Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Yes, Hillary Will Have To Meet Conditions To Get Bernie's Supporters On Board
"WAAAH! I shouldn't have to accept conditions to get Bernie's supporters!"
In a victory lap speech last night, after taking four eastern primary states (DE, PA, CT. MD) Hillary made a pitch to Bernie Sanders's' supporters that "there is more that unites us than divides us" - betraying a real desperation to be able to actually turn Right, and go after Donald Trump. She also showed again that talk is cheap. But what Bernie's people really want to see is engraved in stone promises to back up the unity blather (having already been burned by "hope and change" nonsense eight years earlier.). You know the old saw: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me."
Well, Bernie's supporters don't plan to get fooled again, especially when most of them already sense a yen to get off the leftward tilt and turn to the "center" and the Right. (In fact the current center, so called, is really center-Right.)
Bernie himself, in response to an idiot reporter's inane question ('When do you plan to drop out?') answered correctly that the campaign isn't just about winning the nomination but changing the political direction of the party and the country - implying that it must be away from its Neoliberal tilt of the past 34 years. (Since the formation of the DLC, 'Democratic Leadership Council', and its "Third way", Republican lite version of the Dems.)
That means building planks into the Democratic Party platform that reflect Bernie's positions, such as dealing with the banks in a real way as opposed to "optically". At the very least that means bringing back a version of Glass-Steagall to keep investment and commercial banks separate. As in Canada, banks should not be using depositors' hard earned savings to make risky bets with derivatives and then have to be bailed out with taxpayer money when they fail. That also means at least verbally acknowledging the validity of Bernie's bill which allows the Treasury Secretary to name banks too big to fail.
It also means making a clear promise to lower the burden of student loan debt. As one expert on military growth interviewed recently by Laura Flanders put it, nations are spending an average of $1.75 trillion per year on military armaments. Just a fraction of that ($200b) could be used to enable lower tuition at U.S. public universities for example.
We also want to see Hillary accept a non-interventionist foreign policy given we simply can't continue to spend precious resources on occupations and wars when there are so many pressing domestic needs, like repairing crumbling infrastructure.
In a nutshell then, these are some of the conditions we expect to be met when Bernie rolls into Philadelphia with well over 1, 500 delegates and 10 million votes that Hillary will need to beat Trump:
- Acceptance of a viable plan to separate commercial and investment banks
- Acceptance of a plausible plan to reduce student college loan debt (at the very least lowering interest rates to 3% or less.)
- Promise not to advocate for any cuts for Social Security (as Obama tried with his "Debt Commission" in 2010)
- No to any cuts to Medicare, including "privatization" plans
- No to any liaisons with Israel to either attack Iran or Syria, or send troops (or cruise missiles) in.
- No to any new adventures in the Ukraine, or trying to set up a "no fly zone" over Syria.
The last two are particularly apropos given Hillary's robust background as a hawk, illuminated in a recent NY Times magazine piece, e.g.
The piece noted that Clinton’s extreme belligerence “will likely set her apart from the Republican candidate she meets in the general election,” noting “neither Donald J. Trump nor Senator Ted Cruz of Texas have demonstrated anywhere near the appetite for military engagement abroad that Clinton has.” In the 2016 presidential campaign, the report concludes, “Hillary Clinton is the last true hawk left in the race.”
HRC's gender backers - who may have sons that she enlists to fight a war of choice, say in Syria or Iraq- ought to take note.
I would also add that before we embrace "Hill"' she come clean and release those transcripts of her Wall Street speeches (mainly to reps of Goldman- Sachs). We deserve to know exactly what she said, and whether any statements made included promises to "cut entitlements", privatize Social Security or punch any more holes into Dodd-Frank.
Hillary whined last week that she never issued any conditions (to get her supporters on board) when she ultimately backed Obama in 2008. But she omitted saying the differences between them were tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum, both Neoliberals at heart.
This time around is not the same, given we have a democratic socialist exposing the flaws of a diehard Neolib and warhawk. Thus, millions of Bernie supporters won't be satisfied with anything less than her not only mouthing words of unity - but building Berne's main proposals into the party platform.