Friday, January 11, 2008

AN OPEN CHALLENGE

I've received an extraordinary amount of abuse at some of my favorite blogs for daring to suggest that Hillary Clinton is an opportunistic, selfish, overly-ambitious politician, who stands for nothing in deed or idea. My "evidence" is 16 years of publicly doing nothing except promote herself, culminated by 7+ years on Capital Hill when she's done little more than float in the political wind and raise incredible amounts of money.

(Though in fairness, she did vote to authorize use of military force in Iraq. And she did vote in favor of the Patriot Act. Twice. She also sponsored, along with Joe Lieberman, the Family Entertainment Protection Act to defend children from the evils of video games. So I guess she has done something. You can leave those examples out.)

What I ask is that someone present to me what she's done during her time in the Senate that actually promotes anything except for herself. She's supposed to be a "great leader," and someone who truly "believes" in something.

I'm open to having my mind changed. Lay. It. Out.

I also despise Rudy Giuliani, but no one seems to have a problem with that. I can understand. As to Rudy, if you like him don't bother trying to convince me. He was my mayor for 8 years (felt like 80), and I know what a wretched scumbag he is. Nothing's changing my mind there.

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18 Comments:

Blogger Toast said...

Nice Straw Man (or Straw Woman) you've created. I am not a Hillary fan. She is not my preferred candidate for the Democratic nomination. I do not like her cautious, "centrist", triangulating brand of politics (any more than I liked it the first time around with her husband). I have never, ever claimed anything remotely approaching her being a "great leader". I have been vocal in my criticism of Hillary in the past.

Where I part company with you is when you start making baseless, unsupportable statements about her character and motives. My disagreements with Hillary aside, I see no reason to question her commitment to public service and (her vision of) good governance. When you make statements like "she has no interest in improving the country" you expose you over-reach. That's just a ridiculous statement.

I'll say this: I agree that most of what Hillary has done in her career as an elected official has been geared towards positioning her for a White House run. But I completely disagree with your assertion that becoming president is some kind of vanity project for her. I believe she shares a vision for America that's very much like her husband's, and that she honestly believes pursuing that vision is a Good Thing. And you have presented absolutely no evidence -- foaming hatred not being evidence -- that would convince me otherwise.

8:39 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Nice Straw Man (or Straw Woman) you've created. I am not a Hillary fan.

I really wasn't directing this at you. Sorry if you thought I was.

I believe she shares a vision for America that's very much like her husband's

Aha! Now we're getting somewhere. I believe -- which the same certainty -- that Bill was Hill's equal in terms of naked ambition, lack of ideas, lack of real accomplishment, and an interest in himself alone.

I agree with your statement, yet we both believe it supports our argument.

8:53 AM  
Blogger Toast said...

And I think that's crazy talk. Bill Clinton was absolutely determined to make America a better place. He was (and remains) a deeply committed humanitarian.

Seriously, dude, I don't know where you come by your Clinton hatred, but you seem like you'd be perfectly at home on the board of the Arkansas Project.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

He was (and remains) a deeply committed humanitarian.

Really? What has he done?

I don't know where you come by your Clinton hatred

I guess a big part of it is the free ride they get from the entire "left" side of the spectrum in this country. Bill Clinto, and his DLC crowd, are as responsible as anyone for the rightward shift in this country during the 90's, but he (and Hillary) remain heroes among the very people who disagree with most of what he stood for.

How many "liberals" do you know that like NAFTA, like the increasing toughness on crime that arose during the 90s', that like military intervention (including bombing of Iraq), that wanted "welfare reform," that wanted tougher immigration laws?

Yet Bill Clinton supported all of those measures!

9:07 AM  
Anonymous wfta said...

Let me give you guys somebody else to pissed at. You can come to political life with the compassion of Sister Teresa and the democratic ideals of Thomas Jefferson, if you cannot attain office, you cannot accomplish any of the good intentions.

To my knowledge, with the exception of 2001-2006—the years when fear trounced democracy, no party has governed by playing exclusively to its ideological faithful. If you can’t generate any support from the center, you are destined to wander the political wilderness. Lincoln understood it, FDR understood it, and I applaud Bill Clinton and the DLC for recognizing it.

