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The tragedy of Hillary

by DoDo Mon Jun 6th, 2016 at 05:47:29 PM EST

On Tuesday, the last major battle for the Democratic Party nomination for this year's US Presidential elections will be fought in New Jersey and California, so I'm rushing out this less well researched commentary on the race. These are diverse thoughts from the past few weeks which I now have time to put down in writing.

As somebody well to the left of Senator Bernie Sanders, obviously I rooted for him. However, my views of former Senator and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are ambivalent and nuanced in a way that's out of tune with the die-hard views on both sides.


Should Clinton clinch the nomination, the big Democrat concern is, how many of Sanders's voters will turn out to vote for her. In this context, I was flabbergasted to find that virtually all liberal TV shows trotted out the old DNC theory that third candidate Ralph Nader gave the presidency to George W Bush in 2000 and 2004; often with a condescending tone to 'educate' ignorant Millenial Sanders voters. This was as preposterous then as it is now:

  • the Blame Nader theory took for granted that the 5% voting for Nader would all have voted for Al Gore resp. John Kerry if Nader withdrew,
  • it's oh so convenient to put the blame at Nader's or his voters' feet rather than blame the Democratic campaign for not making a good case to them,
  • it's a funny thing to be obsessed with 5% of the voters when another 40% didn't vote.

This time, the Bernie Or Bust segment of the voters may be larger than the Nader segment ever was, but nevertheless, making a positive case for Hillary with a little less condescension would be more convincing IMHO.

Then again, the vitriol thrown at Clinton is too much for me, especially when it borrows from the Republicans. (If John Kerry was Swiftboated in 2003-4 then Hillary was Swiftboated for 25 years continuously.) Benghazi? Bullshit. Emails? Bullshit. Whitewater? Bullshit. [Kudo points to anyone who gets the cultural reference, except for Drew who gets minus points he he doesn't get the reference! :-)] From what I read, even the donations from fossil fuel/Wall Street people is over-blown, Sanders himself got some donations like hers.

I also think that the view that she is simply a corporate shill is too simplistic. She supported legislation that hurt corporate interests and launched reforms within her own administration. I think she actually believes herself to be a progressive force, but her faults are loss of scale and elitism. I think she's the kind of triangulator who would put a solar cell on the White House and approve a new pipeline and would honestly believe to have achieved a good compromise. And she wants to be accepted as member in the club of the Serious People. IMHO the joint holidays of the Clintons with the Kissingers tell a lot about her personality and are of at least as much concern as her donations.

On foreign policy, I fully agree with criticisms of Clinton as a naive liberal interventionist. Not Benghazi, but the support for a Libya intervention without a serious plan for after the fall of the regime was her biggest crime. Also, while in her recent speech, Clinton (IMHO righly) suggested that world leaders like Putin would play Trump for a fool, her own foreign policy seems too predictable.

Overall, she doesn't seem to have visions. To be precise, it seems her big vision is to achieve the ultimate victory against the incredible 25-year onslaught of the Republican hate machine by becoming the first female President, and then that's it. (It's a weird thing BTW that Hillary remained the Republicans' favourite object of hate even while they changed a lot: it started with misogyny, the hate for a woman with own ambitions who kept her maiden name and wouldn't just be a decoration for her husband; but 25 years later, she dropped "Rodham" while the Republicans have stars like Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachmann.)

The siege mentality probably also explains Clinton's exceptionally bad public persona, which gave me the jitters for years and made me see her as a tragic figure. I'm fortunate to not have to put these feelings into words as Jon Stewart did so recently:

Display:
As much as the Presidential election matters, for real change, the House and the Senate would have to be taken over, too. It would be good if Bernie supporters realised that like Kos did.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Jun 6th, 2016 at 05:54:12 PM EST
Under the US Constitution, legislation pursuant to it and precedent as it has evolved the President has great powers of discretion when it comes to the enforcement of laws. Given the basic fact that control fraud has become the business model for the financial sector a POTUS who so desired could bring much of this activity to a halt well within his term through vigorous investigation and prosecution of that fraud.

