Saturday, February 20, 2016

What Makes Hillary Clinton A Democrat?


Thursday evening at the Las Vegas town hall, Nevada Democrats boo-ed Hillary Clinton when she accused Bernie Sanders of not really being a Democrat (video above). That's an interesting statement and it depends what you mean by "a Democrat." On one level she's correct. Bernie is an independent who caucuses with the Democratic Party. He founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus and was elected its first chairman. When the Democratic Party used to run candidates against him, they were also right-of-center establishment candidates who, like Hillary, were, at best, better than Republicans on most issues. When she talks about being a Democrat, she isn't talking about embracing a set of values and principles; she's talking about being a member of a fairly arbitrary professional, career-oriented team of insiders with a tent that is so huge and flexible that it encompasses anything and everything, rendering the tarnished party brand increasingly meaningless. According to the latest Gallup survey, only 30% of voters self-identify as "Democrats" (in the Hillary sense of the word)-- the exact same number who identify as Republicans. 37% of voters self-identify as independents and the majority of those independents embrace progressive values.

Bernie was born in 1941 and Hillary was born in 1947, so neither was alive when President Franklin Roosevelt made his famous "I welcome their hatred" speech, referring to Wall Street banksters, at Madison Square Garden in 1936. "We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace-- business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering," he told the assembled Democrats. "They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me-- and I welcome their hatred."

Bernie was born into a family in working class Brooklyn on the left of the political spectrum. FDR's speech was part of his formative natural environment. A decade after it was made, Hillary was born into a conservative Republican family and her formative natural environment abhored every word Roosevelt spoke. In 1960, as a young teen, she worked on the Richard Nixon campaign and in 1964, age 17, she worked for the Barry Goldwater campaign. Goldwater was the Ted Cruz of his day; she wasn't volunteering to work for a John Kasich or a Jeb Bush. She has admitted that Barry Goldwater's radical Conscience of a Conservative was politically formative in her political development. The following year she went to an uber-elite 7 Sisters college, Wellesley, and served as president of the Young Republicans. She described herself as "a mind conservative and a heart liberal" and she eschewed the radicalism of the '60s, preferring, she has said, to work within the system. In 1968-- aged 21-- she was working for Nelson Rockefeller's election when she finally noticed her political party was a den of racists and that was the year that she finally left the Republican Party. The inherent conservatism she got from her family and her environment is as strong as ever and FDR's "we know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob" doesn't ring the same bells for her that it rings for people who grew up as Democrats and whose DNA includes the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt values. Her instincts are conservative and so is her record and if her stated positions seem progressive in 2016, it's because she's running a Democratic primary against Bernie Sanders. Nothing she says rings even slightly believable.

Like Arizona Blue Dog Kyrsten Sinema, she may be instinctively progressive on women's issues but she's instinctively conservative on everything else. She has been "forced" to change her positions-- if not her mind-- on virtually every single issue important to Democratic voters-- but when she finally gets around to it, it has taken years and it's only when the progressive positions are watered down and absolutely politically safe. She is the opposite of a leader; she's a follower. She's the opposite of an agent of change. She's a linchpin of the Establishment and a protector of the status quo. She is the wrong candidate for the Democratic Party at a time when the people of this country have made it completely clear they are repulsed by the establishment. If she is the nominee, the outcome will be a President Herr Trumpf. This morning a new poll shows Bernie pulling ahead of Hillary in Colorado, where Democrats caucus in just over a week. He now leads her 49-43%. In the last polling-- which was more a name recognition poll-- she lead by 28 points. She can still be stopped. She must be, for the sake of the country.

Goal Thermometer

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At 5:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The GOP became THE "den of racists" in 1964 when Goldwater carried the South with the help of party-switching Strom Thurmond by opposing the Civil Rights Act. Nixon and Kevin Phillips took credit for the Southern Strategy but in fact all they did was read the 1964 Electoral College map and add Peggy Noonan behind the Spiro Agnew mask.

At 6:51 AM, Blogger Father Kane said...

#1 - Stop citing Target Point as a poll showing haw great Bernie is doing. Target Point is a Republican polling firm trying to influence to election for Republicans.
In other words, Target Point is a joke and when you keep citing it, makes you the fool.

#2 - "On Election Day, Goldwater lost the election to Johnson by what was then the largest margin in history.[2] Goldwater accumulated 52 Electoral votes to Johnson's 486...."
And the largest defeat? 8 years later Progressive McGovern 11 Electoral votes.......

