Hillary Clinton had a whole lot more to put up with, over the decades, than Bernie Sanders. It is distressing to hear victim-blaming per Republican opposition work from outside the US. In fact, Bernie contributed to this problem by oversimplifying and blaming her for things she didn't do, and sticking to his simple narrative. He's terrific, but fanning the flames of conflict within the Democratic party continues to enable the real corporate party, the current version of the Republicans in power, and their billionaire networks (Kochtopus, Mercers, et al.). And power they have. Wholesale condemnation of compromise is easy until you get to work trying to actually do stuff.
My opinion is that burning down the house leaves you homeless, and that there are real enemies around. I could go, point by point, down the list of lies about Hillary, starting in the early 1990s, but it is frustrating that good people are still stuck in those weeds, which are deliberately fostered by Republicans. I'm not particularly fond of her, but I did a lot of hard work tracing down the sources of, for example, the idea that the Clinton Foundation is corrupt. It's a well respected charity and has helped over a hundred million people with health care and been very active with, for example, planting trees in Africa.
There are plenty of stories with a grain of truth about mistakes they made, and there is the "problem" of their acquisition of wealth, but using connections to the rich and powerful to do good should not justify anyone saying the Clinton Foundation is just like the Trump Foundation. The Clinton Foundation is complicated, imperfect, but in no way is the Trump Foundation in any way a vehicle to find better ways to help people. Those speeches on Wall Street and some of her participation before that were about things like promoting women. Sure, with 20/20 hindsight she should have at the least publicly donated her fees to charity.
We have reason to condemn Kissinger with perfect hindsight, and Hillary's alliance with him appears to be a bad sign. Her "militarism" is also not as represented. She did not single-handedly mess up the Middle East. If there is one party that made that worse, it is Republicans.
On Benghazi, it was Chaffetz and Republicans who voted to defund embassy security and spent millions and years trying to pin the result, with considerable success, on Clinton.
The email "scandal" about setting up a private server is pure bullshit, magnified and recycled and misrepresented by clever opportunists. The State Department and government servers were both hacked, leaving over 22 million IDs vulnerable in 2015. When Bush 2 deleted millions of emails, it was forgotten.
Yes, many of us find her hair and makeup, pastel pantsuits and kitten heels, less attractive than people like Angela Merkel, Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi. The sounds of her voice and speechmaking abilities left a great deal to be desired: a failure of charisma. But no man would be judged on appearance in that way.
As soon as people get elected (Bill Clinton, Barack Obama) they encounter the realities of how things are set up. It doesn't help, for example, that people have forgotten that it was not Bill Clinton who got rid of Glass Steagall, but the opposition.
There is a problem of entrenched power, kleptocracy, and stealing from the poor and public institutions that work to give to the rich. But there are very few democrats who approve of this. People's lists of not OK Democrats leave out a whole lot of stuff. Cory Booker, Chuck Schumer, come on! Hating people achieves nothing.
Blaming victims for what perpetrators do, and rewriting history, is not helping.
My next post, while will be separate, is all about a very fine and interesting new effort by Bernie Sanders. Though simplistic solutions are not as easy as he (and some of you) make them sound, this effort seems very much worth following.
Lastly, here is a link to an article that describes what Hillary actually did and stood for, and a sizable extract for those who won't go to the link. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/10/31/the-new-yorker-endorses-hillary-clinton
We are in the midst of a people’s revolt, a great debate concerning income inequality, the “hollowing” of the middle, globalization’s winners and losers. If the tribune whom the voters of the Republican Party have chosen is a false one, we cannot dismiss the message because we deplore the messenger. The white working-class voters who form the core of Trump’s support—and who were once a Democratic constituency—should not have their anxieties and suffering written off. Their struggle with economic abandonment and an incomplete health-care system demands airing, understanding, and political solutions.
Hillary Clinton’s vision and temperament are the opposite of her opponent’s. She has been a pioneer throughout her life, and yet her career cannot be easily reduced to one transcendent myth: she has been an idealist and a liberal incrementalist, a glass-ceiling-smashing lawyer and a cautious establishmentarian, a wife and mother, a First Lady, a rough-and-tumble political operator, a senator, a Secretary of State. Her story is about walking through flames and emerging changed, warier and more determined. In her intelligence, in her gimlet-eyed recognition of both the limits and the possibilities of government, she’s a particular kind of inspirational figure, a pragmatist and a Democratic moderate. We wish that Clinton faced a worthy opponent: she deserves a less sullied, more substantive win. But her claim to our support goes far beyond the nihilism of the alternative. It is also notable that she has chosen as a running mate Tim Kaine, a highly capable politician with a record of genuine compassion; by contrast, the Republican Vice-Presidential choice, Mike Pence, has tried to position himself for the future on the national stage but has distinguished himself as one of the country’s most fiercely anti-gay politicians, declaring that marriage freedom would lead to “societal collapse.”
What she does offer is a series of thoughtful and energetic proposals that present precisely the kind of remedies that could improve the lives of many working-class and poor Americans of all races. She would simplify the tax code for small businesses and streamline their licensing requirements. She would increase health-care tax credits through the Affordable Care Act, which, in theory, would both expand coverage and reduce the burden on employers. She would also seek to expand access to Medicaid and would extend Medicare to people as young as fifty-five. She would substantially increase funding for community health centers and provide significant federal support for child care. And her college-affordability plan would help students refinance debt, and support states that subsidize tuition.
Clinton’s tax plans are also designed to promote broader-based affluence. She would increase the tax rate on short-term capital gains for high earners, with lower rates for longer-term holdings; close the “carried-interest” tax loophole that favors hedge-fund managers; and levy fees on banks with high debt levels. She would impose a four-per-cent surcharge on incomes above five million dollars a year, and adopt a minimum thirty-per-cent tax rate on incomes above a million dollars a year. She supports an “exit tax” and other fiscal adjustments that would discourage so-called corporate inversion—the offshoring of companies to tax havens like Ireland. And she proposes tax incentives for investing in towns that have faced significant losses in manufacturing jobs. To address the compounding effects of trade and technology on displaced workers, she would promote training, and include a tax credit for businesses that take on apprentices. She would allocate $275 billion over five years to infrastructure improvement, focussing on transit and water systems, which should create employment while reducing inefficiencies.
In general, Clinton’s tax plan is less advantageous to the financial industry and more conducive to jobs-intensive enterprises. Despite her reputation for being overly solicitous of Wall Street, Clinton has strong proposals to prevent large financial institutions from taking on risks that could derail the economy again. She promises to defend the Dodd-Frank reforms (which Trump, like all the Republican candidates, has pledged to overturn) and to build on them. She would impose new fees on risk; strengthen the Volcker Rule, which prevents banks from making potentially disastrous bets with government-backed deposits; and bring regulatory light into the so-called shadow banking system, where much of the 2008 financial crisis began. She would demand that hedge funds and other large financial firms provide far more information to regulators about their trading activity, and her Administration would prevent those firms from becoming so overleveraged that a faulty bet could bankrupt them and lead to widespread economic crisis.