Thursday, May 22, 2008


Anita is a fabulous woman with a large following. She has gone on vacation for awhile. If she ever wishes, she is welcome to post at my place. Where ever you are Anita, hope you're having a good time. Drop us a line now and then, and I'll take messages for you, kind of like the post office only friendlier, plus I get to read your mail. Ta ta.

I used To Love Her But It's All Over Now

I don't want to offend my blogging friends who still are supporting Hillary. I understand their reasons for wanting a female President. I understand their nostalgia for the good old days of the Clinton Presidency. I also understand their passion for her as a woman who stands in as a representative for all the crap these women have had to deal with all their working lives--especially if these women are married and have children. Along with facing discrimination in the work place, these passionate democratic women have had to do must of the heavy lifting at home as well. They see Hillary as one of them. And it isn't mere projection--Hillary went to law school, married, had a child, was a helpmate for Bill in achieving his ambitions all the way to the White House. No doubt her life was not easy. She was not, like Bush or madam McCain, born into incredible wealth, so I'm sure she has faced some of the difficulties of average working married mothers. But not so much anymore. And the baggage she so famously has had rummaged through by the "vast right wing conspiracy," is part of the problem for me. It is the baggage of her bad judgement and penchant for secrecy, her stubbornness, her unwillingness to admit mistakes and most troubling for me, her seeming inability so say, "I was wrong, I made a mistake, I'm sorry," that has led to my parting of the ways with her.

I was thrilled to have a First Lady who was going to give us single payer universal health care, like most of the rest of the industrialized, modern world. If they can do it, why can't we, I thought. Silly me. What Hillary ran up against was the lobbyists for the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, a republican majority in congress, and her own hubris. Don't forget that word hubris, it will come into play again and again. But for me, this was her first big test. She was offered help by some of the best and brightest titans in the congress--she had potential allies, but she blew them off, preferring to do it her way, in secrecy. First big mistake, first red flag of stubbornness and bad judgement. And when it failed, what did she learn? She learned the wrong lesson, to my way of thinking. She learned to cozy up to the the industries that defeated her.

I think this defeat taught her some other lessons as well, but from my point of view, these, too, were not the right conclusions for her to draw from that first horrendous failure. She withdrew into a more traditional First Lady role. She probably did have great political influence with her husband, behind the scenes, but she gave up too easily.

And while Bill got good at making deals with his republican congress, he gave too much away. He gave them Welfare Reform, that was more a kick in the pants to the poor and disenfranchised, and way too little in the way of jobs programs and educational help to retrain these citizens. He gave us NAFTA, and turned the states with a strong manufacturing base into the Rust Belt--Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, to name the most hard hit. This began a weakening of rights for the American labor force leading to the race to the bottom, in terms of job security, wages, benefits, and training. Many who lost jobs in this race for cheap labor, were older workers, workers for whom no amount of training would give them the chance to compete for work. Unions had been under attack since Reagan busted the Air Traffic Controller's Union. NAFTA, further weakened unions. But this isn't about Bill, until we get to Monica.

Bill seems to have always had a penchant for dalliances with powerless young women. He came into office with accusations of sexual abuse for a number of young women--Elizabeth Ward Gracen, Sally Perdue, Gennifer Flowers, and Paula Jones were among the many, but Paula had the nerve to file a sexual abuse suit. Vernon Jordan, Clinton's long time friend and close advisor, became his sex scandal fixer. The Jones suit was eventually settled for over $800,000.

If Bill and Hillary had agreed on an open marriage, that's their business, but for a couple with big political ambitions, that's a risky arrangement. Hillary was a fierce defender of her husband against the claims of these women. This makes her, in my opinion, an enabler. It also undercuts her feminist stance. Were these young and relatively powerless women not deserving of respect? There was every attempt made to discredit and trivialize them. Hillary was in the forefront of this campaign. She was Bill's biggest defender. And then came Monica.

This was a young woman working in the White House as an intern. We all know the details. We all heard and saw Bill say the words we will always associate with him and that lead to charges of perjury. "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." He was convicted of perjury and impeached in the House, but not the Senate. Everything about this episode in Hillary's relationship with her philandering, lying husband smacks of expedience and deal making. Still, it's their marriage. It would have been so much better for all of us if Bill had simply said, "It's none of your business. It's our marriage," but he didn't. They circled the wagons and tried to tough it out. I can understand their staying together until his second term was over, but why not divorce and go their separate ways once the White House years were over. She was a woman with plenty of credentials to keep her working and keep her ambitions for her own political career alive. In my opinion she'd be a lot stronger without Bill. But those were her choices, not mine. However her choices have made her seem inauthentic, and a woman willing to make deals with the devil to achieve her political ambitions.

Her Senate run put her on the trajectory for a bid for the White House. But her vote to authorize the Iraq war disqualified her in my eyes. She did not give that vote due diligence--she passed on reading the classified intelligence reports. This alone makes her unfit to be President or Vice President. She went along with the crowd, she acted cowardly in trying to look strong. Whatever respect I ever had for her evaporated in that instant. She was trying to look tough, instead she looked cowardly. It takes courage to stand up to power gone amuck. Her judgement is flawed. I've seen that over and over throughout her public life. She makes a mistake, and instead of admitting her mistake, she takes the cowards way out and tries to justify and rationalize her actions. Throughout this bid for the presidency she has tailored her face and voice for her audience. She has become so many Hillarys in so many different places and settings, I no longer know if there is an authentic person underneath all the disguises.

She is too ambitious to ever tell us what we need to know, if it isn't what we want to hear. She had mismanaged her first go at health care reform and used very poor judgement first time on that big stage. She has mismanaged her own campaign, it's direction, it's long term objectives and strategy, it's fiscal health. She has offered shot term help on gas prices that had not a snowballs chance in hell of getting implemented and offered little help to those desperate for long term solutions to our energy problems. She has pandered at every opportunity.

And so, though I once wanted to love her, wanted to believe she would fight for us, I have come to see her cozy up to lobbyists of every stripe, to vote against us in favor of helping George W. Bush plunge us into a war that had absolutely nothing to do with the "War On Terror," make us less safe, has bankrupted us, killed thousand of our soldiers, ruined a once lovely country, killed maimed and plunged into poverty and dislocation the citizens of Iraq, and destabilized the entire Middle East.

My affection for her has turned into an antipathy that has nothing at all to do with my desire to have a female President, and everything to do with Hillary. It is not Hillary the woman I dislike, it is Hillary the deal maker, Hillary the panderer, Hillary the liar. Hillary the woman willing to ruin the democratic party to satisfy her own political ambitions I have come to loathe.