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Smoking Gun: Let the Voter Beware

The Progressive stands for a set of principles, not any party or player. Our job is to neither praise nor bury politicians, but to hold them accountable. In that spirit, here’s a list of downsides for the major contenders for the Democratic nomination.

Joe Biden: If moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue, the former veep is the Dems’ least virtuous candidate. He backed the Iraq war, worsened mass incarceration, has rejected Medicare for All, and assured wealthy donors that “nothing would fundamentally change” if he’s elected. After Trump, this?

Mike Bloomberg: The former New York City mayor got where he is the old-fashioned way—by being loaded. His estimated $54 billion net worth is now being churned into endless campaign ads. And no one accepts his “apology” for years of stopping and frisking people of color.

Pete Buttigieg: Credit Mayor Pete with a great achievement: Getting Americans to learn how to pronounce his name (“peet”). But the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has mishandled race relations, protected racist cops, and gentrified poorer neighborhoods, alienating critical minority voters.

Tulsi Gabbard: Hillary Clinton’s attacks on this Hawaii Congresswoman as “the favorite of the Russians” fell flat. But Gabbard has shown anti-Muslim bias, including alarms of “radical Islamic ideology,” and she cast a bewildering vote of “present” for Trump’s impeachment.   

Amy Klobuchar: Let’s leave aside the reports of her explosive temper, berating staff, and hurling binders and phones. She’s a moderate even on issues like climate change and health care, where the need for bold action is greatest, and seems to have little purchase with voters of color.

Bernie Sanders: This Independent from Vermont has a devoted base and clear message. But has anyone noticed how perfectly he’s imitated, from Larry David to Trevor Noah to Stephen Colbert? Elect Bernie and expect a crop of mimics. Also, there will be Bernie Babies.

Tom Steyer: He’s got great ideas and articulates them well. But, as a political newcomer, he might have been right when he told The Progressive last year that he felt he could do the most not by running for President but helping rally the nation around shared values and against Trump.

Elizabeth Warren: As she admits, the Massachusetts Senator was wrong to wave DNA results to prove she’s part Indian. But worse is her defense of capitalism as a “force for good” despite, you know, everything. Diehard capitalists are never going to vote for her anyway, so she might as well cut her ties.

Andrew Yang: Who wouldn’t like $1,000 a month just for being an American? It’s a bold idea and nowhere near as crazy as the plutocracy we’ve created. But Yang has simply not paid his dues as a public servant and, after Trump, “businessman” is no longer a qualification for office.

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