Hillary Clinton Is Reactive In a Very Bad Way

Hillary ClintonI would say that overall, Jonathan Bernstein has been very supportive of Hillary Clinton. But he’s also a political scientist, and he tries to be honest. He was very honest after Wednesday, The Test Clinton Failed in the Florida Debate. He’s not saying that she did badly in the debate. I think we can all agree that Hillary Clinton is rather good at this debating business — which isn’t to say perfect, as her answers about her ties to Wall Street always strike me as hollow and tone deaf. But the question of the night was: why did Clinton come in with guns blazing?

I keep coming back to this: Hillary Clinton is way ahead. I would be far beyond shocked if my man Bernie Sanders were able to catch her — even with confirmed delegates. Now how can this be that I know this but somehow Clinton doesn’t? I mean, regardless of Sanders doing astonishingly well in Michigan, Clinton still won the day — increasing her lead in the only area that matters: delegates. And I very much fear that Bernstein is right that instead of looking at the facts, she looked at the Very Serious Idiots, “It’s not to her credit that she allowed the pundits’ agenda to distract her from her own goals.”

The big question is: will she be so bad at this stuff once president? Is she just going to listen to what they are saying in The Washington Post are react to that?

One month ago, I wrote about this, Could Sanders Win? Why Is Clinton Whining?! People want to pass this off as the result of 2008 when Obama came out of nowhere to beat her. But this is the same way that Clinton behaved in 2008. Again, Bernstein noted, “One of Barack Obama’s strengths in the 2008 campaign was his willingness to sacrifice a news cycle in favor of larger objectives.” It has never been a strength of anyone in the Clinton firmament. And in some cases, it’s the correct way to be as we have seen with the Clintons on a number of occasions.

But it isn’t here! I think Sanders has given Clinton a pass on a lot of issues. (It’s telling that the vast majority of criticisms of Sanders are actually criticisms of Sanders supporters on Twitter.) Hillary Clinton now attacks Sanders for supporting the Sandinistas, as if — What?! — he was supposed to support the Contras? Give me a break. I’ve backed away from this campaign, but it’s this kind of nonsense that makes me want to run over and give some more money to Sanders (which I will do as soon as this article is in the can).

Hillary Clinton Is Starting to Sound Conservative

And speaking of stupid, Hillary Clinton made the standard conservative argument about TARP, “It was all paid back! It didn’t cost the people anything!” There is this thing called an opportunity cost. The government loaned a bunch of money to the banks at below prevailing interest rates. They could have loaned that money to normal people at normal interest rates and made more. So it did indeed cost the people money.

What’s more, it gave that money at exactly the time that no one else would have given it. As Dean Baker wrote back in 2010, “Without TARP and the other government bailout programs, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Bank of America, and many other large banks would have gone bankrupt.” Bankrupt. This canned response makes me think that I’ve been wrong to think that Hillary does actually get it and is just a pragmatist. She seems truly not to get it.

Clinton’s Listening to the Wrong People

But it is even more concerning that she felt she had to come in and hammer away on Sanders, when objectively, she doesn’t. And then she was distinctly disingenuous at times (for example, this nonsense about the second bailout that Sanders voted against). And then she’s making silly arguments against Sanders about Latin American politics few people even remember and even sillier arguments for Goldman Sachs and other banks that she should know do not play to her strengths.

The big question is: will she be so bad at this stuff once president? Is she just going to listen to what they are saying in The Washington Post and react to that? If there’s something like the Gulf of Tonkin incident, I can now see clearly another unnecessary war because she couldn’t possibly wait two days or she wouldn’t “win the week” on The McLaughlin Group. It’s very concerning. And should be especially so for Hillary Clinton supporters.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

10 thoughts on “Hillary Clinton Is Reactive In a Very Bad Way

  1. She does actually have to keep campaigning against Sanders because if she doesn’t then it is going to be wall to wall Trump coverage. Even now the coverage is extremely lopsided.
    CNN Clinton mentions in last 7 days: 2110
    CNN Trump mentions in last 7 days: 6940

    I am not going to respond to the rest of it because it will involve fighting and I know you don’t like that.

