Saturday, December 17, 2016

Why We Could Not (& Still Cannot) Trust Hillary Clinton & Her Supporters

Who can make hard won gains, fall like the summer rain

~ Midnight Oil

This year is almost over, and it seems that a lot of people are actually happy to see it go.


Mostly because it seemed that the only news that we heard this year was bad news. We lost a ton of great musicians, actors, and artists, one after the other.

On top of that, the Syrian war is dragging on, and things just seem to get worse and worse. ISIS appears to be going away, which is a good thing. But this seems to have ushered in the strengthening of the Assad regime's hold over the country.

Russia's escalated role in that conflict, as well as their continued dominance in and around eastern Europe, is not necessarily a good thing. Neither is China's escalated presence in the South China Sea.

Then, of course, we had the rise of populist national movements, reflected in elections that will have wide reaching ramifications. There was the Brexit vote, in which Britons voted to essentially sever their ties with the EU. Then, of course, there was the victory of Donald Trump in the American election, which leaves a bad taste in mouths of many, both inside and outside of the United States. More recently, we had the vote which some were calling Italexit, in which Italians voted in favor of rejecting constitutional reforms that would have drawn it closer to other western EU states, and was seen as a rejection by Italian voters of the EU.

Indeed, the news has not been good all around, and I can sure understand why some are anxious to see 2016 go.

However, some of these news stories just are not about to go away. The Syrian war, for example, does not appear on the verge of magically ending. And the ramifications of Brexit and Trump's victory have really not even begun yet.

Yet, the election remains a point of contention right to this day, and still seems to generate news headlines. Now, some are even suggesting that recent reports of Russian hacking and interference in the American election may also have been in evidence for the Brexit vote, as well. President Obama just had an unusually long press conference, in which he blasted Putin and Russia, and claimed to have conclusive proof that they interfered in the election process. Here we go again, with the big, bad Russians.

So, let's start to examine it by using President Obama's own words, from this past October:

"There is no serious person out there who would suggest that you could even rig America's elections...There is no evidence that that has happened in the past, or that there are instances that that could happen this time...So I'd advise Mr. Trump to stop whining."

Yes, he said that in October. Of course, that was when all of the polls seemed to suggest that Hillary Clinton would not only win, but win big, and Trump seemed to be preparing for excuses as to why he lost. Now, however, things have changed, and after getting their butts handed to them, the Democrats, including President Obama, seem to be the ones whining about election rigging.

How convenient.

Okay, so it is well over a month since the election, and still, the headlines seem to be dominated by sentiments that Hillary Clinton was somehow cheated.

Now, as a supporter of Bernie Sanders myself, I feel that the last person who should feel that she was cheated during this election would be Hillary Clinton, given that she asked the Democratic Party establishment for help (which they were not supposed to give, as they are supposed to remain officially neutral), and she got it.

Still, since these stories are dominating the news ever since the election, let us review them.

The dominant one at the moment centers around Russian involvement, which allegedly has been confirmed (at least according to the CIA, and which has since been relentlessly repeated by major news media outlets). According to this theory that Democrats and the popular media are pushing, the Russians, particularly Vladimir Putin, had a vested interest in seeing Donald Trump win the presidency, and so they essentially hacked the election to assure a Trump victory. 

The other theory that seems to be getting a lot of attention is that fake news sites were responsible for undermining Hillary Clinton's credibility and integrity as a candidate. I will get back to this point very shortly, I promise you.

Now, those are just the two most popular theories that have garnered considerable media attention in recent weeks. However, these are not even close to being the only theories that Hillary supporters have spouted, as the finger pointing since the shock that they received in the election day defeat. The fact of the matter is that the Russians and the fake news sites are only one of the reasons that Hillary Clinton and her supporters seem to feel strongly about, to the point that they are expressing outrage over what they perceive to be a stolen election. They also particularly like to blame supporters of Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein, and more generally, third party voters in general. They like to blame FBI Director James Comey. They even like to blame slanted media coverage against her, even though they conveniently forget that most of the major media sources seemed to hold her in high regard, to the point that she received some huge breaks in what otherwise might have been crippling news stories of corruption and wrong doing b her and her campaign. After all, the confirmed stories about her asking for help illegally from the Democratic Party establishment, and their illegally going ahead and assisting her when they are supposed to remain neutral, as well as Bill Clinton meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch at a Phoenix airport (and surely holding up paying passengers for this illegal meeting in the process) while Hillary Clinton was under active investigation regarding those emails, and finally, Clinton receiving one of the questions that would be put to her in the presidential debate outright, all of these could have more seriously hurt her chances. Frankly, all of these should have more seriously hurt her chances, because they compromised her integrity still further.

Yet, she got away with it. Like she gets away with a great deal more, for that matter. Why? Because those who supported her willfully ignore these unsavory aspects about the way that she does things. In fact, her husband did things in much the same manner, and also got away with it time and time again, as his unofficial title of "Teflon President" (the nickname that he was given by some in the media at the time) would suggest. These people who refuse to criticize the Clintons empower their crooked (yes, that is the word I would use) behavior. In fact, I would go as far as to say that Hillary Clinton might have had a better chance at actually winning this past election if the media had really been tougher on her, if the perception that she was not being favored, and the perception that she was not "the chosen one" by the higher powers that be, had not been as strong and inescapable as it was.

