On Becoming Anti-Bernie
Robin Alperstein
3.2K1,100

You argue like you are in a soap opera. Your arguments are poor, missing a lot of data. In many cases, supporting facts are actually untrue (whether it is intentional or due to the author not having complete information is a separate matter). They are also very lopsided with but one reference to something HRC did wrong, in your opinion ofcourse.

The outrage over the assumption of 5% growth is uninformed. The CBO recently put out some analysis which concluded that the US economy is operating well below its potential. While it may be hard to mathematically prove 5% growth, one of the reasons for growth slowdown is that a lot of cash has just been removed from the economy (corporations not paying taxes, wages slowing down). When money is not spent, economic activity and GDP growth suffers. If you adjusted tax policy to close the loopholes that Obama failed to close, you’d be talking anywhere from 100 billion — 1 trillion dollars (I am not well read on which is of these #’s is most reliable) starting to circulate back into the US economy. You can’t prove it leads to 5% growth, but you can bet on the fact that it will lead to GDP growth increasing. Speaking of money circulating in the economy, this is why banks were bailed out in 2008 (so credit doesn’t dry up and bring economic activity to a halt) and this is why Bush told everyone to go shopping after 9/11 (he was worried about the markets getting destabilized on fears of people clamming up on spending).

Much of the defense the author mounts of Hillary Clinton’s alleged corruption is simple-minded (can you show us a single specific decision she changed because she got money for it?). This is how one argues in an indian soap opera if you’ve ever been exposed to one. There are good examples of this. 165 billion dollars worth of weapons sales (including Cluster Bombs banned by the Geneva convention) to middle eastern countries (like KSA) were greenlighted by her state dept after those countries made donations to Clinton foundation. She has received massive amounts of money from the defense industry — more than any republican candidate, and continues to advance hawkish, interventionist positions which lead to US involvement in conflict (very similar positions to not just Kissinger, but also Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and more recent neocons) without any consideration for the amount of human suffering these ventures entail. Corruption at high levels does not take place in the form of individual acts, it takes place by setting a direction/course from which the contributors are going to benefit. FYI, the US GDP is of the order of 11 trillion. Its defence budget is ~600 billion. The next biggest spender in defense is china at ~ 200 billion (they are going through a massive burst in defense spending). India with the 4th largest military in the world is somewhere between 60–80 billion (not in top 5).

KSA is 3rd with about 80+ billion in weapons spending. Curious, why the KSA needs 80 billion dollars worth of weapons a year (more than the Indians who have 1.25 billion people) ? Look no further than Yemen, where they expend most of their munitions (smart bombs, cluster bombs are anywhere from 100,000–500,000 a pop). Raytheon is accelerating its munitions production because the conflict in the middle east is deplete US and KSA stockpiles faster than their current production can replenish them. No wonder Boeing and Raytheon executives were defending KSA’s human rights records a few months back (I don’t have references handy, but it was in the news). War is profitable. This is what Eisenhower warned the Americans about in his farewell address in 1961.

There is truth to the fact that Sander’s is working up the facts that suit him most. Yes, his legislative record is not stellar. But keep in mind, he has been an outsider his entire career. Keep in mind that a lot of his effectiveness came from introducing improvements in existing bills which had establishment backing. Being on the outside, meant this was as much as he could do. Also don’t forget that Obama had minimal legislative accomplishments before he became president. This is normal for a politician (he is not the pope, he is a politician). Also keep in mind, that waves like this echo beyond presidential elections and can sweep through congress (note the people Bernie is raising money for) which can reset a lot of the calculus in congress. Bold change requirescourage, and you have to be willing to fail. The problem with the “Hillary is the safe choice because she knows how to compromise” narrative is that the believers of this story also accept the results safe choices produce, which really screw normal working class people like us. I would argue that it is ok to be brave and take a gamble on Sanders. Worst case, nothing happens in congress for 4 or 8 years. Guess what, nothing has happened in Congress for the last 6 years either…. So what difference does it really make? But if he manages to get traction (which he will as congressional races ride on his coattails like they did Obama’s) it could change the direction of this oppressed country and give the working class some freedom. So as someone who come from working class roots I’d rather gamble on an outsider than stick with the safe nepotistic option.

Bill Clinton is known to have said (possibly quoting someone else) “We campaign in poetry, but we govern in prose”. Surely, the Clintons of all people would not begrudge Sanders whatever poetry he can muster up through that thick Brooklyn accent of his.

It is ironic that the people who worry about whether free college is affordable or not, whether healthcare is affordable or not never happen to ask the question of whether the F-35 is an affordable project or not OR whether the US has spare cash to give Israel 5 billion dollars every year (this is not a loan, just free money) for weapons purchases or whether they can afford new M1A1 Abrams tanks or not (the army doesn’t want them, but Congress keeps trying to direct the pentagon to buy them from General Dynamics). On the F-35: Newsflash, it is the biggest waste of money in the history of weapons development, a truly garbage plane, if you want to know why, watch Pierre Sprey’s interview. Pierre Sprey designed the glorious F-16 (among the best warplanes of the 20th century) and is to be taken seriously as a warplane designer.

And we are not even looking at the Clinton’s past record of ‘ending welfare as we know it’ and HRC’s regressive plan for future welfare provision. So yes, she is closer to the republicans than to most other democrats in more ways than one.

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