Thursday, August 10, 2017

They Are Still Punching Down

Michael Tomsky writes a very interesting (and sure to be shared) opinion piece about how that Donald Trump's uncouth approach regarding foreign affairs is an example of why Hillary Clinton should have gotten more votes from liberals/progressives:

I’ve been looking back over some articles from last year and am reminded that it was a surprisingly robust theme, this idea that Clinton was more dangerous than Trump. I doubt many votes hinged on this single issue, but it became a key talking point in the larger narrative that Clinton was corrupt and unprincipled and there really wasn’t much difference between her and Trump.

Do Tell.

Most of this nonsense came from the anti-Clinton and anti-Democrat left. Here, for example, was Jill Stein, a reliably useful idiot, appearing on C-SPAN last October: “On the issue of war and nuclear weapons, it is actually Hillary’s policies which are much scarier than Donald Trump who does not want to go to war with Russia.” She favored Trump on Russia, of course, because she herself was a Friend of Vlad.

Well, about all that: (1) Jill Stein's PBS interview was heavily edited; (2) most people, upon reading her platform, will come to learn that hers was just as progressive as Bernie Sanders, which is to say that it was demonstratively more progressive than Hillary Clinton's; and (3) Hillary has her own ties to Russia, thankyouverymuch.

(And before anyone says, "All those videos came from Jimmy Dore!" please try to find out what's actually inaccurate about them instead of attacking the source. Hint: not enough to discredit them!)

Moving on:

The point of this column is not to defend Clinton’s policies. She was somewhat too hawkish for my tastes. I’ve written critically of her vote for the Iraq War many times. And it’s the darkest irony of her political life that a vote that seemed the politically “safe” one at the time ended up crippling her politically for the rest of her career. It almost certainly cost her the Democratic nomination in 2008 and it damaged her badly in 2016, when Bernie Sanders hammered away at it.

See, this is the problem. The point is any politician should be subject to the review/breakdown of and then acceptance/rejection of their policies. It's not enough to vote for Hillary Clinton because she was running on the Democratic Party ticket. It's not enough that she would have been our country's first female president has she won. It's not enough that she backtracked on some of her (and her husband's) stances. I've said it before and I'll say it again: if Hillary Clinton wanted to really become president, she should have ran in 2004, when the Iraq War was essentially strangling the Bush Administration and the Good Feelings of the Clinton Administration was still in the back of the minds of American voter. She was at her most progressive, and would have easily beaten John Kerry in the primary (the Democrat who campaigns to the left wins 9 times out of 10). All she would have had to do in this hypothetical presidential debate was say, "Look; it's Clinton vs Bush, and we all how well that went the last time for America." Would the Iraq war vote have been an issue? Sure, but no where to the degree it was in 2008 (or even now after God-only-knows how many conflicts).

So let's wrap this up:

On some other matters, I think she got an unfair rap. She wanted to do more in 2011 to help the anti-Assad fighters in Syria. True, there’s a chance her position might have kicked off a fateful escalation. But it’s hardly a certainty that it would have. Her instinct was to try to stop a slaughter, which in the end the United States and the rest of the world shamefully just let happen.
But this isn’t about her. It’s about a mindset on the left that helped give us President Trump. It’s a view of the world rooted in the conviction that Democrats and liberals, not Republicans and conservatives, are the real enemies of progress, because you expect malevolence from the latter, while failure by the former to stop them is the real problem.

OK; here's the thing: she lost all sympathy from the left of the Democratic Party when she:

  1. Dismissed the Black Lives Matter Movement;
  2. Started schmoozing with John Negroponte and Henry Kissinger;
  3. Ignored unions, the pipeline protests and the fight for a higher minimum wage;
  4. Embraced Senator chuck Schumer's strategy of courting suburban Republicans over urban Democrats;
  5. Decided to spend more time attacking Trump personally than on policy.
As for that last sentence: well, DUH. Of course progressives would not expect a party who wants to wall off Mexico, ban Muslims, blame black teens who got shot by cops for wearing hoodies, encourage cops to beat up protesters, ban all scenarios of abortion, keep transgender people from going to public bathrooms, prevent women from getting contraceptives, and keep universal health care of the table to be civil or respectful. But yes, the other party who claims that they are better should be fighting them at every turn on every front instead of thumb-pointing at them and going, "Do you really want to take your chances with these guys?"

In California, Democrats are preventing single payer from coming to life in that state. There's nary a peep from Democrats in New York about Stop and Frisk. Are any Democrats in Michigan banging the pots and pans over the water problems in flint? And Why did the Democrats in Congress give Trumps way more than he originally asked for in Defense Spending? Not sure about anyone else, but to me, all of these are examples of being "enemies of progress."

Democrats need to stand for something other than "We're not them." And if they stand for progressive ideas, that (guess what?) progressives will gravitate toward them. The Kronos vs Kang Argument will not work forever.

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