Trump-Ukraine suspicions raise specters of collusion and impeachment

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER)

 

Trump-Ukraine suspicions raise specters of collusion and impeachment

Presidential impeachment looms, and perhaps even removal, because Donald Trump may have colluded after all.

Or, to use the correct legal terminology, maybe the president tried to engage in a “conspiracy” with a foreign government, to wit, an effort to use American assets in a quid pro quo arrangement to directly affect a national election and both nations’ systems of criminal justice.

This is what House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of California and other Democrats suspect with regard to a whistleblower’s complaint that reportedly was “prompted by President Trump’s interactions with a foreign leader.”

The evidence already indicates a significant likelihood that the suspicions are correct. If — repeat, only if — the reports do prove true, then Trump is in massive trouble.

Granted, Schiff himself is hardly a reliable interpreter of events. He’s a far-left ideological enemy of Trump’s, a publicity hound prone to grandstandinggullibility, and prevarication. Still, even political hacks sometimes stumble upon important information.

What’s known is this: First, former Vice President Joe Biden is suspected by many in Trump world of having used undue influence to kill a Ukrainian investigation into potential illegalities by his son, Hunter. If Biden did so, that would almost surely be illegal and would by all reasonable standards make him unfit for the presidency.

It is not, however, obvious that Biden did what is suspected. Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani, though, obviously want Ukraine to r-open the investigation into Biden. It long has been evident that Trump world believes that among the current Democratic presidential candidates, Biden would be his most serious challenger. If Ukraine finds Biden actually did something wrong, or even if they publicly are investigating him, Trump’s reelection prospects surely would improve.

Hence, Giuliani’s now-admitted efforts to ask Ukraine’s current regime to ensnare Biden in a major investigation. If Giuliani did so at Trump’s request, which is certainly not far-fetched, that alone would be dicey behavior. As the United States is a key ally for Ukraine’s very survival, any implied pressure on it from someone acting for the president, on behalf of the president’s political interests, would be ethically questionable.

Yet Trump is now suspected of doing even worse, than that. A whistle blower filed a report to the inspector general for the U.S. intelligence community — a complaint the White House is withholding from Congress, but whose existence if not exact details are known — alleging an “urgent” matter arose from a “promise” Trump made in a phone call with a foreign leader. Available evidence makes it almost certain that the complaint involved July 25 call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, at a time when Trump was delaying a $250 million military assistance package for Ukraine already approved by U.S. law.

Trump subsequently allowed the aid to go forward.

In sum, Democrats suspect Trump conditioned the aid delivery on Ukraine’s willingness to investigate Biden.

Every bit of circumstantial evidence so far, including Giuliani’s similar mission and including a Ukrainian official summary of that July 25 phone call, makes that suspicion entirely plausible. If so, it would be a serious conspiracy indeed.

Substitute “Ukraine” for “Russia,” in this sentence from special counsel Robert Mueller’s explanation (p. 66) as to what potential crime he was investigating: “coordination or conspiracy … with respect to Russia providing assistance to the campaign in exchange for any sort of favorable treatment in the future.” In the new Ukraine case, the suspected quid pro quo is obvious and far worse than what Mueller investigated. If the president uses U.S. taxpayer-financed military supplies as, in effect, a bribe to induce a foreign government to harass the president’s domestic opponent, it’s a horrible crime.

If it is true, this is a scandal much worse than Watergate. If it’s true, Trump must be removed from office.

Presidents: How Old Is Just To Damn Old?

Presidents: How Old Is Just To Damn Old?

 

I just finished reading a CNN article on the Democratic candidates for President and I would like to share some ideas with you. Being there are at least 23 people vying for this job within the Democratic Party I have chosen the top five candidates (what the polls say) to discuss with you today.

 

As I am sure that you have garnered from the title I am going to talk with you about the ages of these candidates. Simply put, in your opinion does age matter? Via the U.S. Constitution you must be at least 35 years of age to hold the Office yet there is no maximum age set.

