Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Come on, Bernie. Stick to the issues

By Richard Barry

I like Sen. Bernie Sanders. I like the issues he's raising and how he's doing it.  I'm glad he's in the race and I'm sure I'll be saying some nice things about him in the coming months.

Sure, he says he doesn't begrudge her the money she is making in speeches, but it does suggest to him, he said in an interview, that she therefore couldn't understand what working stiffs have to go through to make ends meet, or those struggling to feed their families.
“When you hustle money like that, you don’t sit in restaurants like this,” he said. “You sit in restaurants where you’re spending—I don’t know what they spend—hundreds of dollars for dinner and so forth. That’s the world that you’re accustomed to, and that’s the world view that you adopt. You’re not worrying about a kid three blocks away from here whose mom can’t afford to feed him.”

But “that type of wealth has the potential to isolate you from the reality of the world,” Sanders added, mentioning a growing disconnect and anger at the establishment that he has noticed at gatherings in Austin, Las Vegas, Chicago and the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

Maybe one could claim this isn't a personal attack, that it's a legitimate concern her policies won't go as far to help people in need because she doesn't understand them. But it's a personal attack. And Bernie, you said you wouldn't go there.

For whatever reason, politics frequently doesn't work that way. Presidents who have come from wealth or become very wealthy, like FDR, JFK, and LBJ, were very concerned about the poor. Ronald Reagan came from humble beginnings and turned into Ronald Reagan.

I have no doubt that Sen. Sanders himself cares deeply about working people and the less fortunate, but he's a United States Senator and I'll bet in a typical day eats quite well. Who cares?

This is nonsense.


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  • I don't agree. I think it's a legitimate concern to wonder whether a rich candidate has the interests of the not-rich at heart. That said, I guarantee you that Sanders and Clinton have more in common with each other than they do with working people. According to Roll Call, Sanders' net assets are $110,000 (not including personal residences or any other asset that does not generate income). Granted, not millionaire status but pretty darn comfy compared with many of the rest of us.

    By Blogger Elayne, at 2:25 PM  

  • Thanks for the comment. Sanders' criticism is certainly not a very harsh "attack', if it is that. As for Mrs. Clinton, I'm far more concerned about how she funds her campaign and how that might stop her from properly regulating Wall Street. I guess I don't believe her personal wealth will keep her from implementing progressive social policies.

    By Blogger Richard K. Barry, at 2:40 PM  

  • You are certainly right that being rich doesn't matter. My bigger concern is just what it means to be a modern American liberal. In general, that means a social liberal and an economic moderate. And that is what Clinton is. But I suspect Sanders is swinging because he doesn't like people saying he's just a protest candidate (even though he more or less is).

    By Blogger Unknown, at 1:06 AM  

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