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Katrina vanden Heuvel implies that for all of Bernie Sanders' positive points, he's not so great on foreign policy, and says that the left needs someone to be a leader on that front. I agree with Heuvel. I did think that Bernie improved on foreign policy during the primary by going back to his 1980s roots when he really was good/outspoken on foreign policy, but unfortunately he's mostly gone silent on that front again and even (vaguely) endorsed regime change in Syria.

Not directly addressing Heuvel, Yves Smith makes the counterpoint, saying that the best way to challenge the US foreign policy consensus is to kind of sneak into office by running on more popular domestic issues (that's my uncharitable interpretation of the piece but Smith actually makes a fairly convincing case so read it for yourself).

On the other end of the spectrum, Bruce A. Dixon dismisses Bernie as a "pro-war Democrat" and basically is not looking to any portion of the Dems, even the Bernie faction, for leadership (Dixon's piece is not directly relevant; it's about Cornel West's call for Bernie to lead a new People's Party, which i disagree with on tactical grounds, not because of Dixon's objection to Bernie).

I mostly agree with Heuvel on this. I take Smith's point: if Bernie had won it would have meant a huge improvement for our foreign policy despite (taking Dixon's point) that he isn't as strong on those issues as we'd like him to be. But just seeing the way Bernie changed the conversation on economic issues, it's clear that it would be very valuable for someone to do the same on foreign policy. And just from the little that we did see from Bernie, and even from some of the (confused, contradictory) things that Trump campaigned on (and immediately backtracked on after the election), there does seem to be a "market" for it.

By fnord12 | April 27, 2017, 9:21 AM | Liberal Outrage