Indeed, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by two and a half million votes, and her and her Democratic supporters, who remember all too well winning the popular vote while also officially losing the election in 2000 as well, have cried foul. Ever since that Tuesday in November, there are all sorts of petitions and such, advocating the abolition of the electoral college process.

Now, don't get me wrong - I support such an abolition. I think the system is clearly outdated, and needs to be scrapped in favor of more direct democracy. However, I just find it amusing that Hillary Clinton supporters sound so outraged and are demanding action about it. The paradox seems lost on them that the same arguments that they used by outraged supporters of Bernie Sanders, that he lost "fair and square" according to the rule that were in place, and which the candidate agreed to, are now being used against them, and for exactly the same reason. They were very dismissive of anyone who suggested that Hillary's Democratic nomination was tainted, but they themselves now proudly declare that Donald Trump is "Not My President."

How convenient.

So, to recap, when Hillary Clinton and the mainstream Democrats basically cheated to make sure that Bernie Sanders would not get the nomination that he was getting uncomfortably close to (in their eyes), then he lost fair and square, because he knew what the outdated and ridiculous rules were when he announced his candidacy. But now that Hillary Clinton and the mainstream Democrats lost the general election (probably because they cannot control it as much as the primaries), then the outdated and ridiculous rules need to be changed, and changed immediately!

Got it.

Here is what I find most nauseating about Hillary Clinton and her Democratic supporters since the election: they have learned absolutely nothing. The election defeat was clearly the result of people distrusting and disliking her particularly, and the Democratic Party more generally. This is the party that used to actually stand up for and represent the working American, but no longer. In fact, they have not really done so for a lot longer than they should have gotten away with. It just finally caught up with them, and at the worst possible moment, when someone who truly poses a threat to the nation happened to be running against the Democrats. People in the rust belt felt that the Democrats had stopped listening to them, and stopped caring, years ago, but the Democrats really only caught on this year. Trump, to his credit, was able o appeal to them enough that his seemingly impossible strategy of promising them the world actually worked. Granted, he would now have to deliver, presumably, to get them to vote for him again, and he promised so much to so many, that it seems very unlikely that he could even come close to fulfilling his promises.

That, however, is beside the point for right now. What matters here is that The Democrats have failed to grasp what happened in recent years and, yes, even decades, and which became readily apparent during this election cycle. People have grown sick of the elites who rule the Democrats. Sick of the Clintons in particular, because they represent more than anyone else the patronizing, false sincerity and caring that the Democrats came to rely upon. It is not just the Clintons, of course. But they, far more than anyone else, have become the face of that new, elitist Democratic Party. In terms of speaking points, they are loaded. Bill Clinton can sell you a bill of goods better than anyone else. He will speak convincingly of the huge list of accomplishments of his administration to anyone who does not run away, and will admonish you with the amazing things that they managed to do. If you listen to him, more than 60 percent of the national debt was paid off (but not really), a ton of great legislation protecting the environment in America were passed (but a huge portion of which came in the last three days of the Clinton presidency, when they knew full well that these would quickly be scrapped and, thus, were rendered largely meaningless), that the economy was booming (but that this happened during the boom of the internet age, which even Bill Clinton could not really take credit for), and for eight year of peacetime (even though we bombed Iraq and Serbia, and allowed the Rwandan genocide to take place).

The Clintons also quite clearly wanted to take a page from President Jimmy Carter and his wife's post-presidency, which has often been viewed as the most successful post-presidency in history, as the Clinton Foundation seemed like a rip-off idea of the Carter Center. Except, rather typically, it was weighed down by scandal in a way that the Carter Center never was. In fact, it has become the center of scandals associated with the Clinton family, in the absence of high-profile government leadership positions.

