Bernie Sanders is under attack by what appears to be the radical center-right of the Democratic Party. As an elected representative, the man continues to be a viable political force, and it’s a shame if he loses votes due to support for a currently officeless Clinton. They are, after all, on the same team.
The fact is, Bernie was never the better candidate. Importantly, he was by far the worse of the final two Democratic nominees…in his own ass.
Because of course he was better.
Let’s not take issue with the unsecure emails or Benghazi or any other more recent blown-out-of-proportion BS crises that Clinton had to bat away. It needs to be said that Comey and the emails did – as Clinton claims – contribute to her defeat against Trump.
It’s indubitably what cost her the election. Trump’s allegations that she and Obama co-founded ISIS, for example – ludicrous suggestions, given that the previous administration had caused the cluster**** in the entire region – also cost her the election.
Let’s not take issue with how unfairly the Right have treated the Clintons, from Hillary being actually spat upon for her efforts to introduce a lil Healthcare in the early 90s, to the dogged pursuit of her husband on any number of details that the Democrats would call frivolous and the Republicans would wave away if levelled at them.
Just look at the footage of Cheney and Rumsfeld answering questions on Iraq. Then look at Clinton on Benghazi.
The Republicans just don’t give a poop. Clinton, meanwhile, is under pressure.
It’s strongly possible, as the Clintons insist, that there is indeed a vast right-wing conspiracy against them. Likely too that it’s simply how the Right have been operating. Conservatives showed the same streak of nastiness towards the Obamas.
The difference is that Obama has done less to warrant the intensity of Republican opposition.
Early on, when Obama had a majority, the Clintons are said to have warned him about how alternately stubborn and recalcitrant the Republicans could be when he was trying to push through bipartisan legislation. Rather than seek consensus, he should have done as much as possible without Republican support. The behavior of Republican administrations – specifically Dubya’s – and their opposition to Democratic presidents when in power (since Clinton) – is tantrum-laden obstinacy.
There are double standards.
Losing arms in Mexico, use of private email servers and Benghazi under Obama have nothing on what went on under Bush: Some of these things include:
Lying to the United Nations before starting a war that cost hundreds of thousands of lives
Opening tenders for work in the Middle East exclusively to corporations domiciled in the Coalition countries while companies run by cheese-eating surrender monkeys lost out
The use of private and party email servers
The loss of emails in the quadrillions
Overlooking the pending subprime disaster due to light touch regulation and
Letting the Lehman Brothers go to the wall.
Liberals, socialists and progressives in the United States should – broadly speaking and by definition – place the good of the people and the planet before themselves. Hillary is arguably exceptional among such progressives.
For decades, the Clintons have felt embattled to a point where they both operated within a bubble of advisers and administrators. This prism through which they spew out, take on and subsequently deflect criticism – whether from within their own party or from elsewhere – can be characterised as extremely vicious. Much of the time, their fighting stance may not be of their own making but they don’t see an opponent – they only see opposition.
To the punch-drunk Clintons, a light slap is no less painful than a thump when you’re already nursing a broken jaw.
With that in mind, excuses, disclaimers and rationales can be made for their combative behavior – and one can easily take up their cause on those grounds too. No one has been as forensically examined as the most qualified candidate.
Perhaps Hillary’s a poor campaigner because she fails to get her points across. But maybe she’s surrounded by a nasty milliner’s studio of asshats.
Just because her campaign against Obama dropped the Birtherism (correction and apology: steered clear of, although it was floated that they play up Hillary’s midwestern background, and it doesn’t excuse the racism of the campaign) doesn’t mean that Trump couldn’t turn it into an obsession, even for much of Obama’s second term.
What if we were to suggest eight years later that Hillary schemed her way to the most recent Democratic nomination, chuckling with Debbie and the DNC at her rival’s chances behind his back?
Her supporters argue that she won the nomination outright, fair and square, that she won the popular vote in the general too. The decent thing to do is to ignore leaks from Russia. They don’t count. But unfortunately, they do to the next voter.
