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Some of Clinton's Pledges Sound Great. Until You Remember Who's President


Some of Clinton's Pledges Sound Great. Until You Remember Who's President

Thomas Frank

he puzzle that is currently frustrating the pundit minds of America is this: why is Hillary Clinton not simply clobbering Donald Trump? How is this ranting, seething buffoon still competitive with her? Trump has now stumbled through a series of the kind of blunders that break ordinary political campaigns – the sort of deadly hypocrisies that always kill the demagogue in old movies – and yet this particular demagogue keeps on trucking. Why?


The one (and only one) thing Sarah Palin has said as a public person that has made any sense was something like 'how's that hopey, changy thing workin' for ya?' There has been little change in a positive way over 8 years and people have little hope.


Frank writes: "...Obama has pretty much undermined Clinton’s ability to sell us on another centrist Democratic presidency. His legacy has diluted her promise."

Yes! After being elected with such enthusiasm in 2008, Obama's inability to move us as a nation to move us in a positive direction, or even aggressively make a case for it, as our first Black president, has undermined Clinton from making her case - we can't even get excited over the fact that she will be the first female president.

That is because both Obama and Clinton are cut from the same so-called pragmatic cloth. They don't seem to have any core principles and that undermines their ability to move people to act. Obama could give a good speech, but has generally been all talk and no walk.

And the rare time Obama has been willing to put himself out there, it has not been in a progressive direction. Now he is using his final political capital to pass the TPP. Doesn't that show his true colors?


It has been painfully slow for the benefits of the economic rebound since the collapse in 2008 have reached the middle class but these benefits have now become evident. There was a significant gain in real wages for the middle class last year and this trend has continued. Why the economic recovery has been slow does not seem to be easy to explain. It may have something to do with the slowing of economic growth in China which sas affected economies around the world. I don't see how Obama can be blamed. A president has only very limited power when it comes to the economy. He has successfully raised taxes on the rich although not enough because of Republican opposition. The Dodd-Frank legiislation has probably had some effect on the behavior of Wall Street. Automation continues to take its affect on jobs. If Clinton wins she will have a tough job improving things for the middle class. If she can get her program though for building infrastructure and green jobs that would help. It seem unlikely that she will win with a landslide. Since the country became polarized into red and blue states there are have been no landslides. And Trump has a lot of support from white nationalists and in general from people who have not earned college degrees, and that support should stay strong regardless of economics. He also strongly supported in general by men. In addition he can count on strong support from opponents of gun control and pro-life advocates. And finally he will get votes from many Republicans who will never vote for a Democrat.


I think race may be a factor but a much important factor is that the Republicans have continued to move toward the right. There no longer seem to be any moderate Republicans, who were key in passing legislation. It seems the party has completely headed toward the extreme views of Goldwater. In other words, the Republicans are very conservative, even the ones who are not part of the Tea Party. I think the one big advantage that Clinton would have over Obama is that she is better at working with Republicans. Obama has not been good at working with Congress, and he can't work at all with Mitch McConnell. He has to send Biden in to work the Senate majority leader. Clinton had a good record of being able to work across the aisle when she was in the Senate.


Obamacare isn't an abomination, unless you're a Republican. It's reduced the rate of uninsured Americans again this year, for the 5th straight year in a row, to its lowest ever (next to 2014). Single-payer would have been better, but Obamacare was a compromise plan (based on Romneycare from Massachusetts) that the GOP Congress would accept.

Pretty much all other developed countries have a single-payer universal healthcare plan. Americans are at a disadvantage.


Bill Clinton & the "New Democrats" effectively destroyed what was left of the pro-worker, somewhat progressive Democrat Party, and Obama and Hillary have continued to bury it.

A true People's Party, springing from a true Progressive Movement, is urgently needed now, and Bernie's Our Revolution, with its top-down leadership appealing to wealthy donors will NOT fill that need.


-------and they all lived happily ever after! The end!---sincerely, Don.


The repubs moved to the right b/c Clinton 1 nudged them over there by competing successfully for the conservative corporate vote (he called it triangulation). The rest of the dems have happily filled the void left by the further right creeping repubs and the latter have moved so far rightward they are now in crazy land. Time for a party that represents people. Vote Green.


Amen TomJohnson. That man has been nothing but an abomination and it's a damn shame.


It amazes me that anyone has anything good to say about the con man whose only commitment is to his own ego.


hi hi

It is not only what Obama failed to do, but what he actually did with his executive powers.

Actions like his March 2011 executive order to resume military tribunals in Guantanamo Bay, or his self-imposed quotas on deporting immigrants which has led to the highest rate of deportations ever.

No republican congress twisted Obama's arm and made him appoint Jack Lew as treasury secretary in 2013, or Antonio Weiss for undersecretary for domestic finance in 2014, among many others.

In spite of Obama's promises to run the most transparent government in history, somehow he managed to prosecute more whistle blowers than all other previous administrations put together, by orders of magnitude.

And perhaps most strikingly, is Obama's belligerent actions as commander in chief of the US armed forces. As congress has largely been cut out of the war-making process, Obama can't hide behind anyone else when he makes executive decisions to bomb countries and to assassinate people.