 

The ages I am going to give you are the age these people would be on the day they would be sworn into Office on January 20th of 2021. It is just my personal opinion that if a person will reach their 72nd birthday during an term for any Office, they should be barred from being able to seek the Office. As I said earlier, these five folks are leading in the Democratic Presidential polls. I have added one person to the list as he just announced his candidacy yesterday. He is the California Billionaire who has been paying out of his own pocket for the commercials saying that President Trump needs to be impeached. His name is Tom Steyer.

Name:                                                         Day Born:                                 Age as of January 21st of 2021:

Tom Steyer                                                  June 27, 1957                           63

Bernie Sanders                                           September 8, 1941                   79

Joe Biden                                                    November 20, 1942                  78

Kamala Harris                                             October 20, 1964                     56

Elizabeth Warren                                         June 22, 1949                           71

Pete Buttigieg                                             January 19, 1982                      39

 

I am only going to mention two other people who are on the Republican side.

Donald Trump                                             June 14, 1946                           74

Mike Pence                                                 June 7, 1959                              61

 

I am a registered independent voter who personally does not like the Democratic nor the Republican Parties. I don’t believe that either Party cares at all about the American people as a whole. But today’s Republican Party of Donald Trump, Mike Pence and Mitch McConnell totally discuss me. So, in the next Presidential election cycle I would vote for a dead dog before I would vote for any Republican. Personally, of the candidates that I mentioned my top two choices would be Tom Steyer or Elizabeth Warren. If my 72 guideline were the law Mrs. Warren could not be on the ballot. But then neither could Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden or Donald Trump.

 

This article is just the thoughts and ideas of an old man. But personally I am sick and tired of these old fart career politicians with there way out of date ideas running/ruining our Country. The old folks whom many of them have been in office for 40-50 years need to be made to retire. Do you/we really want people running our Country who are in their 80’s? I just don’t, I am sick and tired of their partisan B.S..

 

These two people are not running for the office of President but they are the two leaders of the House and the Senate who pretty much tell all the members of their political party how to vote on every issue, every bill. First, Nancy Pelosi who was born on March 6th of 1940.  She will be 80 when the next President takes Office. Then there is Mitch McConnell who is the top Republican in the Senate, he was born on February 20th of 1942. So, he will be 78 when the next President is sworn in and he has already stated just like Nancy Pelosi has that he is running for reelection. So, one more term for each of them and Mrs. Pelosi will be 82 and Mr. McConnell will be 84.

 

What is your thoughts on this issue? Do you even care about this issue, or maybe is it not even an issue at all to you? If you would, please leave me a comment, I thank you for your time, I appreciate you taking of your time to read this.

 


 

Democratic Presidential Politics: 5 Candidates Starting To Pull Away From The Pack

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF POLITICO NEWS)

 

2020 ELECTIONS

The 2020 front-runners are pulling away from the field

The latest fundraising figures prove there’s a new top tier in the Democratic primary — and everyone else is running out of time.

The top tier of the Democratic presidential primary is now reshaped around five candidates. The latest fundraising numbers prove it.

Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have raised about $100 million in the past three months combined. Together, they share a large majority of public support.

They were already spending millions of dollars more than many lower-polling contenders have even raised. Now, in a powerful compounding effect for their campaigns, these top tier candidates are poised to plow that new money back into their field and digital operations — further reinforcing their fundraising and organizing advantages in the 23-candidate field.

It’s too early to be an inflection point, but late enough that the rest of the field needs to start worrying.

“The front-runners are pulling away, absent a blunder,” said Bob Mulholland, a Democratic National Committee member from California. “It’s like any season as you get closer, some teams are headed to the World Series or the Super Bowl. … The difference between winning and losing is pretty severe.”

The consolidation of Democratic money in the primary — and the now-flattened top tier — became evident this week, after Warren, a Massachusetts senator, announced Monday that she had raised $19.1 million in the second quarter of the year. Buttigieg raised $25 million, Biden raised $21.5 million, Sanders raised $18 million and Harris raised $12 million in the same time period.

That money is not just a benchmark. Buttigieg, while raising his staggering sum, began hiring dozens of organizers in Iowa and New Hampshire and plans to have 300 people on staff by Labor Day. Warren added more than 100 staffers in the past three months and already has more than 300 in total.

