I’m still not going to start getting my hopes up that the GOP might actually face Bernie Sanders in the general election next year. Yes, it would be fantastic for the Republicans to go up against a self professed socialist who favors a 90% tax rate and has called for the federal government to seize the assets of the oil companies and nationalize the industry. But let’s face it… it’s not going to happen. And yet the interesting and potentially useful part of having him in the race is to play the role of the yapping attack dog, nipping at Hillary Clinton’s left heel and pushing her to swing a bit further off into Crazyland.
This may be a slightly different twist on that story, but Hillary’s much discussed refusal to take a stand on the Pacific trade deal brought Bernie out on the Sunday shows today and saw him calling out the frontrunner for not being willing to back up their union masters. (From Reuters)
Sanders, a vocal critic of free trade, called on Clinton to join labor unions, environmentalists and other opponents of the trade package before it is brought up for another vote this week. Clinton is the front-runner among candidates to be the Democratic Party nominee for the November 2016 election.
“Corporate America and Wall Street are going to bring that bill back,” Sanders said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “If she joins us, we could stop this disastrous deal once and for all.”
Since it’s Bernie doing the Republicans’ work for them, the media had no choice but to pursue the question with Clinton spokespersons and staffers. The big hit came on Meet the Press.
Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta said she would render a judgment when the deal is final.
“She has a clear standard that it’s got to be good for American workers or she thinks the United States should walk away from it,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Clinton aides also declined to say whether she opposed or supported the legislation currently before Congress, which would limit lawmakers’ input to an up-or-down vote on a final deal and provide benefits to workers who lost their jobs due to globalization.
That kind of pressure, along with similar moves from non-candidate-in-waiting Elizabeth Warren, is the sort of golden ticket pressure which nobody else can legitimately bring to bear. The somewhat ironic part of all this for me is that, in this one case…
(Okay. I’m about to type five words which have probably never been printed at Hot Air in the history of the site. Critics, liberal lurkers and opposing blogs should all get their cameras ready. You may never have this opportunity again.)
… Hillary Clinton may be right.
Nobody loves a good opportunity to fire a shot across Clinton’s bow than me, but in this case there is a lot of history on her side which conservatives will be loathe to argue with. We’re talking about a situation where pressure is being applied to not only endorse a free trade deal being negotiated by the Obama administration, but one which has not yet been seen. Further, there is a push to force everyone to sign on to either agree with it entirely or limit their choices to a simple yes or no vote with no modifications possible.
How well did that work with Obamacare? Anyone suddenly in favor of letting the White House finalize a deal with Iran that nobody has seen? Are you telling us that we need to pass the free trade deal to find out what’s in the free trade deal? That seems to be the position that Paul Ryan took on Fox News Sunday when he said, “Pick a position. I mean, that’s what leaders do.”
That’s a debate that’s not going to go away any time soon. But for the moment, it’s at least nice to be able to watch the Bernie and Hillary show play out in the press. Most of them normally know who to root for when it’s the GOP vs the Democrats, but when it’s the Clintons vs. the Sanders-Warren wing, what are they to do? Let’s just get out the popcorn and enjoy.