I personally detested him, but Ronald Regan was an incredibly popular president and once Newt Gingrich started pulling the levers, the Democrats, as led by Charlie Rangel and Ted Kennedy, were on the express lane to irrelevance. So Bill Clinton wasn’t a dyed in the wool ideologue; he kept America safe for democracy for eight years.

They don’t start the canonization process for politicians until they die. By definition, anyone who CAN become president is arrogant, ambitious, thick-skinned, self serving, pragmatic, back-stabbing and generally not candid. (I would have said intelligent, but evidence to the contrary is simply overwhelming.) And to paraphrase some old genius, she may be a bitch, but she’s our bitch.

3:04 PM  
Blogger Comandante Agí said...

How dare you utter nasty words about Saint Clinton! The ideological allies of the Proglosphere will have your head for this treason and heresy!!!

P.S. I completely agree with your take on HRC. However, I would extend that analysis towards all politicians. They're only in it for the power. But if you want to see the Republican corollary of HRC look no further than Mitt the Android Romney...

4:42 PM  
Blogger Toast said...

Really? What has he done?

You can't be serious. Since retiring, the man's done nothing but try to raise money and awareness for one good cause after another, the tsunami and Katrina victims just being the most prominent examples. While in office, he was a tireless peacemaker. Christ, the guy's a fucking saint in Ireland.

But I'm sure, to you, these are just all things he does to stroke his ego. Whatever, man.

6:04 PM  
Blogger Edwardo said...

I'm with with you on Hillary, Mike, but I have precious little use for any of the candidates, Republican or Democrat. Ron Paul is easily the most attractive of the lot by virtue of his politics and his character, which, at the end of the day, are inextricable for any candidate.

Toast, get real, any one who wants to be President possesses more than their fair share of vanity, Ron Paul included. As for evidence of something truly dark inhabiting HRC'S soul, let me provide a few items for you:

Exhibit A, she has stayed married to a mountebank husband through very little thick but a great deal
of thin. Why? I think we can rule out love. Hillary stayed with Bill because he was her political meal ticket. He could've made his way without her, but not vice versa. Now how much ambition, if that is even the word, must one possess in order to suffer through what she suffered through for just the hope of perhaps one day becoming a somebody on the national political scene.

Then there is the matter of Hillary's big six figure score in cattle futures. Ever traded futures, toast?
Well I have, and I can tell you a novice never, and I mean never, pulls off what Hillary pulled off, especially in as arcane an area as cattle futures.

In fact, the legendary trader Victor Neiderhoffer did a fair amount of detective work to prove that HRC could not have made that profit on the up and up. So all we don't know regarding that episode is what work HRC did in order to receive her cattle future bribe.

11:04 PM  
Blogger Edwardo said...

Commandante agi you come in for kudos for your unkind (but true) assessment of the ghastly Mitt(stake) Romney.

11:08 PM  
Blogger Rickey Henderson said...

She's an oppotunistic wench with, as far as Rickey can tell, no value system or set of rules that she lives by. Think she'll repeal the USA Patriot Act if elected? Yeah, not so much...

4:29 PM  
Blogger Smitty said...

I've received an extraordinary amount of abuse at some of my favorite blogs for daring to suggest that Hillary Clinton is an opportunistic, selfish, overly-ambitious politician, who stands for nothing in deed or idea.

Go check out Mr. Furious's site.

And while you're there, he really nails-down some good reasons to be disappointed with her.

As for the other comments I see here about Bill and Hillary...

I am disappointed in Bill for NAFTA and for encouraging massive corporate wealth and a method of boosting the economy. It was unsustainabe and we are in the midst of its effects.

But I am willing to forego those policies for what I see as overwhelming compassion and drive to make America better across the board. Sure, his method for economic viability was maybe of-target, but his reason was pure. The Reagan-Bush 80s left our economy hurting and the gap between the rich and the poor grew. Under Bill, middle class people got to experience the same security and...trappings as the upper class. Foreign travel. SPending the American dollar overseas. On and on (for better and worse...).

get real, any one who wants to be President possesses more than their fair share of vanity

Uh...yeah? So? I mean with what the press and other candidates say about you and your family, you really gotta WANT to be President. And that takes a pretty impenetrable ego.

