Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Sanders tried to hit Clinton on the basis of her inconsistencies especially on trade policy. It’s just now that she has come out against the TPP. In contrast to Clinton’s flip-flops, Sanders has had consistent positions on most issues including foreign policy and social programs. In my opinion, liberals like Sanders are generally weak in two respects: They don’t hit those to their right hard enough. That’s because they are unsure just how much they want real change. That is, they’re ambivalent. Sanders, I believe, comes off fairly well on that score. Their second weakness, in my opinion, is foreign policy. The left has criticized Sanders on his foreign policy positions, but I think in general (with some important exceptions on Mid-East policy, such as support for the Israeli occupation and for arming Saudi Arabia) he has fairly decent positions in that category. In the debate, Sanders’ criticized Hillary (though not forcefully enough) with regard to her support for a no-fly zone in Syria. She is nothing less than a hawk as shown by the statement (or boast) in her recent book that she supported arming Syrian rebels before Obama did.

What impressed me most about the debate was Sanders’ response to the question of how, if elected president, are you going to overcome Republican congressional resistance to progressive legislation? He responded by saying the country needs a “revolution” based on mass mobilization in which people rally behind the programs that mean the most. Sanders is raising the issues that pro-establishment politicians like Hillary Clinton would otherwise largely ignore.

The NY Times headline was basically ‘Hillary won the debate’ – BALONEY. It shows you where they are coming from. She certainly came off slicker than Sanders. But polls show that people now are more concerned about authenticity and sincerity than style, and on that score Sanders is way ahead. It is true that given big concentrated capital’s domination of the media (more than ever before); and given big capital’s role in politics (more than ever before) and given capital’s greater global mobility, it’s hard to see how a Sanders’ presidency would be able to fulfill many of his promises. But he is raising the issues that people want to hear about and is articulating their frustrations.