Sunday, June 26, 2016

So What's With All This "Pro-Hillary" Stuff?

Well, we've covered a lot of ground on this blog about Hillary Clinton. We've gone over:

  • Whether Hillary is a Goldwater Girl
  • Hillary's days on the Walmart Board of Directors
  • Hillary and Benghazi
  • The email scandals regarding her private server
  • Whether Hillary brokered arms deals in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation
  • The Clinton/Kissinger connection
  • Hillary's claim of being under sniper fire in Bosnia, 1996
  • Whether Hillary is too chummy with big Wall Street money
  • Whether Hillary is a war hawk
  • And various phony claims of election fraud

That's been a lot of ground to cover! And so far, it's been a fun ride. But a few might wonder why my usually pro-Bernie and pro-Hillary blog has suddenly gone decidedly Hillary-esque.

The answer to that is simple. I'm seeing a lot of irrational stuff out there regarding Hillary Clinton, and it's driving wedges in between me and my dearest friends on the Left. I don't much like that, and I want to do something about it. I also recognize that even if Hillary somehow were a corrupt, warmongering whore to big-money special interests, it would still be preferable to the dangerous insanity of Donald Trump. Unless you're an anarchist who wants to burn it all to the ground, I see no reason for voting for him.

Add to this the fact that many of my friends are Bernie supporters. Nothing wrong with that, but a percentage of them have drunk the Fox News Kool-Aid regarding Hillary with a gusto I have never encountered before. And this liberal-on-liberal cannibalism not only breaks my heart because it's threatening to break up some of the dearest friendships I've known, it also breaks my heart because it's tearing the entire Left apart.

I knew I had to do something to keep the family together. So I started doing a series of blog posts to help me with various anti-Hillary arguments. I knew I was going to have to stump, and do it often. So to make it easier, I wanted to have each of my arguments spelled out in a way that I could simply "cut & paste" and be done arguing my point. By simply re-posting from my own blog, I would save time and increase effectiveness. I could take on dozens of verbal assailants on Facebook at once this way.

I didn't start out thinking that I would do much more than cast Hillary as a viable alternative. I figured I was just going to make her palatable. In other words, make the case that, even though she might not be all that good, she was at least not that bad.

But I surprised myself. Instead of finding that Hillary was merely 'not that bad,' I found that she was actually pretty damned good! There was a small nugget of truth in most of the accusations levied against her, but that nugget was always hyper-inflated beyond reason. In the end, she is a woman who has walked the tightrope between being too ruthless and not feminine enough for her entire life. And while she has emerged scarred by a few landmines, she has, for the most part, avoided stepping on them herself.

What's that? The emails? Well, that's still a quagmire rather than a landmine. It could be a landmine if the FBI ever tells the Justice Department to indict her. But that hasn't happened yet, and even Bernie Sanders seems to realize that it's not likely to. But if it does, all I can say is that I wish the FBI would quit dragging its ass! Shit or get off the pot, FBI! You guys have had a year and a half. If you have something before the convention, use it. If you don't have something by then, at least wait until after November.

But that's getting off track. The fact of the matter is that Hillary is one of the best candidates to come along in quite awhile. Her husband Bill was a lying sack of shit, but Hillary has been fairly honest for a politician, and we do ourselves a disservice by equating the two of them as if they were somehow one and the same. Look at what has had to say about her.

Clinton's true and mostly true put her at 51% of her evaluated statements. Now let's look at another politician:

Bernie Sanders' true and mostly true statements put him at 52%, but his mostly true statements are a greater bulk of that, and his flat-out true statements are quite a bit less than Hillary's - 14% to 23%. Hillary also has had more statements evaluated than Bernie. Overall, it's safe to say that Hillary is one of the most honest politicians to come along in quite a long while. She's at least as honest as Bernie, and arguably more so.

Let's look at another one:

Trump rates only 2% true, 7% mostly true, 41% false and 20% pants on fire. Now, that's some serious lying! Relay that to the next person who tries to tell you that there's little or no difference between voting for Hillary vs. voting for Trump.