I am sure that Wm. K. Black would be happy to serve in a suitable capacity in any such effort and he was quite successful in obtaining convictions in the S & L scandal back in the '80s. It was, IMO, that very success that led the financial sector to increase the level of their financial contribution to the political system so as to escalate the costs and make themselves that much more important to politicians. They did this to suborn the power of government to regulate them!

The first wave of prosecutions would have a chilling effect on financial sector behavior and a wave of successful prosecutions could, by itself, downsize our overgrown financial sector, along with the rent it extracts, back at least some way towards what it was in 1970. No new legislation required.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Jun 6th, 2016 at 08:09:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think many "progressives" realise the degree their criticisms of Hillary - and especially their imputations as to her character and beliefs - have been manufactured for her by the conservative and corporate media which they seem to accept wholesale. She has suffered considerably for her public service - from the suicide of her close friend Vince Foster when he couldn't stand the heat to all the bogus conspiracies and scandals manufactured for her - none of which would have raised an eyebrow for a Republican male candidate. The degree of misogyny and opposition to women in leadership still rampant has also to be seen to be believed.

If one of Obama's great achievements was simply to be a black man elected to the Presidency, then her achievement to be elected as a women will be similar.  It forces all sorts of changed social attitudes simply by virtue of them having been elected.

The other great fallacy is to simply assume that her Presidency will simply be a continuation of Bill's and Barack's Presidencies.  Both those Presidencies were considerably shaped by the political realities of their period in office. Far more important than any imputed ideological orientations in determining the course of her Presidency will be the degree to which Democrats, and Progressives within the Dem party, can take control of Congress and State houses to tackle such issues as gerrymandering, voter suppression, campaign finance, the make-up of SCOTUS, Wall Street regulation and infrastructural investment in sustainable energy, energy conservation, education, student loans, healthcare and prison reform etc.

I find the media - and many "progressives" focus on imputed or ascribed personalities, media performance, character, and personal presentation to the exclusion of all serious policy discussion or the structural factors and processes which can block or facilitate change utterly infantile, naive, lazy and dishonest.

And that is why we have Trump.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jun 6th, 2016 at 06:26:25 PM EST
Counterpoint: The loyalty of older dem voters was bought precisely by the viciousness of the GOP assault on her. And on the flip side younger voters don't find any positive reason for supporting her because they don't remember the worst of it.

And I at least see little evidence that it is the right wing talking points driving this.
The main objections seem to be her warmongering and perceived closeness to the financial industry.

by generic on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 07:07:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IMHO there is a third main objection, and one in which the right-wing hate campaign may have played a large part: her perceived insincerity. Then again, the arrogance and dishonestly spinning rhetoric of her dismissals of Sanders and his supporters didn't help.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 07:25:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And even that is only the less charitable formulation of the Jon Steward clip.
by generic on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 11:42:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It isn't perceived; she, like the rest of the DLC, is insincere.  The DLC/DNC has done nothing for the last 30 years but give ground the the GOP while claiming TINA and pretending to be the friends of the 99.99% they were screwing over for their 0.01% masters.  Bilious Bill sold out small farmers, labor, and clean water in Arkansas for the sake of industrial agriculture cronies (I keep hearing people say, "Look at how he improved education in Arkansas," but folks, creating a system that cranks out little but more, redundant psych/lit/poli sci majors is nothing but a con game.).  In the White House he dismantled the social safety net and banking regs while she tanked gay rights and healthcare reform for a generation.  I just can't buy that the DLC's "accomplishments" have been merely unintended consequences instead of a salient part of the driving neolib/neocon agenda.
by rifek on Wed Jun 8th, 2016 at 08:37:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The real improvements to education in Arkansas were accomplished under his predecessor, Democrat Dale Bumpers. Bumpers pushed through a tax increase that really paid dividends when agriculture boomed back then. Bumpers laid the financial foundation for a solid K-college education system in the state - brought Arkansas from the '30s to the '70s in four years. Too bad he never ran for president.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jun 8th, 2016 at 11:50:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, Dale was the man who got it rolling; Clinton was just more than happy to take credit for the results a decade after the work was done.  As nearly as I can figure, there were two reasons he always turned down a presidential run: no desire to run a national campaign, and the unions didn't like him.
by rifek on Thu Jun 9th, 2016 at 03:59:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The other great fallacy is to simply assume that her Presidency will simply be a continuation of Bill's and Barack's Presidencies.

