Bernie Sanders For President

Bernie Sanders will change the course of American politics. By making clear what his moral positions are, he will lead the country away from three decades of failed right wing policies, providing a clear Democratic vision.

Bernie SandersToday I’m endorsing Senator Bernie Sanders for president of the United States.

Both candidates would make infinitely better leaders than any of the Republican choices.  Both derive their positions from deep experience, both as executives and legislators.  Both believe in a strong collaborative foreign policy as opposed to Republican isolationism.  Former Secretary Clinton has amazing intellectual capacity.  The many unfair attacks against her speak more about the character of those doing the attacking.  She would make an excellent president.

However, we need someone who will not lead us from the supposed center, but who instead will effect a tectonic shift of the center, who will have no truck with those who would settle for status quo.  For over thirty years, America has been misled by Republican leaders to believe that public investment in infrastructure and government oversight is somehow wrong.  The poisoned water in Flint Michigan was no accident, but the result of neglect.  That same neglect threatens our food supply and the very air we breath.  Thirty years of neglect of our school systems have caused teachers to walk away from an honorable profession, dividing our country into two classes- those who can afford a decent education, and those who cannot.  If we want to put an end to that, someone must lead us away from the oncoming climate disaster, and from rule by religion that the Christian Right has enjoyed for too long.

Mrs. Clinton would only hold the presidency, and lead from the current center.  She seeks to build incrementally on President Obama’s policies. Mr. Sanders has an opportunity not only to capture the White House, but to establish a firm Democratic vision that will reform the party.  In so doing he would take a wrecking ball, not to our infrastructure as the Republican leaders have, but to the failed Republican practice of allowing a good Fox News sound bite full of falsehoods dictate policy.  America needs to begin to correct the damage that has been caused.  That’s where the center needs to be, and that is where I believe Mr. Sanders will take us.

Vetting Bill Clinton?

Here is the most bizarre story I’ve heard in a while.  Apparently President-elect Obama is considering Senator Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.  While I wonder whether this is a good choice alone on its merits, what really gets me is how people in the press seem to believe that Bill Clinton, a former president who received millions of votes twice, somehow needs to be vetted.  It’s not as if the media has cut him a break.

The reason behind all of this might be best put as the calm before the storm.  Right now there is no news, and so a vacuum must be filled.  With names being bantered about like Clinton and Richardson, who knows who the real nominee will be?

Electoral Differences between McCain and Bush

Why is it that John McCain picked Sarah Palin?  The answer lies in how George W. Bush won the presidency.  President Bush jumped on a wave of conservative ire aimed at the Democratic Party and President Clinton on the heels of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.  By driving a convincing message that he would realize the conservative agenda, Bush energized the huge electoral machine of right wing moralists.  This shifted the field to the right, and required VP Gore to play a more moderate game than he would have otherwise played, and it just did not ring true to anyone.  Bush didn’t really play to the moderates, except to be some sort of compassionate conservative.

McCain argues that he is a moderate, and so he should have played to them.  Instead, he tried to play President Bush’s game of driving to the right after the primary was won.  The New York Times recently had an article that compares the campaigns to the faux campaigns found in the last two seasons of West Wing.  In that series, at one point it is argued that the Republican candidate (Vinick) could wiin ALL fifty states by expanding the moderate base of his party.  This is what McCain could have tried to do, but it is not what he did.  Instead, he attempted to play to both bases, and he argued neither convincingly.  By bringing in Sarah Palin he alienated the center.  And it wasn’t enough to sooth the right.

There was no way that George Bush’s strategy would work for John McCain.  McCain is also the victim of bad timing, with regard to the economy, an issue about which the public as blamed the Republicans nearly exclusively.  Barack Obama, merely has to mention the economy and McCain’s ratings drop.  That is vaguely reminiscient of President Clinton’s old slogan, “It’s the economy, stupid.”  Were it only the economy, perhaps McCain could have survived.  However, the War on Terror also looms like an albatross around the neck of Republicans.  People are sick of it.  Finally.

And so, before Democrats start to crow too loudly, one should point out that neither of these two problems, the economy or our current geopolitical environment, are simple problems, and both will require serious consideration and absense of hubris to repair.