Pamela Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona
Several long-term politicians and a few wannabes have thrown their hats into the ring for the 2016 presidential bid (or are at least hinting at it). Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and Republicans Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, and Carly Fiornia have declared. (See the complete list on the New York Times here.)
Progressives– disappointed by Elizabeth Warren’s choice not to run in 2016– are throwing their support to Sanders, particularly on social media, where memes about Sanders and his 12 Point Plan abound. Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), a political action committee, is backing Sanders in a big way and mobilizing ground troupes to make phone calls, set up house parties, and raise funds.
Their stated strategy is to move Hillary to the left and encourage her to come out for progressive causes. Recently, Hillary has publicly supported drivers’ licenses for Dreamers, executive action on immigration reform and deportations, and a path to citizenship. She has called for an end the “era of mass incarceration” and discriminatory policing and wants to put body cameras on all law enforcement officers; plus she linked what is happening in our streets to income inequality. She also has spoken forcefully against state-level voter suppression laws that revive the “demons of discrimination.” On Mothers’ Day, she called for an end to the shameful practice of denying paid medical leave for childbirth. (Video here and below.) In his Mothers’ Day show, political commentator John Oliver deftly laid out the issue. (Video here and below.) All of these recent stances sound pretty progressive. So, why doesn’t PDA like Hillary?
On the PDA website, they state: “Progressive distrust of Hillary Clinton goes back a long way. Much of it stems from her husband’s centrist presidency…” YOW! Talk about sexism in action. Did anyone ever say they don’t like Barack Obama because they don’t like Michelle?Even the photo choice is sexist– showing Bill and Hillary together, as if to say a vote for Hillary is a vote for Bill. Has anyone ever said: A vote for Ronny is a vote for Nancy, a vote for W is a vote for Laura, or a vote for Lyndon is a vote for Lady Bird? Nope. You may have to go back to the days of Andrew Jackson to find such sexist comments about a former First Lady.
Sanders’ 12 Point Plan
First let me say, that I agree with everything on Sanders’ 12 Point Plan. My issue is that the doesn’t go far enough for someone running as a “bold progressive”. The bullet points are below, with explanations here:
OK, sounds good, Bernie but what about these issues…
This is probably not a complete list, but off the top of my head, here is a list of what is missing from Bernie’s stated plan. (Not in any particular order.)
AND #26– how he will pay for what he has suggested without #25? Bernie says, “Bust up the banks.” What does that mean? He should be saying: take control of the money supply. That is the progressive stance. Currently, the US money supply is controlled by the Federal Reserve System, which is a collection of private banks and not part of the federal government. “Bust of the banks” is a catchy slogan, but the concept doesn’t go far enough. Look at the stories of Abraham Lincoln and the Greenbacks and Ben Franklin and his original public bank. Whenever the government controls the money supply, we have prosperity. When private corporations control the money supply (as they do now), we have austerity. In her eye-opening book Web of Debt, Ellen Brown says when private bankers control the money supply, it’s like musical chairs. When the music stops, someone is left in default (without a chair). (And, before you jump on me in the comment section, Hillary is too close to Wall Street– just like all of our presidents dating back at least 100 years.)
Progressives says they are trying to push Hillary to the left.
I say: It’s time for women to push Bernie to the left. It’s shameful that so many
women’s issues… family issues are missing from his 12 Point Plan. As our old high school football coach used to say, “Almost ain’t good enough”, Bernie.
Not an Endorsement
Let me be clear: I’m not endorsing anyone at this time. As long-term readers of my blogs know, I generally don’t endorse candidates, although sometimes when the choice is so glaringly obvious (as with the Fred DuVal vs Doug Ducey gubernatorial match-up in 2014), it is apparent where my support lies.
Could you please enlighten me about your concerns about Bernie Sanders, suggesting that his list is too short and should include all the items you have listed. You suggest that his omission of items on your larger list is purposeful, and if asked, he would oppose them.
Why don’t you simply ask him and wait for a response before judgement?
I wrote that blog post to call Bernie out from his safe haven of vague political language. In my opinion, his 12-point plan is too vague and lacks key positions that progressives have been fighting for– particularly the ERA and other women’s issues, immigration reform, voter suppression, and marijuana legalization. Far too many Democratic Party candidates are allowed to (or are encouraged to) be vague in their campaign rhetoric. “Bold progressives” should go bold. Sanders’ campaign website recently replaced the 12-point plan with just 3 points.
Who do you have in mind to replace Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton that has any probability to win the Presidency on Progressive issues?
I have not received a response to a reasonable question on the way forward, and I was hoping you could help!
There doesn’t seem to be any discussion traffic on this site!
Check out BlogForArizona.net. I cross-post there along with many other bloggers. It gets more traffic and more discussion.
I will check out the blog that you are part of. I liked your responses to Jim Nitzel on Zona Politics- first time I had to watch you in action and you present yourself very capably. I do not know how to improve the website!
I really get lost in your commentary and question the things you say are not included in the candidates comments. According to you, if something you believe should be included and is not, you are certain that it will not happen.
I did not vote in the primary because I am torn between both candidates. However, I do know, that whoever the Democrat Party chooses, I will support that candidate. Will you do the same?