Clinton: Absolutely the wrong candidate
With few exceptions, Dennis Kucinich and Bill Richardson being the most notable, the current mob of presidential candidates is a revolting collection of incompetents, sociopaths, imperialists, wafflers and fools.
The worst of that lousy lot is Hillary Clinton, followed closely by Rudy Giuliani, the two “front runners” as anointed by corporate information media and pushed into position by relentless propaganda.
(There are clear reasons those two were shoved and pulled to the top of the dung heap, but that's a subject for separate comment.)
Liberals and Democrats – no longer interchangeable terms – obviously understand why the erstwhile mayor of New York is bad news. His raw ambition, untempered by conscience or reason, is obvious, and if it weren't, the mere fact that his chief advisers these days are some of the same maniacal neocons who created the worst of the Bush/Cheney policies would be evidence enough.
An appalling number of Democrats and quite a few liberals who should know better are prepared to support Clinton's ascendancy to the throne, however.
Those who understand how dangerous she is are, according to the habit of recent decades, being called “purists,” and “spoilers” and worse.
A few days ago I was the main target of a self-styled liberal activist who said that if we will not accept Hillary as our lord and savior – oops, that is, as our candidate – we are creating divisions in the Democratic Party which will lead to yet another defeat. It's so bad, said that writer, that she sometimes thinks people like me must be “Republican plants.”
That is delusion equal to the fantasies in which neocons dwell.
Just for starters, the accusations leave no room for recognition of the fact that with each presidential election cycle of recent decades, the Democrat right has given us a candidate worse than the previous one, and the rate of decline is precipitous. Neither do they recognize that perhaps the liberals – the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party as Paul Wellstone phrased it – should be allowed voice in choosing a candidate, given the abject failure of the corporate wing in selecting someone who can both win and govern for the benefit of the American public.
But back specifically to Clinton.
She is more dangerous even than Giuliani because, as the deluded folks noted above demonstrate, she is a master of the big con. Rudy can't hide what he is. Clinton, like George Bush – remember “compassionate conservative” – claims to be one thing and frequently gets away with it despite the fact that the ground around her is strewn with evidence that she is something else entirely.
The evidence, in fact, would fill a very thick book. This must be something shorter, though long for a column. It's difficult decide where to start, what to include, what must be left out.
How about war?
Clinton voted in 2002 to authorize the attack on Iraq. She never has truly admitted that vote was a mistake, nor apologized, though other Democratic candidates who cast the same vote have conceded error.
Like many other members of Congress, she claims she was fooled by false intelligence from the Bush/Cheney administration, but in her case that's even more blatantly a lie than it is with the others.
First, of course, there is the fact that millions of us out here knew the truth and could point to the evidence. More pointedly, Clinton knew because she was privy to the facts during her husband's presidency when he, too, was deliberately lying to the American public about Iraq and the nonexistent dangers to the United States he claimed it posed.
She continues to assert, as she did in an interview with two New York Times reporters published March 15 of this year, that “vital national security interests in Iraq” mean that American troops must remain in that ruined country indefinitely. Standing in figuratively for Dick Cheney, she claimed that our security would be undermined if our soldiers left.
Reasons? Because Iraq “is right in the heart of the oil region” and that if “insurgents” get control it would harm our interests and (please note) Israel's interests.
This fall, she backed the deliberately provocative Senate resolution asking George W. to declare Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. The New York Times reported that many fellow Democratic senators said she deliberately, knowingly helped the Bush/Cheney administration build a case for war with Iran.
In a Bush-like move, Clinton said in a speech to a group of traditionally pro-war veterans in August, that the administration's so-called “troop surge” was “working” and had her approval – thus giving ammunition to the right, whose mouthpieces immediately declared that “see, even Hillary says it's working.”
A little earlier, apparently through her other face, she told likely Democratic primary voters that she was against the troop buildup because it probably would bring more anti-American and sectarian violence.
Oh, by the way, Clinton has been for some months now the prime recipient of campaign donations from the U.S. arms industry.
A report in the Independent -- a United Kingdom publication that is one of several U.K. outfits that do far better than the American press in reporting significant developments here – said major defense contractors have shifted from backing Republicans to backing Clinton. Her donors now include key employees of Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop-Grumman, General Dynamic and Raytheon, among others.
Republican Mitt Romney is a very distant second in collecting arms manufacturers' money, the Independent said.
The same report noted that about two weeks ago Clinton said that if elected she “would not rule out military strikes to Tehran's nuclear weapons facilities.”
