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Nearly seduced by Bernie, but coming home to Hil

Uploaded: Feb 12, 2016

It’s romance week, coupled with our early California spring. The flowering trees are in bud, the leafy garden greens are already sprouting, and even this ol’ fancy has turned to thoughts of love. And I love Bernie Sanders.

But I won’t be voting for him, because there’s a difference between infatuation and a satisfying affiliation for the long haul -- say, for the next eight years or so.

It may seem odd to tag a grumpy, rumpled septuagenarian with sex symbol-ism. His campaign, though, is clearly an ardent appeal to the heart. It’s a call to abandon convention and elope with him on adventures in medicare-for-all, free tuition and the resurrection of middle class life. He promises to slay (or at least imprison) the fire-breathing dragons of Wall Street, and corral the calamitous stampede of campaign cash. It’s a siren song -- practically irresistible.

He invites us to “Feel the Bern” -- not to Think it.

I see romance, too, in the inter-generational squabble among women, neither side of which has done themselves much credit. I won’t make Ms. Steinem’s inexplicably unartful blunder of channeling Connie Francis, but the tizzy between young women and their mothers’ generation has all the earmarks of one telling the other that she’s dating the wrong boy.

The elders’ scolding has been reciprocated, as twenty-somethings yelp back as if they’d been grounded, in a high-backed “how dare you lecture me?!” retort. If this issue was something rational, just about choosing a college or where to have dinner, women of all ages tend to be much better at hashing it all out and considering everybody’s frame of reference and interests. In affairs of the heart, however, and especially in not repeating their mothers’ romantic mistakes – foggedabboudit.

In that regard, I’ve had the joy of kicking around ideas on the subject with my own elder daughter (albeit a thirty-something) for an article she’s developing for publication. Without stealing her thunder (nor the strength of her prose), she sees parallels in the experience of Mrs. Clinton and her own mother, both remarkably capable professional people. She’s come to understand -- and accept -- the profound personal and sometimes ethical sacrifices women of that certain age have made to rattle and crack glass ceilings, clear pathways and achieve freedoms that have made my daughter’s way smoother.

Further, she appreciates it, mightily. And she has the perspective to ‘get’ that sexism isn’t over – that it’s not an artifact of a bygone era. So she takes a clear-eyed view of promoting Hillary, not in tribute, but in recognition that there’s a ton of work yet to be done on those sexual equality issues. And she knows that Hillary, having encountered, fought and sometimes overcome that bias, and worked tirelessly for feminist interests through-out her career, knows it in her soul.

Anyone who airily contends that equality of opportunity is just another issue, or that ‘my minority doesn’t define me’ really ought to take another crack at thinking it through.

Back on the romance beat, as we can all recall, early-on EVerything seems possible in the dizzying fantasy of a crush. Most of us who’ve loved and lost,* however, recognize that sooner or later reality bites. Promises come due, plans need to be successfully implemented and bills paid. Further, Mr. or Ms. Right comes under scrutiny of our friends – and much worse, our enemies. What we don’t know, or chose to ignore, intervenes – and those are enough to dull that heady ardor.

In those regards, Mr. Sanders continues to be disconcertingly approximate about his promises, both as to their funding and their implementation. Free tuition at State U., for instance, from governors more than half of whom are Republicans, busily gutting their education budgets? Big taxes on the 1% and on stock trades, when one-or-both House of Congress are bought-and-paid-for by JPMorganChase? Howsabout campaign finance reform from a hostile Congress, Supreme Court And all those Koch-addled GOP states? How, and how much, exactly? The answers, so far, seem to be “revolution.”

All those promises, so seductive in the moist heat of the night, begin to shrivel in the harsh light of analysis. That’s not a good basis for commitment.

The other thing that struck me, watching last night’s very substantive debate, is that Hillary is also the complete package. My headhunter’s ear listened for issue mastery, breadth of experience and coolness under pressure. Hillary just hit it out of the park. She has mastered the Presidential skillsets. In fact, I’ve noticed that whenever the media and commentocracy’s breathless superficiality and negativity start to intrude, all I have to do is listen and watch her actual words to re-appreciate that she is The Only Candidate of either Party who’s really ready to lead, at home And abroad.

