10.22.2007

Hillary Clinton Does not Deserve to be President

by Jeff Siegel

Hillary Clinton does not deserve to be president.

There, that’s it, out in the open – no fancy writing, no turning of phrases, no literary embellishments. A Clinton presidency would not benefit the country, would not end the war in Iraq, would not help working men and women deal with the economic challenges – perhaps even crises – facing the United States.

Mrs. Clinton embodies everything that is corrupt with the current political system, and especially the Democratic Party. She makes choices not because they’re right or wrong, but on whether they’ll play with the audience her pollsters have identified as crucial to victory. Her domestic policies – the baby bonds, for example – pander to the white, suburban middle class as shamelessly as any Republican. Her fearmongering over Iran is even worse: “Iran must conform to its non-proliferation obligations and must not be permitted to build or acquire nuclear weapons. If Iran does not comply with its own commitments and the will of the international community, all options must remain on the table.” George Bush could have written that, and we know how successful his foreign policy has been.

Mrs. Clinton’s votes on the war are so hypocritical as to beggar explanation – unless she’s terrified that she’ll be Swift-boated, in which case she lacks the will to do what needs to be done. This is not the hallmark of a great president. Great presidents know what must be done, and they do it. Teddy Roosevelt was not cowed by opposition within his party to the Progressive-era economic and social reforms he knew were necessary, and so he pushed for them – and we are still the beneficiaries, a century later. Harry Truman was not intimidated by opposition within his party to integrating the military, and he did it – and we are still the beneficiaries, 60 years later.

Mrs. Clinton is not even much of a policy wonk, which is supposed to be her strong suit. Her performance during the 1994 attempt to reform health insurance, which she ramrodded for her husband, was abysmal. She was outmaneuvered by the American Medical Association (AMA) and the insurance industry, who manipulated her like a puppet. The only thing she apparently learned from that experience is to take their money. During her 2006 senatorial campaign, she received $150,600 in contributions from insurance and pharmaceutical companies that she accused in 1993 of “price gouging” and “unconscionable profiteering.”

Sadly, it is difficult to criticize Mrs. Clinton. Her supporters always play the female card, so that any criticism is dismissed as being against women. This is wrong and arrogant. Not only does it alienate those of us who are feminists, but it shields her supporters from the truth of the criticisms. In addition, her critics are accused of not being team players who will prevent the Democrats from retaking the White House. This is even more arrogant – how dare someone on the Left tar us with Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment?

And please do not argue that a Clinton presidency will save abortion. It’s almost certainly lost, given the current makeup of the Supreme Court – and I’m not convinced that Mrs. Clinton would nominate anyone who would make a difference. Consider this, from Chief Justice John Robert’s nomination hearings: “I look forward to the committee's findings, so that I can make an informed decision about whether Judge Roberts is truly a guardian of the rule of law who puts fairness and justice before ideology.” Like she didn’t know that Bush was going to nominate someone who would overturn Roe v. Wade at the first opportunity?

Another candidate, 40 years ago, saw his duty and did it. “I am hopeful,” Eugene McCarthy said, “that the challenge I am making may alleviate the [current] sense of political helplessness and restore to many people a belief in the processes of American politics.” Mrs. Clinton is no Gene McCarthy, and anyone who thinks otherwise is kidding themselves.

To see other posts with similar themes, please check:
(Political graphic from Comandante Agi of California via Flickr, using a Creative Commons license; you can see more of the comandante's political graphics at his blog, This Blog Will Self-Destruct in Five Seconds.)





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2 comments:

Rick Rockwell said...

If you had caught the Saturday Night Live parody of Hillary's condescending ways recently, you would have seen all that we are facing summed up in about three minutes. Today, I heard on NPR the Senator from New York was leading by 30 points in the polls! The sense of her coronation is stifling.

Many of the candidates aren't really worthy of the office, but she is also not what we need. I don't see her leading us back to an ethical and just path. Look at her stance on amnesty for the telecom firms that helped Bush violate the law. So far, she's seems to be in Bush's camp or unable to commit on an issue that should get every Democrat's blood rushing.

When she starts leading the way on controversial subjects like the Mukasey nomination, wire-tapping, and other issues that may not be safe, then perhaps she'll start to change my mind.

Anonymous said...

The American system of using TV commercials to elect its leaders is the very reason why we get candidates like Hilary Clinton.

It's embarassing that the USA using a system that is illegal in many western countries.

Money and TV ads..... Jeez, we choose our political leaders the same way we decide what beer to drink. and there is so much money at stake that the system will never be reformed.

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