Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Left’s Self-Defeating Hatred of Hillary Clinton

One sees on Facebook statements made and I have had friends say that if Bernie Sander is not the Democrat nominee, they will stay home on election day. What they expect this to accomplish other than putting a Republican in the White House and damaging the country for a generation, especially if the Supreme Court thrown to the far right for a generation or more.  Such anger and willingness to harm the country, not to mention, ultimately themselves, is irrational to me.  Indeed, it is more what one would expect from logic free Christofascists rather than progressives.  A piece in Salon looks at this irrational hatred and the damage it is doing to the cause these liberals claim to support.  Here are excerpts:
The media coverage of Hillary Clinton is a lesson in paradox: She’s the “most admired woman” in America, but no one is “excited” about her presidential campaign. She’s inevitable, but she can’t win an election. And even when she wins a debate, she still lost it.
This might seem like an indication of what we already know — that the former secretary of state is an extremely polarizing candidate, whose very name is treated as a curse word or a reason to break out the Holy Water during the Republican presidential debates. The New York Times’ Mark Leibovitch wrote earlier this year that “divisive” has become almost associated with her very name: “Clinton has worn the polarizing badge more than any other politician since the word came into its unfortunate vogue.” But as Leibovitch argued, Hillary’s status as a divider is less a product of her politics than our own.
Leibovitch compared the phenomenon to “Bush derangement syndrome,” a term coined by Charles Krauthammer to describe “the acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency — nay —the very existence of George W. Bush. 
The biggest difference here is that before Krauthammer labeled Bush’s critics deranged, George W. already had three years of policies behind him. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, hasn’t been in the Oval Office a single day, and her presidency is already being treated by some as an unmitigated disaster. What’s more, even members of her own party are getting in on the action. In a recent column for Salon, self-avowed millennial progressive Walter Bragman suggests that Clinton isn’t just a bad candidate — she’s a threat to the future of the Democratic party itself — and compares her to the second coming of Reagan, a corrosive force that will destroy the foundation’s of American progressivism.
We’ve clearly moved past derangement. This is the time of full-on Hillary hysteria.
You’ve heard all of this before, of course. Hillary Clinton isn’t trustworthy. She isn’t “relatable” or “real.” (However we happen to be defining those words today.) Her so-called likability problem is ancient news by now — the same nebulous idea that has dogged her all the way back to her time as First Lady. But while these criticisms would be perfect for your anti-Hillary poker night (“B-23 — ballbusting!”), they’re also indicative of just how much the aversion to her candidacy — even among those on the left — is removed from the realm of policy. Even in Bragman’s takedown of Clinton, he begins with her image: “Hillary’s personality repels me (and many others).”
Clinton has continued to occupy that same space for the better part of three decades now, a one-woman culture war who plays the political game the same way the men around her do. But unlike those men, Clinton is chided for being “disingenuous” and a “political insider.” Everyone else just gets to do their job.
If America as a whole has a complicated relationship with the former First Lady, one segment of the population stands out. Research from the Wall Street Journal this November showed that Hillary hysteria is coming from one major sector of the population — white men. “Sixty-four percent of white men hold an unfavorable view of Mrs. Clinton, compared with just 26 percent who see her in a positive light,” the Journal’s Aaron Zitner noted. “That’s a gap of 38 points.”
And while Clinton critics could point to her deficit among white men as reason to worry about her electability in the general election, Zitner also notes that “Republicans are in such [dire] need of minority-voter support that they can lose in 2016 even if Mrs. Clinton under performs Mr. Obama among white voters.”
The response from many among Sanders’ white male voter base to Hillary Clinton’s continued success in the polls is to refuse to vote for her in the general election, as if the only thing worse than a Republican presidency is four years of another Clinton. But instead of folding our arms like a pack of third graders who have been told recess is cancelled, Sanders supporters should hold Hillary Clinton accountable to the right things, instead of quibbling about how much we just don’t like her, make her a better candidate.
Bernie Sanders’ supporters might accuse Clinton of sounding like a Republican, but we’re the ones who are doing the GOP’s dirty work for them.

Having been active in politics for over 25 years, the reality is that one rarely finds the "perfect candidate."  Instead, one has to choose the better choice from the field of candidates.  Childish foot stomping and screams that one is taking their toys and going home accomplishes nothing.  Indeed, all it shows is the immaturity and irrationality of those throwing the conniption fits.  


Aurora Hylton said...

I'm backing Bernie Sanders, but if Hillary Clinton wins the nomination, I will support her. I do not want any of the lot emerging from the GOP clown car in office.

EdA said...

Why I’m Voting for Hillary - Summarized

FIRST, whoever gets the Democratic nomination will get my wholehearted support. All of the Republiscum candidates are committed to wiping out a woman’s right to choose and to rolling back the limited rights that LGBT Americans have. In fact, Cruz repeatedly welcomes to his campaign psychopaths who advocate for the extermination of 13 million or so LGBT Americans. Trump has accepted support from the leadership of the Ku Klux Klan and Stormfront and of Senator Jeff Sessions. Both of them actively support the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Only in comparison to these can Marco Rubio be considered a “moderate.”

SECOND, I readily agree that Bernie is a good guy and that had he not entered the race, Hillary would not have changed her positions. I also feel that in normal circumstances, Hillary’s support for the Trans Pacific Partnership would have been a bar to her consideration.

BUT these are NOT normal circumstances, and under current circumstances neither America nor humanity can risk “all-or-nothing” on Bernie Sanders, who has some good ideas for an ideal world but ideas that are not achievable in the world that we actually live in. “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”

Hillary may be/is flawed, but she has a solid, decades-long track record of accomplishment that includes promotion of human rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights; expansion of access to health care; reduction in nuclear tensions; as well as matters of lesser import. The only accomplishment in Congress that Bernie has pointed to is collaborating with John McCain to get some small measure of tangible support for our troops – as distinct from our defense contractors. And this is something that should NOT have needed cajoling or arm-twisting. Given the amount of appeasement that President Obama had to endure to get even a defective version of broad-based health coverage into law, and to get anything else done, the idea that a President Sanders could get the sociopaths and psychopaths in the next Congress to go along with anything close to what he wants and what we really need is preposterous.

Is Bernie electable? We’ll have a better feel after Tuesday. But I doubt it. Hillary Clinton has survived decades of attacks and Swiftboating. The Republiscum have not yet started Swiftboating Bernie, and the stated position of Republiscum operatives – as documented by their actions over the years – is that facts are not relevant to their campaigning. Does anyone think that they are going to give a Jewish socialist from New York a free ride? Republiscum have already been caught undercutting each other and they have begun sabotaging the integrity of the election.

Whoever wins the Presidency will control the make-up of the Supreme Court through most of the next 30 years. I for one do not want to risk circumstances even more “government of the people, by the corporations, for the oligarchs.” And THAT is the probable downside of a vote for Bernie.