So didn’t the DNC provide their support for her campaign while undermining Sanders’, beyond the public gaze? Did that not happen? Or does it not count?
Like Obama before him, Bernie was a fair-fighting opponent, critical of her links to Wall Street, telling people to forget about the email scandal. And isn’t Hillary linked to Wall Street?
A youthful Elizabeth Warren is on YouTube discussing how Hillary voted for some class of credit legislation in one of her first duties as a New York senator that she had previously told Bill to veto as president.
The bill was pro-bank and anti-people. The first opportunity she got, she voted through the same legislation as senator that she had opposed as First Lady after Warren had sat down with her, having sought and been given an audience, and gone through the legislation in fine detail.
Hillary knew exactly what she was doing. New York, where Hillary was senator, is the center of world finance. That might not be coincidence. But – without taking Hillary’s speaking fees into her account – Bernie’s criticism is not without merit.
Hillary and the Democratic Party leadership presented the primaries as more democratic and open than they were ever anticipated to be by the DNC inner circle.
What of her skill in debating?
During the primaries, Hillary provided adequate answers to questions she got ahead of time. At the Flint debate, Bernie said he paid less for his clean Vermont water than Michigan residents do for their polluted water. His grassroots insistence that people refuse to pay their lead-poisoned-water charges was an empowering statement.
Hillary, answering the same question, explained how she would get in touch with Commissioner X and Governor Y, and whoever else was in her list of contacts to resolve the lead poisoning problem.
“Why is that man so sad, Mommy?”
“Uhhhhhh…uhhhhh…He’s a Michigander! That’s just how Michiganders look!”
Bernie was a better debater, some might say, Hillary even sometimes later beaten (outclassed being a misnomer) by Trump’s verbal bilgewater and his honor guard of Clinton women. The applause Trump received, as against the silence for Clinton in those final debates, was telling. Too often, the media straddling both coasts declared Hillary the winner. Like Nixon on tv and radio, Trump won the room, if not the audience of analysts.
In her previous election campaign, Hillary made a mockery of Obama’s idealism-fuelled first presidential run, which she dismissed as messianic delusion. Her husband – on any number of issues during his tenure – was a Republican in Democrats’ clothing, who had himself campaigned on a similar platform. And yet, here was Hillary, knocking Obama’s new message of Hope.
Here’s Obama’s foreign policy adviser Samantha Power, at the time of that campaign on Clinton, again, at the time of that campaign:
“The amount of deceit she has put forward is really unattractive.”
In that same interview, Power (later UN ambassador under Obama) called Hillary a monster, asking that it be kept off the record.
It went into print, and Clinton’s team demanded – and got – Power removed from Obama’s campaign team, at least in the public eye.
Hillary’s team suggested that Obama’s team was taking a similar witch-hunt approach as Kenneth Starr had done against Bill as president. At the time, Obama’s campaign was demanding that Hillary release her tax returns.
The implication that an attack from her Left is the same as an attack on her husband from the Right denotes a persecution complex worthy of the world’s best-selling music acts, many recently deceased; a “fire any roadie who looks me in the eye” oversensitivity.
The fact is, if you behave unbecomingly, you’re treated unbecomingly. And demands for such tax returns, or so we’re told, have been around since Carter.
They are raw and war-weary, these Clinton folk. But it’s always been this way.
A “Stand By Your Man” quip in Bill’s first presidential run resulted in Hillary apologising to Tammy Wynette. To draw an analogy, when people say that things are more Orwellian under Trump, it’s not an attack on the left-leaning politics of George Orwell.
Who cares whether Tammy stood by her man? Hillary was referencing a song. Just a song. And the apology should have been given in that light. “I’m sorry for offending Ms Wynette, but I was only talking about her famous song, which is of course a beautiful piece of music in other contexts.”
Orwellian does not mean Orwell.
Up to now, both of the Clintons are vicious on the attack, yet too often fail in the conversion, and neither can they process the lightest of criticisms in a competent manner.
