Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona

Progressives: Let’s Move Hillary and Bernie to the Left (video)

American FlagSeveral 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:

  1. Rebuilding Our Crumbling Infrastructure
  2. Reversing Climate Change
  3. Creating Worker Co-ops
  4. Growing the Trade Union Movement
  5. Raising the Minimum Wage
  6. Pay Equity for Women Workers
  7. Trade Policies that Benefit American Workers
  8. Making College Affordable for All
  9. Taking on Wall Street
  10. Health Care as a Right for All
  11. Protecting the Most Vulnerable Americans
  12. Real Tax Reform

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.)

  1. Equal Rights Amendment
  2. Choice
  3. Access to free/affordable contraception and abortion
  4. Re-establishment of women’s health clinics in all states
  5. Paid family leave
  6. Access to affordable childcare (When Bernie talks about a social safety net, he mentions Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and nutrition. What about the pieces of the social safety net that protect and help families– not just seniors?)
  7. Constitutional Amendment to end Citizens United and money in politics
  8. Immigration reform
  9. Homelessness/ housing as a right
  10. Mass incarceration
  11. The failed War on Drugs
  12. Legalization of marijuana
  13. Constitutional Amendment to guarantee voting rights
  14. Continued steps to make health care more affordable (like negotiating drug prices. We are the only country in the world that has not negotiated a bulk rate for pharmaceuticals.)
  15. Police brutality
  16. Discrimination
  17. Free community college (Yes, he says “make education affordable”, but why not go bold if your are a progressive?)
  18. Fight for $15 (Again, he says “raise the wage the minimum wage” and “stand with unions”, but why not go bold and stand with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) on $15/hour for fast food workers and $15,000/class for adjuncts?)
  19. Debt relief for citizens and state/local governments (The feds could have bailed out the failed state budgets for a fraction of the cost that it took to bail out the banks.)
  20. Food security
  21. War
  22. Gun control
  23. Mass privatization
  24. The lie of austerity
  25. Government control of the money supply

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.



7 comments on “Progressives: Let’s Move Hillary and Bernie to the Left (video)

  1. Barry Rosen
    June 10, 2015

    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?


    • Pamela Powers Hannley
      June 16, 2015

      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.


  2. Barry Rosen
    June 18, 2015

    Who do you have in mind to replace Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton that has any probability to win the Presidency on Progressive issues?


  3. Barry Rosen
    July 1, 2015

    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!


    • Pamela Powers Hannley
      July 12, 2015

      Check out BlogForArizona.net. I cross-post there along with many other bloggers. It gets more traffic and more discussion.


      • Barry Rosen
        July 30, 2016

        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!


  4. Barry Rosen
    March 28, 2016

    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?


Comments are closed.

Follow Tucson Progressive on WordPress.com


The Tucson Progressive: Pamela J. Powers

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals–not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election.

My platform focused on economic reforms to grow Arizona’s economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, grow local small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs.

In the Arizona House, I was a strong voice for fiscal responsibility a moratorium on corporate tax breaks until the schools were fully funded, increased cash assistance to the poor, expansion of maternal healthcare benefits, equal rights, choice, unions, education at all levels and protecting our water supply.

After three terms, I retired from the Arizona Legislature in January 2023 but will continue to blog and produce my podcast “A View from the Left Side.”

%d bloggers like this: