Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Hillary, Ed Snowden And The Millennial Vote


Yesterday, Hillary had an OpEd in Policy.Mic, Here's What Millennials Have Taught Me. Her point is that she's been listening to millennials and that she finds then "the most open, diverse and entrepreneurial generation in our country's history." Millennials were the mainstay of the Bernie Sanders movement as-- without the "help" of crooked like Wasserman Schultz, Harry Reid and corrupt party machines from one end of the country to the other, would have won the nomination for him. But now she needs their votes against the Trumpist boogeyman.

She notes that millennials have led "the way to a brighter future for all of us. You've fought for some of the most important accomplishments in our nation's history, like the Affordable Care Act and marriage equality. You've come together to challenge our country to protect human rights and strengthen families by fixing a broken immigration system, reforming our criminal justice system and ending the era of mass incarceration. And you've demanded that people of color be able to live their lives without fear of being killed at a routine traffic stop." And she talks about her own time in college, skipping over the fact that she was on the wrong side of history, an outspoken conservative, president of Wellesley's Young Republicans. Is she still missing the boat?

ObamaCare? Millennials want single payer, not a dysfunctional baby step in that direction, with built in profits for hated pharmaceutical monoplies. And, yes, millennials helped drag her away from her own instinctual, less than stellar record on marriage equality and, apparently, get her to shift her position on a conservative approach to criminal justice. Her attack on Trump is gratuitous and neither here nor there. Millennials are repulsed by him. But what is she offering to draw them in, to make it worth the bother of voting? Is it just a lesser-of-two-evils thing? Is that going to be enough? Maybe. She goes on to list some of her plans.
First, everyone who wants to go to college should be able to without drowning in debt. That's why I worked with Sen. Bernie Sanders to design a plan that will let everyone attend college debt-free. If you already have loans, we'll let you refinance them, defer them to start a business or forgive them if you spend 10 years in public service. You can even see how much you and your family could save under our plan by looking at the "college calculator" on our website. And we'll make sure a four-year degree isn't the only path to a good-paying job by supporting apprenticeships and other high-quality training programs.

Second, everyone should be able to get a job that pays the bills and can support a family. And not only that, you should be able to do work you love and find meaningful. So we'll create more good-paying jobs, raise the minimum wage and guarantee equal pay. This will help a lot of Americans, especially young people struggling to find footing in a difficult economy.

Third, no new parent should have to face the impossible choice between caring for a child or family member and losing a paycheck or even a job. It's outrageous that in 2016, the United States is the only developed country in the world without paid family leave of any kind. So we'll make high-quality child care and preschool available to every family in every community.  I've spent my career fighting to make a difference for children and families, and I can't wait to do even more as president.

Of course, to do any of these things, we can't have secret unaccountable money poisoning our politics. So I'll appoint Supreme Court justices who will overturn Citizens United and even propose a constitutional amendment to do the same. And by doing that, we'll make sure that no special interests can get in the way of protecting and expanding civil rights, LGBT rights and all human rights.

Many of you have shared with me that it feels like you're out there on your own-- like no one has your back. It shouldn't be that way. If I'm fortunate enough to be elected, you will always have a champion in the White House. But I can't do it on my own. I need you to work with me, keep fighting for what you believe, hold me accountable. I can't promise we'll win every fight on our first try. But I can promise you this: I'll never stop fighting for you.

So let's stand together to show the world what our country, and your generation, really stands for. Let's overwhelm division and intolerance with compassion, understanding and unity. Let's make clear that Love Trumps Hate-- not just this November, but always.
Yeah, nice... and Kevin Drum made an even better case for her at Mother Jones Monday morning. He insists there's a top notch postive case to be made for Hillary, over and above how horrible Trump is. He starts with a caveat that she, like all other politicians, is far from perfect. "If you think she's too instinctively hawkish-- as I do-- that might be reason enough for a liberal to vote for someone else. On some issues-- supporting the Iraq War, supporting TPP, voting for the PATRIOT Act, etc.-- she's taken positions that might be flat deal killers. On other issues, you might think she's not strong enough, or that it took her too long to get to the right place. Finally, on a personal level, she's often over-secretive, overly lawyerly, and sometimes skates a little close to some ethical lines. She distrusts the press and withholds information too often. And she is, plainly, an establishment politician, with all the flaws that implies." He then lists 84 points that ought to make progressives (and most millennials are that) consider voting for her. Read it for yourself (here) but, minus the Trumpist threat-- and with all due respects to Kevin-- I'm not convinced. Blue America is now raising money for her campaign and I'm urging my friends and readers in swing states to vote for her.

