – and I will if they deserve it, if they pose systemic risk, I will – would that end racism? Would that end sexism? Would that end discrimination against the LGBT community? Would that make people feel more welcoming to immigrants overnight?”

Read more:
Another interesting point was made by an AFL-CIO guy who says he doesn't hate Wall St. I thought everybody does now?

Antipathy toward Wall Street appeared to be not as vehement among Clinton’s supporters as it is among Sanders'.

“We don’t hate Wall Street,” said David Kolbe, political and legislative director for an iron-workers union that is affiliated with AFL-CIO and had endorsed Clinton.

“If we don’t have major industries building manufacturing plants or offices, we’re not working,” he said while waiting for Clinton to arrive.

“They [financiers] have to prosper, but it’s got to be a shared prosperity that skilled work has to be paid for,” he said.

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The other night Bernie tried to grab FDR's mantle which I found just a little blasphemous as he's not even a Democrat. FDR would not for one moment support him if he were somehow alive today.

But what Kolbe said touches on an important point. FDR didn't believe in destroying Wall St, though he certainly believed in regulating them vigorously.

Bernie is staking out a position that is not in keeping with the Democratic party which has always been one of pluralism. Like Obama says, business gets a seat at the table though not the whole table. 

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