Last night, as the Iowa caucuses were winding down, my monthly Utne Salon discussion group was discussing the merits of Bernie vs. Hillary. There was animated discussion on both sides.
I was happy to see that a couple of the women in our group were passionate in their defense of Hillary. She needs passionate defenders. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: Hillary Clinton is the candidate of the liberal corporatocracy. We know that in part because she got $600,000 in a single year for the speeches that she made to Goldman Sachs.
When Chuck Todd asked her in a subsequent interview why a big bank paid her $200,000 for a single speech, Hillary really had no answer. When Todd asked her whether she thought that Goldman Sachs wouldn’t want anything in return, she said “absolutely not.”
This, my friends, is why people don’t trust Hillary Clinton. It’s this and things like this. I made the point back in October that Hillary Clinton has been living in a bubble for a long time, just like Britney Spears. And I like Hillary. If she is the nominee next November, I will certainly vote for her over whatever clown the Republicans put up to oppose her. But this is a problem.
Of course Lloyd Blankfein expects something from Hillary if she were to become President (and even if she doesn’t). He expects her to take his call. This doesn’t mean that Hillary will do his bidding, but it does mean that whatever the issue is, he will have an opportunity to make his case. He, and all the other New York bankers who have contributed to her campaign.
That’s how politics works.
On the other hand, it’s also true that if you’re liberal and you think Hillary Clinton is corrupt and untrustworthy, you’re rewarding 25 years of smears by the Republican Party. This is the point that Chez Pazienza makes quite passionately and with great clarity in the Daily Banter. The point is well taken. Hillary Clinton is the most competent, well-qualified non-incumbent that we’ve ever had running for President. I’ve said that repeatedly as well.
And what of Bernie Sanders? I’d love to say that I live in a world where Bernie Sanders could be President of the United States. Unfortunately, I don’t live in that world. Oh sure, Bernie also won in Iowa last night and he’s almost certainly going to win in New Hampshire. He’ll also win in Vermont and maybe Massachusetts, and maybe a few other New England states and someplace like Oregon. He’s not winning the Democratic nomination, however. You can take that to the bank.
Bernie is what I would call a “message” candidate. He is demonstrating the magnitude of the disaffection that we on the left have with the rigged economic system. I hope this is a message that Hillary Clinton is really hearing, because she is really going to need all of our support when she runs against whatever clown the Republicans do end up throwing out there.
 Goldman Sachs is the investment bank currently chaired by Lloyd Blankfein. The bank was deeply involved in the mortgage crisis of 2007-2008, and is listed in Wikipedia for being part of seventeen separate controversies as of January 2016.
 Bernie Sanders has rightly pointed out that two Goldman Sachs executives – Robert Rubin and Henry Paulson – subsequently became United States Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. In addition, former Goldman Sachs executive Mario Draghi became President of the European Central Bank; Mark Carney became the Governor of the Bank of Canada from 2008–13 and Governor of the Bank of England from July 2013; and Malcolm Turnbull, even became Prime Minister of Australia.
 Donald Trump’s supporters also object to the rigged economic system, except from the right. The irony that they’re rewarding a spoon-fed billionaire in objecting to the rigged economic system seems to escape them entirely. Apparently they think that he’s a deal maker and that he will “deal them in.” Fat chance, that!