Watch Tonight's Debate As A Battle Between A Miserably Failed Establishment And A Break With That Foul Ancien Régime
When the House passed, 343-86 a bill to repeal Glass-Steagall in the summer of 1999, only 69 Democrats, 16 Republicans and 1 Independent stood in opposition. The Independent, of course, was Bernie Sanders. Many Members who made that vote, which turned out to be so predictably catastrophic for the U.S. economy, are no longer in Congress. But many are. Tammy Baldwin (D-WA), like Bernie now in the Senate voted NO; so did now Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ed Markey (D-MA) and Jerry Moran (R-KS). House Members at the time who are now senators who were too stupid-- or too stuffed on financial industry bribes-- to understand the cliff they were pushing the economy off were Roy Blunt (R-MO), Richard Burr (R-NC), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Rob Portman (R-OH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Senate candidate Ted Strickland (D-OH), John Thune (R-SD), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Tom Udall (D-NM), David Diapers Vitter (R-LA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS). Speakers Hastert (R-IL), Boehner (R-OH) and, of course, Ryan (R-WI) all voted for it as well. Hillary Clinton was still First Lady when he husband signed the legislation but recently said she is opposed to bringing back the legislation, which her backers on Wall Street loathe with such vehemence.
I doubt it will come up in tonight's second Democratic Party presidential debate, which takes place at Drake University in Des Moines, a debate where even the timing was chosen by Hillary allies at the corrupt Wasserman Schultz-run DNC to hold down the viewership and offer Bernie as little exposure-- to a national audience that already knows Hillary-- as possible. Hillary's camp is eager to hammer home a feeling of inevitability, something that is doing well among voters who haven't engaged yet with an election a year away. ABC News reported yesterday that, though Hillary will have a terrible time winning a general election-- most Americans find her untrustwiorthy-- she's popular among Democrats. Voters are still getting to know Bernie but, unlike Hillary, more voters like him than dislike him. And among Democrats his favorables have risen since the summer from 36% to 54%-- while his unfavorables have stayed around the same. Her favorables and unfavorables among Democrats have been pretty stable, liked by 83%, disliked by 14%.
The one metric in a NY Times/CBS News poll released yesterday, that should be worrying for the Clinton people is that 30% of Democratic voters feel "very confident" that Bernie can help reduce the gap between rich and poor, while on 25% feel that way about Clinton. Democrats also tended to see that Hillary is far less likely than Bernie to say what she really thinks or believes rather than just spout what she thinks people want to hear. Another potential problem for her is that Democratic primary voters understand that special interests hold a much bigger sway over her than over Bernie.
Zephyr Teachout, CEO of government reform group, MAYDAY.USA, has urged Hillary to clean up her corruption problems before it's too late. It would help her immensely with progressives inside and outside the party if she were to:
• Announce and release a plan that lays out what she intends to accomplish on the Dark Money in politics issue in her first 100 days in office.Democratic Party insiders-- not especially less craven or less corrupt than Republican Party insiders-- are completely in the bag for Hillary. Of the 712 Superdelegates-- a disgraceful scheme to tamp down the "excesses" of democracy by crooked, power-hungry careerists like Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Steve Israel and Chuck Schumer-- 359 have pledged to vote for Clinton, whose campaign has been arm-twisting with shocking aggressiveness, while only 8 are pledged to vote for Bernie. At the end of the week, each campaign announced a high level endorsement. Hillary's was wretched arch-conservative Blue Dog-- anti-DREAM Act, anti-Choice, anti-LGBT and pro-NRA-- Joe Donnelly of Indiana, one of the worst Democrats in the Senate and very likely to lose his seat in 2018. A normal person would be embarrassed to be endorsed by someone like Donnelly. Bernie, on the other hand, was endorsed by a champion of equality, former Ohio state Senator Nina Turner, who backed away from supporting Hillary, saying she she appreciates Bernie's outspokenness on voting rights and wage issues.
• Work to recruit a prominent champion on money-in-politics reform, such as U.S. Representative John Sarbanes who has already endorsed your campaign, as her surrogate on campaign finance.
• Incorporate her platform into your regular stump speech remarks.
• Give a prominent speech laying out her vision for a more balanced system and why she is committed to solving this challenge.
Turner is taking leave from her high-level Ohio Democratic Party post to campaign for Sanders. She will be at Saturday night's debate in Iowa to cheer on the Vermont senator and will introduce him Monday at his rally at Cleveland State University... Turner is a prominent black leader in a key state. She is a terrific public speaker and no stranger to MSNBC's prime-time lineup. When she talks, people-- particularly progressive Democrats-- listen. She can be a very effective surrogate.Turner is being denigrated and abused by the corporate careerists inside the Ohio Democratic Party, you know, the ones who have completely destroyed the party from the inside while advancing their own miserable careers. Like Turner, progressives nationwide are up against the self-serving Machine. Clinton is the lesser of evils compared to the Republicans. But the lesser of evils is still evil and since we looked at head to head match-ups between Bernie and the GOP field-- with him crushing the likely Republican nominee, Ted Cruz, by an astonishing 12 points... there really is no need to pick between two evils. We can pick the one good instead.
UPDATE: Glass-Steagall in Ohio
When Congress voted to repeal Glass-Steagall, Dennis Kucinich was still in Congress and, of course, he voted against repealing this vital consumer protection law. Sherrod Brown was still in the House then and he also voted against repeal. Interestingly, Ohio's two corrupt conservative Senate frontrunners, Republican Rob Portman and conservaDem Ted Strickland-- as well as current Ohio Governor John Kasich and ex-Speaker Boehner-- all voted to repeal Glass-Steagall. History has proven them horribly wrong, much to the detriment of ordinary working families across Ohio and the rest of the country. This morning the other candidate for the U.S. Senate, P.G. Sittenfeld, told us he would have stood with progressives like Sherrod Brown and Marcy Kaptur in favor of keeping Glass-Steagall and has plans for it when he's in the Senate. "The Glass-Steagall Act separated commercial banking from investment banking-- and repealing it not only helped precipitate the Great Recession, but also allowed reckless casino capitalists on Wall Street to gamble with our money at no risk to themselves. If they gambled and won, they got to keep the profits. But when they gambled and lost, they knew the taxpayers were there to bail them out. This system of privatizing profits but socializing risk cost Main Street billions. If we don't want to see what happened before happen again, we need to reinstate Glass-Steagall. And in the Senate, I'll be proud to stand with Elizabeth Warren and other consumer advocates in fighting to make that happen."