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Response to Segami (Original post)

Fri Oct 30, 2015, 01:59 PM

183. To those who call Hillary a progressive

Last edited Fri Oct 30, 2015, 05:06 PM - Edit history (1)

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[/center][font size="1"]from Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll.
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I started describing myself as a progressive toward the end of the Bill Clinton administration when it was clear that he favored trickle-down economics and supported trade agreements that hurt most Americans, in addition to signing Republican laws like welfare deform, and the deregulation of the telecommunications and banking industry. It seemed to me that it was a wholesale embrace of Reaganomics, yet Clinton and his minions continued to call themselves liberals. OK, if liberals were such wimps, then I must be something else.

When, after acquiescing to Generalissimo Bush's and Vice Premier Cheney's coup d'etat of 2000, congressmen and senators who once described themselves as liberals, including Senator Hillary Clinton, began supporting his imperialist designs on Iraq, my view that liberals were wimps was reinforced. The Frat Boy's program for war included an assault on the due process of law and other constitutionally guaranteed freedoms as well as the explicit use of torture, the liberals went right along and voted for the USA PATRIOT Act, every special appropriation to fund the war the Bush Junta requested and, in 2006, more restrictions on civil liberties. Liberals, who I had long thought of as wimps, hardly seemed to be liberals any more; and I continued to call myself a progressive.

When Barack Obama ran for President, I thought this was a kindred spirit I could get behind. He opposed the war in Iraq and favored diplomacy over just sending in the Marines any time some dictator, or even an elected leader, became troublesome; he favored a more transparent government that would return to a guarantee of civil liberties for its common citizens, perhaps even protecting the powerless from the powerful. In the wake of the crash of 2008, he criticized the role of bankers and banking deregulation. And health insurance reform of some kind? I was in.

It would be wrong to say that he didn't mean a word of it. He did get us out of Iraq and now seems to be in the process of getting us back in to Iraq (and Syria and Jordan and Lebanon) without a clear plan of what to do there. He did prod congress into passing a watered down health insurance reform package that was less than a full-blown European style socialized medical program and still left unscrupulous health insurance companies in place to continue to prove why we really need full-blown European style socialized medicine. He has a personal dislike of war as a policy and would rather negotiate an agreement with a hostile state rather than go to war with it has paid dividends, such as the agreement with Iran. Beyond that, there's little good to say about the last six and a half years. That's not all President Obama's fault. The racist and misogynist Republican party has marched lock step against anything he proposes, except bad trade deals. They saw a successful black man and responded as racists have since emancipation: they tried to kill his mule and pour manure down his well. However, no Republican held a gun to President Obama's or Attorney General Eric Holder's head to get them to treat Wall Street criminals with kid gloves. Obama needed no encouragement from Republicans to negotiate the TPP, TTIP or TISA. No progressive would have entered such negotiations. The unprecedented secrecy in negotiating the the deals and the ridiculous procedures that members of Congress were made to go through just to read the damned thing indicates that there's something willfully opaque about the process and that there's something political/financial establishment doesn't want the common people to know. A progressive, of course, believes in transparency.

It used to be that Americans simply did not do as well under Republican administrations as under Democratic administrations. Nowadays. wages fall under Republicans and remain stagnant under Democrats. That may make Democrats better than Republicans, but it's nothing to write home about.

A progressive would not have negotiated free trade agreements; a progressive would not have been so nice to Legs Dimon and Pretty Boy Lloyd; a progressive would fight to undo banking deregulation; a progressive would not but boots on the ground in the Middle East or anywhere else with a clear idea of what military force is supposed to accomplish. Mrs. Clinton's present opposition to the TPP is unconvincing. She give no specific reason for opposing it. Mrs. Clinton takes a lot of money from Wall Street and cannot be expected to roll back banking deregulation. Reinstating Glass-Steagal is a progressive position; Alan Blinder, an aid to Mrs. Clinton, said that is something she would not do and Mrs. Clinton has said nothing to set the record straight. Mrs. Clinton, in word and deed, has supported a disastrous and unnecessary war in what can only be described as an anti-progressive political decision.

While Mrs. Clinton has a laudable record on civil rights for women, racial minorities and, perhaps belatedly, the LGBT community, her spotty record on issues of economic justice makes these bright spots on her career ring hollow. Social justice for traditionally persecuted minorities works hand-in-hand with economic justice for American workers. To support one and not the other leaves at best a watered down version of both. The two cannot be separated. So even here, Mrs. Clinton is not a progressive.

Please don't call Mrs. Clinton a progressive. It cheapens the word. It is an abuse of the English language.


Don't call Hillary Clinton a progressive.

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