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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/17/15

Bernie Blew It: He Sold Out Instead of Confronting Clinton

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Reprinted from Truthdig

From commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Senators_visit_Afghan_National_Police_Academy,_witness_demonstration_DVIDS369244.jpg: Bernie Sanders
From commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Senators_visit_Afghan_National_Police_Academy,_witness_demonstration_DVIDS369244.jpg: Bernie Sanders
(Image by (From Wikimedia) Petty Officer 2nd Class Ernesto Hernandez Fonte, Author: Petty Officer 2nd Class Ernesto Hernandez Fonte)
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Bernie blew it. By embracing rather than confronting Hillary Clinton, Sen. Sanders fell into the trap of sellout mainstream politics, improving his personal brand as an appealing but ultimately non-threatening advocate for the downtrodden while studiously avoiding any suggestion that the smiley-faced woman standing next to him is deeply complicit in Wall Street's rape of the nation.

In Tuesday's debate he pointedly ignored the Clinton family's role in deregulating Wall Street, and in doing so he allowed Hillary Clinton to cast gun regulation as the key issue that divides her from him. Forgotten was Bill Clinton's selection of Goldman Sachs honcho Robert Rubin to be his treasury secretary, an appointee who with President Clinton's complicity presided over the dismantling of New Deal limits on financial greed.

The Clinton family tradition of sucking up to Wall Street is why Hillary and Bill and the foundation their daughter heads have been rewarded with millions in lecture fees and donations that are the basis of Hillary's rags-to-riches fairy tale. When she says she wants every child to have the opportunity that her grandchild has, that presupposes a father set up in the hedge fund business by Goldman Sachs chairman and Clinton buddy Lloyd Blankfein.

Yes, Bernie Sanders has an immensely honorable record of waging the good fight for struggling Americans. On issues of economic justice, he is second to none, but that makes his stumble in this debate so depressing. I have long admired the man, but his failure to directly hold the Democratic leadership accountable for the bipartisan hollowing out of the American workforce was disappointing. The destruction of the hardworking, decently paid middle class was abetted by lousy trade deals like NAFTA and more recently the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Hillary Clinton called the "gold standard" until it became politically inconvenient to insist on that absurdity.

Sanders' eagerness to forgive Clinton for any malfeasance in her email scandal was the debate's most celebrated but disgraceful moment. Ignoring her outrageous hypocrisy in endorsing the government's right to read the personal emails of everyone in the world, including the leaders of Germany and Brazil, but not her own, Sanders absolved the former secretary of state of the kinds of security breaches that have put lower-level government workers in prison.

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Robert Scheer is editor in chief of the progressive Internet site Truthdig. He has built a reputation for strong social and political writing over his 30 years as a journalist. He conducted the famous Playboy magazine interview in which Jimmy (more...)
 

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