Sunday, November 22, 2015

I'd Never Vote For Hillary-- But Some Of My Best Friends Plan To


Hillary is better than these

I want to get something off my chest and I figure late night on a Sunday is as close to yelling at a wall as I'm going to get. Personally, I have no intention of voting for Hillary Clinton ever, obviously not in a primary, but not even against an outright fascist like Cruz or Trump, one of whom is likely to be the GOP nominee. Yes, yes, yes, Hillary is better than either of them and better than any other garbage candidate the GOP is considering or might consider. But when I look at who she is, at who's backing her and at what she's offering, all I can say is that-- as much as I want to see a woman president-- the lesser of two evils is still evil and I'm done with voting for evil. If Democratic primary voters decide to reject the best opportunity in any of their lifetimes for a really extraordinary change-candidate, we'll all be the poorer for it but that isn't going to push me into voting for the system I despise.

That said, I entirely respect the contrary position of almost every friend I have. Just about everyone I know is ready to vote for Hillary, every one of them in the general and even one or two in the primary. God Bless! I'm sorry I failed to persuade the ones who are choosing her over Bernie in the primary-- that's scary to me-- but the ones who back Bernie and have already decided to vote for her in the general if she beats him... well, maybe when they get older they'll understand the folly of that kind of thinking. I used to buy into the lesser-of-two evils the Democratic Party establishment always foists on voters too.

That said, I want to share two letters I got today from two Members of Congress who I respect and admire. They were both kind of apologetic about their recent decisions to endorse Hillary. The first came to me as an e-mail entitled "private note about my HRC endorsement" so I don't feel entitled to reveal his name.
Hi, Howie. I meant to send this to you last night, because I knew it would probably land in the newspaper, but forgot. I have endorsed Hillary Clinton over Bernie, whose relentless and important message I do love. I want to win. I want the American people to win, and we have to have a Dem in the White House for them to have a shot. I believe that Hillary has everything in place to do that in this ugly campaign full of Republicans who are betraying our values daily, and I believe that Bernie has pushed her far enough to the left now that she is supporting more progressive policies that help regular people and the poor. (Keystone and the TPP were huge for me.) I didn't do it for votes. I didn't do it for money. I didn't do it to win friends. It might help. It might hurt. I have many progressive friends and supporters on both sides, so I just don't know. It doesn't matter anyway, because I didn't do it for gain.

I just want to win. I am scared to death of those guys who brag about what America would look like under their command. I am scared of their power to appoint Supreme Court Justices. I am going to work very hard for HRC or Bernie, and then I will keep pushing to make sure America works harder for the middle class and the poor. I respect your opinion, and I know we differ on this, but I wanted to let you know my thinking on this.
And I respect his opinion as well, though we differ. I have donated money to his campaign and if I lived in his state, I would be working for his re-election and eagerly vote for him as well. The second letter came from a senator who loves Bernie personally and sees eye-to-eye with him on virtually every position but has endorsed Hillary. Her letter surprised me when I saw it today although I had asked her for a clarification about whether she had endorsed Hillary or not since the local media reports were unclear.
I’ve been spending a significant amount of time trying to get Hillary and her campaign to adopt my Social Security and Medicare platform and also to take our [very aggressive] field program and implement it statewide. They actually have been listening to me, and I’ve been making progress. They asked me to join the Leadership Council. If I didn’t, then they probably would have stopped listening.  So I did. We actually negotiated over this, and I told them that they could call it an endorsement if they wanted to, but that I would continue to say good things about both candidates. Some of the local media tried to blow this up and make Bernie supporters unhappy with me. But if this means that I get Clinton to spend $5 million on a real statewide field program and we score an extra 300,000 Democratic votes from it, then I’ll live with it.
I have no idea how the congressman who wrote me the first note is going to vote in the primary but I'd guess this senator will be voting for Bernie in her state's primary. They will certainly both vote for whichever Democrat is nominated. I'd bet that if Hillary wins, Bernie will endorse her and actively campaign for her too. But I could be wrong about that; we'll see. By the way, if you'd like to contribute to Bernie's campaign, you can do it here at this Blue America page.

Patrick Healy, writing for Saturday's NY Times reported about why one Democratic Party official was not stampeded, intimidated and bribed into endorsing the Democrats' establishment candidate and, in fact, has endorsed Bernie.
John Wittneben simmered as he listened to Hillary Rodham Clinton defend her ties to Wall Street during last weekend’s Democratic debate. He lost 40 percent of his savings in individual retirement accounts during the Great Recession, while Mrs. Clinton has received millions of dollars from the kinds of executives he believes should be in jail.

“People knew what they were doing back then, because of greed, and it caused me harm,” said Mr. Wittneben, the Democratic chairman in Emmet County, Iowa. “We were raised a certain way here. Fairness is a big deal.”

The next day he endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders in the presidential race.

...In the primaries, Mrs. Clinton’s advisers privately concede that she will lose some votes over her Wall Street connections. They declined to share specific findings from internal polls, but predicted the issue could resonate in Democratic contests in Iowa, Nevada, Ohio and Michigan, where many have lost homes and businesses to bank foreclosures.

Mr. Sanders zeros in on Wall Street donations to Mrs. Clinton in an aggressive new television commercial that started running in Iowa and New Hampshire on Saturday: “The truth is, you can’t change a corrupt system by taking its money,” he warns.

One of Mrs. Clinton’s most prominent supporters in Ohio, former State Senator Nina Turner, defected to Mr. Sanders this month in part, she said, because she felt he would be tougher on special interests. And some Democratic superdelegates, whose backing is crucial, said Mrs. Clinton’s ties to big banks, and her invocation of 9/11 to defend her ties to Wall Street at the Nov. 14 debate, only made them further question her independence from the financial industry.

