Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Observations on the campaign

I was not surprised by Bernie's endorsement. The two campaigns worked out most of their differences and the resulting platform is described (by Bernie himself) as the most progressive ever. Bernie didn't just endorse Clinton; he enthusiastically endorsed her. One might think that the payback was the Clinton concessions on Sanders' policy issues. Instead, I think the payback has just started. The task of Berniecrats is to apply unrelenting pressure on the coming Clinton administration to follow through. Platforms can matter if the electorate forces actions. And Clinton needs to deliver lest we end up with another version of Trump in 2020. She knows that.

Speaking of Trump, he's trotting out fear squared. The problem with his revival of the Nixon 1968 playbook, as AZBlueMeanie explains, is that this election is not 1968. Crime as actually fallen off considerably since the 1960s, for example. We just need to get the media focussing on the facts for a change.

Lastly, even the most superficial comparison of what the two parties have to offer America indicates how much better the Democrats have fared in the primary season. In addition to Trump's lies and insane rants, the Republicans offered a deeply flawed group of candidates: "Christian Dominionists, con men, Ayn Rand groupies, failed CEO’s, at least two actual criminals, including a bridge closing thug, the brother of the worst president since Nixon, more than one guy clearly just running to sell books, and one creepy dude not just beholden to but fully owned by the Koch brothers?" (From a comment at Blog for Ariziona by For Sure Not Tom.) Steve Benen notes the difference between the parties.

As the [endorsement] event unfolded, it was hard not to notice the striking differences between the parties.

In Republican politics, Jeb Bush told MSNBC yesterday he’s not even going to vote in the presidential election; John Kasich doesn’t want to attend his party’s national convention in his now home state; Ted Cruz will speak at the convention but still doesn’t want to endorse his party’s nominee; and Paul Ryan seems to publicly rebuke Trump on a nearly weekly basis.

And then there are Democrats, who had a challenging nominating process, but who are now uniting with relative ease. Sanders made a strong showing, and expected some policy concessions, most of which Clinton and Democrats accepted – which is pretty much how this game is supposed to be played.

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