One of the most striking contrasts between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in the first Democratic debate is their starkly different theories of how change will take place. Yet it is this difference that is at the center of the Sanders surge, and particularly of the remarkable excitement that he has stirred among the young.
Clinton: "Trust me, I'll tell you what you want to hear."
Sanders: "I'll tell you what I know to be true."
Any poll will reveal that outside the mainstream Democratic house, Hillary is one of the most reviled of politicians, especially among hard core Tea Party Republicans. As for her record of working with the "other side", what record? The Benghazi committee is more typical of her relationship with the opposition. Compared to the way the Republicans would treat her as president, they've been positively chummy with Obama. For her to portray herself as a diplomat and some bipartisan hero is as shallow and phony as her claims to being a progressive.
I think you may be taking the political theater at face value.
"Good Ol' Bill" gave them everything they wanted because in everything but name, he's one of them (as is Hillary), but they beat on him anyway. And what did that do? It made those who should have been outraged by his giveaways rush to support him instead. "Poor Bill, look at what those nasty Republicans are trying to do to him!"
The same thing applies to Obama: the party-loyal Dems who don't spend a lot of time thinking support Obama not for what he does but because of the GOP's feigned opposition. To paraphrase "Good Ol' Will", "A tale told to idiots: full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
And the same thing will apply with Hillary, if she gets in (as she probably will do).
"Theater! Alles Theater!"
There's something much worse to this idea of "bridging the divide." I'll explain.
An economy that's driven by Disaster Capitalists (Shock Doctrine devotees) in the front seats is one that SETS PEOPLE UP TO FAIL.
The most obvious examples come from inner-city ghetto communities. These "work deserts" allow for no local economy other than black market trading. Then, a burgeoning criminal-industrial complex sweeps in to pick up all "the offenders."
In parallel, inner city schools are not property funded. Many of these students come from broken homes, or domestic spheres compromised by alcohol and drugs. Then the vulture capitalists enter, evaluate these schools against standards better suited to better equipped schools, and use their scoring systems as a rationale for closing these schools down.
On a more abstract level, the social and cultural divisions that exist between natural-born conservatives (and/or fundamentalist Christians) and more worldly wise liberal thinkers are exploited. In the limelight are issues like gay rights and how trans-gender people are treated. On the basis of definitively different cultural values, the two parties PRETEND to be oppositional. In reality, it was under Clinton--and his "art of triangulation" that so many formerly pro-business, Republican ideas became the law and practice of our land.
Clinton, the great centrist, combined both parties into one entity faithful to corporations, the Big Money donors.
And so media was deregulated... allowing for 6 corporations to own all media outlets and thereby control content (the better to brainwash and/or manufacture consent)
Welfare was "ended as we know it."
NAFTA--under the guise of lifting all boats and creating jobs, vacuum-suctioned well-paying industrial jobs south of the border
And probably worst of all, the evisceration of the Glass-Steagal Act let loose the monster that Wall St and its ballooning exploitations has created: vast multi-trillion dollar debt bubbles.
If Mrs. Clinton uses the ruse of fixing differences to "work with the other side," then her husband's hellacious record deserves being read.
Like the Bushes, the Clinton dynasty has cost this nation a fortune in jobs, decency, sanity, natural resources, and the quality of life (decimated!) for so many.
The only thing Mrs. Clinton could probably protect is Planned Parenthood; and while women's rights are VERY important to me, that is not true at the further expense of this nation.
"I have proved that in every position that I’ve had, even dealing with Republicans who never had a good word to say about me, honestly. But we found ways to work together on everything from reforming foster care and adoption to the Children’s Health Insurance Program…"
Bah humbug to the above quote! As persons like Jill Stein have pointed out, a pro-war female candidate facilitates tremendous destruction and devastation to the lives of millions of women: those who live in lands targeted for the M.I.C's endless war campaigns.
Is there a such thing as a "bipartisan hero"?
The notion of "bipartisanship" as being itself a virtue is in the same vein as regarding "balance" as ultimate journalistic standard.
Both of those cultural artifacts originate from, and are incessantly utilized by today's dark forces whose God is money and power.
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Brava! Beautifully said, Susan, as so often.
You speak for me, too.
Another "Compare and Contrast" example of the difference between the two:
Bernie Sanders rejects $2,700 donation from price-hiking drug company boss
...is the headline of a story at The Guardian this morning.
It seems that Martin Shkreli made the maximum personal donation ($2,700.00), expecting a person-to-person meeting with Bernie in return. (Yeah, yeah, there's no quid pro quo, we know...) Now that his scheme has been thwarted, he is shocked - shocked - at Bernie's intransigence!
(...'cause it's hard out here for an oligarchic pig...)
But it's not hard for Bernie to separate himself from Madam Secretary.
Very kind of you, Mairead, as we have had (and no doubt will continue to have) our differences.
I've noticed more of a spirit of "getting along" lately. People I usually spar with are backing me, and I always hit the "like" button if I think a comment is intelligent, accurate, and well-argued (or funny and unique).
Could it be due to the sun's transit of Libra, the sign that opposes Mars' reign of Aries, and sign of peace, bridge-building, diplomacy, and finding common cause?
Like others who visit this site, I feel passionate about the state of our nation (declining), the state of nature (in paroxysms of overkill), the state of the U.S. treasury (captive to Mars' rules), and so much else. It feels good when others agree with what I see since I tie a lot of dots together.
In short, thank you!
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Bernie's solution is in front of each of us. But don't expect Bernie, an accomplished elder to know how to use modern technology to help his campaign. That is up to his young supporters.
Obama came into office with a majority of democrats and failed to act,and in retrospect its clear he didn't want to act. Hillary Clinton will most likely not have this majority and is the least likely to bring along republicans unless she puts an agenda favorable to the republicans. And I can hear it now -we have to compromise to get things done. Sanders is offering real change by explaining he needs the help of the american people to move his agenda.
Could be. You're certainly the expert in that discipline, and we definitely need to find common cause!.
I very much admire both your unwavering passion and the clarity with which you write. You almost always give me something to take away and think about.
You're very welcome!
The reality is that we cannot expect too much. Still, Electing Bernie would demonstrate that people of the USA are sick of the status quo and this alone would change the landscape.
I have no doubt that Bernie would win the 2016 election for POTUS, but that is exactly why Bernie will be denied the democratic nomination.
I'm still stunned that Clinton would call herself "a progressive," in spite of her long record as a solid neoliberal -- pro-war, anti-poor, pro-corporate empowerment, anti-New Deal. That said, if we had a revolution, who would fight whom? What the rich are now doing to the middle class is simply what the middle class already did to the poor. We're stuck with a generation of liberals who so strongly believe in the success of the corporate state that they think everyone is able to work, there are jobs for all, therefore no need for poverty relief. They are wrong.
We know what we could expect of Clinton, but what about Sanders? For years, Sanders spoke out powerfully about US poverty and the need for legit poverty relief programs. That doesn't sell to today's liberals, so he dropped the issue to appeal to middle class workers, later including low wage workers. Well, you gotta sell what the paying customers want to buy.
All of this said, what changes do people want? Or maybe a better way of putting it: Who are "the People," and what do they want? Which people count? I can assure you that the poor and the middle class have very different perspectives and priorities today.
What, exactly, are they sick of? They still support the same overall agenda, esp. on critical socioeconomic policies, and no president can flip a switch to reverse years of bad military policies/war.