The GOP is going after Hillary on a new basis: Her defense of an accused child rapist
in 1975. (He was convicted on the lesser charge of fondling a minor.) Frankly, I see no problem with a criminal defense lawyer doing her job. Had she been less aggressive, her client (if convicted) would have had grounds for appeal.
Although the claimed victim says that Hillary lied about the case, nothing in the afore-linked story proves an actual lie. Everything can be explained in terms of differing interpretation.
Frankly, I think it is possible that the (then) twelve year-old at the heart of this case did
exaggerate -- she doesn't make an overwhelming case for herself in her more recent interviews.
Will this business sink Hillary? Probably not. We don't want to live in a country in which all lawyers with unsavory clients are barred, decades later, from running for high office.
Yet part of me hopes that Hillary's presidential hopes do
come crashing down. Although I supported her strongly in 2008, her performance as Secretary of State under Obama left me underwhelmed and, at times, angry.
I can imagine what some readers are thinking right now: "But...she's a woman!
This country needs
a female president!"
No. This country needs a president who represents traditional liberal values, who stands in the tradition of FDR and John Kennedy. Extraneous matters such as sex, color and religion should not be factors.
In 2008, I truly liked the idea of a black man running for president -- in the abstract. But Barack Obama was no abstraction; he was an individual, and he didn't represent my views. Those who looked at the man's words and record (rather than his skin color) understood that he was a hyper-ambitious semi-conservative posing as a liberal, and that he had a history of lying and selling out. His disappointing performance in office surprised many Democrats, but not me.
During the nomination fight, this blog often argued that Hillary Clinton stood to Barack Obama's left, and so she did
-- though sometimes by inches, not miles. Her great advantage was her previous Washington experience.
She took the job as Secretary of State to establish her foreign policy credentials. What happened? Sadly, the evidence indicates that she has moved to the right...
1. She took a strict neoconservative line on Syria, sponsoring "Friends of Syria" conferences with representatives from Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. These just happen to be the countries that created ISIS. Any oppo researcher looking into that area of investigation is bound to find disturbing material.
2. On Afghanistan, she has taken private counsel from Henry Kissinger, who is not exactly Mr. Popular with progressives. Kissinger told her that it would be a mistake to negotiate while withdrawing forces. Result: We have no negotiations and no withdrawal. (Troops are tentatively supposed to leave in 2016).
3. Hillary has suggested that the United States place the entire Middle East region under a "defense umbrella." This plan would commit the U.S. to war if any of our Arab allies are attacked -- and never mind the fact that most of our "allies" are dictators who do not deserve our support. The Middle East is an often-unfathomable region where the United States has never been able to do much good, and where absolutely everyone mistrusts us. Hillary has applied Cold War terminology and thinking to an area of the world that resists such a narrative.
4. Hillary instinctively supported Mubarak of Egypt even after it became painfully clear that his days were numbered.
5. She has "weaponized" the State Department. Her appearance at the “Special Operations Forces Industry Conference trade show"
was downright frightening:
Hillary’s widely-ignored speech marked a radical departure from the widely-held perception that the State Department’s diplomatic mission endures as an institutional alternative to the Pentagon’s military planning. Instead, Secretary Clinton celebrated the transformation of Foggy Bottom into a full partner with the Pentagon’s ever-widening efforts around the globe, touting both the role of diplomats in paving the way for shadowy special ops in so-called “hot spots” and the State Department’s “hand-in-glove” coordination with Special Forces in places like Pakistan and Yemen.
Finally, with little fanfare or coverage, America’s lead diplomat stood before the shadow war industry and itemized the integration of the State Department’s planning and personnel with the Pentagon’s global counter-terrorism campaign which, she told the special operations industry, happen “in one form or another in more than 100 countries around the world.”
If this isn’t entirely unexpected, consider the fact that under then-Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, the State Department fought attempts by the Pentagon to trump its authority around the globe and, as reported by Washington Post, “repeatedly blocked Pentagon efforts to send Special Operations forces into countries surreptitiously and without ambassadors’ formal approval.”
But that was before Hillary brought her “fast and flexible” doctrine of “smart power” to Foggy Bottom...
Is this someone whom liberals should support?
The disasters in Syria, Iraq and Ukraine have demonstrated, yet again, that America must renounce its reliance on covert power and neoconservative grand strategy. We must re-learn humility. We are not in a position to remake the entire world.
I'm going to suggest a politician who better represents liberalism: Former Montana governor Brian Schweitzer.
Yes, he is white and male. Yes, he recently made a failed, politically-incorrect joke
about Eric Cantor. Look, do you want an ultra-scripted candidate who is word-perfect on the politics of identity (which, alas, may the only form of politics that our ignorant electorate cares about)? Or do you want a candidate who gets many of the big things right
I don’t want to hear revision history from Lindsey Graham or George Bush people or Wolfowitz or Perle. I don’t want to hear anybody who supported going into Iraq saying, “Oh, well, gee, if only we would’ve stayed there longer …” You’ve lost your right to give me an opinion because you were so wrong and so many people lost their lives.
And now to have the same cats in some cases, and the same kind of cats in other cases, trying to tell us why it is that we ought to go back to Iraq, and sort of defend those lines that were written at the end of WWI, separating the Sunnis and the Shiites and the Kurds, and calling it a place called Iraq and calling it other countries...
Having lived in the Middle East, Schweitzer understands the full history of the ancient dispute between Sunni and Shi'ite. He stands in sharp contrast to Bush, who, until 2003 (!), believed that all Muslims were the same.
In response to the neocons now offering advice on Iraq, Schweitzer says:
I think you’ve lost your credibility. Here’s the way I see it: If somebody lights fire to your barn and all your livestock get out, they don’t get to complain because the livestock are eating their corn. They burned the barn down!
The interviewer asked him about "Clinton’s recent statement that she didn’t publicly rescind her support for the war sooner because she wanted to keep faith with the troops?"
The way I [kept faith with the troops], I would hug a mom, a father. I would hold a son or a daughter in my arms before, during and after a funeral. I refused to say the things to them that politicians like to say: “Your son died making this country free,” as if it was WWII or the Revolutionary War. I wouldn’t say that because I didn’t believe it. What I did was, I hugged them and said, “I don’t know. I don’t know what God’s plan was. I don’t know why this happened to your family, but here,” and I would write my personal cellphone number on a piece of paper and I would put it in their hand and close their hand on it and say to them, “If I could help you in any way — tomorrow, next week, next month, next year — call me. Twenty-four hours a day. Seven days a week. I’ll help you get through this, if I can.”
And on domestic policy:
This discussion about raising the minimum wage? Of course we should. In Montana, we raised the minimum wage already and it’s higher than the federal rate, [which] needs to be higher. We also have to create domestic jobs, again, in manufacturing, in basic industry, in transportation. That’s where energy independence once again comes around. Building this transmission lines from wind turbines in the Midwest to the coast, building these new hybrid and electric cars in America, designed by American engineers, and built by American workers. Creating an energy system that produces electricity and natural gas cheaper than the rest of the world to attract those manufacturing jobs that went to Asia back to the United States so that we have a manufacturing class again...
I'll support Hillary (grudgingly) if she wins the nomination. But let's face it -- she is not the one we've been waiting for. She worked for Obama, and now she more or less is
Obama: A squishy semi-conservative pretending to be a liberal.
We need someone like Brian Schweitzer.
Yes, he has a penis, and yes, his skin is fair. If you believe that those things matter
, you're a fool.