Please note that –- shades of “weapons of mass destruction” -- no one has produced evidence that such weapons facilities exist. Perhaps, as with Iraq, the public is willing to accept the made-up story. We do so love to push little countries around.
As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Hillary Clinton has never voted against a major Iraq war spending bill.
Obviously, she is determined to prove herself more ready than any man to send other people's kids to bleed in foreign places. I can't help wondering if that's what her supposedly feminist supporters really want.
There are many other reports of Clinton's adoption of Bush/Cheney creations aimed at moving us toward attacking Iran, but let's go on to other subjects.
I'll skip over the fact that Clinton now is the darling of Wall Street donors, too. That takes a fair amount of backgrounding.
Anybody who listens at all knows that she also is bulldog-determined to further the interests of the very rich and further undercut the poor and middle class through the kinds of trade deals her husband foisted on us –- the kinds that export American jobs to places where near-starving workers produce the goods and where there are no effective health or safety regulations. NAFTA. CAFTA. If elected, she probably will come up with her own little packet of alphabet soup just to make her mark.
How about selling – uh, something – in exchange for big campaign donations?
Up through last winter, Clinton was the subject of one raw attack after another from newspapers and television outlets owned by media billionaire and would-be monopolist Rupert Murdoch. His New York Post had a policy of using only unflattering photos of her, and repeatedly identified her as an “arch liberal” and worse. In fact, that paper once called her a “duplicitous sow.”
Ah, but money is soothing, as is the backing of big newspapers. Murdoch, a right wing extremist who built a reputation in Australia and England for buying political favors with campaign donations and by altering the views of his publications regarding certain politicians, made nice with Clinton earlier this year. He even threw a big fund raiser for her in July, and his papers stopped running ugly portraits and comparing her with pigs. She was a guest at the 10th anniversary party of Fox News, an outfit that the Republican party fairly openly recognizes as an arm of its propaganda machine.
What did Murdoch get in return for his sudden largesse? Not clear.
What he wants from government is very clear, however. He's been campaigning hard for removal of all government regulations that prevent him from taking over newspapers and broadcast outlets – in some cases virtually all newspapers and broadcast stations – in a given market.
And he is virulently anti-union and, with other corporate political donors, pushes hard for the continuing destruction of all government rules and laws giving labor unions and employees some measure of ground for claiming rights in dealing with employers.
Other points, briefly:
Clinton caters heavily to big-money Jewish donors who belong to the Israel lobby, as does her chief primary opponent, Barack Obama. Both have pledged at gatherings of those who wholly support Israel's right wing government in all things, notably the America Israel Public Affairs Committee, that they will give their undying support to that government. Clinton's statements include barely veiled assurances that Iran will be cut down if it so much as looks in the wrong direction.
Obama slipped, though. He angered the same audience by stating out loud that in the Middle East, “nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people” and suggesting that Israel has stalled on efforts to create peace with the Palestinians. Bingo. Clinton wins the very big money from Aipac.
Health care: Some people probably think that because of the early going in Bill Clinton's administration, Hillary Clinton favors major health care reforms, perhaps even universal health care.
Such people need to look at the facts. The program she is offering is a very thin whitewash of what we have now. Her “health care commission” is not made up of medical people and consumer advocates or anyone who might harbor liberal views on the question. It is heavily weighted with lobbyists from the insurance and drug industries. Her “program” essentially is her guarantee of continued huge profits for those industries.
Dan Scanlan, who writes for MichaelMoore.com, aptly described the Clinton health care plan as “about shaking down the industry for campaign funds.” As such, he observed, “it is a rousing success.”
I'll take space for just one more point.
Most politically active Americans are aware of the frightening state of our electoral system. Bush/Cheney lost two presidential elections, but has held the White House for two terms, and there is an enormous body of evidence that the same crowd is prepared to steal the 2008 election, too.
Every rational citizen knows that big money has all but destroyed the integrity of the system. One little attempt has been made recently to clean things up a bit by requiring full disclosure of who contributes how much to which candidates through “bundling” -- the method under which a collector gathers money for a candidate from a variety of sources who remain anonymous.
Other Democrats support the modest little measure, and Obama is one of its' sponsors. Clinton is pretending it doesn't exist.
Remember, a recent Zogby poll showed that exactly half of American voters have determined they never will vote for Hillary Clinton under any circumstances, at any time. That number is likely to grow as, here and there, more people learn more about her, as they inevitably will once she has the nomination and the press turns on her, as it does on all Democratic presidential candidates.