In welcome news for the campaign of Bernie Sanders, a new poll shows that for the first time, he has edged past Hillary Clinton in the key state of Iowa.
A Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday found that 41% of likely Democratic primary voters in Iowa said they would vote for Sanders, while 40% said they would vote for the former secretary of state. Though Sanders’ edge is within the margin of error of 3.4 percentage points, Clinton led Sanders by double digits in Iowa in July. Averages of all polling in the state show Clinton with a quickly eroding lead that nevertheless remains in the double-digits.
Sanders also leads Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire by a margin of 48%-37%.
Since Iowa and New Hampshire are the first two primary contests, this should give the Clinton camp some cause for concern, though the media will continue to treat her path to the nomination as inevitable.
But just as the media message that Donald Trump will fade soon is turning out to be not as firmly rooted as once thought (a CNN/ORC poll released today finds Trump at 32%, gaining 8 points since August and the first time any Republican has topped 30%), the inevitability of a Clinton victory should also be viewed skeptically.
Meanwhile, in an effort to balance her support for the Iran deal (that she had to support if she did not want to totally alienate Democrats) Clinton gave a militaristic speech at the allegedly liberal Brookings Institute in order that, as Glenn Greenwald writes, “to assure those nervous precincts that, despite the Iran Deal support, she’s still the same aggressive, war-threatening, obsessively Israel-devoted, bellicose hawk they’ve grown to know and love.”
Brookings served as Ground Zero for centrist think tank advocacy of the Iraq War, which Clinton (along with potential rival Joe Biden) notoriously and vehemently advocated. Brookings’ two leading “scholar”-stars — Kenneth Pollack and Michael O’Hanlon — spent all of 2002 and 2003 insisting that invading Iraq was wise and just, and spent the years after that assuring Americans that the “victorious” war and subsequent occupation were going really well (in April 2003, O’Hanlon debated with himself over whether the strategy that led to the “victory” in his beloved war should be deemed “brilliant” or just extremely “clever,” while in June 2003, Pollack assured New York Times readers that Saddam’s WMD would be found).
Since then, O’Hanlon in particular has advocated for increased military force in more countries than one can count. That’s not surprising: Brookings is funded in part by one of the Democratic Party’s favorite billionaires, Haim Saban, who is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Israel and once said of himself: “I’m a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel.” Pollack advocated for the attack on Iraq while he was “Director of Research of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy.” Saban became the Democratic Party’s largest fundraiser — even paying $7 million for the new DNC building — and is now a very substantial funder of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. In exchange, she’s written a personal letter to him publicly “expressing her strong and unequivocal support for Israel in the face of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement.”
She promised she “will sustain a robust military presence in the [Persian Gulf] region, especially our air and naval forces.” She vowed to “increase security cooperation with our Gulf allies” — by which she means the despotic regimes in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar, among others. She swore she will crack down even further on Hezbollah: “It’s time to eliminate the false distinction that some still make between the supposed political and military wings. If you’re part of Hezbollah, you’re part of a terrorist organization, plain and simple.”
Then she took the ultimate pledge: “I would not support this agreement for one second if I thought it put Israel in greater danger.” So even if the deal would benefit the U.S., she would not support it “for one second” if it “put Israel in greater danger.” That’s an unusually blunt vow to subordinate the interests of the U.S. to that foreign nation.
[Clinton] resides on the hawkish, militaristic end of the Democratic Party when it comes to most foreign policy questions. But the real significance is this: If Hillary Clinton is already this hawkish and war-threatening while trying to fend off Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party primary while bolstering her liberal credentials, imagine what she’s going to be doing and saying about all of this once she’s the Democratic nominee running against a Republican in the general election and, even scarier, once she occupies the Oval Office and, as far as the U.S. military is concerned, assumes the title of Commander-in-Chief.
As usual Greenwald manages to nail how war-hungry even some so-called liberal Democrats are.
(You can go to Sanders’s website to join the campaign and contribute and here to see where he stands on the issues. Despite the media trying to paint him as some kind of extremist candidate, a majority of Americans actually support him on most of the issues he stands for.)