[Vision2020] Paul Krugman: Bernie Has Gone Too Far
kmmos1 at frontier.com
Fri Apr 8 20:18:23 PDT 2016
Here is a response to Paul Krugman's opinion in the NYTimes today 8
The commentator is Cenk Uygur, host of TYT, The Young Turks, on
tytnetwork.com and a frequent contributor of videos to YouTube.
Time Length: 8:51
On 4/8/2016 2:48 PM, Nicholas Gier wrote:
> "The Sanders campaign has brought out a lot of idealism and energy
> that the progressive movement needs. It has also, however, brought out
> a streak of petulant selfrighteousness among some supporters. Has it
> brought out that streak in the candidate, too?"
> NYTimes The Opinion Pages | OPED COLUMNIST Sanders Over the Edge Paul
> Krugman APRIL 8, 2016
> From the beginning, many and probably most liberal policy wonks were
> skeptical about Bernie Sanders. On many major issues — including the
> signature issues of his campaign, especially financial reform — he
> seemed to go for easy slogans over hard thinking. And his political
> theory of change, his waving away of limits, seemed utterly unrealistic.
> Some Sanders supporters responded angrily when these concerns were
> raised, immediately accusing anyone expressing doubts about their hero
> of being corrupt if not actually criminal. But intolerance and
> cultishness from some of a candidate’s supporters are one thing; what
> about the candidate himself? Unfortunately, in the past few days the
> answer has become all too clear: Mr. Sanders is starting to sound like
> his worst followers. Bernie is becoming a Bernie Bro.
> Let me illustrate the point about issues by talking about bank reform.
> The easy slogan here is “Break up the big banks.” It’s obvious why
> this slogan is appealing from a political point of view: Wall Street
> supplies an excellent cast of villains. But were big banks really at
> the heart of the financial crisis, and would breaking them up protect
> us from future crises?
> Many analysts concluded years ago that the answers to both questions
> were no. Predatory lending was largely carried out by smaller,
> nonWall Street institutions like Countrywide Financial; the crisis
> itself was centered not on big banks but on “shadow banks” like Lehman
> Brothers that weren’t necessarily that big. And the financial reform
> that President Obama signed in 2010 made a real effort to address
> these problems. It could and should be made stronger, but pounding the
> table about big banks misses the point. Yet going on about big banks
> is pretty much all Mr. Sanders has done. On the rare occasions on
> which he was asked for more detail, he didn’t seem to have anything
> more to offer. And this absence of substance beyond the slogans seems
> to be true of his positions across the board.
> You could argue that policy details are unimportant as long as a
> politician has the right values and character. As it happens, I don’t
> agree. For one thing, a politician’s policy specifics are often a very
> important clue to his or her true character — I warned about George W.
> Bush’s mendacity back when most journalists were still portraying him
> as a bluff, honest fellow, because I actually looked at his tax
> For another, I consider a commitment to facing hard choices as opposed
> to taking the easy way out an important value in itself. But in any
> case, the way Mr. Sanders is now campaigning raises serious character
> and values issues. It’s one thing for the Sanders campaign to point to
> Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street connections, which are real, although
> the question should be whether they have distorted her positions, a
> case the campaign has never even tried to make. But recent attacks on
> Mrs. Clinton as a tool of the fossil fuel industry are just plain
> dishonest, and speak of a campaign that has lost its ethical moorings.
> And then there was Wednesday’s rant about how Mrs. Clinton is not
> “qualified” to be president. What probably set that off was a recent
> interview of Mr. Sanders by The Daily News, in which he repeatedly
> seemed unable to respond when pressed to go beyond his usual slogans.
> Mrs. Clinton, asked about that interview, was careful in her choice of
> words, suggesting that “he hadn’t done his homework.” But Mr. Sanders
> wasn’t careful at all, declaring that what he considers Mrs. Clinton’s
> past sins, including her support for trade agreements and her vote to
> authorize the Iraq war — for which she has apologized — make her
> totally unfit for office.
> This is really bad, on two levels. Holding people accountable for
> their past is O.K., but imposing a standard of purity, in which any
> compromise or misstep makes you the moral equivalent of the bad guys,
> isn’t. Abraham Lincoln didn’t meet that standard; neither did F.D.R.
> Nor, for that matter, has Bernie Sanders (think guns). And the timing
> of the Sanders rant was truly astonishing. Given her large lead in
> delegates — based largely on the support of AfricanAmerican voters,
> who respond to her pragmatism because history tells them to distrust
> extravagant promises — Mrs. Clinton is the strong favorite for the
> Democratic nomination.
> Is Mr. Sanders positioning himself to join the “Bernie or bust” crowd,
> walking away if he can’t pull off an extraordinary upset, and possibly
> helping put Donald Trump or Ted Cruz in the White House? If not, what
> does he think he’s doing? The Sanders campaign has brought out a lot
> of idealism and energy that the progressive movement needs. It has
> also, however, brought out a streak of petulant selfrighteousness
> among some supporters. Has it brought out that streak in the
> candidate, too?
> A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know
> they shall never sit in.
> -Greek proverb
> “Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity.
> Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without
> guidance from another. This immaturity is self- imposed when its cause
> lies not in lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage
> to use it without guidance from another. Sapere Aude! ‘Have courage to
> use your own understand-ing!—that is the motto of enlightenment.
> --Immanuel Kant
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