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2016 May 5

Democratic primary very important this year

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 20:48
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The Democratic primary is very important this year, because it gives US voters the opportunity to choose between a New Deal Democrat (Sanders) and an Eisenhower Republican (Clinton).  This is the first time since George McGovern ran in 1972 that such a choice has been offered to the US people.

The Republican party itself no longer offers serious candidates for president (and increasingly often doesn’t for other races either), so the Democratic party has taken over most of the Republican policies and positions and offers Republican candidates a place to run for office without having to associate with the clowns who have made the GOP into a circus sideshow.

Personally, I’m a progressive Democrat, so I strongly favor Sanders’s policies, but I can see a lot of Republicans voting for Clinton, whose stand on almost every issue is a late 1950s Republican position (except that Eisenhower warned us about the military-industrial complex, while Clinton supports it whole-heartedly).

Because the Republican Party is incapable this year of running a serious Presidential candidate, the Democratic primary is doubly important—it is the only chance voters will get to choose between a classic Democrat and a classic Republican.




  1. Pretty good analysis on a superficial level, although Eisenhower was raised a racist and found it impossible to do the kinds of things that Clinton does naturally as a suburbanite. Eisenhower could relate to poor whites, so he stuck with a tax before you spend policy that wasn’t seen again until the Bill Clinton administration. It is certainly true that most moderate to progressive Republicans of the 60s are now Democrats, except for those with a visceral connection to the R party. (Even Reagan’s policies and judges are rejected, let alone those of George Romney, Rockefeller, et al.)

    What you are missing is the role isolationism will play in this election. Sanders is not a New Deal Democrat because he is an isolationist. New Deal Democrats were ready for war and went so far as to violate the law to support Britain before Pearl Harbor. When commentators give it lip service (acknowledging the core theme in Trump’s foreign policy), it is as if they think that no rational American today rejects foreign entanglements, despite the fact that it was US policy for centuries. America First reflected significant reactions after the Great War (WW I) that were particularly strong in the midwest. The last 70 years have been an anomaly, and our “Fifteen Years War” has changed many minds.

    And that is why Trump is a serious candidate, by running on an isolationist platform. What the Republicans are rejecting is the party of Wolfowitz and Cheney and the pro-Armageddon “bring on the Second Coming” Cruz, not the party of the Reagan who talked big but ran from Lebanon. If, as I expect based on his foreign policy speech, Trump runs against Hilary and 15 years of war, you could be surprised. That is why Sanders beats Trump so easily (similar foreign view, clearly sane on domestic policy and believable on income inequality). Trump left space to articulate more progressive social policies, the ones that R leaders fear he holds, by never talking about how he would fix (not repeal) Obamacare. His biggest weakness is his blatant and obvious misogyny. I expect an election about war and misogyny, where being a “strong woman” in foreign policy could be a doubly big negative. I don’t think she can win as Golda Meir, but I have been wrong before.

    Comment by CCPhysicist — 2016 May 6 @ 06:50 | Reply

    • That is certainly a more detailed historical comparison than I have made. I think I agree with you that Trump vs. Sanders contest is more predictable than a Trump vs. Clinton one.

      Comment by gasstationwithoutpumps — 2016 May 6 @ 15:38 | Reply

      • My only excuse is that I had the BEST government teacher ever back in 9th grade, am also from Michigan (so well aware of Vandenberg’s conversion from isolationism to global action as well as what moderate Republicans used to look like), have read lots of politics (starting with Making of the President 1960), and read the entire Eisenhower biography after my dad finished it (didn’t know about his upbringing or why he picked Earl Warren and took baby steps on civil rights until then). And I pay attention to what they do, not what they say.

        Comment by CCPhysicist — 2016 May 10 @ 17:20 | Reply

  2. I like Sanders’ ideas but I am just not sure where he thinks he is going to find the money for the programs he wants. Taxing the rich sounds nice but many of them worked for their wealth and deserve to spend it. Typically money like this ends up coming from the middle class, me. Trump is just scary. He sounds like an early Mussolini. No plans, just volume. Hilary I think is mean enough and knows the game well enough to actually get something done. I want someone to run that promotes term limits and no more one term retirement income and free medical for life for congressmen. Wouldn’t that be a kicker!

    Comment by gflint — 2016 May 8 @ 10:15 | Reply

    • I agree that taxing the wealthy people and corporations has gotten difficult, as they have developed many tax loopholes for themselves (particularly international ones—see the Panama Papers, for example). That isn’t a reason to give up trying to collect their taxes, though, which seems to be the default Republican position and is becoming the mainstream Democratic one, now that Citizen’s United has allowed unlimited political contributions by the rich.

      I don’t think that the minor perks for congressmen are nearly as much of a problem as their huge willingness to do whatever the richest lobbyists want.

      I think Hilary can get things done, but she is likely to start still more wars—way too hawkish for my taste. (Definitely better than anyone that the Republican Party considered this time, though.)

      Comment by gasstationwithoutpumps — 2016 May 9 @ 00:11 | Reply

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