I do agree, though, Edwardo, that Hillary rode the Bill Train of Popularity. I can't comment on its morality, but maybe it went the other way. Maybe his penance for screwing around was to make her President, rather than her opportunism.

Cojecture, to be sure, but either way, she might be President.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Mr Furious said...

After the last week of bullshit spewing from Camp Clinton, I'm already halfway through filling out my registration in Mike's Hillary Haters Club.

Thanks for the love, Smitty. There so much shit to update on Hillary since my last post, I don't even know where to start...

12:27 AM  
Blogger steves said...

"Think she'll repeal the USA Patriot Act if elected? Yeah, not so much..."

Who will? Like Hillary, Obama voted yes on the Patriot Act. Hillary, Edwards, and Obama have all said they wouldn't repeal the PA, but would modify it. I think Ron Paul is the only one to say he would repeal it.

10:13 AM  
Blogger steves said...

"The Reagan-Bush 80s left our economy hurting and the gap between the rich and the poor grew."

Huh!?!?!

I know that Reagan is some kind of Boogeyman to the left and many seem to enjoy calling the 80's the decade of greed (while referencing Wall Street and Alex P. Keaton). I seem remember it differently. Granted, I was a teen for much of that decade and a liberal (I went door to door handing out campaign stuff for Mondale). I wasn't a big Rearan fan at the time, by an means.

Despite this, I thought the economy seemed good. Reagan certainly had his problems, with the growth of the defecit and the S & L scnadal, but there were plenty of positives. I decided to poke around:

1. When he took office, inflation was over 11% and unemployment was over 7%. I remember some people had home loans interest rates that were 15%. By the time he left, these numbers were significantly lower.

2. The GDP grew at it's highest rate since just after WWII, 3.4%. Even in the economic boom of the 90's the GDP only grew 2.1%.

3. If you look at 10 key economic indicators (Economic Growth, Economic Growth per Working-Age Adult, Median Household Incomes, Employment, Hours Worked, Unemployment Rate, Productivity, Inflation, Interest Rates, Savings), you will see that the economy preformed better under Reagan than it did before and after.

4. Nobel Prize winners Milton Friedman and Robert Mundell both say that Reagon's policies helped contribute to the boom in the 90's.

5. Real median household income grew during the Reagan years (and the Clinton years). It dropped during Bush I and II.

6. The poor have not experienced any growth in income since the 1950's (in terms of todays dollars), so the income gap can't just be blamed on Reagan. Clinton didn't improve it, nor did LBJ's War on Poverty help (in this regard).


Unlike many conservatives, I am not supporting canonization for Reagan, but my opinion on him has changed. Despite some scandals and other problems, he did improve the economy in many ways. I am sure there are plenty of negatives about him that we can discuss, I think he was an overall good influence on the ecomony and growth.

8:22 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

A lot of the economic success you discuss resulted from the Volker-led recession and subsequent recovery.

The one thing you can say about Reagan is that he expanded government spending & the debt.

8:55 AM  
Blogger steves said...

Voelker certainly played a part, but I wouldn't say it was the only factor or the key factor. Reagan certainly increased the debt and I recall him saying that was his biggest failure. To be fair, it was part of a military buildup that contributed to the eventual downfall of the USSR.

6:08 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Voelker certainly played a part, but I wouldn't say it was the only factor or the key factor

Then what do you think the key factor was?

7:14 PM  
Blogger DED said...

Who will? Like Hillary, Obama voted yes on the Patriot Act. Hillary, Edwards, and Obama have all said they wouldn't repeal the PA, but would modify it. I think Ron Paul is the only one to say he would repeal it.

So if a presidential candidate isn't willing to repeal one of the most heinous pieces of legislation of the present day, how can they say that they're an "agent of change"?

10:44 AM  

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