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Five Reasons No Progressive Should Support Hillary Clinton

 
 
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2015 10:16 am
Five Reasons No Progressive Should Support Hillary Clinton
Friday, 13 February 2015 11:28 By Joseph Mulkerin, Truthout | Op-Ed

I would vote for Bill Clinton, again.

Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks about “The Power of Women’s Economic Participation” as part of the re-launch of the International Council on Women’s Business Leadership at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security at Georgetown University in Washington, Oct. 30, 2014. Clinton founded the council, which examines issues in international business and economic policy that effect women, in 2011. (Jabin Botsford/The New York Times) Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks about “The Power of Women’s Economic Participation” as part of the re-launch of the International Council on Women’s Business Leadership at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security at Georgetown University in Washington, Oct. 30, 2014. Clinton founded the council, which examines issues in international business and economic policy that effect women, in 2011. (Jabin Botsford/The New York Times) Ever since the 2012 election results were certified, the conventional wisdom has been that Hillary Clinton is all but guaranteed a coronation in the 2016 primaries. She has racked up a series of endorsements from prominent Democrats. As early as July 2013, an MSNBC article referred to her as the "presumptive nominee," a term generally reserved for the Democratic candidate who has clinched the majority of party delegates. Although her support has slipped slightly in the past month, she still holds a commanding, and arguably prohibitive, lead in polling of Democratic primary candidates, with 88 percent of self-described "solid liberals" pledging support for her. It is possible that this high degree of support may result more from the perception that she is inevitable rather than from widespread substantive agreement with many of her policies, because upon close examination, there is a litany of positions she's taken that many on the left would find highly problematic.

1. Foreign Policy

As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton was reportedly one of the most hawkish members of President Obama's cabinet, pushing for the 2009 troop surge in Afghanistan and US intervention in Libya. She has also been a vocal proponent of the same drone war that has led to the deaths of 2,400 civilians. In her recent memoir, Hard Choices, she bragged about having presided over the imposition of "crippling sanctions" on the Iranian economy during her tenure as secretary of state. These crippling sanctions are a form of collective punishment and have benefited the wealthy only, while making life miserable for everyone else. In an interview with Atlantic columnist Jeffrey Goldberg in August 2014, she further outlined her views on Iran, staking out a maximalist position on Iranian nuclear enrichment, which effectively opens the door to military intervention. She also suggested that the United States should have done more to intervene in Syria, by, in her words, creating a "credible fighting force," while the lack of said force led to the rise of ISIS. In addition, she vociferously defended Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's handling of the assault on Gaza. Not surprisingly, her bellicose rhetoric has received praise from neocon luminary Robert Kagan. Senator Clinton's vote in favor of the Iraq war, a vote for which it took her more than a decade to express regret, was clearly not a temporary lapse in judgment.

2. Economy

Her recent foray into vague populist rhetoric notwithstanding, Clinton has long nurtured close ties to the financial sector. Over the course of her political career, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup have been among her top political donors, in addition to giving heavily to the Clinton Foundation. In October 2013, Clinton received $400,000 to speak at two Goldman Sachs events and delivered what was described as a "reassuring message" to the assembled bankers. In all likelihood, a second Clinton administration would involve the appointment of industry insiders to regulatory posts in the perpetually revolving door between Wall Street and the federal government. It's understandable then that her friends on Wall Street would be quick to shrug off her halfhearted attempt to shore up her left flank as anything but substantive. Nobody who was genuinely concerned with economic inequity would be hobnobbing with some of the same economic institutions whose reckless financial schemes helped engineer the 2008 economic collapse.

Hillary Clinton has a long history of being willing to serve the interests of large corporations. In 1976, while serving as legal counsel for the Rose Law Firm, she represented several Arkansas utilities companies that sued the state after a ballot initiative (sponsored by conservative boogeyman Acorn) passed that decreased utilities rates on Little Rock residents and increased them on businesses. In defending the utilities conglomerates, she argued that the initiative amounted to an unconstitutional seizure of property. The judge ruled in these companies' favor.

3. Environment

As Grist magazine reported, during her tenure as secretary of state, Clinton took an active role in promoting hydrofracking worldwide through the Global Shale Gas Initiative. Clinton's State Department, and in some cases she personally, lobbied on behalf of companies like Chevron intent on expanding the practice, particularly in countries like Bulgaria and Romania where there was widespread public skepticism. This lobbying was met with mixed success, as Chevron eventually pulled out of Bulgaria due to a moratorium, while Romania's moratorium was repealed following US lobbying. Since stepping down as secretary of state, Clinton has continued to express support for the practice, which she outlined in a September 2014 speech to the National Clean Energy Summit. She has also remained disturbingly silent on the issue of the Keystone XL pipeline.

