Bernie Sanders is in the Senate as an Independent, and he has identified himself as a socialist. (In the American context, that just translates into super-liberal.) He doesn’t stand much of a chance of getting elected, but the fact that he’s in a position to take votes away from Hillary Clinton means that he can force her to do more to cover her left flank.
Of course, running for president as a Democrat carries a bit of a conundrum: In the primary, she’s going to be on the defensive for being too conservative, and then, in the general election against one of the Republicans, she’s going to be on the defensive for…that’s right, you guessed it.
Esteemed Associates: During the week of May 4, we’ll be discussing domestic policy, including social welfare and health care. We’ll be emphasizing the connection between what we’ve already discussed surrounding the topics of federalism and political parties. This new article at Politico fits in with all that: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/04/obamacare-republicans-work-requirements-117486.html?hp=t3_r. In the article, note the reference to the proposal to convert the expansion of Medicaid into a block grant. In its present state, it’s a categorical grant. You should look back at the chapter on Federalism to review the difference. Be clear, also, that the people affected aren’t the poorest–they’re already eligible for Medicaid–but rather, those a notch up from the poorest, but below the level of those who can afford to pay premiums. This fits in with the fact that, in just about every assistance program, there are always those who “fall through the cracks” by being poor enough to need it but not poor enough to quality for it.
Poor Barack Obama. As if it weren’t enough that conservatives across the country think he’s a socialist, an Al Qaeda terrorist, born in Kenya and also born in Indonesia and a few other places as well… As if that weren’t enough, there’s been a joke among liberal Democrats for several years now, that goes like this: “Are there any moderate Republicans left today?” “Yes, there’s Barack Obama.” Indeed, talk to any real-live socialist about the idea of Obama being a socialist, and be prepared for gales of laughter to spew forth.
Anyway, on international trade, Obama is as we speak pursuing a course that has more Republican than Democratic support, a course which, as I remarked in class, represents precisely the sort of mercantilism that presidents can be predicted to go along with no matter what party they belong to, but which is also predictably going to cause this particular president’s liberal base to feel betrayed. (It’s also not going to stop the obsessive Obama-haters on the right from doing their thing.)
Here’s a piece on the Obama-Warren feud, which makes the observation that he’s being more harsh in his responses to the liberal wing of his own party than he usually is to the Republicans: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/25/elizabeth-warren-tells-ob_n_7142850.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592.
P.S. The Senate finally confirmed Loretta Lynch as attorney general. Eric Holder finally gets to go home.
Republicans in the Senate are holding up the confirmation vote on Loretta Lynch for attorney general, for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with whether Loretta Lynch should be confirmed as attorney general. And, at the same time, there’s a bill in Congress that has lots of Republicans on the same side as Obama with lots of Democrats against them, and yet another bill that has a number of Democrats on the same side as the Republicans against the President. Those stories, respectively:
This New York Times page has the complete roster of who’s in, who’s probably in, and who’s not: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/us/politics/2016-presidential-candidates.html
There are always good articles on the subject at http://www.politico.com, so do keep checking there.
I’ve also posted a question on the Discussion Board: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/groups/american-government-alexander-section-spring-2015/forum/ What do you think?