  2. As you say, a lot of people are too young, weren’t paying attention, or just have forgotten what happened in the 1980s. The fact is that under Reagan, the US was actively supporting right-wing death squads in Central America. In her eagerness to redbait Sanders, Hillary just came out as pro death squad. She’s very lucky this was the last debate.

    It’s no secret that Hillary is a military interventionist. Also:
    She is pro privatised health insurance (subsidies go to corps, not people)
    She is pro Wall Street bailouts.
    She is pro security state.
    She is pro anti-sovereign, corporate controlled treaties

    If it walks like a conservative, disregard all the quacking — and stop pursuing fantasies about x-dimensional chess.

    Hillary Clinton, Jan 1996 :
    ” I feel like my political beliefs are rooted in the conservatism that I was raised with… I’m very proud that I was a Goldwater girl.”

    DNA of Hillary’s Logo

    • In a profile of the Clinton White House William Grieder did during Clinton’s first year or two, Bill said “we’re Eisenhower Republicans.” Which is quite right. And Eisenhower Republicans are preferable to outright fascists. It’s just that, if you never give voters another option, those disappointed with centrist politics will swing further and further to the right. In a way, Bill Clinton didn’t just get chewed on by the Gingrich/Limbaugh crowd — his policies helped feed that crowd.

      The thing is, you don’t have to even go very far left, and not all that often, to make voters feel they have a voice. You can have a succession of leftist, centrist, right-wing administrations, and people feel like government is marginally responsive. It’s normal for people to vote for more liberalism when they’re poor and more conservatism when they’re doing well. But right-wingers have had it in their head ever since FDR that liberals secretly plan to confiscate all property, so to them any liberalism is a heinous threat.

      (They’re right in one way. Since the country has veered farther and farther to the right in my lifetime, I no longer support traditional liberalism. I want heads on blocks; I want my pound of flesh from these assholes. Private medical insurance has killed people I care about, and I want revenge.)

      • Apparently my “comment is awaiting moderation.” That’s odd. I wonder if the hack messed up a little more stuff than got fixed. Thought it was worth bringing up. Too bad the hack didn’t eat all my comment history, there are some I don’t like! (But that’s life on The InterWebz.)

        • It is part of this hacker attack. I don’t know what’s going on, because I approved your earlier and yet it again required that I approve you. I’ll look into it. Nothing personal. It’s the computer.

    • I wrote here or elsewhere that on economic issues, Clinton and Obama are conservatives in an international context. But they both have plenty of liberal positions. And sadly, in the context of modern American politics, they are both center left. I saw an interview with Noam Chomsky yesterday where he said that it is funny that Sanders calls himself a socialist when he’s really just a New Deal Democrat. How far we’ve slipped. But if the choice is between a proto-fascist (any possible Republican candidate) and a continuation of Obama, the choice is clear.

      • Dr. Noam is going to live to 120. His body won’t agree to dying, there’s too much work to do. I don’t generally believe in heroes, but he’s one.

        • I agree. I must revisit Paul Johnson’s Intellectuals and see again how the totally disingenuous, pseudo-historian attacked Chomsky. It’s a fun gossipy book, which I enjoyed at the time. But since then, I’ve rethought everything he wrote. It was a typical hatchet job. There is far more objectivity in the worst Frankly Curious rant than there is in that book. Anyway, Chomsky is great. I admire him more today than ever.

      • Some of Hillary’s beliefs and policies can’t be honestly described as anything but conservative, even right-wing. However, I use the word with tongue slightly in cheek. A more accurate description would be “conservative-leaning neoliberal, That’s unwieldy, but reflects the fact that left/right is inadequate, as there are at least three major poles in current US politics.

        • That’s true. In a reasonable society, Clinton would a conservative. The general election would be between Clinton and Sanders. The fact that Clinton is clearly inside the left in this country, and that we have to worry about someone like Trump or Cruz as president is astonishing.

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