The Agonist’s editors have taken a principled stand in favor of Hillary Clinton’s nomination by the Democratic Party for president. In the tradition of The Agonist, contrary opinions are always welcome, and in that spirit I offer arguments against the nomination of Hillary Clinton. Fundamentally, I find her an unprincipled person, by which I mean two things: her political principles are opportunistic, and her ethical principles are lacking. In normal circumstances, these failings would not disqualify her from high office. Bill Clinton, after all, thrived as president, even though he has these exact same faults, because the times were such that the economy, and the population in general, benefited considerably during his eight years as president. It was a false prosperity, built on an increasingly mountainous pile of private debt, but economic want did not stalk the land, as it does now.
Twenty years later, our situation is radically different, not just nationally, but globally. What we need are political leaders with vision, a willingness to work for radical change, and a capability to push the “system” along to be able to enact such change. This is a very tall order, which even Bernie Sanders does not fully meet, but Hillary Clinton doesn’t come close, because she lacks vision entirely. She is politically opportunistic, grabbing on to whatever policy seems best suited to garner the most votes. Setting policy through public opinion polling was always a hallmark of the Clinton presidency, and we shouldn’t be under any illusions. Electing Hillary Clinton as president doesn’t mean necessarily that Bill Clinton will be back in the Oval Office, but it does mean that the Clinton style of governance shall return. Everything about Hillary Clinton’s political career suggests as much, from her carefully scripted and nuanced public statements meant to offend the fewest amount of people, to her reliance on the same advisers, such as Robert Rubin, who did so much damage during the Clinton administration.
Let us look at several policy positions that she has held throughout her career, which define her as a reactionary, in the limited sense that she reacts to circumstances rather than trying to mold public opinion and political policy toward a different and better future. Read More
In their attempt to become the next President of the United States, Hillary and Jeb have proposed to get married.
No, they are not divorcing their current spouses, they have decided under the equal protection for all part of the US constitution to enter into lawful bigamy.
Thus they will steal the entire Moron vote from Mitt Romney, because we all know Morons will instinctively support any bigamist over some weird monogamist, even with his dog strapped to the roof of his car.
A trove of secret documents details the US government’s global push for shale gas.
Mother Jones, By Mariah Blake, September/October ’14
One icy morning in February 2012, Hillary Clinton’s plane touched down in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, which was just digging out from a fierce blizzard. Wrapped in a thick coat, the secretary of state descended the stairs to the snow-covered tarmac, where she and her aides piled into a motorcade bound for the presidential palace. That afternoon, they huddled with Bulgarian leaders, including Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, discussing everything from Syria’s bloody civil war to their joint search for loose nukes. But the focus of the talks was fracking. The previous year, Bulgaria had signed a five-year, $68 million deal, granting US oil giant Chevron millions of acres in shale gas concessions. Bulgarians were outraged. Shortly before Clinton arrived, tens of thousands of protesters poured into the streets carrying placards that read “Stop fracking with our water” and “Chevron go home.” Bulgaria’s parliament responded by voting overwhelmingly for a fracking moratorium.
Warren proceeds to calmly recite numbers that could inspire even librarians to storm a few barricades. The Wall Street crash has cost the US economy $14tn, she says, but its top institutions are 30% larger than before, own half the country’s bank assets and are in receipt of an implicit taxpayer subsidy of $83bn a year because they are deemed too big to fail. Elizabeth Warren: quiet revolutionary who could challenge Hillary Clinton in Democrats’ 2016 race, Guardian.co.uk, 11/17
At moments like this, I’m inclined to think that there is a God, one who actually intervenes at critical times to keep us from completely destroying ourselves. I don’t hold that thought for more than few seconds. I suspect it comes from watching too many Westerns as a youth; you know, the part near the end when the settlers are surrounded by the “Indians” and the U.S. Calvary appears at the top of the nearest hill, then proceeds to rescue the settlers. (Image)
My concept of God intervening is about as reality based as the notion that the Calvary rescuing the settlers was a noble deed. There are 10 to 16 million fewer Native Americans today as there were when Eurpeans landed in Plymouth. Happy Thanksgiving. It wasn’t the settlers who needed a rescue party. Read More
Christopher de Bellaigue on why sanctions on Iran have thus far been, and will likely continue to be, a failure:
The assumption is that the more Iranians suffer, the more their leaders will feel the pressure and either change course or be overthrown in a popular uprising. And yet, there is no evidence to suggest that this is probable, and the Iraqi case suggests the opposite. During the U.N. blockade, Saddam was able to blame foreigners for the nation’s suffering, and ordinary Iraqis—those who might have been expected to show discontent at his misrule—grew more and more dependent on the rations he distributed. Furthermore, America’s insistence that an end to sanctions was conditional on Saddam’s departure removed any incentive he might have had to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors. In 1997, he stopped doing so, with the results we all know.
This time, the U.S. is at pains to show that the Islamic Republic will gain a life-saving reprieve if it falls in with U.N. resolutions calling on it to stop enriching uranium. If that happens, Hillary Clinton said in October, sanctions might be “remedied in short order.” But Iran’s supreme leader dismissed her words as a “lie.”
Khamenei and those around him believe that sanctions policy is part of a bigger American project of Iraq-style regime change. There is some logic to this; recent western tactics against Iran include sabotage, assassination and diplomatic isolation—hardly indicative of a desire for detente. The most recent round of nuclear negotiations foundered, in part, on Iran’s growing conviction that the U.S. will make no significant concession on sanctions unless Iran drastically scales down its program of uranium enrichment. That seems unlikely to happen–not simply for reasons of image and prestige, but because, as American hostility sharpens, Iran may judge its nuclear program to be the best defense it has against the fate that befell Saddam.
h/t Trita Parsi