A new poll shows Sanders with a whopping 60%-33% lead over Clinton in New Hampshire.
Former secretary of labor Robert Reich offers comebacks to six of the most common criticisms expressed by skeptics of Bernie Sanders such as:
1. He’d never beat Trump or Cruz in a general election.
2. He couldn’t get any of his ideas implemented because Congress would reject them.
3. America would never elect a socialist.
4. His single-payer healthcare proposal would cost so much it would require raising taxes on the middle class.
5. His plan for paying for college with a tax on Wall Street trades would mean colleges would run by government rules.
6. He’s too old.
In addition to Reich’s responses, I would like to add my puzzlement to #2 by Clinton supporters that Sanders would be stymied by the Republicans in congress from advancing his agenda and so nothing would get done. It is very true that Republicans have tried to block everything that president Obama has proposed and would do the same with Sanders. But are they saying that Republicans are more likely to go along with Hillary Clinton? If so, what does that say about her other than that she is more aligned with them?
The idea that Clinton has incredible persuasive powers that will enable her to convert Republicans to a progressive agenda in ways that Sanders cannot is ridiculous. As an independent he actually has more experience working with those who disagree with him. What the critics really seem to be saying is that Clinton is more likely to adopt policies pleasing to the Republicans. Is that supposed to be a good thing? I would much rather have a president Sanders relentlessly hammering the message home to the nation that the Republicans are opposed to anything that benefits ordinary people than a president Clinton who will give away the store just to make a deal with them. As I have said repeatedly, we should be more worried by the things that the two parties agree on than those over which they fight, because they both agree on serving the needs of the oligarchy.
One encouraging sign is that critics who used to attack Sanders from the left and once spoke of him as a ‘sheep dog’ whose role was to keep Democratic voters within the fold and deliver them to Clinton at election time seem to be coming around to the realization that, for all the criticisms that they still make of him, he is not playing that particular game and is genuinely seeking to win on a progressive agenda. Andrew Levine is rethinking his earlier skepticism of Sanders and David Lindorff is warming to him . Cartoonist Ted Rall also is encouraged that Sanders is doing well despite the efforts by the Democratic party and the media to marginalize him.
Seth Myers tries to figure out the appeal of the Sanders candidacy, especially among young people, and thinks that it is because although he is much older than them, he has entered the ‘Betty White Zone’ of coolness.