A Strong Critique Of Sanders From A Very Smart Liberal

Sanders Over the Edge by Bernie Sanders
he seemed to go for easy slogans over hard thinking. ...... Predatory lending was largely carried out by smaller, non-Wall Street institutions like Countrywide Financial; the crisis itself was centered not on big banks but on “shadow banks” like Lehman Brothers that weren’t necessarily that big. .......

Yet going on about big banks is pretty much all Mr. Sanders has done.

....... this absence of substance beyond the slogans seems to be true of his positions across the board. ..... a politician’s policy specifics are often a very important clue to his or her true character — I warned about George W. Bush’s mendacity back when most journalists were still portraying him as a bluff, honest fellow, because I actually looked at his tax proposals ...... Given her large lead in delegates — based largely on the support of African-American voters, who respond to her pragmatism because history tells them to distrust extravagant promises — Mrs. Clinton is the strong favorite for the Democratic nomination......

The Sanders campaign has brought out a lot of idealism and energy that the progressive movement needs.

I guess arithmetic is necessary. You do have to start and end with slogans. But there is that territory where you have to end up with concrete proposals, and see how you will make the budget work. I think many of Bernie's ideas actually are workable. But perhaps the policy work has not been done. It does not even have to be the campaign. I would be surprised if some obscure academic has not worked them out on his own.

I wish there were a way to fuse the idealism many of Bernie's young supporters feel and bring them about into governance. Part of that is a back and forth about becoming better educated about the political process. But the legroom is more than the New Democrat thinking of 1992 will have us believe.

I have not been following this election too closely. I definitely have not read up deeply on the various policy proposals.

FDR would send out the Labor leaders, go build the pressure on me. The idealists of today could perform a similar role. 


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