On this I actually agree: I think she has a mind of her own and is quite capable of deciding on something going against Bill's or Obama's legacy if she'd gain the power to do so. But, if she has already any long-term plans ready, she didn't offer any in the campaign, and that's a quite major problem for me.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 07:29:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure she has a mind of her own, but I don't really see why one should assume she would govern that differently. From her Secreteray of State time we know she is pro war, pro fracking and pro "trade" agreements. If anything, she is more aggressive then Bill Clinton and Obama.

To the - probably very large - extent these policies are formed by an environment, that environment is not the political scene, but the security establishment that goes hand in hand with big money. I think these views are formed by the interests of the MIC, Big Oil and the US trade policy post 70ies that strives to write the rules to benefit the US corporations that deals in "rights", previously it was mostly intellectual rights, now there is also the right to profit itself.

And I don't see how that will change, or Hillary Clinton as a likely change agent there.

by fjallstrom on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 11:19:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Like GHW Bush, Hillary has 'the vision thing'. Namely, a distinct lack of one, other than for herself. As Jesse said in '92: "When there is no vision the people perish!" The price of four more years will be measured in lives lost needlessly.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jun 8th, 2016 at 11:54:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dutch prime-minister Rutter has regularly remarked that, in his opinion, 'vision is the elephant that blocks the horizon'.

It's been a fruitful source of satire.

by Bjinse on Fri Jun 10th, 2016 at 05:40:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think many "progressives" realise the degree their criticisms of Hillary - and especially their imputations as to her character and beliefs - have been manufactured for her by the conservative and corporate media which they seem to accept wholesale.

I find this to be more rhetoric than reality. Certainly Hillary partisans would like to smear progressive supporters of Sanders with this imputation, but as one of that group, I find it absurd. I WAS an off the chart, to the left voter who registered as a Democrat, voted for Bill Clinton after discussing with pollsters what I found attractive about Perot back in '92 and I defended both Clintons against any who criticized them, especially for Bill's poorly controlled libido. Then and until recently I thought Hillary might be a little more progressive than Bill on some things. Hillary probably was on LGBT issues and both were supportive of black constituencies, but since I started learning about economics, finance and what happened from 2000 to 2009 my opinion of both her and Bill changed.

It is inherently repugnant to me and to other progressives to have to agree with some of the allegations against the Clintons from Fox and the rest of the RW Foam Machine. But, as my father once said: "Even the blind old boar will stumble onto an acorn ever so often." The RW might be a stopped clock, but they are still right about the time twice a day. Hell, until the last few years I even thought Clinton's surpluses were a good provision for the future which Bush proceeded to squander. And I remember wondering in a post on ET why Bill Clinton had to go along with the repeal of Glass Steagall until Bruce McF explained it to me. It is painful to be so naive at 65. And in Bill Clinton's defense, his response to Rubin's explanation of why he needed to 'keep the bond guys happy' showed how little he understood about finance and its impact on politics. And he was already POTUS.

I think most older Sander's supporters have a similar memory of having loved the Clintons back in their days and of having defended them against the RW Foam Machine. They WERE better than what went before in so many ways. But, eventually, at least for some of us, the scales fall from our eyes. And that does not mean that we now believe the RW was right all along. As Bertrand Russell said about a century, 'A correct belief held without reason or for the wrong reason is just one more lie masquerading in the words that utter a truth'.    

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 03:42:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BINGO.  I backed them in '92 and I backed them again in '96, in spite of their nonaccomplishments, sell-outs, and the fact that I could see professionally that the federalization of criminal law that Bilious Bill had achieved was going to be a bad thing.  But now I'm sick to death of that crap.  And I'm damned if I'm going to put up with a mob of little Hillbot snots who are too young and callow to actually remember a Clinton White House accuse me of being anti-Hillary because I just don't understand her, and I'm also damned if I'm going to put up with a mob of apparently senile Hillbot seniors who either can't or won't remember what the DLC/DNC has done to the Democratic Party for three decades and what happened in '68 and thereafter, the last time the party bosses smacked down a grass roots movement.
by rifek on Wed Jun 8th, 2016 at 08:50:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Honestly, I figure she will be .. very, very like Obama in office. From across the sea, effectively indistinguishable as far as policies go. This is overall bad news for the US, because it means she'll do nothing to rein in the financial sector. But it beats the heck out of Trumph.
by Thomas on Sat Jun 11th, 2016 at 12:14:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Study: Liberals and conservatives have different brain structures
"What's really fascinating is that there have been a number of recent studies looking at brain structural differences between liberals and conservatives," said Saltz. "And what's been found in several studies is that liberals tend to have a larger anterior cingulate gyrus. That is an area that is responsible for taking in new information and that impact of the new information on decision making or choices. Conservatives tended on the whole to have a larger right amygdala. Amygdala being a deeper brain structure that processes more emotional information--specifically fear-based information" [...]