The world at large has had major issues for decades already, but now that the United States is starting to feel the pain as well, I think that some people are more likely to recognize the problems as actually being problems. Some may actually believe that Trump is a ticket back to the old days of willful ignorance and willful innocence, and some people realize that both halves of establishment politics are reaching a position of power that is beyond any accountability.


BS is correct. Hillary wants a minimum wage for the howling (hardly) unwashed masses of up to $12/hr, Bernie fights for $15. All while Hillary "earns" (read is bribed with) $225,000 an hour to give speeches to bankers - what does she care what the little people earn.

Every promise Obama made for universal health care was a big fat lie. How 'bout the one where he said he'd provide health care to all Americans equal to that of Congress? Are members of Congress paying a quarter of their income for health care? Absolutely not. We pay for Congress' concierge health/dental/vision care -- only the best. They have a doctor on site 24/7. An in-office foot or shoulder massage is a phone call away. There is an on-site free gym and automobiles are provided free at taxpayers expense.
Perks for our public servants: "...cars that are leased or rented at taxpayer expense, health care benefits not available to the general public and taxpayer-funded junkets overseas ... " Members of Congress give "servants" a new meaning.

Hillary Clinton: Single-payer health care will "never, ever" happen.

Let Trump win, and watch the entire system collapse from the weight of its own corruption. If Hillary wins (and I use that term loosely-she was installed) business as usual will drone on another 8 miserable years while the Queen of Mean primps and throws her weight around.


What I was looking for and didn't see (correct me if I totally missed it) was not that Obama failed to fulfill his promises but that (1) Obama went to the dark side of those promises and did the opposite in trump cards beyond anything George Bush did. and (2) that it isn't Obama's failure but Hillary's incredibly tone-deaf hypocrisy and and behavior. Forget anything at all she may have "promised" (crossing her fingers behind her back) but her behavior immediately after by heading immediately into massive-money interest fund raising. And right to the worst of the corporations. There is just nothing to believe in. I've voted since 1968 and have never missed an election small large nor have I ever been so disgusted by the "choices" which are not choices. I was conned to vote lesser evil in 2008 and refused totally to even imagine getting so conned again. My preference then was Cynthia McKinney who had backbone and a moral center. There is only one choice left now and she stands no chance but I will write her in anyway, Jill Stein. And in my state the write in is not allowed. Still, I would rather write her in than be a co-conspirator with the major two parties. Any other vote is truly wasted as far as I am concerned.


Every step of the way, from Reagan's deregulation mania onward, we got what the middle class demanded or accepted. Think about it. From FDR to Reagan, the US had implemented policies and programs that took the country to its height of wealth and productivity -- far from perfect, still a work in progress, but much better. Then they changed their minds. They chose to reverse the policies, end the programs, and the inevitable happened.

In 2015, before launching her campaign, liberal media began trying to sell Hillary Clinton as a Bold Progressive. Never mind her long record of support for the right wing agenda -- pro-war, anti-poor, pro-corporate empowerment, anti-New Deal. As always, they insist that they will "pull Clinton to the left" if she is elected. Never mind that there is no leftist ideology among today's liberals. Obama did try raising a public discussion about our poverty crisis (not everyone is able to work, and there aren't jobs for all). Liberals weren't interested. Dems in Congress kicked off 2015 alone with voting to virtually end food stamps to the elderly poor and the disabled (cut monthly allotments from $115 down to $10).

The Dem voting base had long consisted of the poor and middle class, workers and the jobless, for the common good. Bill Clinton split that base wide apart. The years of this administration confirmed that this split is permanent. The middle class will choose Trump.


On Obama, the devil's in the details. He actually did present a number of legitimately progressive proposals to Congress, most of which were successfully defeated with enough Democrats voting with Republicans. Those devilish details are found by looking up the voting records of those in Congress.


Excellent article - and we didn't even get to talk about who presided over the gruesome murder of Gaddafi and his country and who is now presiding over the disaster that is Syria.


The voting base of the Democrats used to be organized labor. Not only could the Democrats count on votes from members of labor unions but also campaign workers and large sums of money from labor unions. But over the years the number of labor union members shrank dramatically. Now the majority of union member are government workers. So the Democratic Party had to find voters, campaign workers, and a new source of money. By moving toward the center the Democrats were able to get votes from middle class parents living in the suburbs (soccer moms, etc). They were able to replace labor union money that they depended on with money from corporations. They also get a lot of money from sources such as teachers unions and trial lawyers. However, more recently as the country has become polarized the Democratic members the House have move to the left. Many blue areas of the country have become so blue that candidates running more on the left can win elections. However, this has not moved Congress to the left in the House as shifted right as many red areas of the country have become more conservative. This has resulted in political gridlock due to polarization.


Well, since not a single Republican voted for it, compromising to get their vote seems silly, unless you realize that idea- that they were compromising to get Republican support because it was needed to pass it- was a sham, a bit of kabuki theater intended to cover the fact that the Democratic movers and shakers in both the administration and the Congress wanted a corporate friendly bill.


Post of the Year 2016.