Again, during Bill’s first presidential campaign, there was a double-murderer on death row in Arkansas. After claiming his first victim, this man had also shot a policeman dead.
Bill returned to Arkansas during his campaign, to refuse to pardon the brainless simpleton in order to appear – wait for it –
Tough on Crime.
Immediately after committing his second murder a decade previously, the man had blown half his own head away trying to commit suicide. If death row’s Ricky Ray had had his brains, he might’ve killed YOU. He didn’t have brains. He had shot his hippopotamus out of his already stupid head.
Cheerful as the execution team led him to his chair, he helped them out finding a suitable vein. A big, jolly, diabetic mess of a guy of subnormal intelligence who thought he’d get back to his cell later for his just desserts. An African-American Hodor with a double-crossing, murtherous past.
He wouldn’t have lived a good life, qualitatively.
So give the nod to capital punishment for political capital. Any people – Amnesty, for example, or most of the civilised world – who think executing a man with no brains is morally tricky be damned.
What does a philosophical debate on questions of personal identity have to do with Hillary?
If Bernie’s wife had executed a special needs chap, cop-killer or not, in the early 90s, as a state governor, or a Taliban tribal princess, or whatever, we could similarly examine how oleaginous his climb to the top was, or how he greased his way into the public consciousness through his wife.
Would Bernie have divorced his wife if she suggested such an execution? If his wife was such a governor, would he not speak out in opposition?
Because Michelle Obama wouldn’t have done it. Barack wouldn’t have done it.
Dubya would hang youif he could. Laura Bush might let you off with a warning and a piping hot cup of tea.
Tipper Gore probably wouldn’t have done it. (Al probably lost votes debating Dubya on the death penalty. So Al wouldn’t have done it.)
Joe Biden. Elizabeth Warren. Nancy Pelosi. Perhaps John McCain?
Sidebar: Bernie’s wife is in some hot water for allegedly falsifying a document with the bank in order to cook the books a little at the university where she used to work. It does not appear to be a self-interested case of alleged fraud as she was trying to raise funds for the university, which went out of business after she was made redundant from the college.
With the execution, it was Bill who refused the pardon rather than Hillary. And it’s just one execution in a list of far better deeds. But it was a culturally significant, (some might say) entirely regressive act.
Funny how Pope Francis’s humility and decency paint the Catholic Church’s stance on women’s rights and homosexuality in a better light than his frowny retired predecessor ever could.
Isn’t the Assad regime given a nice gloss by the thin-moustachioed thug’s wife?
Who is Ivanka wearing on that red carpet?
Who’s Hillary married to?
A long list of American-born public representatives and their spouses are more decent than either Clinton when it comes to human rights, historically speaking, in this culturally pernicious instance, their records all laid out over the last 30 years, people who would grant a pardon rather than politicise – or appear to politicise – an execution, back in 1992. 1992 remember. Not 1845.
The Clintons have also shown a shocking level of amorality when it comes to protecting themselves and their reputations.
They’ve been abused horrendously by the media and by their critics. But one could argue that karmically, the Clintons pay for decisions they’ve made elsewhere.
Back to Bernie
The point is as follows:
James Comey’s announcement may have cost Hillary the election.
But months before, (it was made clear to the general public by the time of the election that) she had colluded unfairly with her own party against Bernie, and she had got debate questions ahead of time.
Some would argue that she unfairly bagged a nomination she would have won anyway. Again, Russian hacking doesn’t count.
But she also showed a hubris that bristled among Trump voters in her unnecessary “basketcase of deplorables” comment. These are not reasons to vote against Hillary.
But less generous and gracious people than those on Hillary’s frequently vicious and scheming cabal of a campaign team might argue that they’d like to see her knocked down a peg or two.
Did she deserve the presidency, compared to Trump? Of course.
She has had a long and illustrious career of stomach-churning political manoeuvrings that have all too often blown up in her face.