#3 - Your ideological purity is insulting. To suggest that Hillary isn't even a 'real' Democrat?
I was born to Republican parents so I guess I can't be a Democrat either.
This purity crap you keep harping on is the same purity test teabaggers use to sort out the 'real' Republicans.

Thanks for being the Democrats teabagges.

At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. No Target Point in sight. Results pretty much the same: Bernie does better than HRC vs. the GOP.

2. What has 1972 got to do with Hillary being a Goldwater Girl and a Young Republican?

3. Clintonomics, which is also Bushonomics and Obamanomics, has been a disaster for everyone who doesn't live inside the prosperity bubble. That's not "purity crap." That's the fact.

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Father Kane said...

WOW! You are fantastic at changing to topic to avoid answering the question.

#1 - The Target Point poll cited in the article - which you very carefully avoided mentioning because it IS a Republican polling service also asked loaded questions favoring Bernie and unfavorable to Clinton.
But to your point - the Target poll compared Clinton to Sanders. ALL the RCP (which I post everyday in my blog) compared Clinton to the Republicans and then Sanders to the Republicans. Not one single poll you cited compared Clinton to Sanders.
Apples meet oranges and a great way to avoid answering a question.

#2 - Again avoiding my comment.
Goldwater would be a today's teabagger and lost in a massive landslide to LBJ.
McGovern was the last Progressive the Democrats ran and lost in an ever bigger landslide to the most corrupt politician in well perhaps ever - Tricky Dick Nixon.
Now Hillary and Bill have been vetted by the Republicans for 20 years.
Bernie? 0 years.
Bernie is going to be buried by FOX, ring wing media and every Republican with 2 things - 'Socialism' and 'free stuff'.
Even the House Democrats have said they will not touch Bernie's Medicare For All because it will raise taxes on everybody - especially the middle class.

#3 - Again a great avoidance of what I commented on.
I was talking the POLITICS of suggesting that Hillary wasn't even a (cough) 'real' Democrat just like the teabaggers like to say moderate Republicans aren't 'real' Republicans.
But no. You couldn't explain that so instead you shoveled up a bunch of BS about economics.
This article like several others, have been suggesting a 'purity test' and Hillary doesn't make it as a 'progressive'.
By the standard cited, I can't be a Democrat because I grew up in a house of Republicans.
That line of so called logic is an insult to every Liberal out there.

If you can't respond directly to a comments topic, don't insult everyone's intelligence by changing to topic and shoveling distracting points.

At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Jack said...

@ Howie:

Nice job, Howie. That’s about as thorough—and as succinct—an exposition of the case against nominating Hillary as I can imagine.

@ “Father Kane”:

You sound like a Hillary troll. I’m going to take apart your three “points” one by one, and it’ll be like shooting fish in a barrel:

1. As an anonymous reader already pointed out above, Howie was basing his position on several mainstream polls, not on any data from TargetPoint [sic] Consulting, Inc.*, which, as you correctly pointed out, is an outfit with ties to the GOP. But if TargetPoint was purposely skewing the data, they’d be skewing it in favor of Hillary. Why? Because they, like Ann Coulter** and many other Republicans, realize that Bernie is the stronger candidate with the independents whose votes will decide the race.

2. Your comparison of Bernie with George McGovern is ridiculous because the situation in2016 is very different from what we had in 1972. The economy was in good shape. Remember, that was one year before the first OPEC-created oil crisis, which did us relatively little economic harm. The real decline in the fortunes of the working class is the result of NAFTA and the repeal of Glass-Steagall. Those were Republican goals that Bill Clinton managed to push through a Congress under nominal Democratic control—-policies that Hillary supported from the sidelines, and policies that Bernie consistently opposed. And more and more voters are finding out about that.

3. People do depart from their parents’ politics in both directions, and that has nothing to do with being a “real” Democrat or a “real” Republican. Remember, Ronald Reagan was once a Democrat. He even campaigned with the relatively conservative Democrat Harry Truman in 1948. And the man Truman replaced as the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 1944 (over FDR’s objections) because party bosses (especially southern ones) considered him too liberal, Henry A. Wallace, was the son of Henry C. Wallace, who had been Secretary of Agriculture in the Republican administrations of Harding and Coolidge!

Finally, I see that you used to have a blog (“The Last Of The Millenniums”), but your last post was dated March 7, 2012. What happened?




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