By contrast, Mr. Trump couldn’t find Iran if it was tattoo’d on his butt, and Bernie was reduced to platitudes about talking with our enemies, but not the more demonic Henry Kissinger. It demonstrated that he may be the finest protest candidate ever (at a time when we really need such a gadfly, because he’s right on his issues), but that’s not world leadership.

Does Hillary have flaws? Absolutely, and we know what they are, because the GOP and its networks (Fox and Koch) have been trying to discredit her since … forever. Yet, the candidate abides. Personally, I am suspicious that she will continue to go too easy on white-collar criminality, be more hawkish than I’d prefer, and I do not like the weird blind spot that can give her enemies openings on things like speech fees and email servers.

But we are not electing an icon, or a spouse, or a best friend, or even a nice person: she’s a politician. Just as my kid has come to terms with her maternal unit’s flaws and foibles (and maybe even a few of mine!), so have we both thrown-in with Hillary. The election is simply too important to be ruled from the heart.

But don’t take my word for it – just listen, really listen to her. It could be the beginning of a very satisfactory relationship.


* And who hasn’t? Let’s face it – how many of our romances have ended well? Oops.

Comments

 +   5 people like this
Posted by Bill, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows,
on Feb 12, 2016 at 5:35 pm

Margaret Thatcher and Angela Merkel, Hillary ain't. To get my vote Hillary is going to have to show she can be something more than a queen mother. She has been involved in way too many scandals of coincidence to trust that she would be anything more than a puppet in her cabinet. Angela Merkel said "whoever decides to dedicate their life to politics knows that earning money isn't the top priority", except if you are a Clinton. Margaret Thatcher said "being powerful is like being a lady, if you have to tell people you are, you aren't". Sorry but Hillary does not exude power. Getting rid of the pant suits would help.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Feb 12, 2016 at 6:11 pm

Hi Bill: if you saw last night and weren't impressed, then you probably won't be. And I don't mean the soundbite gotchas, but the complete answers. To me, she very much commanded the stage. Again, there may be that disconnect between actually seeing her and absorbing other people's reports. Works for me, anyway.

I also wouldn't confuse actual scandals with the made-up semi-solids that are routinely flung her way. I don't like the speaking fees, but I don't think the email dust-up amounts to a pile of road apples. And the Benghazi idiocy didn't lay a glove on her over ten hours of interrogation. Pretty impressive, to me. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I've never heard her described as a puppet.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Billie, a resident of Mohr Park,
on Feb 13, 2016 at 1:17 pm

Billie is a registered user.

Watching the coverage leading up to the NH primary I saw the blind appeal of Bernie's "free college tuition" mantra. It seemed to be the primary reason given for a Bernie vote.

However, not only is it unrealistic as you noted above, Tom, what all those voters seem to forget (not know? not care?) is that no education is "free". This was sadly evident when many of the voters being interviewed talked about how "college tuition should be free, just like K-12". Geez! Do they really not know who/what funds K-12??

Speaking of taxes, Bernie's "I'll just tax the wealthiest to pay for it" doesn't quite fit with his actual plan. Although it's true the upper income bracket[s] really get smacked, *everyone's* taxes increase - even the lowest tax brackets. The bottom two tax brackets would also incur taxes on "Capital Gains and Dividends" where today they don't. In addition, Bernie's tax proposal includes a 6.2% income-based tax on corporations; look for that to be passed on to the consumer in higher prices.

According to the Motley Fool (reference below), "Based on initial estimates provided by the Tax Foundation, more tax revenue would be created, but it would come at a cost to the U.S. economy and all taxpayers. Over the next 10 years the Tax Foundation estimates roughly 6 million jobs would be lost, a 4.3% reduction in wages would occur, U.S. GDP would drop by nearly 10%, and we'd witness a whopping 18.6% fall in capital investments. [The] Tax Foundation projects an average drop in after-tax income of 10.6% on a static basis for Americans. Taxpayers in the bottom 40% of the income ladder would see their static after-tax income fall between 4.9% and 6.9%."

