No, Voting for Trump Won’t Accelerate Progressive Change

Yves Smith (aka Susan Webber), a management consultant and principal at Aurora Advisors, writes at Politico that the “highly educated, high-income, finance-literate readers of my website, Naked Capitalism, don’t just overwhelmingly favor Bernie Sanders. They also say “Hell no!” to Hillary Clinton to the degree that many say they would even vote for Donald Trump over her.”

They (9 out of 10 Smith friends polled) developed their “conclusions” from “careful study of her record and her policy proposals,” and believe the Clintons represent a policy status quo of “crushing inequality, and an economy that is literally killing off the less fortunate.” And they think “the most powerful move they can take to foster change is to withhold their support.” Continue reading

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No, Sanders/Stein Does Not Stop Trump

This argument by Kevin Zeese and Patrick Walker at Salon goes in the category of wishful thinking if you ask me.  The core point they make is that by running for President on the Green Party ticket (Jill Stein has apparently agreed to this) Bernie Sanders would keep Donald Trump from expanding his coalition of voters at Hillary Clinton’s expense.  This is because voters see both Trump and Sanders as outsiders, with Sanders the “real” one.  They also worry that Trump could move to Clinton’s left on Wall Street and trade, “corporate trade agreements,” and militarism.  Finally, Zeese and Walker argue that independents will be the key to this race, and that third party campaign risks to Democratic candidates are overblown.  Well, let’s see. Continue reading

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Why Democrats Got Hammered

Jamelle Bouie at Slate riffs on a Charlie Cook article to ask “What Could the Democrats Have Done Differently?”

“Democrats are still reeling from the Great Whupping of 2014, trying to orient themselves for the next two years of Republican control in Congress. The recurring question, even now, is: What happened? Unemployment is down, and Republicans are unpopular. How did Democrats lose so badly?”

Cook argues that “Bad Decisions Came Back to Haunt Democrats in Midterms.”  His case boils down to a claim that Americans still blame Democrats for shifting to climate change and health care after “checking the box” on economic stimulus in 2009.  Dems should have focused on “action that would have turned the economy around and created jobs for many working-and-middle-class Americans.

Bouie agrees that “economic anxiety drove last Tuesday’s results,” but disagrees that ‘a ‘focus’ on the economy would have saved Democratic prospects.”  He rightfully points out that the first stimulus debate “strained the Democratic coalition,” and Democrats could have “talked about the economy more” and “kept a rhetorical focus on economic growth.” But he doesn’t see how this would have changed the 2014 election results.

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