...[O]thers said they were more concerned that Mrs. Clinton had not broken with Wall Street in a clear way, noting the lengths she went to at the debate to explain the relationship.

“She was waving the bloody shirt of 9/11 to defend herself, which we’re accustomed to seeing with demagogues on the right, and it just didn’t feel quite right,” said Kurt Meyer, a co-chairman of the Mitchell County Democrats in Iowa, who has not endorsed a candidate. “She connected two things, 9/11 and her ties to Wall Street, that I didn’t like her sewing together.”

Ms. Turner, the former Ohio lawmaker, said the blocks of foreclosed homes in Cleveland were a painful reminder that banks prioritize their own corporate interests. Mr. Sanders has been criticizing “the corrupt economy symbolized by Wall Street greed” for decades, she said.

“He shows righteous indignation and speaks for the common woman and man in saying they have a right to be outraged at Wall Street,” Ms. Turner said. “He doesn’t just talk the talk. He walks the talk.”

And Mrs. Clinton? “Her ties are her ties,” Ms. Turner said.
There's another letter I want to share tonight. This one was an open letter from a former congressional candidate in Arizona, Bob Lord. He published it under his own name this morning at Blog For Arizona.

Sinema hasn't endorsed Hillary or Bernie... or even Webb

An Open Letter to Kyrsten Sinema

Dear Kyrsten:

Slamming the door on Syrian refugees was the umpteenth cynical, self-serving vote you've cast. After working hard to help you in 2012, the previous such votes were disappointing.

This one was far worse.

As you know, my help included recruiting Syrian American friends to support you. They did so generously.

Is locking their friends and family members out of America your way of thanking them? It sure seems so.

Did you give them any thought when casting your vote? Did you consider asking them for their input? Did you not realize they have loved ones in Syria with shattered futures and lives are in peril, desperately hoping to join them here in America?

And you voted to dash those hopes? Really? For the pathetic reason that you feared the political repercussions of casting a less cowardly vote?

My friends trusted me in 2012 when I asked that they support you.

And now you’ve treated them with unfathomable cruelty and selfishness.

I’m mortified. I’ve apologized and they’ve forgiven me for this, but would they ever trust me again, as they did in 2012? I doubt it.

Your record, in my opinion, just crossed the line from cynical to unconscionable.

Your constituent,

Bob Lord
Last night a friend of mine went to a Nancy Pelosi DCCC event in Brentwood. She ran into corrupt conservative New Dem Pete Aguilar and asked why he voted against the Syrian refugees last week. He didn't say anything about policy considerations but explained, somewhat apologetically, that the people he represents in San Bernardino are too dumb to understand the issue. So, he reasoned, because of that his vote shouldn't be held against him. Besides, he said, if there is a vote on overriding a presidential veto, he'll switch. Pete Aguilar... not an actual Democrat-- a drugged-up, bankster-financed Steve Israel Democrat. And, of course Aguilar, like Steve Israel, endorsed Hillary; no worries there. One other thing about that DCCC event-- when pressed, Pelosi said her plan to regain the House majority back from the Republicans was-- Steve Israel and his messaging. Like I've been saying, the Democrats won't win back the House-- not this year, not next year, not in a decade-- as long as corrupt conservatives are running the show and being enabled by an increasingly enfeebled party leader.

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At 12:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quote: "“The truth is, you can’t change a corrupt system by taking its money.”

Nor can your domestic policy be kept independent of your foreign policy of perpetual war.

John Puma

At 1:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the entry right here. I am genuinely undecided going to be voting for in the primary in Ohio – – a few months ago I was 100% set on Sanders but now it's 50-50 because even without Bernie's help Heather is proven far more progressive then I had thought she would be.

I find it impossible to understand how anyone could not vote for Hillary in the general, but the fact that you respect people who will vote for Sanders in the primary and are dead set on voting for Hillary in the general election (if Sanders loses the primary) makes me respect you a lot.

At 3:25 AM, Anonymous Ben said...

I will gladly vote for the Bern. I will hold my nose & vote for Clinton. I would sooner vote for a rabid dog for dogcatcher than anyone the republicans have to offer. But I will vote.

At 7:08 AM, Anonymous wjbill said...

I like Bob Lord. I am sadly stuck (for now) in Sinema's district. I wonder if your congressional friends have ever heard the say "talk is cheap". When we get to 2016 or 2017 and HRC is president I can imagine all the "changed landscape" excuses that will cover her moves to the right. Can't Brown and others see that?

At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The way democracy is supposed to work is that after a right wing tool like George the Lesser we get a pendulum swing back to domestic policies that do something for the common people and a foreign policy that is not a disaster. We got a little bit of the latter, but with the imminent demise of the giveaway to the insurance industry called Obamacare balanced against the fait accompli of Banker Bailout Part I and impunity for Wall Street and war criminals, we got way less than zero. And does anyone believe Hillary will feel constrained one in office by her leftish chitchat during the Democratic primaries running against a decent left opponent? Obama didn't. Why would Hillary? And her foreign policy looks like Li'l Bush III. I have never not voted. I am really torn. Let's see what lunatic the former party of Lincoln, TR and Ike puts up. I hate voting for evil.

At 3:55 PM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Hmmm let's see voting for Hillary umm NO!

At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I happen to live close enough to San Bernardino to reluctantly endorse Pete Aguilar's derogatory assessment of his constituents. The fact that they haven't recalled this racist and ignorant corporatist asshole is my evidence.


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