Monday, February 22, 2016

Imagine How I Felt When I Found Myself In One Of Hillary's E-Mails! I Hope I Don't Have To Testify


Friday night there was a news-dump of more Hillary e-mails. For reasons that will be obvious in a moment, one particularly interested me. Longtime Clinton Family retainer Sidney Blumenthal is a really good writer and a very strategic thinker. In September, 2010, in the run-up to the disastrous midterms he sent Secretary Clinton a memo about how the elections could be less disastrous. One of his proposals included turning John Boehner into a piñata. And he included a chunk of a DownWithTyranny post on Boehner's corruption as an example, along with this link for the Secretary. He didn't include any of my signature attacks on the DCCC but he did suggest Hillary read this and the linked post from Digby's blog:
By the end of the day, Boehner was hysterical and backing away-- full throttle-- from his cavalier remarks about letting the taxpayers pick up the tab. Digby thinks he must be drunk on Man Tan and nicotine. "Boehner," she wrote, "is walking back his comments about having the government pay for the BP spill, but let's face facts. He was just on autopilot, echoing the Chamber of Commerce line verbatim and then got caught... Boehner is so out of touch and servile to Big Business that he's making mistakes.
One feisty Member of Congress who read the e-mail, called me last night and told me if Hillary had paid attention to Blumenthal and had shaken up Obama, Pelosi and the inept DCCC Chair, Chris Van Hollen, perhaps the Democrats wouldn't have suffered a net loss of 63 seats, elevating Boehner to the Speakership.

But that was hardly the only e-mail released Friday worth mentioning. There were some that demonstrate-- once again-- why no one trusts her as she lobbies senators on anti-worker trade bills she was pretending to oppose. (No, she didn't evolve on everything since her days as president of the Wellesley College Young Republicans.)
Other emails show Clinton seeming to personally lobby her former Democratic colleagues in the Senate to support free trade agreements (FTAs) with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. She had previously told voters she would work to block the Colombian and South Korean pacts.

An email Oct. 8, 2011, to Clinton from her aide Huma Abedin gave notes about the state of play in Congress on the proposed trade pacts. The notes provided Clinton “some background before you make the calls” to legislators.

Two days later in an email titled “FTA calls,” Clinton wrote to aides indicating she had spoken to Sens. Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Jim Webb of Virginia, both Democrats. She told the aides she had talked with “Webb who is strong in favor of all 3” trade agreements, and then asked, “So why did I call him?”-- indicating she was otherwise phoning  to try to convince wavering lawmakers to support the deals.

Only three years earlier, Clinton wooed organized labor during her presidential campaign with promises to oppose those same deals. She called the South Korea agreement “inherently unfair.” She also said, “I will do everything I can to urge the Congress to reject the Colombia Free Trade Agreement.” Clinton has lately courted organized labor’s support for her current presidential bid by pledging to oppose the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, a deal she repeatedly touted while secretary of state.
Saturday, the most progressive member of the Colorado state legislature, Joe Salazar, made the courageous (and dangerous) decision to break free of the Machine and endorse Bernie, saying "I think (Sanders) has a better vision, and he's been talking about it the past 40 or 50 years. He's not the politician who accepts campaign contributions from the wealthiest of America. I have a high degree of respect for Secretary (Hillary) Clinton, but I think Sanders best represents what is needed in Colorado... We have to dream big because America is built off big dreams," he added. "I'm not hearing that from Secretary Clinton. What I hear from her is typically what I hear from the other side of the aisle: 'You may have big dreams, but they're not realistic.'"

And that brings us to our favorite ex-Reagan/ex-George W. Bush advisor, historian Bruce Bartlett. Over the weekend he penned a kind of open e-mail to Hillary via The Atlantic, Jack Kemp's Power Lesson for Hillary Clinton. "Lately," he wrote, "Hillary Clinton and her supporters have been criticizing Bernie Sanders’s proposals not so much because they are wrongheaded, but because they are too utopian to pass Congress. I find this to be a curious line of attack because, in effect, Clinton is playing by Republican rules-- saying that Democrats should only propose things that could be enacted by a Republican Congress. Economists would call this an example of static analysis, assuming that circumstances will not change or that leadership is incapable of altering political possibilities. If Republicans had held this same point of view, Ronald Reagan’s 1981 tax cut never would have been enacted and, very likely, they would never have gained control of Congress. The 1981 tax cut fundamentally altered political dynamics. This was not a result that anyone would have predicted when the Reagan tax cut was first conceived by Representative Jack Kemp of New York in 1977. At the time, he was a junior congressman much better known for his career in professional football than for his legislative accomplishments, which were modest." When Kemp proposed it, it was opposed by every member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, on both sides of the aisle. "Even those who thought Kemp’s plan was a good idea in principle thought it was pie-in-the-sky that would never be enacted by a Congress in which Democrats held large majorities in both the House and Senate." You see where this is going by now. Four years later, Kemp's big impossible dream was signed into law.
The relevance to today’s policy debates is that what may at first appear to be politically impossible can quickly become possible with the right leadership, changing circumstances, and a little luck. I’m not saying that Sanders’s ideas are necessarily good or politically doable. But I am saying that it’s wrong to oppose them simply because they could not pass Congress today. If Republicans had taken that view in the late 1970s, the world today would look very different, both politically and economically. Sometimes it’s necessary to throw the bomb and see what happens.
Perhaps you agree with Hillary and think Bartlett lacks understanding of the situation and that Bernie's big dreams aren't going anywhere, ever. If you don't feel that way, though, please consider contributing to Bernie's campaign and, perhaps, to the campaigns of some of the congressional candidates who share his dreams. Just tap on the thermometer below:
Goal Thermometer

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At 9:06 AM, Blogger J Reynolds said...

Has anyone done the math on the 3 contests so far? Hillary won Iowa by 4 and Nevada by 860 and Bernie won New Hampshire by 56,329. Out of the 259,321 number at issue in the 3 races so far Bernie has 157,740 and Hillary has 101,481. That's 61% for Sanders and 39% for Clinton, she claims and the media echoes that she is the winner. That's lousy math Clinton!

At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the way you do math! Go Bernie!


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