With each claim against Hillary I investigate, I repeatedly find lack of substance, egregious assumption, or outright wishful thinking. But I can't begin to defend her as well as a blogger named Michael Arnovitz. His blog post caught the attention of NewDealer who writes for Daily Kos, and it struck him as so profound that he re-posted it in its entirety. You can read it yourself here. But if you just want the highlights, here's the best of it:

Below is a chart compiled by none other than Nate Silver. It shows Hillary's favorable and unfavorable numbers going back to her early days as First Lady. It demonstrates fully how her approval numbers were high when she didn't seek power, but as soon as she sought power, her favorable numbers went down and her unfavorable numbers went up. In other words, it demonstrated an inner bias that society has against "uppity women."

No male politician would ever have to endure the kind of shit she has had to go through, even over her e-mail server. A male Secretary of State would have had that resolved one way or the other in only a few months, if that. But her emails make for big news, and combing through them in endless fun. And so the beat goes on, with hundreds of thousands of emails leaked, and no smoking gun found yet.

Don't believe me? You can look through them yourself. The Wikileaks archive of Hillary's emails can be found here. But search and search though you might, you cannot find any connection between selling arms to nations like Saudia Arabia in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation, or indeed any other example of Hillary leaking classified information. And yet the cartoon shown on the Wikileaks page looks like this:

Why show a cartoon depicting something that your own searchable database does not reveal?

It's no secret that Julian Assange, the man behind Wikileaks, has his own views of Hillary Clinton and does not want to see her become president. As Secretary of State, Assange was a thorn in her side, and bad blood built up between the two of them during her tenure. An interesting article about that and a connection with Google can be found here. But had Hillary been male, Assange would likely have merely seen Hillary's actions as just doing her job. Her gender, in my opinion, led to Assange taking things a little too personally.

People will disagree with me on that, I understand. But putting a cartoon depicting an act of corruption next to a searchable database which proves that such corruption does not exist is a new bottom-rung of stupidity. Yet it is also a twisted kind of genius. Assange assumes, quite correctly, that many people will find the database page, see the cartoon, and assume the rest, not bothering to do any actual searches. It's a sneaky, dirty trick that, in my mind, tarnishes the reputation of a man who I might otherwise defend as a servant of the people's interests.

Fuck you, Assange. Your job is to expose. Not to advance your own personal vendettas.

But I will let Michael Arnovitz defend Hillary further by quoting from his own blog post. He put it so much better than I would have.

Compare for example the treatment Hillary is getting due to her private email “scandal” to that of General David Petraeus. Hillary has been accused of hosting a personal email server that “might” have made classified documents less secure, even though the documents in question were not classified as secret at the time she received and/or sent them. (Side note: some government documents receive secret classifications “at birth”, while other can be retroactively classified as secret.) In order for Clinton to have committed a criminal act, she would have had to knowingly and willfully mishandle material that was classified at the time she did so. After months of investigation no one has accused her of doing that, and it doesn’t appear as if anyone will.

General Petraeus on the other hand, while he was Director of the CIA, knowingly gave a journalist, who was also his mistress, a series of black books which according to the Justice Department contained, “classified information regarding the identities of covert officers, war strategy, intelligence capabilities and mechanisms, diplomatic discussions quotes and deliberative discussions from high level National Security Council meetings and [Petraeus’] discussions with the president of the United States of America.” Petraeus followed that up by lying to numerous government officials, including FBI agents, about what he had done. And lets not forget that according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, adultery is itself a court-martial offense. And I remind you that none of this is in dispute. Petraeus admitted to all of it.

Petraeus’ violations were significantly more egregious than anything Clinton is even remotely accused of. And yet Republicans and other Hillary foes are howling about her issue, wearing “Hillary for Prison 2016” t-shirts while insisting that this disqualifies her from public office. Meanwhile even after pleading guilty to his crimes Petraeus continued to be the recipient of fawning sentiments from conservatives. Senator John McCain stated that, “All of us in life make mistakes and the situation now, I hope, can be put behind him…” Politico quoted a former military officer who worked with Petraeus as calling the entire situation “silly”. Prominent Republicans have already made it clear that they would call him back to work in the highest levels of government if they win the Presidency. And some are still attempting to convince him to seek the Presidency himself.

Why is Hillary Clinton being held to such an obviously different standard than Petraeus? Is it really only politics?

Yes, Michael, it is. But worse, it's gender politics. This is the kind of shit the first woman president will have to put up with.

This is the kind of shit we have to recognize as shit.



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