Ten years before her husband was executing a self-inflicted moron, what Bernie was doing, approving Pride parades as Burlington mayor – back when Aids was the gay disease and Reagan was ignoring it – comes nowhere close to the realpolitik Hillary has spent her life at, realpolitik that she frequently mishandles.
What Bernie was doing was main streets ahead of where she was, even ten years later.
Bernie’s endorsement of the Pride movement was political lunacy, casually dismissed by Hillary supporters as a signature at the bottom of a form approving a public event.
Historically, Hillary’s record on civil rights – and her related public statements (she’s said some “shitty things” according to her own fans) – does not suggest a reputation embracing identity politics. Bernie’s ratings are higher among many minority groups by a percentage point or two at least, and they have been better for decades.
So whatever you say about his bros, Bernie’s not sexist, he’s not racist, and he’s not homophobic. Hillary fails against him on almost every front on which they say she’s superior.
Criticisms of Bernie?
Bernie voted for civil unions at one stage rather than full marriage in Vermont. He endorsed marriage equality more broadly on the federal level. The man does have constituents, and he takes their lead on a number of issues.
Hillary plays things wily, sly and political, and she still messes it up. A focus group’s dream and nightmare. Is Bernie irascible? Cantankerous? Probably. But does Bernie paint his wife’s lovers as mentally ill liars? He isn’t that cantankerous.
Did you know Bernie actually pushed for toxic sludge to be shipped from Vermont to Texas? This is how Hillary supporters criticise Bernie, that he prefers to use a desert environment thousands of miles from his state as a toxic dump than a Vermont forest.
Poor Hispanics live near this toxic sludge facility.
But it’s still most likely a better area to dump the waste than in the Vermont wilderness based on the science, however biased and commercially skewed that science is, and Bernie took his lead from the science, and he doesn’t represent Texas.
So why are people even quibbling over these little – albeit absolutely massively important – things?
There are surely as many divisive and contentious issues that Clinton has made wrong decisions over.
And she’s nowhere near Bernie on economic inequality.
But in much the same manner as right-wing nuts attack Clinton, some in the #ImWithHer lobby apply massive double standards to Bernie’s record. And they continue to do so, post-election.
Hillary and Bill’s plane came under fire when flying into the Balkans. Or so she claimed, a few years later. It had not. Afterwards, she said she “misspoke”.
Hillary refuses to admit that she was against marriage equality when it’s on the record. WTF gives? Can’t she formulate a response based on contrition, a simple “I was wrong” or even an apology admitting to political motivation and the need to be a pragmatist?
No. It just never happened.
She claimed to have criticized Bush’s Iraq adventure before Obama did. She voted for the war; Bernie and Obama (when he could) did not, and spoke out against it.
Hillary has admitted that she has an outdoor voice and an indoor voice. As a public servant or person of influence, that is actually fair enough.
Bernie? He’s been caught out making politic decisions and statements that turned out to be the opposite when he was rumbled, avoiding meetings with the lobbyists of our better nature, admitting he can’t act, or that he’ll be a no-show because he’s running for re-election, and whatever else. And granted, he’s not under the microscope the way she is.
And not being on the radar is entirely to the benefit of any candidate who fights clean or dirty.
Back in the 90s, Bill had sacked his adviser Richard Morris for soliciting prostitutes.
Dick Morris was himself one of the most right-leaning experts whose advice one could buy at the time. This proto-turdblossom, interviewed on Oprah after his dismissal, also post-Lewinsky-scandal, explained how Bill had told him to read some passages by St. Patrick on forgiveness when he was being forced out. Morris and Winfrey sat on the studio furniture, at the time an innocuous sofa or two later made famous by a Scientologist, and at one point they queried why Hillary was still with Bill.
Hillary has consistently maintained that “He’s a good man.”
Oprah argued that good men don’t behave like that.
Has Hillary in the past been a total shit masquerading as a decent human being, enabling another total shit for half of her career? Given Bill’s hair-shirt economics, his silly private life and his tough-on-crime, three-strikes, prison-expanding, completely disastrous social agenda, we can beg the question.