And that's not all. When you combine Bernie's proposed tax rates with other taxes that apply to income, like existing payroll taxes and his new ones to pay for Social Security, single-payer health care and family leave, and then add in state taxes, I don't foresee Bernie's campaign declarations that he will "alleviate poverty" and "rebuild the middle class" happening under his plan to redistribute wealth.

The Motley Fool, "Bernie Sanders' Income Tax Brackets: How Much Would You Owe?" Web Link
The New York Times, "Bernie Sanders’s Tax Plan Would Test an Economic Hypothesis"
Web Link

Regarding Hillary, I've been watching and listening and considering her take on the issues, domestic and foreign, for years. She's got my vote for the same reasons you mentioned, Tom. As for her having "the perspective to ‘get’ that sexism isn’t over – that it’s not an artifact of a bygone era", thank you Bill! You just proved how right she is (lol).


 +   5 people like this
Posted by NorthernLights, a resident of another community,
on Feb 13, 2016 at 9:45 pm

Tom, your decision is certainly understandable, but Hillary is pitching a very finely calibrated message to get her the nomination and the Presidency. There is no conviction in her campaign, other than ambition. But for democrats, that might be enough - clearly even with her (astonishingly) high negatives, she is the most electable candidate in the Democratic field.

But while Bernie can be dismissed as flippantly as a summer fling, his message will not be. In the longer arc of history, Bernie's candidacy is ahead of its time. Like the "Occupy" protests before it and even (although they don't yet realize it) tea party picketing years ago, Bernie's candidacy is predictable because the middle class is continuing to be decimated. Every year we allow the wealth and income disparity to become more skewed, the more instability we create in our capitalistic democracy and its economic and political institutions. It will take decades, but collapse is inevitable if we continue on this same course much longer. If we do not act to rescue capitalism now, it will soon be too late, and the world will belong to the sons of Sanders and his socialistic followers he is inspiring on college campuses throughout the country.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of another community,
on Feb 14, 2016 at 11:35 am

What a great couple of comments that actually move the conversation -- thanks folks!

Billie: I was surprised at the Tax Fndn implications, so I did a bit of googling. Forbes published a critique on Feb 9 that noted a few things which seem to contradict the Motley Fools, to wit -- that essentially nobody gets hurt, net, until you hit the $250K income range, and that the TF model assumes greater rationality on the part of we homosaps than behavioral economics would suggest will ensue. Web Link

I'm also suspicious of this trend toward decade-long implications that assume "all else equal," which it never is over such an interval. It just makes for big numbers, although most of the effects in your comment are stated in terms of %s, which I think is the right way to do it.

Kodi ... err Northern Lights: "I want Bernie on the wall -- I NEED Bernie on that wall" to horribly miss-characterize Col. Jessup. I think Hillary needs to be pulled leftward for the good of the country, which he is succeeding mightily at doing. His issues are huge, and the failure to address them would only drive electorate further into apoplexy. I just don't see how you get from here to there in one revolutionary swoop. Presidency and Senate this year, Court majority this year or next (I think there's a blog topic in there) and then the logjams can begin to be broken.

Then the House and the grip of the Big Dark Money interests can be broken in favor of actual small-d democracy (another blog topic a-coming when I finish the book).


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Scott, a resident of Walnut Creek,
on Feb 14, 2016 at 10:56 pm

LOL. Vote for a liar if that's what makes you feel good Tom. Good for you.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Nick Learner, a resident of Danville,
on Feb 14, 2016 at 11:00 pm

Hey Tom,

More important than your obligation to follow your conscience, or at least prior to it, is your obligation to form your conscience correctly.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by JamesNelson, a resident of Del Prado,
on Feb 15, 2016 at 3:23 am

I would also not be confused with real scandals made semisolid that are routinely thrown his way. I do not like speaking fees, but do not think that email dust until it equals lots of road blocks. And the idiocy Benghazi did not put a glove on his more than ten hours of interrogation. Quite impressive to me. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I've never heard described as a puppet.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Feb 15, 2016 at 6:42 am

Scott/Nick: Politicians lie all the time -- is that news? Hence there's a whole fact-checking industry; it's drawing lots of overtime pay this year. After the GOP free-for-all Saturday evening, in which everybody called everybody else a liar, may I assume that you will be sitting this one out?