Yet, what really sickens people about the Clintons is the false sincerity that they are known for, and which has come to be viewed by most Americans as patronizing, at best, and at worse, as a false face to the most unimaginable crimes. Now, that does not mean that all of these allegations are true. Frankly, I think the idea that the Clintons are associated with some kind of sex crime pedophile ring linked to a Washington, DC area pizzeria is utterly and patently absurd. However, there are certainly things that the Clintons are very guilty of, and the fact that so many Democrats refuse to call them out on it makes those Democrats accessories to these crimes. Those crimes include but are no limited to their penchant for high profile cases of lying, and of being involved with things that they clearly should not be involved with. Both Bill and Hillary have an extensive history of lying to the American people. From Hillary lying during the Watergate Inquiry to campaign promises from way back in 1992 being broken once Bill was in office, to his sexual indiscretions to the Whitewater scandal to the lies about their incredible list of accomplishments while in the White House to the claims of being bankrupt after leaving the White House (another thing that the Clintons seemed to want to copy from the Carters) to Hillary Clinton converting from a devoted advocate for a fairer healthcare system to her more recent position of taking tons of money from major healthcare industry corporations to taking excessive speaking fees from Wall Street firms (where she spoke of having both a public position and a private position) while refusing to publicly release the transcripts of these speeches, to the waffling that she was guilty of as Senator (voting for, but criticizing, things like George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq, or his PATRIOT Act, or the financial bailout), to her claims of being under sniper fire, and the cover up of these lies by both her husband and her campaign team, to her asking the Democratic Party leadership for help, and receiving it, and even rewarding Debbie Wasserman-Schultz with an "honorary" position in her presidential campaign team mere hours after she had been forced to resign in disgrace, to Bill Clinton illegally meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch at a Phoenix Airport tarmac while active investigations were still underway (a clear violation of the law), and then seeing all charges dropped (even while Hillary herself was clearly guilty of some wrongdoing and glaring irresponsibility), to Hillary working with a high-ranking Democrat to prepare for a question that she would be faced with during the debate. All of these things are clearly going to cast a shadow of doubt on the credibility of both of the Clintons - except with the staunchest Democratic Party supporters who, somehow, remain determined to keep their heads buried deep in the sand, and refusing to acknowledge any, let alone all, of this. These are not right wing conspiracy theories, but facts. And these contributed - I would suggest greatly contributed - to why Hillary Clinton lost this past election. In fact, when you look at it like this, you can hardly think that the Clintons and their Democratic supporters did not deserve to lose in the humiliating and very compromising manner, like they did.

Now, don't get me wrong: Republicans are no better. In fact, I think they are worse, and always have felt that they were worse. But that does not excuse the Democrats. They have to get over the 1990's, when the Clintons represented a break from the long Reagan-Bush era dominance, and gave the Democrats the only really major victory at the White House level since at least the days of the Johnson administration until the rise of Barack Obama during the 2008 election. Given that Jimmy Carter is remembered as an unpopular president, that means that it was a long, long time since the Democrats had gotten to enjoy someone on their side enjoying popularity in a presidency that was seen by most as a success.

However, those successes were tainted by all of the lying, as well as by the facts that have since come out. Some things just cannot remain hidden forever, and when you piece them together, you indeed get a very different picture of the Clintons than what the Clinton political propaganda machine would have you believe. For example, Bill Clinton was a member of an exclusive, de facto whites only golf club, and when you couple this with his comment to Ted Kennedy that Obama would have "been carrying our bags" just a few years before, certainly gives the appearance of closet racism in Bill Clinton. Plus, when you add their roles in the for-profit prison system, which seems to disproportionately target blacks and other minorities, it begins to feel like they have been given credit for being far more progressive on these issues of civil rights than they actually are in real life.

Over time, there have been a whole lot of stories like that which have come out, and it seems that for every crazy theory that some extremists have come out with, and which have been quickly and rightfully dismissed, there are others that are legitimate, but which are quickly swept under the rug, such as the obvious corruption involved with securing Hillary's Democratic Party nomination this past year. I mean, seriously, where were the major news media organizations with this incredibly important story?

In fact, I believe that the media that favored Hillary Clinton ultimately did her a disservice in their unwavering and uncritical support of her (although they, like the Clintons themselves, seem to pat themselves on the back for a job well done, and always grade themselves highly). I heard someone suggest that what happened this year with the rise of Donald Trump was this: his detractors took everything that he said literally, and so they did not take his campaign seriously, while his supporters did not take everything that he said literally, but they sure took his campaign seriously. Every single day, it seemed that there was some fresh new outrageous thing that Trump said or did, which everyone felt sure would be the straw to break the camel's back. It seemed to me that people, particularly those who could not stand the Clintons (or perhaps Hillary Clinton in particular) got a certain fatigue with all that they were supposed to get outraged over. This was compounded with the fact that Hillary Clinton seemed to get away with one thing after the other, from her stealing the nomination after her campaign was floundering, to her emails and the investigations that followed, to numerous other scandals that followed her like the plague (some real and some greatly exaggerated at best, and downright fabricated at worst). Ultimately, it seemed that enough Americans came around to the belief that Trump could not be all that bad, and that Hillary was somehow worse, and the fact that she kept getting away with these things, both officially as well as by the media that should have covered these things much more extensively, only exacerbated this.

I mean, really! How is it that Bill and Hillary Clinton could be seen as somehow being unable to relate to the struggles of real, everyday Americans, while a man who had been born into extreme wealth like Trump was seen as being able to relate to the concerns of working Americans? I don't want to keep belaboring this point, but the Democrats had a real opportunity to nominate someone with integrity, someone who was actually inspiring working Americans by the millions to go out and vote, and get more active politically. He was gaining momentum, and appeared on the threshold of a major political upset (at least as major as the one that Hillary Clinton fell victim to in the general election, if not even more so). But the Democrats went out of their way to discredit him, to throw dirt on him, and to make sure that he would never, ever receive the nomination.

Remind me how well that strategy work out again?

So much for the glass ceiling. But then again, you can see through glass, and transparency never really worked all that well for the Clintons. Just not their thing, you know?

Obama to Trump: "Stop Whining" About A Rigged Election By Tim Hains, October 18, 2016:

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