Saturday, March 12, 2016

One Never Forgets Their First Love


An old friend called this morning to tell me he was running for Congress against a right-wing Republican in a fairly red district. He felt he had a chance to win because Hillary is popular in the area and he expected her to have strong coattails. "Bernie too," I offered, an offering which he was dismissive of. And that led to a discussion about what the value is of lifelong Democrats imbued with the progressive values and principles of the Democratic Party. He's a committed, lifelong Democrat and, although he hangs out with some shady establishment types these days, the values and principles he grew up with are so ingrained that I never worry that he's going to turn into some kind of a New Dem or Blue Dog or DLC type.

Eventually I was quoting him the Hillary NPR blurb from 1996 that shows her "childhood" Republicanism and conservatism was still as much a part of her as progressive DNA is for me and for him. "I feel like my political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with... I'm very proud that I was a Goldwater Girl." Yeah... that's the problem. It's not that she once campaigned for Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller or that she was the president of her college's Young Republicans. It's that she still clings to those roots and they inform her political instincts now... right now. She can try to copy Bernie's ideas all lie about him all she wants, she will always come across as inauthentic as her pal Donald Trump.

When she was the president of the Wellesley College Young Republicans, Bernie was the president of the University of Chicago chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality. He was being arrested for demonstrating against segregation while she was knocking on doors for her party's reactionary candidates.

Today, she usually calls herself a "moderate" (Beltway-speak for conservative), which is accurate. But in the current primary situation-- which they are so, so eager to end, so the real Hillary can come out-- she's desperately trying to portray herself as something she isn't, never was and never will be: a progressive. You can't be a conservative and a progressive at the same time. She tries to bridge the gap with an inadvertent insult to actual progressives. "I'm a progressive-- but I'm a progressive who likes to get things done." But?

And it isn't true. She's a conservative who likes to get things done. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Alan Grayson, Raul Grijalva, Pramila Jayapal... those are progressives who like to get things done; in fact, those are progressives who do get things done. No "buts." This is who Hillary is in her gut and who she will always be. Like she said, when she was turning 50 (so a few years out of childhood), her political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that she was raised with... and she's still very proud that she was a Goldwater Girl.

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At 1:11 PM, Blogger Juno Cheyenne Krakus said...

What about communism / socjalism coming to America.
Are you OK with that?

At 7:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes for socialism! Doesn't necessarily equate with communism. Are the socialist countries in Europe communist countries? I don't think so.


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