"Basically the study showed that if you just based it on brain structural size difference, you could predict who would be a conservative and who would be a liberal with a frequency of 71.6 percent; 71.6 percent is a pretty high ability to predict who is a conservative and who is a liberal just from brain structure," Saltz said.

by das monde on Mon Jun 6th, 2016 at 10:18:47 PM EST
Here's audio of a 21-year-old Hillary Rodham sounding a lot like a Sanders supporter. The Wellesley graduate was selected by her classmates to give the college's first-ever student speech at the graduation ceremony in the spring of 1969. Rodham delivered a speech full of resolute optimism, recordings of which were released by Wellesley for the first time today.

"For too long our leaders have viewed politics as the art of the possible," she said. "And the challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible possible."

by das monde on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 12:00:40 AM EST
"And the challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible possible."

I can only hope that she somehow manages to return to this aspect of her beliefs as a youth. That is EXACTLY what needs to be done, but I have trouble imagining that she can see that and even more difficulty imagining she will do what is necessary to change the relationship between money and politics and the grip that economic BS has over the minds of most of the public.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 03:56:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perfect End to Democratic Primary: Anonymous Superdelegates Declare Winner Through Media

Last night, Associated Press - on a day when nobody voted - surprised everyone by abruptly declaring the Democratic Party primary over and Hillary Clinton the victor. The decree, issued the night before the California primary in which polls show Clinton and Bernie Sanders in a very close race, was based on the media organization's survey of "superdelegates": the Democratic Party's 720 insiders, corporate donors and officials whose votes for the presidential nominee count the same as the actually elected delegates. AP claims that superdelegates who had not previously announced their intentions privately told AP reporters that they intend to vote for Clinton, bringing her over the threshold. AP is concealing the identity of the decisive superdelegates who said this.

Although the Sanders campaign rejected the validity of AP's declaration - on the ground that the superdelegates do not vote until the convention and he intends to try to persuade them to vote for him - most major media outlets followed the projection and declared Clinton the winner.

Whether this was orchestrated with or without Clinton's knowledge, it is a nice example of the underhanded tactics of the Clinton campaign.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 11:16:54 AM EST
Press and DNC have been truly 'fair and balanced' in exactly the sense Fox meant when they created the meme.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 03:51:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think folks are making a mountain out of a molehill with this.  AP surveyed the superdelegates.  The superdelegates all knew it was a sociological impossibility for Sanders to win a majority of pledged delegates, and they were foolishly honest about their intentions, which allowed AP to run with it.

I doubt Clinton orchestrated it, as it would needlessly feed bitterness among Sanders people.

In any case, it made no difference as far as the outcome of the primary went.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jun 8th, 2016 at 12:36:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Releasing this one day before the California primary, methinks it had a significant demobilisation effect.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Jun 8th, 2016 at 01:50:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it had a bit of one but nothing that would've come close to changing the results.

Even without it, he'd have had to win California, New Jersey and all the other states by something like 35 points to even draw even on pledged delegates.  And keep in mind on the two biggest prizes:

He trailed in every poll of CA -- including enormously in the last SurveyUSA poll -- and was never even close in New Jersey.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jun 8th, 2016 at 04:00:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm reminded of what I wrote about Obama's prospective Presidency back in the early days of this site;-

It was Matt Taibbi who first identified the real problem with Barack Obama, that he is a largely self-satisfied exponent of the status quo. Jerome's recent (and necessary) evisceration of his foreign policy statements only underlines the fact that, should Obama become US President, nothing much will change. Not on the foreign policy front, and, especially, not on the domestic front.

