Remove Jill Stein and Gary Johnson and Hillary Clinton looks stronger. Labor lawyer Thomas Geoghegan gives three reasons why we leftists should vote for Hillary. I was happy to see Geoghegan concentrate on the hundreds of low level appointees to regulatory agencies that a Clinton administration would augur, for I’ve made that point ad nauseam for months:
And while there’s been enough banging on about that one vacancy in the Supreme Court, think about the lower courts, especially the trial courts. Think of the wage theft or Title VII cases that will be settled—and will keep, say, a pregnant plaintiff out of a homeless shelter. Here’s just a passing news item to tell you what these lower courts do: The other day, three federal appellate judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit struck down a North Carolina voting law that with “almost surgical precision,” to quote the opinion, was intended to keep black Americans from voting. Who were the judges? Three appointed by either Bill Clinton or Barack Obama. If you don’t stop restrictive voting laws, how is a Sanders movement ever going to come back?
When the center-left really is in power, and I mean full power, with true and not just nominal control of Congress, it usually is the heyday of the party’s real left. Look at the two great periods when the Democrats were in control: 1935-37, and 1965-66. Social Security, the Wagner Act, in the first, and Medicare, the Voting Rights Act, and the Immigration and Nationality Act in the second, transformed this country. FDR exasperated the Left of his day, and even compared to Hillary Clinton, Lyndon Johnson was no progressive. Yet the lasting legacy of the real Left came in these two fleeting periods when a largely center-left Democratic party had—for once—unchecked control. Why give up any chance to have that happen again? As it is, we’re still living with the legacy of Nixon and our shrugging and letting him in the belief that we could always come back. In many ways, the Left in this country never really came back. Nixon led to Ford who led to Carter who led to Reagan, and to the medieval-like inequality in this country today.
I know fellow leftists have posted these storied admissions as if it were a gotcha moment, but FDR and LBJ were center-left candidates governing from a moment when the electorate wanted center-left to left positions. The difference, of course, is Congress, which will remain in GOP hands (I’m increasingly despondent about the Senate). I also quibble with the conclusion drawn about the 2000 election that “most of the country voted with Gore or Nader. A majority of the country voted for Al Gore; a minority voted for George W. Bush; Ralph Nader was statistically a minority candidate who unlike Ross Perot drew votes from a pathetic Democratic nominee paradoxically too craven to separate himself from a popular Democratic president’s worst economic policy and too enthusiastic about casting the popular Democratic president into a sanctimonious oblivion — in other words, Al Gore was no politician.
But Al Gore should’ve been president anyway.