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Author: Raine    Date: 02/08/2016 14:06:30

As I was looking over the many different issues of the morning, and recovering from seeing a human animal hybrid last night, I came across an article that helped me see things in a perspective that I wasn't able to do before.

While our two candidates are debating over who is and who is not the 'Establishment' it seems as tho they are both getting the framing of the issue wrong.
Obviously, Sanders has an interest in portraying himself as a rebel fighting powers-that-be in both parties, but on most issues it's almost entirely Republicans who oppose him. For instance, he says he won't appoint any Supreme Court justice who isn't committed to overturning the Citizens United decision that expanded the role of corporate and individual money in campaigns. Very anti-establishment, except Clinton has said exactly the same thing (and you might remember that the Citizens United decision concerned a group taking corporate money to air a film targeting a politician named Hillary Rodham Clinton).

This points to one of the problems with Sanders's broad critique of the political system, which is that he usually describes a picture of Washington in which Democrats and Republicans are joined together in a corrupt partnership that he will have to fight. There are ways in which that's true—both parties get a lot of money from corporate interests—but it's also true that there are profound and deep differences between the parties on issues, differences Sanders often waves away. Yes, Democrats and Republicans both get money from Wall Street, but consider the Dodd-Frank reforms passed in 2010. They were bitterly opposed by Wall Street, and they passed on almost pure party-line votes (three Republicans joined the Democrats in the House vote, as did three Republican senators). Ever since, Wall Street has tried to undermine the reforms, an effort which has been supported by Republicans and opposed by Democrats. Sanders doesn't think those reforms go far enough, but if he were president and he tried to expand them, he'd have the help of most if not all Democrats. And that would be true of the vast majority of the things Sanders would like to do: If he were president, he would be working with the Democratic "establishment" far more often than he'd be fighting it.


All that doesn't change the fact that Clinton too seems to accept the idea that "the establishment" is something bad and she doesn't want to be associated with it. But when she says that she can't be part of the establishment because she'd be the first woman president (and this wasn't the first time), it's absurd. Yes, it would be an enormously significant thing to have the first woman president. But that's not because it would strike a blow at "the establishment," it's because it has never happened before, and it's an important milestone in the progress toward gender equality. And as it happens, the Democratic establishment is full of powerful women. Is anyone going to argue that people like Nancy Pelosi (leader of Democrats in the House), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (chair of the Democratic Party), or Neera Tanden (president of the most important liberal think tank in Washington) are somehow part of an insurgent revolutionary vanguard because they're women? Of course not.

Both are established, and both are part of the establishment. Trying to project the image that they are outsiders looking into this political realm is absurd. I also feel a need to point out that Senator Sanders joined an established political party to run for president. This is a party he has scorned in the past. I am glad he is not running as an independent; however, I want to point out that this idea of defeating the establishment and denying one's membership in it is ludicrous.

SoS Clinton saying that she isn't establishment because she is a woman is also ridiculous. They have both been in Washington for decades. They both will nominate qualified people for the Supreme court and the cabinet and many other positions. and IF we can take back the Senate, change might happen a little faster.

Anyway, I just felt the need to say this.



14 comments (Latest Comment: 02/08/2016 19:15:25 by Will in Chicago)
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