Now that Hillary is temporarily or permanently resurgent, it seems not inappropriate to wonder why the right wing hates her so much – and why not enough of the left is onto her shenanigans, her total subservience to special interests, her right wing leanings. It seems to have gone down the memory hole that she started out a Goldwater girl, and as a House staffer she worked behind the scenes with Bernard Nussbaum to water down the impeachment charges against Richard Nixon.
It seems clear that she was behind some of the worst episodes of the Clinton years and supported every right wing initiative like NAFTA. Media Deregulation, Dick Morris triangulation (whose advice Bill and doubtless Hillary continued to follow even after Morris was disgraced). Would she preside (as Bill did) over continued mountain top removal, forest clear cutting, and general environmental devastation on behalf of “development” interests who are among her main supporters? Note that Bill was in general absent without leave on environmental issues until his last month in office when it was clear that Bush would succeed him, and that whatever good he then did would be reversed.
Would Hillary endorse more draconian anti civil rights legislation as she apparently did when President Clinton signed the. Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, severely limiting habeas corpus. Would she close Guantanamo? One thing that can fairly safely be predicted is that there will be no substantive health reform, i.e., the private sector will continue to soak up our tax and remaining dollars and will continue to enjoy the lion’s share of our health budget after two terms of Hillary. (No, Virginia, I’m not calling her Hillary to be sexist. It’s just the simplest way to distinguish her from her husband.)
She’s promised the Zionist lobby (not to mention the public) not to remove our troops until at least the end of her first term and who knows if she would be pushed into a war against Iran by the same elements. At the very least one can imagine she would continue the embargo against Iran and maintain a state of tension with the Arab Middle East and she would continue to work against peace and the interests of the U.S. and world public and on behalf of the Zionists and neocon militarists.
Before Bush, the Clinton administration was the most Israel friendly of any U.S. government. She’s made clear she would repeat that, hence her refusal to call for a speedy withdrawal from Iraq – the most catastrophic policy for the United States!!! -–not to mention the Iraqis, the Middle East and the rest of the world. (Is there any more need for proof of the baleful effects of the power of pro Zionist ideology on the well being of every American?)
One can understand why so many Democrat and independent women support her on the basis of gender alone – although it’s depressing to think that millions of women seem to ignore her politics and seem to feel empowered by a woman president, any woman, even though is she is far to the right of Edwards and perhaps also Obama.
The one thing the Clintons have going for them is that if Bill Clinton’s two campaigns are predictive, unlike every other single Democratic nominee after LBJ, the Clintons actually WANT to win, and like the Republicans, they know how to do it. Whether she can win against a combination of a unified Republican opposition and the kind of electoral fraud that has been the case in presidential elections since 2000 (and in state and local elections in a smattering of cases since at least 1998) remains to be seen.
One thing that we have learned from the brilliant Walter Karp (see his indispensable Indispensable Enemies) is that both major parties are solidly against reform in large part because reform would bring into politics – and into their share of the spoils -- people they couldn’t control. Since Hillary is more a Republican than a Democrat, and is against any real reform, the party is in total support of someone who will not disturb the status quo. Since she is against reform, the middle class is as much her enemy as it is George W. Bush's.
Which brings us back to the question of why the right wing hates her so much – since she’s so right wing herself. It’s a mystery. I never did understand why they hated Bill Clinton so much since he was so right of center -–except, and it’s a big exception -- he managed to push through an important tax increase and the rich had to pay some of their share.
My best guess is that first of all the right had a sense of entitlement in the post Reagan-Bush era. By 1992 they had found their full throated modern day attack dog voice and they would have ravaged any Democrat.
But Clinton (and Hillary?!) had a lot to do with it. Since he stood for nothing, or was as anti reform as the Republicans (why else would he give health reform to Hillary?) there was no one to come to his support. In his first few months in office Clinton showed his weakness by sidestepping the important and symbolic gays in the military issue and by allowing the war in Bosnia to continue after campaigning that he would end it. Since he was determined to do nothing (besides the tax increase) for his first 100 or 700 or so days, he was seen as vulnerable and the talk radio sharks moved in for the kill. It is almost as if he welcomed the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994 so that he could continue his do nothing policies while appearing to be the boy with his finger in the dike. And he only ended the war in Bosnia when it was time for his reelection.
As a progressive Democrat, let there be no mistake. As much as I revile Hillary for her right wing policies and her devious, small minded and bitter ruthlessness, there is no doubt in my mind that I would rather see her as president than ANY Republican. Luckily I live in NY where in 2008 we will still be allowed to vote one more time on our trustworthy lever machines, and so I’ll have the luxury of not voting for her and still having her beat the Republican candidate.
But the worst part may be in the NY primaries which are coming quickly upon us. As an Edwards supporter, it looks as if I may decide to vote for Obama who I scarcely trust more than Hillary, as a stop Hillary maneuver. So there goes my one vote.
Update: New Hampshire primary
It seems that there are real questions about the NH vote. It’s far from clear to me that Hillary really won. Check out Dave Lindorff on Counterpunch.org for some of the details and The Agonist has an item which has been sent around by Brad Friedman of BradBlog regarding the strange numbers that have come from the 80% of the NH electorate that voted electronically. And if the NH vote really went to Obama as the polls indicated, then she may have to worry more about NY where she’ll have a much harder time rigging it.
So it’s not only Republicans who are involved in this fraud. And that could explain why the Democrats (and the NYT) have been very quiet about it. Interesting that Obama’s campaign doesn’t (want to) know a thing about it. It’s not a good indicator that he really wants the job. Maybe he wants to be Vice President on this go around. Or maybe he’s satisfied to remain in the Senate for another 8 years.