I feel we're in the same territory with Hillary. Politicians rarely make concrete promises during campaigns, "Hope" and "Change" are more their tenor. "I'm not Trump" will probably do for Hillary.

But what we missed with our cynicism over Obama was .... everything. Everything that mattered anyway. You can complain about this or that, and god knows I've had a few moans myself about this and that, but the fact is, Obama has done a large amount. And condiering the opposition he's faced while doing it, it is beyond amazing he achieved anything.

Hillary will not be Obama, she will not be Bill. She has given no hostages to fortune, made no promises I can think of. But she has spent 25 years at the forefront of power. She's learned hard bitter lessons. Nobody denies she's an intensely bright, capable person, with character forged in the white heat of public vitriol few can even imagine, let alone experience. And she has come through whole.

Do. Not. Under-Estimate. This. Woman.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 04:00:23 PM EST
Good advice.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 09:58:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would disagee only with the 'has given no hostages to fortune' part. She is thoroughly hostage to the survival of the current financial system - AS IT IS or worse.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 11:48:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To me, Hillary is fairly obvious.  On domestic policy, she's basically Obama.  Well to the left of how her husband governed, although Bill was obviously severely hindered by governing in the immediate aftermath of the takeover of the Reagan Coalition, whereas Obama's governing at that coalition's twilight.

On foreign policy, by her own words and by all inside accounts of her time in the Obama administration, she's much more hawkish than Obama.  Obama's made what I think are some boneheaded moves with the Arab Spring, but his cautiousness has, I think, helped ensure those boneheaded mistakes haven't resulted in us getting sucked into quagmires.

(He's made some good moves too, of course:  Normalizing with Cuba, reaching out to Iran, etc.)

She also seems to be much more comfortable with our traditional role of supporting Israel, babysitting our Arab "allies," and generally screwing around in the Middle East.

Whereas Obama has made it pretty clear that he hates the Israeli leadership (and been perfectly happy to let Bibi slowly turn Israel into a partisan issue), doesn't see any of the Arab regimes as allies (in fact openly jokes about it with regard to the Saudis), and would really rather focus on building alliances with emerging countries in Asia instead of dealing with all the crazy the Mid-East comes with thanks very much.

She's not Bob Rubin in a pantsuit.  She's Barack Obama with Madeleine Albright's foreign policy.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jun 8th, 2016 at 01:32:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...adding:

And I've sort of made my peace with that.  I hate it, of course, and my fondest wish is that she's putting on a "toughness" schtick because, not being a complete idiot, she knows misogyny dictates that women have a tendency to be portrayed as weak.  And, unfortunately, we're still, at base, a bunch of dumb apes, and "strength" in the midst of a campaign is often bestowed upon s/he who talks the toughest game about sorting out the savages with freedom bombs.

So perhaps she pivots away from the hawkishness when/if she wins.  That's the hope anyway.  But my inclination is always to take politicians at their word barring strong background evidence to the contrary.  They may all be corrupt liars, but presidents do historically move in the direction they promise to move.

Some of the difference between the two is probably generational.  They're about 15 years apart, I think, which is massive in a cultural sense.  She grew up a middle- to upper-middle-class white woman from a pretty standard suburban family in Illinois during the height of the Cold War.  He grew up a middle-class black man raised by an academic mom in Hawaii and Indonesia and came of age as the Soviet Union was rotting.

She always strikes me as a classic Boomer, and he always strikes me as a classic Gen-X'er (even if he's technically from the back end of the Boomers).  They can kinda understand each other, but it's like me and my friends sitting at a bar here and chatting with the college kids.  We can talk football or something else universally relatable all day, but when you get into politics or music or something, there's a little common ground.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jun 8th, 2016 at 06:26:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The price of putting a woman into office is that she may feel she has to be a reincarnation of Maggie Thatcher to justify herself in that position.  Or maybe it is that men pre-select those women they will allow into power by allowing only Thatcher wannabes into the game. Certainly many women's libbers I know felt they had to be twice as tough and work twice as hard as the men to get to where the men got to.  