The prevalence of lying is also why pols use so many euphemisms for it -- it's a kind of professional courtesy to each other. They are 'disingenuous' 'dissemblers' who 'prevaricate' for a living. And then there's the new term-du-jour: 'walking back' a claim, which basically acknowledges that the liar got caught in a too-obvious whopper.

All that said, I do agree that a well-formed and unsparing conscience regarding one's personal behavior is an important attribute.

BTW -- I think the rules state that alter egos are fair game, but they also request that you limit yourself to one/thread. I know you'll want to comply.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by SHale99, a resident of another community,
on Feb 15, 2016 at 9:00 am

SHale99 is a registered user.

Is 'none of the above' a legit voting option? Problem I have with Clinton is she makes odd choices. She stayed with a cheating husband JUST for her career. She thot having her own email server was a good idea. What more if she becomes Prez? Will her decisions be based on the country, or her needs/career/future?

She might be the least stinky choice or the one you hold your nose the least....but....


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Feb 15, 2016 at 10:15 am

Will...there's too much research r: lying. Happens all day, everyday, and everybody does it! Even the WILL...BUSTED!

Web Link

It's not anyone's fault that their entire family lies...it's human nature.

Did your mom ever tell you a lie?




 +  Like this comment
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Feb 15, 2016 at 10:18 am

A little present for Will:

Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Tom Cushing, a PleasantonWeekly.com blogger,
on Feb 15, 2016 at 11:41 am

Tom Cushing is a registered user.

SHale: I agree those are head-scratching choices -- and they seem to recur. I just don't find much basis for moral outrage in them, as others seem to. Politics is a verry nasty business that tends to self-select.

Cholo: who's 'Will?'


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Feb 15, 2016 at 12:46 pm

YIPES! I MEANT TO SAY "SCOTT".

As I've aged, my eyes dart around and perhaps see things that aren't there!

sometimes roving eyes make the world more fun...


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Billie, a resident of Mohr Park,
on Feb 15, 2016 at 2:23 pm

Billie is a registered user.

Tom,
Thanks for sharing the Forbes article. I had to laugh at the greater rationality part as it's undoubtedly true! However, I don't agree with the premise that no one gets hurt below 250K. As a single parent filing Head of Household for many years, that extra 2.2% in basic ordinary income taxes may not have meant alot in the grand scheme of things, but would have caused a definite financial hit to me, especially when my income was under $50,400. There were times when I had to count the cost of our groceries down to the penny, and then decide which bills I could slide to the next month. And that's with a good job.

A good portion of Bernie's proposed taxes are aimed at healthcare. So to me, the big question is how to provide *every* American with affordable healthcare? If we scrap Obamacare I don't think we'll ever get another plan as far reaching; certainly not if any Republican in power has anything to say about it. Does it have problems that need to be fixed? Absolutely. Do I think all states should have expanded medicaid under Obamacare? Yep. Four of the top ten poorest states [Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina] still have no plans to adopt the expansion.

I'm lucky. I like my healthcare. As an adult through a stint in the Navy and 31+ years working for PacBell and then as an retiree, I've always had access to excellent healthcare options. I can't imagine not having it, especially as a parent and now as a senior citizen.

I like the plans Hillary has proposed to build on what we have to expand access, slow the growth of out-of-pocket costs, reduce the cost of prescription drugs, and to protect women's health care.

America’s richest (and poorest) states: Web Link
Status of State Action on the Medicaid Expansion Decision: Web Link


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Feb 15, 2016 at 3:19 pm

Yup. Much as I'd like to believe, it's mighty tough to square the numbers. From today's NYT: "Alluding to one progressive analyst’s early criticism of the Sanders agenda as “puppies and rainbows,” Mr. Goolsbee said that after his and others’ further study, “They’ve evolved into magic flying puppies with winning Lotto tickets tied to their collars.'"

Web Link


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Peter Kluget, a resident of Danville,
on Feb 16, 2016 at 11:18 am

I always get a chuckle out of folks decrying Bernie's "free tuition" position as being way-out socialist nonsense that no reasonable person could take seriously.

