After Glenn Greewald’s cheeky column arguing that former Secretary Hillary Clinton is unelectable in a general election, her team and fans are doubling down with the argument that he hasn’t yet faced the GOP attack machine. Never mind that the argument lacks any real basis in data. Never mind that Sanders is outperforming Clinton strongly with Independents and even with Republicans. Never mind that the Clinton machine has never won a national election that didn’t include Ross Perot. There’s an even strong argument for Senator Sanders: he can beat Trump on his signature message where Clinton simply cannot.
Trump destroyed Jeb! Bush and is outflanking Cruz and Rubio as they quibble over policy with flamingly xenophobic anti-immigration rhetoric and policy proposals. Mexicans, according to Trump, are rapists and drug thugs and they are stealing poor white people’s jobs. The answer is to build a 300 foot tall wall to be paid for by Mexico (and to stop making bad deals like NAFTA).
Clinton doesn’t have a coherent answer to this racist rubbish; Sanders does.
Sanders has a clearly stated, consistent, moral, policy rich, winnable message on immigration, jobs, and the corporate welfare shot through NAFTA and NAFTA on Steroids (a.k.a. the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP):
- Give millions of migrant workers a reasonable path to citizenship.
- Pay migrant workers and everyone else a $15 minimum wage to re-create a roaring middle class.
- No to NAFTA. No to TPP. No to trade deals that ship jobs out of the US, depress wages for jobs that stay here, and are pork-barreled full of the grossest corporate welfare imaginable.
The contrast with Trump, even where there is some overlap on bad trade deals, is stark: let’s create a fair and robust economy for all instead of demonizing millions of people of color.
Clinton’s answer? A $12 minimum wage. Maybe. A spotty immigration and deportation record in office. An immigration policy plan without a clear, winnable message. Worst of all, her reputation as dishonest is most well-earned when it comes to NAFTA and NAFTA on Steroids. Every time she is in a position of power, she supports NAFTA, TPP, and similar trade agreements. Every time she is on the campaign trail, she feigns opposition to the same.
Look, there is a real disagreement within the Democratic party on protectionism, free trade, and fair trade. Clinton’s work in office clearly commits her to the dominant position over the last two decades. If she’s for it, she should make the case for it robustly to the Democratic base whose votes she covets.