Below is far from a scientific poll, but I asked twitter users who they would rather see as a U.S. senator, Ed Snowden or Patrick Murphy. Murphy is an unaccomplished Florida backbencher in Congress currently playing a bit role in the rise of Marco Rubio. Saudi Arabia's member of the House Intelligence Committee-- an actual traitor, not a whistleblower-- Murphy signed a letter urging President Obama to deny Snowden a pardon. These were the results:

What would get me enthusiastic about Hillary as something more than a way of stopping Trump? In the Oliver Stone film, Snowden, Hillary and Trump are represented, not by actors, but with archival footage. Predictably, Trump calls for Snowden's execution. Hillary isn't quite as bad but her attitude on Snowden is as bad today as her attitude about same sex marriage was not all that many years ago. She should reexamine that attitude. That may say a lot more to millennials, who overwhelmingly see him as a whistleblower and not as a the traitor the decrepit House Intelligence Committee is trying to paint him as.

This is very tough for any politician. I asked every member of Congress I know and every congressional candidate I know for a statement on Snowden. Other than from a handful of courageous Berniecrats, the silence was deafening. The kind of leadership it would take to stand up-- like Bernie has-- and make a case for Snowden would be monumental... and would say something undenialbly powerful to millennials about Hillary. Monday morning the editors of The Guardian called attention to the unbearable hypocrisy of the editors of the Washington Post on the matter. The Post, they wrote "stunned many people in the United States, including a large section of the country’s journalistic community, by coming out against a pardon for whistleblower Edward Snowden. Despite the newspaper having been responsible for publishing leaks by the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, its latest editorial urges President Barack Obama not to pardon him... Two other newspapers that published Snowden’s revelations-- the Guardian and the New York Times-- have run opinion pieces calling on the US administration to allow him to return to the US without facing any charges."

One of the Berniecrats who did get back to me on this was Kerith StranoTaylor, a congressional candidate running in PA-05, a very conservative district in north-central Pennsylvania. Imagine if Hillary issued a statement like this:
Ed Snowden is the collateral damage of a misguided effort to privatize our national security.  First, in an effort to "shrink government' thousands of private contractors were entrusted with unfettered access to the most secret details of our national security. Our government was spying on its own citizens. He pulled back the curtain. Snowden should be pardoned. He revealed to America that the erosion done to our civil liberties under the Patriot Act was too great. Without his actions, would the Patriot Act have ever been curtailed? Prosecuting Snowden at this point is as egregious as the threatened 16-year sentence for Deric Lostutter, the hacker that exposed the 2012 high school football players' rape case in Stuebenville, Ohio. Three boys who witnessed the rape (and did nothing to stop it) were granted immunity from prosecution, but the man who notified the world of the rape, is facing 16 years in prison. This is not the way the world was supposed to work. I do not condone vigilantism. We are a country of laws. However, our Justice system allows for leniency when warranted, and this is a case where a pardon is more than appropriate.
Wendy Reed is the progressive Democrat taking on Republican Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in the Bakersfield area. Her instincts are just right even if she hasn't immersed herself in this case. "I am happy to stand with whistleblowers and patriots who do for American democracy what journalists used to do" she told us a few moments ago. "With what little I know about the Snowden situation, I do support clemency."

