Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Case Against Bernie and the Case for Hillary

I argued in my previous piece that talk about 'revolution' and other aspirational dreams makes sense if you have nothing to lose, but the Democratic party in 2016 has a lot to lose.

The GOP wants to end ACA, destroy Planned Parenthood. continue the assault on voting rights. If a GOPer were to win the White House it would mean the Dems might never get the SJC back again-for 30 years the GOP has already had it.

My problem with Bernie is twofold.

1. He reduces significantly the party's chance of winning. Last night he again sited meaningless general election polls. In truth however, the GOP is blatantly rooting for The Bern. This tells you something.

2. If he were to win-the odds of which are lower than Hillary's-he would not be nearly as effective a President.

A) As Obama says, when you are President you have to be able to walk and chew gun at the same time. Bernie for his part is a one note wonder. As a President you can't have a narrow focus. Yet, he clearly isn't so interested in talking about subjects outside his money in politics wheelhouse.

B). You need to be able to build coalitions. Not just with Republicans  but  even with fellow Democrats. His career in Congress shows scant ability to do that.

Start with party-and party is always the key to building coalitions; a party is really a group of coalitions that come together.

Ralph Nader has called Bernie the Lone Ranger. This is based on the fact that he brought no one into his democratic socialist game.

He can say he's a Democrat but this is not very convincing. He has always insisted that he's not a liberal Democrat. It is only now that he is suddenly a Democrat. It would have been more honest to have run as a democratic socialist but, of course, he failed to build such a coalition.

Coalitions are not his thing. He's basically a gadfly. Even those who agree with him don't support him for President. His own Governor who tried to make single payer work in Vermont is for Hillary.

What does that tell you? For one thing it tells me that while Bernie wants to convince progressives she can't be trusted on healthcare, Shumlin's endorsement throws cold water on that claim.

C) As I see it, success for the Dem President in 2017 will require the ability to forge coalitions where they are achievable and the other thing will be smart and able use of executive power.

Hillary with her experience and history, is obviously uniquely endowed with this ability-having basically been part of the last two Democratic Administrations.

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