Friday, August 28, 2015

The Big Smear

I really do not want to defend Hillary Clinton. Yes, she deserves to be criticized -- for the right reasons. This nonsense is not one of the right reasons. Perhaps it was a bit over-the-top for Hillary to liken the Republicans' stances on women's issues to terrorism. But so what? These days, over-the-top sentiments are as common as raindrops in a rainstorm.

If you hit the link given above, check out the comments -- many of which, we may fairly presume, are pure astroturf. These commenters pretend to be incensed by Hillary's intemperate language, yet the writers always express themselves in the most outlandish terms imaginable. Hypocrisy is hip, it seems. I found the following to be particularly amusing:
I will be more happy when she is in jail for treason and misdemeanor homicide
There's such a thing as "misdemeanor homicide"? Just who, prithee, is the alleged victim? (The same commenter says that Hillary won't go to jail because she is a "Clition.")

In a similar vein, here is the latest attempt to smear Bill Clinton.
ABC News has obtained State Department e-mails that shed light on Bill Clinton’s lucrative speaking engagements and show he and the Clinton Foundation tried to get approval for invitations related to two of the most repressive countries in the world -- North Korea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Yada yada yada. Basically, ABC News is giving us the usual smear job. If you read their piece carefully and skeptically, you'll discover the truth of the matter: Clinton runs a charity, and he goes around the world trying to drum up millions for his charity. Where the money comes from doesn't matter as much as where it goes to. As far as I'm concerned, if dictators and thugs pony up some dough and starving villagers in India receive the benefit, fine. Would you feel comfortable telling the starving villagers to keep starving?

Unfortunately, our "unbiased" news media insists on writing stories which convey the impression (without directly stating) that the money goes into the Clintons' own pockets, not to the starving villagers. A number of alleged progressives go along with this hallucination, because doing so makes them feel hip. This situation persists even though the watchdog groups who keep track of charities all say that the Clinton Foundation is clean and transparent.

Incidentally, Clinton did not speak at any function involving the North Koreans or the Congo. His foundation simply told the State Department that the invitations had been received. That's it. This, we're told, constitutes some kind of scandal.

And so it goes.

Hillary's numbers are going down not because of her policies, not because of anything real, but because the Clinton name is being subjected to daily smears. As the saying goes: If enough bullshit hits the wall, some will stick.
I believe that in America treason requires a state of war and active collusion with the enemy. America doesn't do official states of war any more.

I watch some intrigue-based American TV and that always annoys me. No, you can't charge them with treason for that.
This is from the Constitution, Stephen:

"Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort."

This definition is, in my view, both too narrow and too broad. It is too narrow in that it says nothing about those who have no allegiance to a foreign power yet seek the overthrow of the government. It is too broad in that the phrase "aid and comfort" can be given a very loose interpretation, especially in a quasi-hysterical time, such as the McCarthy era or the run-up to the Iraq war.
>>If enough bullshit hits the wall, some will stick.

It's the Big Lie, as taught by Josef Goebbbels. Just repeat it enough, and send out your minions to beat people over the head with it, and suddenly it becomes truth.

I find it hard to believe that anyone calling him- or herself a progressive would help promote this kind of crap against any Democrat. If it's Bernie supporters doing it, just stop. Put that energy into electing more liberal Democrats to Congress so we have a better chance of getting fairer legislation passed.

Helping the right wing smear Hillary is self defeating. That's why I think it's shills doing it. Just as there were internet shills against Al Gore, and against John Kerry, and against Hillary in 2008 (and they ended up getting a president who has been more conservative than she is). We need to call these people what they are, because they're promoting apathy that will keep likely Democratic voters from going to the polls next year. Meaning more Republicans in Congress.

Julius Caesar taught us the lesson more than 2,000 years ago: Divide and conquer.

P.S. I sent you an email, since you said you wanted to ask something.
To some progressives Clinton is most threatenin than the most conservative. So given a choice they would rather have them win than her. So they can keep the big lie.
Do you realize how crazy you sound, Anonymous? What you're saying is, let's open ourselves to permanent defeat, continuing to attack people who are at least partly on our side. Why? Just so we can claim some sort of intellectual purity? That sounds exactly like what the most reactionary right wingers say.

As Bob Somerby keeps saying, if we're so much smarter than the right wing, why do we keep losing to them?
Ever heard of Feminists For Life?
There are plenty of conservative socialists who believe it is terrorism to sanction the killing of fertilized eggs for any purpose other than to save the life of the mother and some don't even make that exception.
So Hillary is a fail on another issue besides taking sociopathic delight in helping murder Khadaffi.
But I assume Joe reserves the right to vote for her.
Caro, which is it?

Don't you realize in her vote for the Iraq War Hillary could have cared less whether WMDs were found as long as a quick victory was achieved, and a puppet pro-American, pro-Israel government installed, allowing a quick departure with minimal loss of life and limb?

Or you realize it and like Hillary, you're a hypocritical liberal imperialist who just doesn't care?
So Ken, you're able to read Hillary's mind? You know for a fact that she takes psychopathic delight in doing certain things?

I was against the Iraq War and still am. But I don't have to hate people who have opinions different from mine, even one of the differences of opinion is about war. I think it's a shame that so many Democrats allowed themselves to be bullied into support for that war, but the hysteria was palpable at the time. I don't have to hate them for not having the courage to go against the tsunami of feeling, based on lies, ginned up by Bush/Cheney and friends.

How is your stance on this issue any different from how the right wingers view abortion--that people should be hounded and hated for believing that a woman shouldn't be forced to carry a pregnancy to term?

You throw the "hate" and "hounded"s around pretty freely. Okay, I'll give you poetic

I believe it's a shame multitudes of woman will vote for Clinton , if it comes to it, rather than a Jill Stein. I could and did make analogies on the right/GOP re McCain and Romeny.

The info about the false intelligence was out there for Hillary too before the war, proffered by everyone from Buchanan on the right to Ray McGovern and Scott Ritter on the left.

Speaking of another bully, Nancy Pelosi who squashed legislation to cut off war funds early, sponsored by Kucinich and Ron Paul and bullied other Dems on the "don't let them be able to call you a surrendercrat", got to keep funding the war issue. Which even Sanders
acceded thereto.

Vote only for outliers on the right or left. Or help strengthen alternative parties; the
duopoly is hopelessly and irredeemably corrupt. Do it without any excessive hate and hounding even for those who might deserve it.

Thanks so much for your permission, but I don't need it to decide how I express myself.

I voted for Cynthia McKinney in 2008 and Jill Stein in 2012. No way I'd ever vote for that fake, Barack Obama.

I'm not telling you not to vote for an outlier. That's your privilege. Just as it's my privilege to vote for Hillary.

But what I'm suggesting to you is that expressing hatred for any of the candidates who are left of center could help depress the vote on our side. Promote your candidate all you want, just don't tear down mine, unless your intent is to help get more Republicans elected.
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