Ray Metcalfe is the most recently endorsed Blue America candidate. He's running for the Alaska Senate seat currently occupied by Lisa Murkowski and he has very strong feelings about the Ed Snowden controversy. "Personally I consider Edward Snowden to be a hero," he told us yesterday, "and, according to polling information published in the Christian Science Monitor, 60 percent of Americans age 18 to 29, agree. I believe the law should protect, not prosecute, those who expose criminal activity in our government; unfortunately it does not. Prosecuting someone thought to be a hero by so many would be extremely divisive among Americans. Oliver North got off on technicalities after lying to Congress about the Reagan Administration's cocaine smuggling to fund the Contra rebels, and years later, six of his coconspirators were pardoned. Now President Obama wants to prosecute Snowden for telling the truth. What's wrong with this picture? The practice of classifying information is thought to be done to keep information from the enemy. Unfortunately it has all too often become a tool for keeping Americans from knowing what their government is doing. If elected, I will advocate for whistle blower protections and restrictions for what purposes information can and cannot be classified."

Another was San Antonio's Tom Wakely, a candidate in TX-21. An army veteran, his thoughts on Snowden explains why he has so much enthusiasm for his campaign in Austin and San Antonio. "Tones of politicians and journalists," he wrote, "like to wax poetic on their personal interpretations or strict adherence to our Constitution. However, in the wake of what Edward Snowden revealed to the world, we aren't having a proper discussion about the 4th Amendment. Warrantless data espionage should be a huge issue not just for politicians and journalists, but for every person on the planet. All too often you hear the argument from the public that they likely have nothing to hide, and subsequently don't care. Would that argument apply to physical frisks whenever authorities felt like it? Would the same argument apply to authorities keeping a physical eye on you at all times? I'm willing to bet for most folks that they'd feel extremely uncomfortable. Now the Washington Post is calling for their own source to not be pardoned. What a dangerous precedent this sets. 'Thanks for the scoop on unconstitutional searches, good luck in jail.' Is this really what journalists want? I can't imagine all the reporters of the Washington Post agreeing with this sentiment. There are a lot of questions regarding Snowden's decisions in the aftermath of these leaks, but I'd be willing to bet he'd cooperate and be able to answer all of them if our government granted him the ability to return home. I liken Snowden to Daniel Ellsberg, who changed my views on the Vietnam War and allowed me to become part of the Veterans for Peace movement. Our government is supposed to be for the people. Edward Snowden proved that in the online realm, the government is skeptical of the people. Snowden acted for the people. We should bring him home with a pardon."

If you're already a DWT reader, you already know Tom Wakely and Wendy Reed. Ray Metcalfe is a former Alaska state legislator renowned for anti-corruption crusades in his state and Kerith is a biker and an attorney and you can help them all win their races by contributing at the Blue America thermometer below:
Goal Thermometer

UPDATE: Grayson

Grayson was overseas when the Intelligence Committee sent their letter to Obama urging him to not pardon Ed Snowden. When he got back, he told me that "President Obama issued Presidential Policy Directive 19 for the specific (and much needed) purpose of protecting whistleblowers in the so-called 'intelligence community.' To say that anyone could be prosecuted for such whistleblowing-- in a secret trial, no less-- makes a mockery of that directive. Why even pretend that we protect whistleblowers, when in fact the military-intelligence complex gnaws at their bones mercilessly?"

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,


At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary thought she could herd the people who wanted real change via Bernie into the tired triangulation game & lesser of two evils. She gave as little as she could on actually things that matter. Get rid of the super delegates, as they are undemocratic, would have been a nice start. But she's corrupt, uninspiring candidate, tied to the DW Schultz mentality where fixing an election is just part of the game. Write all the op-eds you want, but in the end the Dem's have their power at any cost selves to blame for standing in the way of positive change.

At 3:35 PM, Blogger Jan said...

Blame schmame. Clinton or Trump. There is no future with Trump.

At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary says everyone's gonna get a pony with her. But it winds up being a lump of coal after she passes TPP.

Kim Kaufman

At 4:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop looking at Hillary at this point! We can pressure her once she is in, if we are so lucky. Look at Trump and his horrors - that is all we should be focusing on now.

At 9:48 AM, Blogger ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

No, nonny.

It's always the same. THIS time you have to hold your nose!

But the long-term result is the decline of the Democratic party.

It's like giving in to a terrorists threats. There's always a compelling short-term reason. But there's a price paid over the long term for doing it.

See what happened to the U.K.'s Labour Party under the Blairites for an example.


Post a Comment

<< Home