Trump fits that stereotype pretty well too.  Born into money, he can do more or less as he pleases, say whatever, fail any number of times in business, have no educational qualifications or previous public service accomplishments and hey Presto: He's a leader, ready for the White House. Can you imagine a women with a similar track record get past first base?

Hopefully Hillary has learned that she doesn't have to act like a macho man once in office.  No drama Obama could be quite a powerful role model for her. She's also not inheriting a full scale war from him and Isis seems to be on the run. A key test will be how many neo-cons she puts into powerful positions.  Obama has pretty much marginalised the worst of them. We'll see.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 9th, 2016 at 04:17:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Imagine a woman with similar track record...

Hmm, Fiorina?

by fjallstrom on Thu Jun 9th, 2016 at 05:11:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well - she did run. But no one took her seriously.

They might have if she'd built a Trump-style empire. Or at least given the impression of same - which is, to be fair, all that Trump has ever done.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jun 9th, 2016 at 08:44:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right, she's universally known as a colossal failure -- rightly so, having destroyed not one but two major tech companies -- whereas people tend to assume a certain level of competence with Trump given his name is bolted onto so much crap.  He just hopes you don't look too closely.

It helps him that he's more of an entrepreneur.  A really bad one, generally, but one nevertheless.  Whereas Fiorina's more the MBA-type, so she doesn't really have the brand that goes along with an empire, however shitty that empire that may be.

I assume she did something at least half-decent to get the HP job while she was at AT&T and (I think?) Lucent.  In that sense, kinda like Trump:  One decent effort followed by colossal failure everywhere else.  Trump was just savvier in turning his real business into a brand.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jun 10th, 2016 at 05:58:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, Lucent. Who could imagine that the successor to Bell Labs could fall so low. But Bell Labs was never expected to be a major profit center in the short term.
Lucent did damage all around as it went down.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jun 10th, 2016 at 07:48:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hopefully she'd inherit a manageable situation.  ISIS is eventually going to collapse, and we and the Russians -- at least last I read -- seem to have come to a kinda-sorta agreement on what should happen in Syria with respect to Assad.

If we and the Iranians can get the stupid Iraqi government to reconcile with the Sunnis, we might be able to get something approaching a functioning state over there.

She's supportive of the nuclear deal with Iran.  That's good.

So catastrophic-mistake-making opportunities should hopefully dwindle a good bit.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Jun 9th, 2016 at 05:14:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You may have seen reports that Hillary recently said:"Not doing stupid shit does not make a foreign policy", or words to that effect. I also saw a claim that Obama was considerably annoyed at this. My fear is that when she proposed hawkish moves that Obama's response was "We don't do stupid shit" and that she chafed under that injunction. The easiest way for her to blight her administration would be to pull another stupid intervention, comparable in some way to Iraq.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jun 10th, 2016 at 09:34:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Her exact words, in reference to arming Syrian rebels earlier and at greater scale than we did, were: "'Don't do stupid stuff' is not an organizing principle."

Obama, who tends to be pretty levelheaded and tends to roll his eyes at obvious politicking like this, was reportedly livid.  He didn't respond in public but did apparently give her a piece of his mind in private.  Axelrod, on the other hand, had no qualms about responding on Twitter.

I'm sure there were situations like that, where she'd advocate a larger response and he'd veto it under the "Don't Do Stupid Shit" doctrine.  And I'm sure it did chafe her.  Clinton tends to favor sweeping ideological positions in the foreign policy realm that suppose our military and intelligence folks are capable of a lot of social engineering.  Obama tends to be skeptical of sweeping ideological positions on anything (he's a liberal, obviously, but doesn't tend to be wedded to methodology), doesn't think large-scale military interventions like Iraq are either necessary or desirable, and prefers calculated risks on an ad hoc basis that leave us with an ability to wind down or ramp up as results dictate.

(His interview with Jeffrey Goldberg was pretty informative on that.)

