Bernie Sanders is surging ahead in a bunch of inconsequential states, but that hasn’t stopped the Ron Paul of the left from taking potshots at the presumptive frontrunner, who is trying to co-opt his populist rhetoric to sell Americans on a third Clinton term.
This weekend, Bernie called out Clinton on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that has divided Republicans (amongst themselves, cordially) and Democrats (like a mob of drunken lemurs over a rotting piece of fruit), which Clinton has refused to comment on because commeting on a trade deal would require her to take a position on something that is, currently, controversial. Ostensibly, Hillary Clinton is pro-free trade (when its convenient for Hillary Clinton), but her new marketing strategy, which places her in the position of avenging the people against the excesses of the wealthy and the few, demands she consider alternatives. According to Bernie, that just makes her a coward.
Hillary Clinton’s reluctance to comment on President Barack Obama’s Pacific trade deal is a cop-out, Democratic presidential candidate and independent Sen. Bernie Sanders charged in a “Charlie Rose” interview with Bloomberg’s Al Hunt aired Thursday on PBS.
“I’ve known Hillary Clinton for 25 years and I have a lot of respect for her,” Sanders said, but emphasized the differences between the two presidential hopefuls on several issues, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
“I frankly don’t understand how you could be a major candidate for president of the United States — Hillary Clinton, or anybody else — and not have an opinion on that issue,” he said.
First off, let’s take a moment to appreciate that Bernie made this statement on Charlie Rose, the only news program on television watched exclusively by upper middle-class white liberals. Charlie Rose is kept on the air through the sheer desire for the organic cotton PBS pledge drive tote bags these limousine liberals need to cart home their farmers market kale. If Charlie Rose rewarded his specific donors with PBS-branded Rascal scooters, they’d have to design a Charlie Rose robot to keep the show running off its equity well into the next several decades.
Anyway, Sanders followed up his statement by insisting that his campaign is a real one and that he’s not simply in it to be a progressive thorn in Clinton’s side, so the credibility of his earlier statements is somewhat diminished. But what remains true is that Clinton will have to negotiate a way out of not just this trade deal, but a host of other issue areas where progressives and mainstream Democrats diverge. As the progressives’ “Tea Party” grows ever louder, Clinton may find herself trapped between what she wants to say as a dyed-in-the-wool Sixties liberal and what she needs to say to attract the centrist vote that worships her husband.
The fifty or so years she’s spent in business for herself will most definitely stand in her way. Case on point: Saturday’s speech included the now-requisite Clinton jab at hedge fund managers, even though the only way to prevent her own family from housing one is to win the Presidency so that he can become a full-time househusband to First Daughter Chelsea.
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