October 14, 2015


The surprising conservatism of the first Democratic debate (James Poulos, October 14, 2015, The Week)

After a couple Republican free-for-alls where the focus was on personalities, not policies, there was something bizarre about watching a debate about the issues. But the way Democrats chose to spar about them revealed something even more freakish: the presence of some decidedly un-left-wing tendencies. In fact, not just one right-of-center streak runs through the party, but several. 

Despite Bernie Sanders' Prodding Last Night, Hillary Clinton Stuck to Her Neoliberal Talking Points : Hillary Clinton's performance in last night's debate shows her to be every inch the neoliberal "true believer" she's a built a reputation as being. (JESSE MYERSON, 10/14/15, In These Times)

Sure, she wants to "rein in the excess of capitalism so that it doesn't run amok and doesn't cause the kind of inequalities we're seeing in our economic system." But the baby mustn't go out with the bathwater: "We would be making a grave mistake to turn out backs on what built the greatest middle class in history," she said, praying in aid "all the small businesses that were started because we have the opportunity and the freedom in our country for people to do that." The characteristically Clintonian drive to pander to everyone at once was so strong as to enable her to gracefully drop the implication that there are no small Danish businesses and move right along.

She tipped her hand, though: pressed repeatedly to agree or disagree with Sen. Sanders's preference for expanding Social Security, Clinton insisted that she'd rather "enhance the benefits for the poorest recipients of Social Security." Similarly, as to whether she agrees with Sanders's health care approach, extending Medicare to everyone, Clinton declined to answer (she doesn't, though), insisting vaguely that "we agree on the goals, we just disagree on the means."

Here was the vintage neoliberal approach with which the Clintons are justly associated, unchanged by the financial crises and social movements that have shifted the political terrain since its heyday in the 1990s.

Looks like they're hellbent on avoiding the Corbynist mistake.
Posted by at October 14, 2015 2:01 PM

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