Friday, May 16, 2014

Hillary's non-position on populism

According to this article, who knows, since she won't say. And we progressives want to know, since she is the presumptive Democrat nominee for President in 2016. What we do know is that as a senatorial candidate she received campaign cash from the financial industry, voted for a bank-friendly bankruptcy bill, and received large amounts of money speaking at Wall Street events. Recall this speech to Goldman Sachs, telling them that they were being "unfairly persecuted."

The article also notes Bill Clinton's anti-populism agenda. In defending the repeal of Glass-Steagall under his watch and which he signed, he said it "didn’t have anything to do with the crash" when in fact we know it had everything to do with it. He characterizes populist sentiment as insatiable "blood lust." And "there’s much you could do about" income inequality when in fact there are plenty of sensible populist policies that specifically address it.

Granted these words didn't come from Hillary, but if she disagrees she should speak up. And the above indications in the previous paragraph seem to lean in a similar direction. Also many think that Hillary was a very active participant in her husband's agenda during his Presidency and they are like peas in a pod on these issues. If she disagrees now is the time to say so. But even if she did I'd just see it as manipulation rather than genuine conviction.

We also know that she is not participating in the New Populism conference, where Senators Sanders and Warren will be speaking. Again she could counter that she has yet to declare and therefore her absence means nothing. But if she truly agreed with the populist agenda she's be engaged with it despite her running in 2016 or not. She is a significant figure in the Democrat Party in any event. And if she wants to see the US enact the sort of populist policies that actually help most of us she should be engaged in the debate. My sense is that she does not, and that the likes of Sanders and/or Warren are our best bet. To hell with Hillary.

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