Monday, April 13, 2015

Meet the old boss

How ready are you now for Hillary?  She made a video on Sunday. 

No not that one.  The one that looks like an iPhone commercial but with even more hollow promises.  You know, the one with the stupid logo.

Good grief... just..... look...

Hillary Clinton says in the video she wants to be a "champion for everyday Americans."  Is this even a remotely plausible proposition to anyone?  How little attention must the presumed targets of such a pitch have been paying for it to connect?

Everyday Americans, here is the resume of the person who thinks so little of you that she just insulted you with this nonsense.
One of Clinton’s first high-profile public positions was at Walmart, where she served on the board from 1986 to 1992. She “remained silent” in board meetings as her company “waged a major campaign against labor unions seeking to represent store workers,” as an ABC review of video recordings later noted.

Clinton recounts in her 2003 book Living History that Walmart CEO Sam Walton “taught me a great deal about corporate integrity and success.” Though she later began trying to shed her public identification with the company in order to attract labor support for her Senate and presidential candidacies, Walmart executives have continued to look favorably on her, with Alice Walton donating the maximum amount to the “Ready for Hillary” Super PAC in 2013. Walton’s $25,000 donation was considerably higher than the average annual salary for Walmart’s hourly employees, two-thirds of whom are women.

After leaving Walmart, Clinton became perhaps the most active first lady in history. While it would be unfair to hold her responsible for all of her husband’s policies, she did play a significant role in shaping and justifying many of them. In Living History she boasts of her role in gutting US welfare: “By the time Bill and I left the White House, welfare rolls had dropped 60 percent” — and not because poverty had dropped.
And that's not even the part about her support for the international finance plutocracy or the part about her role in the prison boom or the part about her vote in favor of the Iraq war or the part where she served as the face of a morally corrupt US foreign policy in cynical support of murderous repressive regimes all over the globe.

All of that stuff is in there and more, of course. But Hillary Clinton, the People's Champion Brought to you by Wal-Mart ought to be enough.

My God, the very idea that anyone could support this monster is bad enough. But what if I told you no one is even bothering to oppose her?
All of which bring us to the present point in which it is difficult to see anything but a game changing mistake or scandal standing in her way. Because of this all the issues that get hashed out in a primary process - ideology, the future of the party, the ordering and power of constituency groups within a party, political strategy and more - are being played out within her candidacy. So the question is becoming not whether Hillary should be the nominee but what sort of nominee you think she should be. Constituency groups are not sizing up different candidates but trying to define what a Hillary Clinton candidacy and presidency would look like. Al Gore's candidacy in 2000 had some elements of this. Bill Bradley was his only real challenger. His campaign didn't have the resources or the candidate to make it a credible one. And Gore, in good ways and bad, was essentially running against himself.
But all of that.. that "what sort of nominee you think she should be" question... supposes that we are making a candidate from scratch. And, I guess, this is what Hillary's insulting announcement is banking on; that nobody knows or cares that she has a long career in public life which tells us exactly the sort of nominee she will be.

Whatever you think about the faults of our strange electoral system, Presidential primary elections are not extended product launches. Rather, they are an opportunity for robust examination of party policy priorities. This happens in a stupid and flawed manner, of course, but this doesn't mean it shouldn't happen at all.

In 2016, Democrats owe it to themselves not to skip this exercise.   The intramural personality spats within the staff and fundraising sphere of one imperialist corporate plutocrat candidate cannot be the substitute. If it is, then the many many people left out of the conversation will have to look elsewhere for a "champion."

1 comment:

Nolaresident said...

Well skooks, there is Martin O'Malley and good ole Bernie, that little socialist (!) to consider in a primary, if they run. There's Jim Webb also , but he might be a tad too centrist for you.

While I admire Elizabeth Warren for her stands on the issues she feels strongly about, I think she's just too new to national politics.Perhaps it's better for Warren and the others who consider themselves part of the left side of the party to try to nudge Clinton leftward on issues they hold to be important. I mean, we are just at the first day of her announced candidacy. I'll wait and see what positions she takes as she goes along.