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Response to cali (Original post)

Mon May 9, 2016, 08:57 AM

31. Hillary Clinton Is A Progressive Democrat, Despite What You May Have Heard

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If Sanders is the standard by which you’re going to decide whether a politician is a progressive, then almost nobody from the Democratic Party would qualify. Take Sanders out of the equation, and suddenly Clinton looks an awful lot like a mainstream progressive — firmly on the left side of the American ideological spectrum and maybe on the left side of the Democratic Party’s, as well.


Note that this partial list leaves out whole categories of policies — like immigration, gun violence, and abortion rights — where Clinton also has staked out strongly progressive positions. In some cases, her positions are arguably more progressive than the ones Sanders has taken. (The list also does not include foreign policy, where Clinton’s interventionist instincts put her at odds with many progressives — but where, as Max Fisher of Vox has noted, Clinton’s enthusiasm for diplomacy sets her apart from conservatives.)


But Clinton’s responsibility for her husband’s agenda isn’t always self-evident, because, as first lady, she had less ability to dissent than other advisers. A better indicator of her instincts is probably her subsequent record as a senator from New York. According to those same DW-NOMINATE ratings, Clinton was the chamber’s 11th most-liberal member during her tenure. It’s a crude statistic, but it suggests strongly that she was not just progressive relative to the Senate. It suggests that she was also progressive relative to members of her own party.

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