- Bill Clinton started the rendition program.
- Bill Clinton expanded the private prison industry.
- Bill Clinton fanned the flames of irrational exuberance and bloated the public sector in DC while making cuts everywhere else in the country.
- “I did not inhale.”
- The earning of “presidential kneepads” and the gift of cigars
- The aforementioned “Stand by your man.”
Why did Al Gore refuse Bill’s assistance in his post-Clinton campaign?
There are two settings in the bullet points above about the Clinton era. Debatably evil and playground ridiculous. And she would have put Bill in charge of improving the economy? It’s easy to balance the budget when you strip away everyone’s services.
Yes, the Clintons are colorblind when they’re not referring to the Boy Wonder. Yes, they did some good, far more good than they get credit for here. Better them, perhaps, than a second HW term. But only just.
Under BJ, the Right had nowhere to go. Bill drove the Republicans into such a fellatio-focused fervor – one of the few things on which he could be attacked in a headline-grabbing capacity – that Bill shoulders some blame among progressives for today’s AltRight and tea-bagging lunacy.
Is that unfair? Should we instead blame Newt Gingrich?
It’s certainly unfair in reference to Hillary, but it’s still going to be used against her when compared with Bernie’s career.
We can cite the hypocrisy of Newt’s affair at the time while he and Kenneth Starr went after Bill for a daft perjurious statement. But quick question:
Was Bernie part of that dog-eared administration, as First Lady? Or was Hillary? Is her much-touted experience as a candidate, as opposed to Bernie’s experience sucking the maple syrup out of the Vermont bark, actually a good thing?
Hillary’s reaction on learning of Gaddafi’s death was as follows:
Are we not long past the callous swagger of the “Wanted Dead or Alive”, “Now watch this drive” crap of the early noughties? Clearly not.
But even a horrible dictator’s death is worth a little more self-control.
Again, we can draw up a list of peeps who wouldn’t laugh in public.
Bernie – who’s said to be a fan of the foreign policy views of Chomsky – would not laugh.
And given the amount of guy-liner and Botox used by the Libyan dictator in later life, we can again question Hillary’s identity-politics credentials, as we watch her have a good chuckle at the Colonel’s brutal mascara.
This is what happens to lifelong enemies of America who extend the olive branch.
Look too at North Africa today. No one should be laughing at anything.
Note too how being watched doesn’t stop Trump being nasty.
Hillary’s a flip-flopper par excellence, and not even good at that. She is now in step with Bernie on numerous issues, “evolving” where that straight white male never had to.
She makes sense when she says that violence and death abound wherever women’s rights are undermined in the world. Protecting and enshrining women’s and girls’ rights in these regions is an awesome idea that would work.
But doesn’t Bernie feel the same way? Bernie is all that and then some.
|She LOOKS presidential!
Arguably, Bernie’s independence, standing outside of that glue factory of a donkey sanctuary, is down to people like Hillary.
She never saw a war she didn’t like? Her philosophy and record – her internationally-respected plea for Obama to bomb Syria, for example, or her views on the South China Sea – allowed Trump supporters to believe, and others to argue, that she was as much of a loose cannon as he would be.
Hillary has made a difference in assisting people across the world. But Bernie is not punch-drunk from nasty opponents, and poisoned to a point of political corruption.
Were they ever not nasty, the Clintons? Weren’t they polarizing figures even in Arkansas?
“When they go low, we go high.”
Really? Maybe Michelle does that.
Bernie was the better candidate. If you disagree, that’s only fair enough on details like name-recognition and international experience. It’s certainly not fair on policy, identity politics or ethics.
“Stop going back decades!” you might shriek.
Yet her last two presidential runs show her team playing the race card, and basically cheating, and finger-pointing at her opponents for stooping when her own team’s already in the gutter.
Making claims against Bernie while supporting Hillary as the could-have-been-better president is almost as egregious, hypocritical and propagandist as similarly blinkered support for the current crop of potential fascists.