While Hillary Clinton is using Bernie Sanders' words to imply that Sanders is not just critical of some of Obama's positions, but that his critiques amount to the same kind of attacks being launched by the Republicans. This is absurd, of course -- there is a difference both in tone and substance here that is important for Democratic voters to understand, and Clinton's elision of those differences is disingenuous -- though Sanders' response, that he has been a supporter of the president, is only partially true.
I started tweeting about this earlier today, tied to an article in The Washington Post that does a fairly good job looking at Sanders' tenuous connection to the president.
These tweets, I think, when taken together can serve as an essay outlining my thoughts. I do add some connective tissue between the tweets for clarification and expansion.
#BernieSanders has criticized #Obama from left -- & what's wrong w/that? #HillaryClinton #democraticprimary https://t.co/MnlpTJz0D1— Hank Kalet (@newspoet41) February 13, 2016
Assuming Dems can't criticize #Obama implies he's above criticism. No 1's above criticism. #BernieSanders #HillaryClinton #democraticprimary— Hank Kalet (@newspoet41) February 13, 2016
#BernieSanders & #HillaryClinton want it both ways on #Obama: they need BHO supporters, but differ from BHO in fundamental ways.— Hank Kalet (@newspoet41) February 13, 2016
Sanders' is very much a realist on foreign policy, more dovish than Obama, and far more dovish than Clinton, but as this piece notes, he is not your average peacenik:#BernieSanders is 2 left of #Obama on labor, Wall Street & campaign finance. Closer on foreign policy. #democratic primary— Hank Kalet (@newspoet41) February 13, 2016
A President Sanders would govern more like a President Dwight Eisenhower, who refused to give in to the demands of the military-industrial complex even after the Russians launched Sputnik, and focused on nation-building at home rather than spending billions on unnecessary weapons systems. Or like Nixon, who cut defense spending dramatically and developed a health care plan more inclusive than Obamacare. Or like Obama, who not only reached out to Iran, but also has tried to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons, and who restored diplomatic relations with Cuba.Sanders was right, of course, on Iraq and he is right about Henry Kissinger, but his approach is more complicated than simple typecasting would assume.
Clinton was the chief hawk in the Obama administration, according to numerous reports -- and, as such, might be viewed as the "big idea" candidate on foreign policy. On the domestic front, she is -- like Obama -- an incrementalist, and might be viewed as a realist.#HillaryClinton is closer 2 #Obama on econ & financial issues, 2 BHO's right on foreign policy. #democraticprimary— Hank Kalet (@newspoet41) February 13, 2016
Clearly #Obama has been most progressive prez since LBJ (or Nixon), but his record is far from perfect. #democratic primary— Hank Kalet (@newspoet41) February 13, 2016
#Obama cd've been stronger on Wall Street, more supportive of unions & pushed harder against GOP. #democratic primary— Hank Kalet (@newspoet41) February 13, 2016
They need to discuss what was good and worth building upon, what isn't, what they would do in similar fashion and what they would do differently. That's what this primary fight is all about.Both #BernieSanders & #HillaryClinton shd point out #Obama successes & criticize failures. #democraticprimary— Hank Kalet (@newspoet41) February 13, 2016