Harris in recent weeks has dramatically expanded her operation in the four early-nominating states, with more than 65 staffers in Iowa, 49 in South Carolina, 35 in Nevada and 30 in New Hampshire.

While lower-polling candidates are still struggling just to qualify for upcoming presidential debates, candidates with money can now return to their expanding donor lists for repeat contributions. By late summer, they are expected to begin reserving time for TV advertisements in select early-primary states.

“From this point forward, it gets harder for” every candidate outside the top tier, said Doug Herman, a Democratic strategist. “Because if you’re at the bottom of the pile and you’re punching up for donors, trying to move polling numbers or obtaining traction with a viral moment and you haven’t been able to do it so far, what makes somebody think they can do it when people are starting to consolidate around the top five?”

Democratic voters, Herman said, are “starting to rule people out.”

“They’re not consolidating, but they’re narrowing it to five or six,” he said. “They’re starting to figure out who they’re not for.”

The same five front-runners are pulling more than 80 percent of the Democratic electorate’s support nationally, according to the most recent Morning Consult poll. And while many voters have yet to settle on a single candidate, voters’ second-choice candidates tend to be from the same group of contenders.

In part, the focus on those candidates reflects not only name recognition, but an electorate yearning for a more manageable number of candidates to assess. In a finding reflective of other polls, a CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll last month found an overwhelming majority of Iowa caucus goers felt the candidate field was too large. The media is starting to assist them by turning public attention increasingly to skirmishes among the top-performing candidates.

The school busing spat between Joe Biden and Kamala Harris simmered for more than a week after the first primary debates last month. Warren’s rise has been significant in large part because of its implications for Sanders, a fellow progressive — and fellow top-tier contender.

When Rep. Eric Swalwell abandoned his long-shot campaign Monday — the first major candidate to end his campaign — he said one of the plainest challenges to his candidacy was “a lot of heavyweights in that field.”

“You have people who, you know, have had high name recognition,” he said. “Two of the candidates have run for president before that I stood on a stage with. We have a senator in California who’s running who is … quite talented and quite popular.”

Asked if he had any advice for Tom Steyer, the billionaire Democratic mega donor who announced the next day that he is running, Swalwell joked, “It’s rough out there.”

Advisers to the front-running candidates caution that the primary remains volatile. So do major donors and unaffiliated strategists. Karen Hicks, a Democratic strategist in New Hampshire, said a financial crisis, an international incident or some other unplanned event could propel a candidate who rises to “meet the moment somehow in a way that sticks.”

The primary, she said, is “still super fluid.”

The newest entrant into the race, Steyer, could make a mark with his immense wealth — he is expected to spend at least $100 million on his bid.

“When you have one guy who’s coming with $100 million, you can’t discount that,” said Rebecca Katz, a progressive consultant who advised Cynthia Nixon in her primary campaign against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year.

However, she said candidates who aren’t already gaining traction, who cannot afford to self-fund, and “who have dedicated their lives to public service, they’re SOL.”

Julián Castro is a telling example. The former Obama Cabinet secretary and former mayor of San Antonio had a breakout debate performance last month challenging his fellow Texan Beto O’Rourke on immigration.

On Monday, he sent supporters an email celebrating that his campaign now has 130,000 different donors, meeting a difficult threshold for the September presidential debates.

But Castro is still polling at 1 percent, according to Morning Consult. O’Rourke stands at 3 percent.

“I think there is still time for the second tier candidate to resonate, but they need to get with it because time is slipping away,” said Gilda Cobb-Hunter, an influential state lawmaker in early-voting South Carolina. “Once the media zeroes in on who they perceive to be the front-runners, it’s really hard for other candidates to get any air space or ink.”

