Hillary Clinton is getting nervous – particularly after her extremely narrow win over rival Bernie Sanders in Iowa which came down to a few coin tosses. As Sanders’ popularity continues to grow, Clinton is increasingly parroting Sanders’ populist platforms – including speaking out against Wall Street. However, her credibility is a bit strained; while Sanders refuses to accept large donations from Wall Street and the oligarchy, the Clinton campaign gladly accepted more than $44 million over the years. During this election cycle, half of the financial services industry in her campaign war chest comes from only two individuals: billionaire George Soros and hedge fund manager Donald Sussman. Together, their donations account for approximately $9.5 million.
It’s not unusual for the oligarchs to play both ends against the middle. While GOP lawmakers are their natural and reliable allies, corporate Democrats like Hillary Clinton can also be counted on to provide aid and assistance to Wall Street – or at least not to interfere with the oligarchs’ agenda. Bernie Sanders is presenting a bit of a problem for the Wall Street set with his refusal to be bought, however. Recently, the CEO and chairman of Goldman-Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, gave Sanders the most ringing endorsement yet by publicly describing his candidacy as a “dangerous moment,” which it is – to him and his Wall Street buddies.
Seeing the proverbial writing on the wall, Hillary Clinton has decided to go on the attack against the “2%” as well:
“I believe strongly that we need to make sure that Wall Street never wrecks Main Street again…no bank is too big to fail, and no executive is too powerful to jail.”
Several weeks ago, Clinton published an op-ed piece in the New York Times about how she would “rein in Wall Street.” While her rhetoric sounded promising, her actual proposals were short on actual details – and based on the comments, she has very little credibility with Progressive voters. The fact is that Hillary and her husband have cozy relationships with members of the oligarchy that go way, way back.
While she may appear to be taking a more Progressive stance at the moment, her history and the lack of any meaningful details of just how she would deal with “too big to fail” banks and Wall Street executives, who play the markets as they would gamble in Las Vegas casinos, suggest that it’s mostly talk. Like so many politicians since the first Democratic form of government appeared in Athens some 2500 years ago, Hillary Clinton will say almost anything to get votes.
Hillary may be learning a few things from Bernie, but what she lacks is consistency and authenticity. Americans have had enough of bought-and-paid-for politicians and their empty promises. It’s possible that Hillary Clinton has had a genuine “come to Jesus moment” and is sincere about her proposals for Wall Street reform. But it’s too little, too late. It’s something she should have thought about years ago – and in fact, she did. Once upon a time, as an idealistic, starry-eyed young attorney fresh out of law school, Hillary Clinton had Progressive dreams about making America a better, more equitable and just society.
Then, she entered politics. Over the years, she has compromised again and again, until she went from being a firebrand Progressive to Republican Lite. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, has never compromised his ideals, even when he’s had to negotiate and give a little in order to wring some benefit for the people out of the process. That’s the lesson Hillary Clinton should have learned from her once-Senate colleague and current political rival over the years. There’s an old proverb that says, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
Clinton needs to take a definite stand. It will be difficult at this point, considering her past associations as well as her campaign’s current dependency on the very same individuals who more and more Americans see as the enemy.
But stranger things have happened.