Friday, April 15, 2016

Hillary... Better Than Trump, Better Than Cruz


Tea and pastries are on Wall Street

Yesterday I was upstairs putting on my shoes and socks and MSNBC was on. Andrea Mitchell was in the middle of an interview with Kirsten Gillibrand, the upstate New York politician who was appointed to Hillary's Senate seat in 2009 when Obama gave Hillary the Secretary of State job. Wikipedia correctly defines her politics with this description: "A member of the Democratic Party's relatively conservative Blue Dog faction while in the House, Gillibrand has been seen as a progressive since her appointment to the Senate. In both cases, her views were significantly defined by the respective constituency she served at the time-- a conservative congressional district versus the generally liberal state of New York. For example, while quiet on the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy when she was in the House, during her first 18 months in the Senate, Gillibrand was an important part of the successful campaign to repeal it." That's a nice way of explaining that she panders and isn't a values-driven leader.

In 2006, when she first ran, I got to know her pretty well. I liked her a lot and Blue America took an active role in helping her raise money and working out messaging against John Sweeney. We even got Rickie Lee Jones to record a little campaign jingle for her (below). And it certainly wasn't just Blue America backing her. She ran as a progressive and had the backing of the Working Families Party. Both Hillary and Bill Clinton campaigned for her in the very red district. She probably won because Sweeney was a drunkard and a wife-beater and his wife called the police on him during the campaign for battery.

As soon as Gillibrand entered Congress she joined the Blue Dogs and started voting with the Republicans on almost everything. By the time she was up for reelection there wasn't a trace of progressivism left in her and Blue America would have been more likely to back a primary opponent than to support Gillibrand for anything.

When I watched her on MSNBC I was chuckling at the irony of Hillary using her as a surrogate against Bernie. After all, the main thrust of Hillary's absurd and deceitful attacks on Bernie is that he's an NRA-shill. Bernie's NRA score is a D-minus. Gillibrand was an NRA heroine who was graded an "A" with a 100% perfect score on their issues. She's since flip-flopped into a vaguely anti-NRA stance. She's actually perfect for the job of Hillary surrogate-- a dishonest political hack speaking for another opportunistic careerist with no strong values beyond personal advancement. This morning Gillibrand claimed Hillary will be releasing the transcripts of the paid speeches she made to the Wall Street banksters that she's been hiding all through the campaign and insisted during last night's debate that no one will see them unless they're pried out of her cold, dead hands-- or if Ted Cruz releases his first.

Yesterday Nate Roberts shared some thoughts on a Bernie reddit page, A Hillary presidency will not be more progressive because of Bernie's primary challenge and watching Gillibrand on TV made me want to share it, especially with the DWT contingent from New York. "Bernie supporters," he wrote, "who keep repeating the comforting line that 'even if he loses he will have forced Hillary to take more progressive positions,' are in for a rude shock." Nate's got that right!
First, if she wins she'll be even more indebted to her corporate investors, who are the only ones sticking by her and keeping her campaign afloat in the face of a democratic revolution.

Second, the idea that Hillary is some kind of weather vane, who adopts whatever positions poll well is a complete myth. She tailors her public pronouncements to what focus group research is telling her, but her core values and inclinations are thoroughly elitist, militarist, and conservative (with only a few exceptions, like her being pro-choice).

Third, she is a HIGHLY vindictive person, who is known to nurture grudges for decades over far smaller affronts than progressives daring to thwart her lifetime ambition. Not only will she screw progressives over, she'll go out of her way to do so. She'll fuck them even when she doesn't need to. She'll make Rahm Emanuel's hippie punching look like kids stuff and she'll have the power to make it really hurt. And the first thing on her agenda will be killing net neutrality, because that is not only the source off all opposition but her personal Achilles heel.

If she is elected there will be very dark days ahead. This election really is a matter of life and death. Not just for the Clintons, but for any hope of a progressive future. Even Trump or Cruz, as bad as they are, do not represent the threat to progressivism that she does.

This is just some of the reasons it's truly "Bernie or bust."
But... she's better than Trump or Cruz. Neither of them, though, is in the Democratic primary.

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