My Views On Racism In The U.S. As An Older White Southern Man

My Views On Racism In The U.S. As An Older White Southern Man

 

This letter to you this evening is simply my opinions on the subject of racism here in the U.S.. I totally do not expect everyone to agree with anything that I have to say, but if nothing else maybe it will help get a few ‘water cooler’ conversations started. The news today has been filled with race issues stemming from the second of the Democratic Debates. There is a Senator from California, Ms. Harris who seemed to bring up the race issue during that debate via slamming former VP Biden on his record and his words. Now people like Donald Trump Junior have waded in on her hereditary blood line. So those of you who do not know me, I am a long time Independent when it comes to politics. Personally I am not a fan of any of the Trump family nor of Joe Biden or Ms. Harris. Mr. Biden has been catching some flack even from fellow Democrats about his voting record back as far as 1975. Folks, that was 44 years ago, basically every person on earth has changed their views on life itself if they are let’s say, 60 or older. Personally I believe that no one should be allowed to hold any political office though once they have turned 72 but that has nothing to do with race.

 

I am a person whom I believe is not at all racists and I have always been this way due to a good upbringing via my Mom. Racism is hatred and if anyone hates another person just because of their skin color then they are making a Soul shattering mistake. I was a long haul truck driver for over 30 years I traveled to all of the lower 48 states many hundreds of times, speaking with thousands of people all over the place. I also went all over Canada many times. During my three decades of traveling I came to the realization that in my opinion, here in the States that the most racists group of people are black folks and that is an absolute. But, just like with Hispanic folks what was obvious was that when I, as a white man came up to them to discuss anything was that they expected me to be a racists, and folks, that is very sad. What many non-white folks have ended up doing is becoming that which they hate. I have also noticed that the lower the level of education it seems that the higher the percent of people who have racists views.

 

I know that there are many people who are white that are just like Donald Trump, racists to the core of their being. What I have come to realize since Mr. Trump became President is that I was wrong about White Racism, there is a lot more of it than I had realized. Racism is a Spiritual disease, a hatred that will get the owner thereof cast into Hell once their life is over. Any person who says that they are a Christian and they are racists doesn’t know anything about the teachings of Yeshua (Jesus Christ.) Personally ever since I first heard of Ms. Harris what I have noticed is that in my opinion she is just like so many of the highly uneducated Black males that I have come across during my years, that she is racists to the core of her being. The reason that I say this about so many Black folks is that when you hear them talking among themselves or when they heavily out number you is that everything seems to be about Color. Because of my feelings about Ms. Harris I will not vote for her just as I would not, will not vote for the Racists Ass that sits in the Oval Office now. Race has got to be a totally ‘non-issue’ in our society or we can never grow as a people. This letter is just my take from my life experiences, from my travels. Personally I do not want anyone in any political office who is a racists no matter what their skin color happens to be. I just hope that we as a country can learn to eliminate this Spiritual disease before we explode as a Nation, a fragmented people are much easier to defeat whether the opponent is of the flesh or of the Spirit. I pray that God will have mercy on all of us because of our stupidity.

Joe Biden’s McCain eulogy just explained exactly what’s wrong with American politics

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Joe Biden’s McCain eulogy just explained exactly what’s wrong with American politics

(CNN)Here’s a paragraph from Joe Biden’s eulogy of the late John McCain that you need to read:

