Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Progressive Breakfast: How the Democratic Party Establishment Suffocates Progressive Change

MORNING MESSAGE

The Democratic Party establishment has recently found itself discomforted by Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign to return the party to its modern roots of New Deal social democracy. The establishment’s response has included a complex coupling of elite media and elite economics opinion aimed at promoting an image of Sanders as an unelectable extremist with unrealistic economic policies ... Every progressive knows about the opposition and tactics of the Republican Party. Less understood are the opposition and tactics of the Democratic Party establishment. Speaking metaphorically, that establishment is a far lesser evil, but it may also be a far greater obstacle to progressive change.

CONTESTS IN AZ, UT, and ID Today

Clinton and Sanders jockey for position on immigration in Arizona. NYT: “Hillary Clinton sharply denounced Sheriff Joe Arpaio, saying the Maricopa County sheriff, who became the face of hard-line anti-immigration policies because of his tactics here, had treated his fellow human beings with disrespect and contempt.’ … As Mrs. Clinton spoke here, the Sanders campaign blasted out an editorial in The Arizona Republic blaming Bill Clinton’s signing of the 1996 Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act for the current deportations.”
Trade remains in forefront of Democratic primary contests. The Hill:Global trade is looming large as Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders needs wins in a slew of union-heavy states with upcoming primaries: Washington, Hawaii, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Oregon, New Jersey and California.”
Krugman defends Clinton’s trade record: “I very much doubt that many Ohioans knew about Clinton’s anti-CAFTA vote, or even what CAFTA was. But I did. In fact, CAFTA was an important part of my education on modern ‘trade’ agreements, helping to make me a lukewarm opponent of TPP … her record in the Senate was in general one of caution about and selective opposition to to trade deals.”
Blacks perceive economy better than whites in CBS/NYT poll. NYT: “[An] explanation for Mr. Sanders’s divergent performance is that while African-Americans and white working-class Democrats are experiencing broadly similar economic trends, they interpret them differently….African-Americans rated the economy as good by a ratio of about four to one, versus about two to one for white Democrats and an even narrower margin for white Democrats without a college degree … there is anecdotal evidence suggesting that African-Americans and Hispanic voters are more likely to use the economy’s recent low point, in 2008 and 2009, as the base line for their judgment than are whites…”

TRUMP EMBARRASSES REPUBLICANS

“Most Republicans Feel Embarrassed by Campaign” finds CBS/NYT poll: “…broad majorities of Republican primary voters view their party as divided and a source of embarrassment … Forty-six percent of primary voters [still] said they would like to see Mr. Trump as the party’s nominee, more than at any point since he declared his candidacy in June … Mr. Sanders performs slightly better than Mrs. Clinton in hypothetical general-election matchups against Mr. Trump: The senator beats the real estate developer by 15 percentage points, while Mrs. Clinton prevails by 10 points.”
W. Post editorial board slams Donald Trump after meeting with him: “…his answers left little doubt how radical a risk the nation would be taking in entrusting the White House to him. There was … a breezy willingness to ignore facts and evidence … no one can match the chasm between his expansive goals and the absence of proposals to achieve them …”
Trump could turn Arizona blue. Time: “Though the Sun Belt state has gone for Republican presidential candidates by wide margins since 2000, advisers from both parties see putting the real estate mogul at the top of the ticket as throwing that into limbo, thanks to a growing Hispanic population and a large bloc of moderate women.”

CANDIDATES STUMP AT AIPAC CONFERENCE

Most candidates woo AIPAC. NYT: “Mrs. Clinton promised she would stand unwaveringly with Israel while accusing her potential Republican rival, Mr. Trump, of being an unreliable partner for one of America’s closest allies … [Trump] declined to answer Mrs. Clinton’s criticisms, offering a standard appeal to a pro-Israel audience … Trump … focused heavily on Iran, promising to dismantle the nuclear deal negotiated by Mr. Obama … Mrs. Clinton reaffirmed her support for Mr. Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, but she repeated her warning that she would use military force, if necessary, to punish Iran for violating the terms of the agreement.”
Sanders expounds on Israel-Palestine policy while campaigning in Utah. W. Post: “Bernie Sanders pledged Monday that if elected president he would be ‘a friend not only to Israel but to the Palestinian people’ … ‘Peace has to mean security for every Israeli from violence and terrorism,’ Sanders said during a speech here. ‘But peace also means security for every Palestinian.'”

GARLAND PUSH CONTINUES THROUGH SENATE RECESS

Senators keep spotlight on Merrick Garland during recess. NYT: “On Tuesday, Judge Merrick B. Garland will meet with Senator Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, and Senator Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat … On Wednesday, Judge Garland will meet with Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat. When the Senate returns, he will meet with Senator Susan Collins of Maine, a Republican.”
The American Prospect reviews Merrick Garland’s labor record: “During his D.C circuit judgeship Garland wrote 22 majority opinions involving appeals of NLRB decisions. In all but four he fully upheld the agency’s finding of an employer’s unfair labor practices … [But that] is more likely a signal of his ‘strong views favoring deference to agency decisionmakers,’ as SCOTUSBlog’s Tom Goldstein puts it…”

BREAKFAST SIDES

Obama “set a trap” for Raul Castro, says Politico: “President Barack Obama jokes that he likes news conferences … That tends to be less the case at the White House than abroad, when Obama’s trying to make a point about a repressive regime … he did it to Raúl Castro, right in the Revolutionary Palace, letting him be pressed with questions for the first time — ever … He had to answer for the political prisoners whom the government rounds up almost daily — yet denies even exist. Cubans watching on state television, which broadcast the whole thing live and in full, had never seen anything like this.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi accuses GOP of increasing deficits in NYT oped: “THE long-endangered Republican Deficit Hawk is now extinct. In December, the Republican Congress passed into law a huge permanent package of tax measures [but] refused to pay for the legislation, thereby adding a thunderous $2 trillion to the deficit over the next two decades … As House Republicans prepare to leave for two weeks of recess without passing a budget for next year, the cost of this tax package is casting a long shadow over America’s future, threatening to crowd out essential investments for hard-working American families.”

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