“People often talk about the electorate moving left,” said Clinton senior policy adviser Jake Sullivan. “I think it’s more that the electorate is just getting more practical. For Hillary Clinton, that matches her evidence-based approach. The arguments that persuade her are evidence-based and progressive.”
He cited the growing consensus that mass incarceration is expensive and unworkable, and that the country is never going to deport all of the more than 11 million people who are here illegally.…
Sullivan also noted that some of Clinton’s early proposals “cut against the grain” of political liberalism, such as her emphasis on improving the playing field for American small businesses.
Clinton will debut policy proposals to ease lending bottlenecks for small businesses on campaign trips to Iowa and New Hampshire this week. The impetus came largely from conversations Clinton had in the run-up to the campaign and a six-month policy review led by Sullivan that looked at how Clinton might address a variety of national concerns.
“The thing she is most interested in is not what position is most popular, it’s what do people worry about,” Sullivan said.
— Clinton is banking on the Obama coalition to win, Anne Gearan, The Washington Post, today
Hmmm. Okay, Dems. We need to realize that we’re in trouble. No, we’re not gonna lose the general elgection. But our likely standard bearer thinks she’s boldly challenging her party’s base, Sister-Soulja-style, by emphasizing improving the playing field for American small businesses. As against, say, Walmart. And JPMorgan Chase’s investment banking clients.
I mean … like … Wow.
So Clinton, or at least her senior policy adviser, has never heard of the Durbin Amendment. Or else thinks that Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin is a Republican. Or maybe a centrist Democrat rather than a very liberal one. And that Clinton, who her campaign chairman, John Podesta, elsewhere in the article assures that “[s]he’s a proud wonk, and she looks at policy from that perspective,” thinks liberals were up in arms back in early 2010 at the idea that the federal government would interject itself into the by-then-long-running controversy between the credit card/ATM card companies and small retailers (including franchisees such as gas station owners) about the usurious charges that Visa and Mastercard were charging businesses for processing even very small purchases by their customers.
Apparently neither one of them had causal conversations with the three or four small business owners in the Ann Arbor, Mich. area that I happened to chat about it with back in, oh, 2009, 2009, 2010. Including one I remember, the owner of an independent dollar store, who said that while Walmart could afford the charge for processing small credit/ATM card purchases, those charges cut significant into his profit. And I guess neither one of them—Clinton nor her senior policy adviser—ever drove, back then, say, north on Pontiac Rd. from Ann Arbor and noticed the family-owned gas stations with signs highlighting the $.10-per-gallon, and then occasionally the $.20-per-gallon, discount for paying in cash. That’s too bad. But then, although it’s now lost in memory, Michigan had no Democratic primary in 2008 that year, because of a controversy concerning the state Dem Party’s decision to try to move its primary ahead of New Hampshire’s. (Something like that; I can’t remember the details.) So Clinton didn’t campaign in the state, and her current senior policy adviser, who had a high position in her 2008 campaign, would not have visited the state either.
Nor, obviously, are Clinton and her senior policy adviser aware of Paul Krugman’s columns and blog posts explaining the tremendous edge that the mega-banks, which no longer deign to actually make business loans to small businesses because, well, they’re doing just fine with their hedge fund and investment banking operations (I mean, well, usually they are), have over regional or local banks that do so deign. And since they’re getting their take on liberals from Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, they also apparently don’t know that Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, and Jeff Merkley have used their positions on the Senate Banking Committee to try to enact legislation to break up the mega-banks by prohibiting banks that have standard so-called retail banking operations from engaging also in hedge fund and investment banking functions. Which Clinton, wonk that she is, would understand would itself make it easier for the banks that would be operating as, y’know, banks to make loans, on decent terms, to small businesses.
Maybe Clinton and her senior policy adviser think Krugman and those three senators and, say, Durbin and Bernie Sanders, are Tea Party members. Or centrists. Or maybe they know of other liberals who are demanding justice for JPMorgan Chase and Citibank.
Or maybe they should get out more among, say, real live liberals.
For that matter, they also should get out more among moderates. Most of whom, probably, think this country’s three-decades-long mass-incarceration policies raise profound concerns beyond the exorbitant direct expenditures, many of whom, probably, would question Clinton’s basic judgment if they knew that she thinks state governments should just drive a harder bargain with Marco Rubio’s tacit business partner, GEO, and its main competitor, Corrections Corporation of America—both of which, it turns out, have contracts with state and county governments in which the governments promise to keep the prisons or jails at or near capacity, or pay the corporations for the empty beds. I mean, cots.
Both Clinton and her senior policy adviser hold law degrees from Yale. So, who knows? It might even occur to one or the other to suggest that such contracts constitute wholesale violations of Fourteenth Amendment due process guarantees. And state constitutions’ separation-of-powers structure. Perhaps Samuel Alito, who is deeply concerned about the constitutionality of public-employee unions’ very existence because of unions’ power to determine such things as the size of state government, can assist with legal theory. Maybe they could ask him for suggestions.
I mean, they’re wonks, right? How else would they know that mass incarceration is expensive?
And if Clinton doesn’t inform the public of that fact, they won’t know that fact. luckily, she plans to tell the public, and support this assertion with detailed information about the math formula she used to discern that fact. And really, it is a fact. Mass incarceration is very expensive. And that money could be used for … other things. Good thing she’s a practical wonk.
But back to the nitty-gritty of using us liberals as foils to assure moderates that she’s not really so liberal even now, what with her cutting against the liberal grain of proposing to end bottlenecks to small-business loans, and all. I will oblige her, and have my brick ready to throw through the window of a neighborhood Thai restaurant nearby that plans to expand after it gets a new loan.