“You know, I’m sure if my former colleagues who work with John, I’m sure there’s people who said to you, not only now, but the last 10 years, ‘Explain this guy to me,’ right? ‘Explain this guy to me.’ Because, as they looked at him, in one sense they admired him. In one sense, the way things changed so much in America, they look at him as if John came from another age, lived by a different code, an ancient, antiquated code where honor, courage, integrity, duty, were alive. That was obvious, how John lived his life. The truth is, John’s code was ageless, is ageless. When you talked earlier, Grant, you talked about values. It wasn’t about politics with John. He could disagree on substance, but the underlying values that animated everything John did, everything he was, come to a different conclusion. He’d part company with you if you lacked the basic values of decency, respect, knowing this project is bigger than yourself.”
Yes, that is, ostensibly, about McCain. But it is also an indictment of our current politics — and a road map on how we can fix what’s broken.
The prevailing “value” of modern politics is partisanship: You are good if you are on my team. You are not just bad, but morally bankrupt, if you are on the other side. You are real if you are on my team and fake if you aren’t. Anything the captain of my team says can be justified (and agreed with) because, well, they’re the captain of my team. Anything the other team’s captain says is wrong, by default, because they’re the captain of the other team. There’s no reason to listen to people on the other team. Or make friends with them. Or even be seen with them. They aren’t on my team. Why would I do that?
President Donald Trump is the walking, talking epitome of the sanctification of partisanship over all our other, real, values. (Yes, the irony is not lost on me — and should not be lost on you — that the modern patron saint of partisanship is someone who has been, literally, a Democrat, an independent and a Republican all within the last decade or so.) This is a man who has declared, repeatedly, that the mainstream media is the “enemy of the people.” A man who said his Democratic opponent in the 2016 election should be jailed. A man who has called elected officials of his own party who disagreed with him “incompetent,” “weak and ineffective” and “so bad,” among many other things. A man who, while McCain was home in Arizona fighting the brain cancer that eventually killed him, would use the story of McCain voting against health care repeal legislation to symbolize the Arizona senator’s alleged backstabbing. (“One senator decided to put the thumb down,” Trump would say in his standard stump speech. “That was not a good thing.”)
To be clear: Trump doesn’t take this if-you-aren’t-with-me-you’re-against-me view out of any sort of principles. After all, he made his living in the private sector as a deal-maker, someone who always saw compromise as possible — even in the darkest of situations. And as I noted above, Trump has been all over the map in terms of his personal politics. This is not a man wedded to a certain, unwavering view of what’s right in the world.
LIKE WHAT YOU’RE READING?

Check out the latest analysis from The Point with Chris Cillizza:

Trump has elevated pure, unstinting partisanship into a virtue because it works for him politically. The Republican base was mad as hell at its elected leaders who they believed were all too willing to compromise on core principles. And not just compromise, but compromise badly; conservatives have long believed that Democrats always got the best of Republicans when it came to the sort of last-minute deal-making that Congress made a habit of producing. Compromise as capitulation was a notion within conservative circles before Trump, but he seized the idea and turned it into gospel truth. Even being seen with a member of the opposite party has become enough to draw a Republican incumbent a primary challenge from someone in their home state, insisting that the elected official has “gone Washington” or “come down with Potomac fever” or some other claptrap like that.
Now go back up and read Biden’s words. And these words in particular (bolding is mine):
“It wasn’t about politics with John. He could disagree on substance, but the underlying values that animated everything John did, everything he was, come to a different conclusion. He’d part company with you if you lacked the basic values of decency, respect, knowing this project is bigger than yourself.”
When you read that last sentence, you understand why McCain was so openly critical of Trump, and why Trump disliked McCain in turn. McCain believed in the idea of public service as a noble — flawed, but nonetheless noble — profession. That the reason you got into politics was to find ways to do good, not for yourself but for the broader populace. That the most important lesson to always, always, always remember is that we all have a lot more in common than we have differences on. That focusing on that common humanity was at the essence of how politics should work. It wasn’t about what team you were on. It was about what good you wanted to do — and for whom.
That shared humanity — the sense that we are all, in the end, in this together — hasn’t disappeared.
It can’t disappear because it’s who we, at root, are. What’s wrong is that we just aren’t looking hard enough for it. We are too willing to allow ourselves to be manipulated by people who, for whatever reasons — political and monetary gain, mostly — have a vested interest in focusing on what divides us rather than what unites us.
I’m under no illusion that either McCain’s death (and life) or Biden’s paean to re-find what McCain represented will have any immediate effect on the body politic. It’s easier to retreat into partisan camps and surround yourself with people, TV talkers and the like who tell you that you’re right (about everything) and those who disagree with you are your enemies, villains to be vanquished.
In the end, though, I’m with Biden and McCain. Who we are might get obscured. We might forget. But those are temporary matters. In the end, our eyes will open and our minds will remember.

What Hillary Clinton still doesn’t understand about Bernie Sanders

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

What Hillary Clinton still doesn’t understand about Bernie Sanders

Source: CNN
Clinton lays blame on Sanders in new book

(CNN)It’s one week until Hillary Clinton’s 2016 memoir “What Happened” is officially released. But, in an excerpt that made the rounds today, Clinton writes critically about her 2016 primary opponent Bernie Sanders. Clinton makes the case that Sanders damaged her chances of winning with his pie-in-the-sky proposals that pleased liberals but could never actually become law.

