Clinton vs Trump

We now seem to have decided on our Two Weak Candidates. After a spirited primary season, it comes down to an establishment neoliberal candidate and a populist moderate candidate, both of whom are widely disliked and distrusted outside of their loyal core.

Watching Bernie Sanders’ campaign rattle the jewelry of the increasingly elitist Democratic Party has been an inspiring political story. No, he didn’t win the nomination, but he came out of near obscurity to start a serious progressive movement among the large voting bloc of millennials. He treats his young supporters like adults, and advises that they make their own judgment on the election. Instead of trading his endorsement for a post in the new administration, he is still campaigning for his issues. But has he had any effect on this election?

In his post, Winning in Losing: How Sanders pushed Clinton to the Left, Juan Cole lists several issues in which he thinks Sanders has changed the Clinton platform. Given Clinton’s recent arrogant dismissal of Sanders’ supporters, I am less optimistic:

1. Fracking: Clinton’s support for the controversial method of drilling for oil and gas has turned lukewarm. She puts so many restrictions on fracking that it is hard to see it making a profit under her. Clinton almost certainly adopted this position because Sen. Sanders campaigned on the environment and pushed her to the left.

Nevertheless, she is on record as being in favor of fracking, so I wonder if the restrictions would survive political deal-making. Even as coal is dying, Clinton still pays lip service to so-called ‘clean’ coal. Is there ‘clean’ fracking in our future?

2. TPP: She now opposes the mammoth trade bill, which would certainly have strengthened elits and further weakened individual rights.

No matter what she says while campaigning, I believe she is more likely than Trump to allow the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to be enacted.

3. Clinton may not have flip-flopped on the Keystone XL pipeline, but she came to a clear and strong position against it after she began competing with Sen. Sanders.

Also after it became clear that synthetic oil, and the pipeline meant to carry dilbit from the tar sands in Canada, no longer appeared nearly as profitable when competing with lower prices for real petroleum crude from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

5. In February, Clinton abruptly announced that she was for breaking up the big banks. Sanders on hearing her speech joked that he was looking into copyright issues.

But she still hasn’t released the text of her speeches to Wall Street.

Here is the crux of the matter:

Clinton will continue to need the left wing of the Democratic Party as she campaigns through Nov. 4. The trick for the left will be to find ways of tying her down and making sure she can’t swing back to the center-right of the party after the July convention.

Clinton is not known for her honesty. If she does manage to defeat Trump, we can expect some liberal Supreme Court picks but a lot of thinly-disguised conservative policy decisions, such as those in the PPI which I discussed in Republican Lite. The wealthy and upper classes will feel secure, but life for the working class will continue to get worse.


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3 responses to “Clinton vs Trump”

  1. trkingmomoe says :

    I want to add a little bit of information here. The organization that worked to fund and GOTV for Bernie is not going to disband. Two of the wizards that put together the fundraising and software for phone banking have filed with the FEC to form a PAC called Brand New Congress. They plan to field their own candidates in 2018. They started a soft roll out of it yesterday.

    They will use the same approach that was used in Sanders’ campaign. It will start with organized house parties to look for people to run for local House seats.

    Right now there is 32 candidates that are being supported by Bernie supporters but the media has not covered this. I know 2 of them have received a half a million each from Bernie supporters. I think this is a test run to sharpen skills at doing this.

    I see some possibilities that could happen with this as it moves forward and possibly spliting with the DNC.. One of them could be negotiating with Working Families Party that field down ticket candidates. I could also see them negotiating with the Green Party. They could also grow into a party of their own focus.

    Hillary and Trump will be an nasty ugly general campaign and the majority of the country don’t really like them. I do expect Trump to run left of Hillary in Trade agreements. How damaged will both parties be after nominating and running candidates that are weak and will be very flawed in the White House?

    Hillary is really mad at the Bernie supporters because she knows they will not all unite under her. They have started to make other plans to move their agenda forward. This explains her answer to Rachel M’s question on Monday night about uniting the party and her body language the many picked up on in the Town Hall. There will be some that will vote for her but there will a lot that will not.

    Liked by 1 person

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