Tag Archives: US President

The Endgame of 2016′s Anti-Establishment Politics

by Robert Reich, 4/25/16

Will Bernie Sanders’s supporters rally behind Hillary Clinton if she gets the nomination? Likewise, if Donald Trump is denied the Republican nomination, will his supporters back whoever gets the Republican nod?

If 2008 is any guide, the answer is unambiguously yes to both. About 90 percent of people who backed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries that year ended up supporting Barack Obama in the general election. About the same percent of Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney backers came around to supporting John McCain.

But 2008 may not be a good guide to the 2016 election, whose most conspicuous feature is furious antipathy to the political establishment.

Outsiders and mavericks are often attractive to an American electorate chronically suspicious of political insiders, but the anti-establishment sentiments unleashed this election year of a different magnitude. The Trump and Sanders candidacies are both dramatic repudiations of politics as usual….

continue reading at Robert Reich

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Progressive movement, US President

Time for These Two Democrats to Go

By Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, Moyers & Company, March 22, 2016

They represent everything wrong with the Democratic Party. Hillary Clinton should tell them to take a hike.

There are two Democrats whose resignation from office right now would do their party and country a service.

Their disappearance might also help Hillary Clinton convince skeptical Democrats that her nomination, if it happens, is about the future, and not about resurrecting and ratifying the worst aspects of the first Clinton reign when she and her husband rarely met a donor to whom they wouldn’t try to auction a sleepover in the Lincoln Bedroom.

In fact, while we’re at it, and if Secretary Clinton really wants us to believe she’s no creature of the corporate and Wall Street money machine — despite more than $44 million in contributions from the financial industry since 2000 and her $675,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs, not to mention several million more paid by other business interests for an hour or two of her time — she should pick up the gauntlet herself and publicly call for the departure of these two, although they are among her nearest and dearest. And we don’t mean Bill and Chelsea.

No, she should come right out and ask for the resignations of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Democratic National Committee Chair — and Florida congresswoman — Debbie Wasserman Schultz. In one masterstroke, she could separate herself from two of the most prominent of all corporate Democratic elitists….

continue reading at Moyers & Company

Leave a comment

Filed under 2016 election, US President

Trumpistas and Peronistas

excerpt from James Petras, “Presidential Elections 2016: The Revolt of the Masses, Unz Review, February 24, 2016:

…The Trump electoral campaign has many of the features of a Latin American nationalist-populist movement. Like the Argentine Peronist movement, it combines protectionist, nationalist economic measures that appeal to small and medium size manufacturers and displaced industrial workers with populist right-wing ‘great nation chauvinism’.

This is reflected in Trumps’ attacks on ‘globalization’ – a proxy for Peronist ‘anti-imperialism’.

Trump’s attack on the Muslim minority in the US is a thinly veiled embrace of rightwing clerical fascism.

Where Peron campaigned against ‘financial oligarchies’ and the invasion of ‘foreign ideologies’, Trump scorns the ‘elites’ and denounces the ‘invasion’ of Mexican immigrants.

Trump’s appeal is rooted in the deep amorphous anger of the downwardly mobile middle class, which has no ideology . . . but plenty of resentment at its declining status, crumbling stability and drug-afflicted families (Witness the overtly expressed concerns of white voters in the recent New Hampshire primary).

Trump projects personal power to workers who bridle under impotent trade unions, disorganized civic groups, and marginalized local business associations, all unable to counter the pillage, power and large-scale corruption of the financial swindlers who rotate between Washington and Wall Street with total impunity.

These ‘populist’ classes get vicarious thrills from the spectacle of Trump snapping and slapping career politicians and economic elites alike, even as he parades his capitalist success.

They prize his symbolic defiance of the political elite as he flaunts his own capitalist elite credentials.

For many of his suburban backers he is the ‘Great Moralizer’, who in his excess zeal, occasionally, commits ‘pardonable’ gaffes out of zealous exuberance – a crude ‘Oliver Cromwell’ for the 21st Century.

Indeed, there also may be a less overt ethno-religious appeal to Trump’s campaign: His white-Anglo-Saxon Protestant identity appeals to these same voters in the face of their apparent marginalization. These ‘Trumpistas’ are not blind to the fact that not a single WASP judge sits on the Supreme Court and there are few, if any, WASPs among the top economic officials in Treasury, Commerce, or the Fed (Lew, Fischer, Yellen, Greenspan, Bernanke, Cohen, Pritzker etc.). While Trump is not up-front about his identity – it eases his voter appeal.

Among WASP voters, who quietly resent the ‘Wall Street’ bailouts and the perceived privileged position of Catholics, Jews and African-Americans in the Obama Administration, Trump’s direct, public condemnation of President Bush for deliberately misleading the nation into invading Iraq (and the implication of treason), has been a big plus….

read the full article at Unz Review

Leave a comment

Filed under History, US President

For Sanders, National Security and Socialism Make an Odd Mix

by Emily Schultheis, The National Journal, 11/19/15

The White House contender tries to blend his standard campaign message with a more urgent one in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.

Bernie Sanders had two goals Thursday af­ter­noon when he stepped on stage for his ma­jor speech at Geor­getown: to fi­nally of­fer an ex­plan­a­tion of what he means when he de­scribes him­self as a “Demo­crat­ic so­cial­ist,” and to prove his bona fides on for­eign policy is­sues.

Try­ing to ac­com­plish them to­geth­er made for a slightly strange event with what felt like two dis­tinct parts—and that jux­ta­pos­i­tion high­lighted the chal­lenge Sanders has in jus­ti­fy­ing his usu­ally-sin­gu­lar fo­cus on eco­nom­ic-pop­u­list is­sues in the wake of the ter­ror­ist at­tacks in Par­is.

Sanders said that to him, Demo­crat­ic so­cial­ism means simply that the Amer­ic­an eco­nomy be­ne­fits not only the bil­lion­aires he fre­quently rails against.

“Demo­crat­ic so­cial­ism means that we must cre­ate an eco­nomy that works for all, not just the very wealthy,” he said.

Draw­ing on the leg­acy of Frank­lin Roosevelt and re­call­ing New Deal-era re­forms, Sanders said that people are only “truly free” if they have a sense of eco­nom­ic se­cur­ity. …

continue reading at The National Journal

Leave a comment

Filed under 2016 election, Economy, Labor, Tax, International - other, US President