So, is she right? CNN’s Greg Krieg and I spent the afternoon exchanging emails about that very question. Our conversation — edited only lightly for flow — is below.
Cillizza: All right, Greg, We’re getting bits and pieces of Hillary Clinton’s book about the 2016 election as we get closer to it hitting bookstores (are they even a thing anymore?) next week. The new nugget features Clinton running down Bernie Sanders for his primary challenge in 2016.
The part I cared about was where Clinton compares Sanders to a one-upper. That no matter what she proposed, he would propose something even more appealing to the party’s liberal base — entirely without any consequence.
Recollects Clinton: “We would promise a bold infrastructure investment plan or an ambitious new apprenticeship program for young people, and then Bernie would announce basically the same thing, but bigger. On issue after issue, it was like he kept promising four-minute abs, or even no-minutes abs. Magic abs!”
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To my mind, she’s not wrong!
Clinton was forced to be mindful of how the positions staked out in a primary would impact her in a general election. Sanders, who no one — including him! — thought could or would win, had no such constraint. He could propose whatever he wanted in a largely consequence-free environment while she lived in an all-consequences, all-the-time environment.
Sanders was running a cause. Clinton was running a campaign.
Tell me how I’m wrong.
Krieg: Let me start by saying, the timing of this book is truly remarkable. I know these things are set way in advance and wouldn’t be shocked if Clinton herself — despite all the frustrations we’ve read about in just these few pages — might wish this debate, both ours and the one now blazing on Twitter, could be put off a bit.
Or not!
Anyway, I’m struck right off the bat by how little nuance there is in Clinton’s assessment. For such a smart, savvy and accomplished person, she comes off as weirdly blinkered. These paragraphs are pretty narrowly composed and make no real account for why Sanders was so popular. Perhaps it’s comforting to dismiss his popularity and, implicitly, the desires/frustrations of his supporters, as being rooted in the desire for free ponies or “magic abs.” But that really undersells the issue at the heart of this.
Sanders was, of course, coming at this campaign from a very different angle. By his and his aides’ own admission, they were surprised at how quickly a movement-based candidacy turned into an electorally viable one. But even then, he was pitching a fundamentally different view of politics. Now, you can dismiss that as unreasonable or unlikely to happen, but it’s a losing strategy, in broad terms, to quit the conversation there.
Did America want a pony? Perhaps. Though I’d say Americans were and are frustrated by their debt and economic inequality and medical bills, etc. Essentially saying that their desire for relief was wishful (and frankly, silly) puts a pretty fine point on her shortcomings a candidate.
Cillizza: Look. I love a free pony as much as the next guy, but you make a fair point.
I think one of Clinton’s biggest problems in the race was that she never understood that Sanders’ appeal wasn’t totally about his proposals — which weren’t radically different than hers — it was about his tone and willingness to confront Republicans at all times and on all fronts.
Her political background was forged in the 1980s and 1990s — when bipartisanship was something to be aimed at. That wasn’t the mindset of the Democratic Party, whose nomination Clinton was seeking. They wanted confrontation. They viewed the GOP worldview as not just wrong but immoral. They didn’t want carefully poll-tested policies designed to barely keep them on board while also peeling off moderate Republicans.
Sanders intuitively understood that because he has made charging at GOP-constructed windmills his life’s work. All the way to the end, Clinton never grasped what Democrats really wanted from her.
I think the tendency to dismiss Sanders in the book is representative of the fact that she still doesn’t get that reality.
ALL of that said: I still think running a campaign against a candidate running a cause is really, really hard. I would be fascinated by what would have happened if, after his New Hampshire victory, Sanders had been able to score a few more wins in big important states over that next six weeks. It might have changed the perception of the race — and forced Sanders and the Democratic Party to come face-to-face with the real possibility that he might be the nominee.
Krieg: Last things first. I agree entirely — with you and Clinton — that Sanders did not have as fully developed of a policy portfolio. During the debates and in some interviews during his early 2016 surge, his lack of clearly defined foreign policy ideas sometimes made plain his shortcomings. As it happens, part of the reason he didn’t win much in those post-New Hampshire weeks was that he didn’t have the infrastructure or the time to develop a compelling enough message to win down South. (And even with more time, winning there was certainly no guarantee.)
