Hillary Clinton is a historically bad candidate


Hillary Clinton in 2015 giving what CNN described as an anti-Wall Street speech.

Almost from the moment she lost to Barack Obama in 2008 predictions about Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign began. In the intervening eight years no other names were even seriously floated. Yet for all the presumptuousness and all the leg-ups she’s received from donors, corporate media and the Democratic establishment, the fact remains that she is just not a good candidate. Whether she ends up with the nomination or not, Clinton’s 2016 run has been a debacle highlighting the worst of American politics.

Clinton began the 2016 race as the only household name on the Democratic side. In the campaign’s early months she enjoyed national polling that consistently had her at a 60-point lead. Now she’s jockeying with Bernie Sanders for the national lead and with Sanders’s 13-point win in the Wisconsin primary, Clinton is on a six-state losing streak in the nomination process. She remains well ahead in delegate count, but considering the advantages she had she’s done about as badly as possible.

In an election that’s largely been a referendum on decades of neoconservative foreign policy and Washington’s coziness with Wall Street, Hillary Clinton is as entrenched a figure of that establishment class as there can be. It’s a testament to our system’s thorough corruption that she’s in the race at all. Continue reading

Donald Trump is our greatest threat


Right now, Trump is the country’s number one nightmare.

Covering Donald Trump as a presidential candidate isn’t easy. Everything about the man and his campaign is a distracting spectacle – violent rallies, Twitter feuds and fratty arrogance so immature he defends his dick size in debates. For months he was regarded as a joke. But while the media focuses on theatrics this egomaniacal tyrant is being carried toward the White House on enthusiastic American shoulders. If he’s a joke, we’re the punchline. Continue reading

Super Tuesday results: Sanders movement still alive despite media’s momentum narrative


Bernie Sanders appears with his wife Jane to give a speech on Super Tuesday.

As results from Super Tuesday poured in last night, the media narrative began to hold that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were the night’s biggest winners and would, eventually, square off against one another in the general election. While there’s plenty of reason to believe this will be the case, the media’s horse race-style coverage of the primaries leaves important aspects of the story untold. Continue reading

Someone who’s ‘not really a Democrat’ is just what the DNC needs


Clinton’s accusation that Sanders isn’t “really a Democrat” is true, but it actually makes him a stronger candidate.

At Thursday’s Democratic town hall, Hillary Clinton unleashed a new line of attack against Bernie Sanders, saying, “Senator Sanders has also attacked President Obama. He’s called him weak; he’s called him disappointing. He tried to get somebody to run against him in the 2012 election in the primary… Maybe it’s that Senator Sanders wasn’t really a Democrat until he decided to run for president.” Continue reading

If Democrats want to win the White House they best nominate Bernie Sanders


Bernie Sanders, a senator from Vermont, is zeroing in on the “inevitable” Hillary Clinton.

Bernie Sanders is surging. In the first primary in Iowa, he came from far behind to virtually tie with Hillary Clinton. In New Hampshire he beat her in a 22-point landslide. He’s been getting more exposure than ever. Yet Sanders’s prospects for the Democratic nomination remain in heavy doubt. And with that, so too are dimming the Democrats’ prospects for winning the White House in November. Continue reading

Clinton camp drags race into mud with allegations of sexism against Sanders


Steinem apologized for remarks she made on Real Time disparaging young, female Sanders supporters. In 1996 she declared Sanders an “honorary woman.”

When serious coverage of the 2016 presidential race began last year, pundits assumed the general election would come down to Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. Such a matchup between two families that have dominated presidential politics for 30 years would be as establishment-friendly as could be imagined. Instead, both parties’ nominations have been disrupted by insurgent candidates who are not beholden to classic Washington interests.

Both of these candidates, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, have faced strong resistance from their party’s establishment. Republicans, however, seem more willing to praise Trump for shaking things up; Democrats are less amused at seeing their establishment rankled. With Sanders gaining real momentum with his primary performances, the Clinton camp and its supporters have been escalating an attack that’s been in play since the beginning of the race: accusing opponents of sexism. Continue reading

Why the ‘pragmatist vs. idealist’ framing is so cynical in the Democratic primary


The media has adopted a narrative of Sanders as the wild-eyed idealist and Clinton as the pragmatist.

On Monday the first official leg of the presidential nomination process took place in the Iowa caucuses. As results came in throughout the night, the Democratic race was as close of a nail-biter as can be imagined. At the time of this writing, Hillary Clinton maintains an extremely slim lead of less than half a percent over Bernie Sanders. Whatever the outcome this showing is undeniably a boost to Sanders’s momentum, making it clear he’s got a shot at winning the nomination overall.

With an intense race still to be run, a narrative has been forming over the last couple months. It holds that Hillary Clinton is the pragmatic, sensible choice for Democrats – a centrist with the political clout to make moderate changes. Sanders, meanwhile, is a naïve idealist proposing lofty, transformational reforms that will never see the light of reality. Better, then, that voters choose Clinton.

There’s a subtext in this analysis that often goes unspoken: It’s as though everyone who believes it is saying, “Sure, we would like to see Bernie’s policies implemented, but we just know it can’t happen.” For a presidential candidate especially, this is a depressingly cynical tack to take, and certainly no example of strong leadership. Continue reading

Bernie Should Embrace His Record On Gun Control


Bernie Sanders’s somewhat libertarian track record is a point of contention for Hillary Clinton, but could be an asset in the general election.

It’s very difficult for Hillary Clinton to position herself to the left of Bernie Sanders, but she’s spent much of the last month or so trying to do just that. One issue she seems to be getting away with it on is gun control. In debate after debate Clinton has kept Sanders defensive on gun control, touting her ‘F’ rating from the NRA against his ‘D-.’ Continue reading

Sanders is more than a candidate, he’s an opportunity


Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a long-serving independent, wants to bring all Americans along for his political revolution.

Things are going well for Bernie Sanders’s presidential bid. Over the last two weeks, the Vermont Senator won the endorsement of the highly influential progressive group MoveOn, received kind words from Vice President Joe Biden, had an extremely strong showing at the most recent debate, and is now polling within striking range, if not ahead of, Hillary Clinton in the key early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

Against enormous odds, it’s really starting to look like Sanders has a chance. Largely dismissed when he announced his candidacy, over the course of his campaign Sanders has excited a bold movement into existence – a movement that America desperately needs. Continue reading

Election season highlights the shallowness of American democracy

Charles and David Koch are interviewed by MSNBC anchors "Morning" Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.

Charles and David Koch are interviewed by MSNBC anchors “Morning” Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.

No serious scholar of history or political science considers the United States a democracy. Nor is the country a Constitutional Republic, which is sometimes given as the technical term. We like to think of ourselves as democratic, but America is, more or less officially, an oligarchy. This means the people have very little influence over policy, which is instead implemented by and in favor of private concentrations of wealth.

With election season in full swing, this simple fact gets overlooked and the platitudes about democracy are pushed harder than ever by pundits and politicians. Ironically, no time in America reveals more about our democracy deficit than the presidential election cycle. Between campaigns that are bought wholesale by billionaires and a news media that frames the election in the perspective of big business, Americans really aren’t invited to participate in the process much at all. Continue reading