4. Civil Liberties

If you have been outraged by the Obama administration's abysmal record on civil liberties - from its continuation of NSA spying, rampant secrecy and overzealous prosecution of whistleblowers - and would like to see a change in the post 9/11 status quo, then Hillary Clinton is the last candidate you should expect change from. In the Senate, she voted for the Patriot Act as well as its subsequent reauthorization. In an appearance in April 2014 at the University of Connecticut, she defended NSA surveillance and chastised whistleblower Edward Snowden, accusing him of supporting terrorism.

5. Culture Wars

Clinton has a long history of cynical pandering on hot button social and culture war issues. As a senator, she frequently co-sponsored legislation that would make many on the left cringe. In 2005, she joined a bipartisan group of senators in signing onto the Workplace Religious Freedom Act, which, according to the ACLU, would effectively have legalized discrimination. Later that same year, she introduced a bill that would have made flag burning a felony.

In addition, she has an extensive history of anti-video game demagoguery, something that wouldn't exactly endear her to younger voters. In July 2005, she called upon the Federal Trade Commission to launch an investigation into Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas over the "hot coffee mod" - a sexually explicit mini-game within GTA. This led to the game's rating being changed to Adults Only until Rockstar Games removed it from shelves. In November 2005, she introduced legislation that would have banned the sale of games rated M for mature to anybody under the age of 17. Two years later, she again introduced similar legislation in the middle of her first presidential bid.

It's also worthwhile to note that many secular Americans would find some of the company she keeps disturbing. Beginning in 1993, Clinton was a member of "The Fellowship," a clandestine and influential evangelical group, which has recruited many prominent figures in business and politics and holds meetings in gender-segregated "cells."

If you agree with these positions, then by all means, Hillary Rodham Clinton is your candidate. If, however, you want a more peaceful foreign policy at a time in which an entire younger generation of Americans have never known anything other than a state of permanent undeclared war, or if you would prefer to see Wall Street and NSA spying reined in, then you should find a better candidate to support. If we don't address these vitally important issues now and Hillary does become the nominee following a no contest primary, then to get a change in the status quo, we will have to wait until 2020, if she loses (in which case we'd face the terrifying possibility of an ultra-reactionary Republican Party in control of the White House and both houses of Congress), or 2024, if she wins. Neither of these options bodes well for the future of the Democratic Party or the country.

If, as progressives, we simply allow ourselves to fall in line behind a Democratic establishment that smugly mocks us, then we will forever be marginalized and beholden to a political system in which the Overton window is permanently slanted to the right.
Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.
Joseph Mulkerin

Joseph Mulkerin is a freelance progressive journalist and activist living in Brooklyn.
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I will, as a Republican vote for Hillary Clinton if no reasonable GOP candidate pops up (and none have, though Huntsman hasn't been mentioned yet).
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Type: Discussion • Score: 23 • Views: 26,749 • Replies: 650

 
ossobuco
 
  3  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2015 10:45 am
I don't want to vote for her; am keeping my eyes open for some other candidate I could possibly stand.
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2015 10:54 am
Hillary Clinton’s Top Corporate Donors Are Among The Most Hated Companies in America
Corporations love to give money to politicians who look out for the interests of corporations. Hillary Clinton, for example, has accepted tons of campaign donations from some of the most hated corporations in Americans over the course of her political career.

Harris Poll, a marketing research firm, has published its annual list of the “most visible” American corporations, ranked by reputation. By sheer coincidence, the bottom half of the list happens to include a number of the same companies found on the list of Hillary Clinton’s top corporate donors over the years.
http://s3.freebeacon.com/up/2015/02/Screen-Shot-2015-02-06-at-11.58.45-AM.png


http://freebeacon.com/blog/hillary-clintons-top-corporate-donors-are-among-the-most-hated-companies-in-america/
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2015 10:56 am
@ossobuco,
I like Elizabeth Warren, a lot. I sort of want her to at least finish her term as Senator first, though.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2015 01:20 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
Me too, re both liking her and her finishing as a senator.

On Clinton, I've said in the past that I'll vote for her if it comes to that. That has been turning around to "no, I won't".
bobsal u1553115
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2015 09:42 pm
@ossobuco,
Exactly the right way to put it, ".... if it comes to that."
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2015 09:43 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
Who are you going to vote for Bobsal.... Ted Cruz?
bobsal u1553115
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2015 09:50 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
Re: bobsal u1553115 (Post 5888486)
Who are you going to vote for Bobsal.... Ted Cruz?


No, if only because you would.