I also agree that, on balance, Sanders’ proposals weren’t too far from Clinton’s. The debate over higher ed is a great example. Clinton wanted debt-free college. Sanders went a bit further, suggesting a tuition-free approach. They eventually hashed out a compromise plan. This is why so many progressives, in the days before the election, were confident of having a seat at the table in a Clinton administration.
But again, the fundamental issue here — as you note — is that Clinton didn’t then, nor does she now, seem to accept the legitimacy of the Sanders wing’s underlying argument. Which is, (overly) simply stated, that the country has — over the last 30 or 40 years and with the Democratic Party’s acquiescence — been moving away from public control of public goods. For example: Those “market-based solutions” that seem to do more for the market than those looking for solutions.
This was always tough and clearly annoying to Clinton. She’s been in the arena; Sanders was a mayor in Vermont, then a back-bencher in Congress. But — and look to the UK and Jeremy Corbyn for further evidence here — that is not enough of an argument for many voters. In fact, lots of Sanders supporters will tell you that his unwillingness to play ball and make compromises they view as having damaged the working class is not a bug, but a feature piece of his appeal.
Here’s a question: Where are you on the “his attacks caused lasting damage” argument? A lot of Sanders people will say that, if anything, he pulled punches.
Cillizza: Absolutely not!
I agree with Sanders’ people who say he pulled punches. He refused to ever talk about her email server which was, literally, a hanging curveball that he could smash out of the park. And, on her speech-giving to massive corporations — including Goldman Sachs — Sanders went WAY easier than he could have if he wanted to portray Clinton as a corporate shill.
Hillary Clinton lost because she was never the “heart” candidate of the activist base, because she never grasped what the email server really meant to people (that the Clintons think the rules don’t apply, that the Clintons think they are deserve different treatment), because of James Comey announcing the re-opening of the email investigation, because of WikiLeaks/Russia and mostly because she was the status quo candidate in a change election. But, she definitely didn’t lose because of Bernie Sanders.
One last thing that this conversation has got me to wondering about: Is there going to be a candidate from the “Clinton wing” of the Democratic party in 2020? Joe Biden? Can he qualify? He never loved or ascribed to Clinton’s sort of politics — and is much more willing to speak out than she ever was. But, if it’s not Biden, then who is that candidate?
Krieg: One other thing on the Clinton-Sanders dynamic before I get to the (fun) 2020 stuff. Clinton here notes — correctly! — that she had better fleshed-out policy positions. But I think what frustrated people on the left, and certainly some of her most ardent supporters, is that she did not always center them during her campaign. These things are visceral, and always have been, so when you reply to some questions with, “Go look on my website,” that’s going to frustrate people.
Ironically, what was on Clinton’s website would have appealed — tweak here, tweak there — to a whole lot of Sanders supporters. Obviously there was an element within his support that, on a personality level (heightened in some cases by very real sexism), was never going to give her a look. But there were others, I think, who had/have room in their hearts for both Bernie and Hillary! (In fact, I’d say that’s the majority of Democrats.)
As for 2020… oy. A few months ago I’d have said this primary is 100% going to boil down to a Clinton winger vs. a Berniecrat. Though I think some people will see it that way no matter what, as we go forward, I’m thinking the Democratic Party is going to square this stuff away before then. Maybe not in terms of its larger message, but as it relates to a national candidate. (See Kamala Harris, and surely others, co-sponsoring Sanders’ single-payer test bill. Or Elizabeth Warren, who basically everyone in the party and on its left could rally behind right now.)
So, could it be Biden? I doubt it. People who tout him, I think, believe that Clinton’s loss was mostly about personality and that Ol’ Joe could run on about the same policy and win over the working class voters she lost. My bet is that a group of younger candidates with fewer attachments to the ’80s and ’90s will emerge.
One caveat: Sanders himself. If he runs, which I personally don’t think he will do, it upends all of the above. The 2016 scars come right back out. And maybe Biden does get drawn back in.