Friday, April 15, 2016
When someone calls Hillary Clinton out on a past mistake, she makes excuses that sound reasonable on the surface. She is counting on voters refraining from doing in-depth analysis.
I have said many times--mostly on Facebook--that the main reason I didn't support Clinton in 2008 was her vote to give Bush the ability to use force in Iraq. There were other reasons, but I saw the 2008 primary as a race between a centrist and someone who was a little right of center. The deal-breaker for me with Clinton was her support of Bush's war.
The current excuse she's giving for that vote involves her plea to George W. Bush to help her get money to clean up and rebuild in New York after 9/11. She says that because he kept his word to her on his promise to help her get the money, so she thought he'd keep his promise to refrain from attacking until the UN weapons inspectors did their jobs.
Well, either Hillary Clinton is the most naive politician on the planet, or she's skewing the truth to make herself look like she was wronged by Bush, like he wronged the rest of us.
Do not believe it.
Many of the members of the Bush administration were also members of the Project for the New American Century, a neo-conservative think tank, whose goals involved invading Iraq, turning it into a democracy, then using it as a base to turn the rest of the Middle East into a conglomeration of US-friendly democracies. The idea was to control the oil flow from that region to Russia and China. This was all on their now-defunct website, which they took down in 2006. Fortunately, the Library of Congress has archived it.
Members of PNAC lobbied President Bill Clinton to invade Iraq. There is no way that Hillary Clinton was unaware of PNAC and its members; many were Washington insiders since the Reagan administration, including Donald Rumsfeld and Dan Quayle.
Hillary Clinton had to be aware of PNAC, had to be aware of their intentions, had to know that members of PNAC were all over the Bush administration. She knew these things, and she trusted Bush not to follow through with the policy positions of people who tried to lobby her husband to invade in 1998. Does anyone believe that she was so naive that she didn't know these things?
I assert that Hillary Clinton is not naive and never has been. She voted to approve Bush's use of force in Iraq with the full knowledge that members of PNAC were in the Bush administration, and that they fully intended on following through on their strategy, outlined on their website. Her knowledge of who was in the Bush administration and their clear intentions makes her vote--and the vote of every person who supported the use of force in Iraq--all the more egregious.
I don't believe her excuses regarding her use of the term, "super predators," either, because it was well-known in political circles that racial inequality existed in the justice system in the 1990s as much as now, and that escalation of the war on drugs and calling for stricter sentencing would disproportionately affect black people.
I don't buy her excuse for not releasing her speeches to Wall Street banks: there is no double standard here. Bernie Sanders has not been paid to speak to Wall Street investors. Hillary Clinton has. If there's nothing in those speeches she has to hide from voters, then she should release the transcripts. She is not releasing them because she knows what she said will hurt her politically.
The list goes on, as Hillary Clinton has a long history of being wrong before coming over to the right side. She is now, suddenly, for the $15/hour minimum wage; she wasn't supporting it at the beginning of the campaign. She is now for LGBT rights, something she began supporting in 2013; she said in 2008 that marriage should be between one man and one woman. Not long ago ,she was open to the idea of a private component to Social Security; now, she's for expanding it and taxing the wealthy to fund it. She's vehemently anti-gun now; she was so pro-gun in 2008, Obama called her "Annie Oakley" on the debate stage.
There are no right-wing smears here. These are all valid critiques of her policy positions and how she's changed them. You won't hear me talking about Benghazi, which I think was a witch hunt. You won't hear me talking about Whitewater, because I don't really know a lot about. You won't hear me talking about the Clinton murders, which are pure right-wing fiction. You won't hear me talking about Bill Clinton's affairs or sexual harassment, because I don't think these are relevant to Clinton's campaign.
No, I'm sticking to the real issues, her real positions. I don't care about the right-wing fiction. What I do care about is that when we cut out the fairy tales, we're still left with someone who is untrustworthy, hawkish, and beholden to large donors.