In a recent interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Hillary Clinton denounced Bernie Sanders as a saboteur to her campaign; saying Sanders did not “move quickly to unify the [Democratic] party and his supporters.” She continued to smear his base as “incredibly divisive” and suggested that, like Bernie, his base did not consist of real Democrats.
Hillary Clinton has repeatedly blamed Bernie Sanders and his supporters for her loss to the most unpopular candidate in history, Donald Trump. Her lack of self-reflection is astonishing, and apparent in her new campaign memoir What Happened. This brand of attack is reused rhetoric as Clinton has made similar remarks in her book and her interview with CBS Sunday Morning. Her commentary is ironic considering the lasting impact Clinton’s comments will have on the fabric of the Democratic party.
Clinton’s comments are the definition of divisive and only further repel potential voters. In addition, her constant rehashing of the 2016 election will only further distract Democrats from focusing on the issues that really matter, such as the rescission of DACA. The Democratic base wants to fight for Dreamers, not turn on CNN and watch Hillary Clinton continue to play this blame-game. Her apathy for the left will only wreak further havoc on the Democratic party. Journalists need to stop giving Clinton a microphone to voice these destructive remarks, or at the very least, point out the ridiculous arguments she makes. Today, I am doing the latter. Here is an explanation of Clinton’s two primary, but contradictory arguments against Sanders. Let’s put her claims to the test: is Clinton just as progressive as Sanders?
“Jake Sullivan, my top policy advisor, told me it reminded him of a scene from the 1998 movie There’s Something About Mary. A deranged hitchhiker says he’s come up with a brilliant plan. Instead of the famous ‘eight-minute abs’ exercise routine, he’s going to market ‘seven minute abs.’ It’s the same just quicker. Then the driver, played by Ben Stiller, says, ‘Well, why not six minute abs?’ That’s what it was like in policy debates with Bernie. We would propose a bold infrastructure investment plan or an ambitious new apprenticeship program for young people, and then Bernie would announce basically the same thing, but bigger. On issue after issue, it was like he kept proposing four-minute abs, or no minute abs. Magic abs!”
In this excerpt, Clinton claims that she was as progressive as Sanders, but Sanders always tried to one-up her during the primaries. She offered “7-minute abs” while Sanders proposed “6-minute abs” just to look better. She also accuses Sanders of adopting her ideas (specifically her infrastructure plan) and claiming them as his own. Both of these claims are easily refutable. Firstly, Sanders is a democratic socialist who is objectively more left than Clinton in all respects. While Sanders proposed a $15 minimum wage, Clinton offered $12. While Sanders proposed a single-payer healthcare system, Clinton said it would “never, ever come to pass.” While Sanders was firmly anti-war and against regime change, Clinton had a history showing the complete opposite. In addition, there was a massive difference between these two candidates’ infrastructure plans. Sanders proposed a $1 trillion infrastructure plan whereas Clinton proposed a $275 million plan. If anything, it is much more logical to say Clinton disingenuously adopted Bernie’s policies to curry favor with the working class.
I think it is safe to say that the candidate who claims “we operate better when we’re kind of between center right and center left” is less progressive than the candidate who calls himself a “democratic socialist”.
Simultaneously, Clinton claims that Sanders’ ideas are naive, pie-in-the-sky and unrealistic. Although she alleges Sanders “had to resort to innuendo” and “impugning” her character because the two Democrats “agreed on so much,” she characterized Sanders as delusional throughout her book. In “What Happened,” Clinton notes that Sanders’ “plans didn’t add up” and said his policy proposals weren’t “realistic.” These statements were also in proliferation throughout the primaries as Clinton even called Sanders’ plans for breaking up banks and regulating finance as “naive and unworkable.”
Somehow, Clinton believes that is she both more progressive than Sanders and more rationally center. It is unbelievable that these arguments have not been compared or even analyzed on a factual basis by mainstream sources. Whatever the reason for this, it is clear her arguments are contradictory. However, she has only doubled down on these strategies; inflicting more cracks in the already fragile Democratic party.
Source Image: Daily Dot