Bernie Sanders: a left wing, twenty-first century Ronald Reagan?


#1

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#2

… Obama cannot really be considered the Democrat’s Reagan. He has been much less transformative than supporters once expected him to be, and he has not fundamentally altered America’s trajectory, as Reagan undoubtedly did.

Economic fairness is something Reagan promised that supply side policies — socialism for the wealthy — would deliver. It was a disappointment.

And when Pres. Obama stuck with the program, it was another disappointment.


#3

When I learned where he went to college and who he hung out with I didn’t expect much in the economic policy department. Not that I wasn’t disappointed but unsurprised at him sticking with the status quo for the most part.


#4

Oh, Bernie Sanders will disappoint as a president.

But if we fall short of Sanders’s goals, we’ll still be on the right path. If we SUCCEED at Hilary’s or (shudder) Trump’s or whatever, we’ll be lost and stumbling.

This is a democracy, I’m not overly hype about a revolution, but moving the needle is important. Everyone’s human, Bernie can’t rule congress with an iron fist, and compromise is kind of inevitable. But at least we’ll be talking about it. We gotta push those conceptual boundaries.


#5

This is why I’m tired of the pragmatist arguments. We’ve tried pragmatism. The Tea Partiers and obstructionists in Congress don’t want to compromise unless it’s just the left compromising and giving the right what it wants. It’s impossible not to have a disappointing president because at least 50 percent of any campaign promises or stated goals will go unfulfilled, and that might be optimistic. But I trust Bernie’s idealism to make the right policy decisions with the power that he will have rather than Clinton’s pragmatism for compromising half-decent goals with terrible right wing wishlists.


#6

Looking forward to his “It’s lunchtime again on America” ad.


#7

It’s been something of a truism that Republicans since Regan have been idealistic, and Democrats since FDR have been pragmatic.

This is why the Republicans have been dominating the national conversation and moving the dialogue - Democrats are willing to go along with them.

It’s time we stop letting them hog the stage, I think. Obama is evidence that it can work - there were a LOT of ideology votes in support of him (which is why he’s been a bit of a disappointment).


#8

I would suggest “dogmatic” rather than idealistic. They may in theory have ideals like small government, individual freedom and low taxes, but in practice they are extremely stubborn in support of government pork, opposition to any individual freedom outside conservative normative behavior, and a system of economics that taxes the middle classes (in largely concealed ways) to enrich a small minority.


#9

TeaBaggers/GOP have tried trickle down economics with starve the beast theory since Ronald Reagan. Simply translates to trickle piss’ola into the Americans faces!

Those policies fail[ed] miserably.

I can not find a kind word for Ronald Reagan, ever.


#10

I can think of plenty of good words for Reagan.


#11

I too can, but not kind words.


#12

You too can? I toucan too!


#13

Of course, Reagan was considered handsome, had a good speaking voice, and excellent narrative skills. I’ve long thought that was the real reason he was elected. But then again, I’m a bit of a cynic.


#14

I can … kind of … although I seriously doubt he would have considered them kind words: Reagan was far too liberal for today’s Republican party.


#15

I think there’s an important difference between Reagan & Sanders – I seem to recall Reagan had the support of most establishment Republicans, but Sanders has the Democratic establishment fuming. Nowadays, it’s seems both R&D establishments want to move their parties to the right. Bernie is a bit of a loner wanting to move things to the left.

I really can’t think of any kind words for Reagan. I think his presidency and legacy have damaged this country immensely. I’m still hoping we can repair it, but I’m not betting on it any time soon, even if Bernie wins. I have a conservative friend who says “oh, the pendulum will swing back.” But that’s the wrong analogy, IMO. It’s been more of a ratchet, that keeps getting caught at more and more extreme (right-wing) positions. Big money is the pawl that keeps the ratchet going back.


#16

If Woody Harrelson or Sean Penn were running for President, then, yes, we’d have our left-wing 21st century Ronald Reagan. I’m just going to let that sentence marinate in the sun for a while.


#17

I’d say the comparison is a little strained as Bernie is unlikely to secretly arm Iran and incite terrorism in central America. But that’s just me.


#18

Wait for Trump and Cruz to allege that he plans exactly that. Netanyahu seems to have an awful lot of strings up an awful lot of bottoms in Washington.


#19

I give Reagan credit for one thing: when he said "“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help” he was, speaking as a representative of the government, exactly right. We would have been a lot better off without his help.

I distinctly remember as an adolescent responding to his quip with, “Since he’s the president isn’t he part of the government?” and I was told to keep my trap shut if I didn’t want to get hit again. It wasn’t the first time I learned that adults don’t like being made to look foolish but I’ll give him credit for the lesson anyway.


#20

I think part of the irony of the “small government” push post-Regan is that it was totally fueled by hippies and anarchists who learned to mistrust the big government that did things like go to war in Vietnam.

I can only hope that most of America has learned that it’s not the size of your government that matters, it’s what you do with it.