Free college tuition at California universities was the official policy of this state 50 years ago. And other than "fees" - about $500-$600 per year at the UCs IIRC - that's what a lot of the currently comfortable denizens of the Tri-Valley area paid back in the day. The sky didn't fall; California thrived.

Northern Lights - I appreciated your acknowledgment of the unsustainability of the ongoing process of redistributing wealth from the middle class and poor to the ultra-wealthy. We're currently in about year 40 of that trend and at some point something's got to give.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Tom Cushing, a resident of Alamo,
on Feb 16, 2016 at 11:46 am

Oh good, Peter -- so you've mastered time travel? Does that mean we won't need high-speed rail? Can we divert that $100B to the state's college fund?

I didn't think you were a fan of magic puppies.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Billie, a resident of Mohr Park,
on Feb 16, 2016 at 1:17 pm

Billie is a registered user.

Peter,
Nothing is "free".

From Bernie's website:
"The cost of this $75 billion a year plan [to make public colleges and universities tuition free] is fully paid for by imposing a tax of a fraction of a percent on Wall Street speculators who nearly destroyed the economy seven years ago." Web Link

and

"[Bernie] has proposed a financial transaction tax which will reduce risky and unproductive high-speed trading and other forms of Wall Street speculation; proceeds would be used to provide debt-free public college education." Web Link

So, stay with me here. If I assume (*big* assumption given our Congress) that President Sanders is able to get the tax code changed to include his "financial transaction tax", and it does indeed "reduce risky and unproductive high-speed trading and other forms of Wall Street speculation", then doesn't it follow that fewer Wall Street speculators would have that particular tax, earmarked for "free" college tuition, levied against them? The question then becomes, when that tax is no longer raking in the bucks required, who/what then foots the bill for the $75 billion a year [I'm guessing minimum] "free" college tuition?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by 2017 Crossover, a resident of Carlton Oaks,
on Jun 8, 2016 at 3:36 am

I always get a chuckle out of folks decrying Bernie's "free tuition" position as being way-out socialist nonsense that no reasonable person could take seriously., I like Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Tank Trouble Unblocked, a resident of Amador Estates,
on Jun 14, 2016 at 2:30 am

a kind of professional courtesy to each other - many politicians to lie , why use it in the prevalence of these words. They make a living ' insincere ' dissemblers ' prevaricate ' is. And then there are the new era -du- jour : basically a liar, too - open whopper accept a claim they caught, walk back?.


 +  Like this comment
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on Jun 19, 2016 at 10:38 pm

Programming Assignments Help is the best assignment help provider in the United Kingdom. Our online assignment writing help UK is especially dedicated for the students studying in all UK colleges and universities. Submit assignment to get the best quality assignment help. Visit Web Link for more info.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by jack dodo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Aug 10, 2016 at 5:41 pm

I agree those are head-scratching choices -- and they seem to recur. I just don't find much basis for moral outrage in them, as others seem to. Politics is a verry nasty business that tends to self-select

Web Link
Web Link
Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by neblii tow, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Aug 10, 2016 at 5:46 pm

Will...there's too much research r: lying. Happens all day, everyday, and everybody does it! Even the WILL...BUSTED!

Web Link
Web Link
Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by yeloo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Aug 10, 2016 at 5:49 pm

I would also not be confused with real scandals made semisolid that are routinely thrown his way. I do not like speaking fees, but do not think that email dust until it equals lots of road blocks. And the idiocy Benghazi did not put a glove on his more than ten hours of interrogation.
Web Link
Web Link
Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by richard, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Aug 10, 2016 at 5:50 pm

Tom, your decision is certainly understandable, but Hillary is pitching a very finely calibrated message to get her the nomination and the Presidency. There is no conviction in her campaign, other than ambition. But for democrats, that might be enough - clearly even with her (astonishingly) high negatives, she is the most electable candidate in the Democratic field.
Web Link
Web Link
Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Nichoras, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Aug 10, 2016 at 5:52 pm

I always get a chuckle out of folks decrying Bernie's "free tuition" position as being way-out socialist nonsense that no reasonable person could take seriously.
Web Link
Web Link
Web Link



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