Its going to be Clinton vs. Bush. I'll vote for Ms Clinton.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2015 10:02 pm
I've been busy not liking Samantha Power this week (slightly old Nyer article).
She's like my proto but opposite, missionary and bomb them. I sort of get her but think she is dangerous. I do not care if she has red hair.
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2015 10:04 pm
@ossobuco,
I haven't heard much about her.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2015 10:15 pm
@ossobuco,
Here -

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/12/22/land-possible

bobsal u1553115
 
  2  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2015 08:19 am
This says a lot aboutsome of my fears:

Hillary Clinton's suffocating presence/The Economist
Inevitable?

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2015/02/2016-democratic-primaries

THE field of Republican presidential contenders may be limited to a narrow range of conservative fellows in mid- to late-middle age, but at least there are a lot of them. The Democratic field is, for all practical purposes, Hillary Clinton.

But is Mrs Clinton really such a safe bet? She struggled with a concussion and blood clots in 2012. What if something like that happens again? In any case, she is not as spry as she once was. She and Mrs Warren are only a few months apart in age, yet Mrs Warren seems markedly younger and more reliably energetic. It's not nice, but such considerations matter in politics. A cakewalk in the primaries risks leaving vulnerabilities unexposed and unfortified.

It's also worth noting that the Democrats' electoral advantage at the presidential level is not a sure thing. It materialises only if the party machine succeeds in getting young, poor and minority voters to the polls. Mr Obama beat Mrs Clinton from her left, and went on to beat John McCain by exciting sometimes tough-to-reach Democratic constituencies. Mrs Clinton's gender is certainly a source of excitement, but her presidency would mark a shift to the right for Democrats at a time when the party's energy is coming from the left. A competitive primary pitting Mrs Clinton against an attractive progressive rising star or two would test whether she remains capable of generating real enthusiasm across the party's varied base. It seems like a test worth running.

Democrats ought to worry at least a little about the possibility that Hillary Clinton has become the contemporary Democratic version of Bob Dole in 1996: an elder statesman, a presumed nominee, universally admired and, when it really counted, insufficiently voted for.
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2015 08:28 am
@ossobuco,
And from one of the most dependable source of fact and truth.

She's interesting and obviously the smartest person in the room. She doesn't seem to have any political calculations about here, but she definitely has the vision thing coupled with determination and an ability to attract support. She might become a future Sec'try of State but I don't see politics too much. She seems a natural diplomat even with her strong values.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2015 09:01 am
Well you won't be getting Boris.

Quote:
Boris Johnson says he intends to renounce his American citizenship to prove his "commitment to Britain".

He told the Sunday Times that his citizenship was "an accident of birth that has left me with this thing. I've got to find a way of sorting it out".

The Mayor of London, who was born in New York, has in the past been forced to pay US tax because of his American citizenship.

He has just completed a six-day tour of cities in the US.

Mr Johnson said he would approach US ambassador Matthew Barzun to explore what steps he had to take to give up his American nationality.

The Conservative politician - who was born in Manhattan in 1964 and holds a US passport alongside a British one - said that relinquishing his citizenship was a "laborious business, they don't make it easy for you".


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31475945
Lordyaswas
 
  3  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2015 09:15 am
@izzythepush,
I think it has more to do with this line than his commitment to Britain....

"The Mayor of London, who was born in New York, has in the past been forced to pay US tax because of his American citizenship."


Same old Eton Mess.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2015 09:31 am
@Lordyaswas,
I agree, but it also gives him a few soundbites, and it won't harm his ambition to become party leader.
0 Replies
 
Kolyo
 
  3  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2015 09:53 am
Whining won't get a progressive elected.
Only overturning Citizens United will do that.
Until then, progressives are wasting their time with electoral politics.

I will certainly be voting for Hillary,
although having looked up Huntsman, I don't think he's half bad.
Mindblowingly progressive for a Republican.
Kolyo
 
  3  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2015 09:56 am
@bobsal u1553115,
bobsal u1553115 wrote:

Hillary Clinton’s Top Corporate Donors Are Among The Most Hated Companies in America
Corporations love to give money to politicians who look out for the interests of corporations. Hillary Clinton, for example, has accepted tons of campaign donations from some of the most hated corporations in Americans over the course of her political career.


As will any candidate who hopes to win an election while Citizen's United stands.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2015 10:26 am
ONE REASON WHY EVERY PROGRESSIVE SHOULD SUPPORT HILLARY CLINTON:

Because she will do more to further a progressive agenda (and less to damage it) than anyone else who has any chance of being elected president next cycle...

...especially the loser group the Republicans will field.
Kolyo
 
  4  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2015 11:07 am
@Frank Apisa,
Seriously...

Elizabeth Warren has about as much chance of becoming POTUS in 2016 as her hero Teddy Roosevelt has.
 

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