If she's smart, she'll see that it served him pretty well.  It's how he beat her eight years ago, after all.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 11th, 2016 at 09:07:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For public purposes 'stuff' is more presidential. And I fear her tendencies, by now, are pretty much hard wired and that she will try to open every can of worms and then live in the midst of them. I certainly hope not.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jun 11th, 2016 at 09:46:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you have anything substantial on her support for the Iranian deal?
As far as I remember there was no progress while she was Secretary and her support of the deal after the fact was rather lackluster.
Convince me of this and I'm rid of one of my biggest worries concerning her presidency. The second being Syria.
by generic on Tue Jun 14th, 2016 at 04:21:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Chinese have colourful experience with powerful women. And indeed, successful Western female chiefs tend to be Iron Ladies. On a scrupulous level, the misogynous presumption of snootiness, bitchiness (rather than motherly attention) of women in power still has to be disproved.

Here is what Queen Victoria wrote in 1870:

... this mad, wicked folly of `Woman's Rights,' with all its attendant horrors, on which her poor feeble sex is bent, forgetting every sense of womanly feeling and propriety.  Lady -- ­ought to get a good whipping.  It is a subject which makes the Queen so furious that she cannot contain herself.  God created men and women different -- ­then let them remain each in their own position
by das monde on Thu Jun 9th, 2016 at 09:36:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't underestimate her.  She's very good at delivering the goods for her cronies and controllers, just like every other DLC product, and that's what we'll get from her too.
by rifek on Wed Jun 8th, 2016 at 08:56:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From what I saw of her victory speech in Brooklyn she claims a great victory for women. I even grant that she wants more women in positions of power. So do I. We had that discussion back in the '90 when Feinstein and Boxer won their primaries in California. Several of us agreed that the male specimens who had occupied California's senate seats were far from exemplary and that it was time to give the girls a chance.

But I fear the practical effects might turn out little better for other women than, say, Clarence Thomas's appointment to the Supreme Court was for other blacks. Thomas obviously cared less about the fates of other blacks. Like too many US black conservatives I have known, their idea of civil rights advances was that they got the opportunity to get theirs. That would be ok with me if they also served others from their group. But, with Thomas, it didn't happen.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jun 8th, 2016 at 12:30:05 AM EST
I have three daughters and a wife, none of whom view her nomination as a victory for them.
by rifek on Wed Jun 8th, 2016 at 08:59:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think there are a couple of tragedies for Hillary - and how she bounces back from them if she wins will define her presidency.

  1. One small but significant part of Obama's rise, was the underlying feeling that "Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton" just didn't feel good in a democracy. That her rise to prominence comes connected to Bill (and all those years) plus the 2 terms of waiting out the Obama presidency just makes the public jaded about her - and as you note, dealing with the constant attacks and pressure seems to have made her secretive and non-commital.

  2. Obamacare means we all forget Hillarycare. She had a progressive vision for improving life for ordinary people - it was fixing healthcare. She put a huge amount into it and failed. But it did lay the ground for future change. Alas, it seems she internalised the failure and never wants to be so exposed by proposing controversial things.

All of this is compounded by the reality that the President is dependent on Congress - so unless there is a win there, even if she overcame her personal experiences to propose more visionary action, it won't go anywhere....
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Wed Jun 8th, 2016 at 04:27:59 AM EST
Alas, it seems she internalised the failure and never wants to be so exposed by proposing controversial things.

In fairness to her, Obamacare is basically the program she proposed during the 2008 primary (minus the public option, which behind closed doors both would tell you was never going to pass due in large part to Lieberman and one or two other more conservative Senate Dems).

I would note, too, that Obama's "No Drama" bit eight years ago grabbed a good number of Dems.  Whether they go looking for it or not, the Clintons do attract drama in a way Obama never has.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jun 8th, 2016 at 10:47:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All of this is compounded by the reality that the President is dependent on Congress - so unless there is a win there, even if she overcame her personal experiences to propose more visionary action, it won't go anywhere....

So if we want real change, we need someone who will take on Congress ... for that matter, the Judiciary too ... put Congress in it's place ... and get things done.  Remember ... the Prez is the branch that controls the guns/bombs/drones.

My choice is the Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (nee Jughashvili) reincarnation ... TRUMP ... TRUMP ... TRUMP! 😈

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Jun 8th, 2016 at 10:57:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Metatone:
...she internalised the failure and never wants to be so exposed by proposing controversial things.
This certainly seems to be the case with any progressive domestic policy move, but clearly there is a giant exception when it comes to foreign policy. She just doesn't see objections from the left as having any validity.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jun 10th, 2016 at 09:41:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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