Hillary Hate and How to Cure It – DINO Woman


According to some, Hillary Clinton is nothing but a DINO. Now while that could mean she’s a t-rex, what it actually means it that they think she’s a Democrat in Name Only.

Tyrannosaurus rex

fig 1. – Not Hillary Clinton

What does this mean in practical terms? It means that the people who are calling her that are convinced that she’s not a true Democrat. They think she’s basically a Republican who claims to be a Democrat because reasons.

This should be a fairly easy thing to prove when you think about it. All you have to do is look at a mix of Hillary’s voting record in the Senate and her promises on the campaign. Plus you can add in what she did before she got elected to the Senate. When you add up all these things, you find someone who isn’t a DINO, but is, rather, a pragmatic left-leaning Democrat.

BEFORE THE SENATE

The first most of us knew about Hillary’s politics was when she came along in 1994 to push for single-payer health care. Yes, let me remind those of you who have forgotten, or who weren’t alive at the time, that Hillary was a big proponent of single-payer health care reform. This was, of course, blocked by Republicans, and no small number of Democrats, and that was the end of that until the ACA came along. Even that isn’t single-payer, but it’s a start.

Before that, Hillary…well, let’s take a look at this list of accomplishments published by the Daily Kos. I’ll cut off the parts that happened after she joined the Senate.

•First ever student commencement speaker at Wellesley College.
•President of the Wellesley Young Republicans
•Intern at the House Republican Conference
•Distinguished graduate of Yale Law School
•Editorial board of the Yale Review of Law and Social Action
•Appointed to Senator Walter Mondale’s Subcommittee on Migratory Labor.
•Co-founded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families
•Staff attorney for Children’s Defense Fund
•Faculty member in the School of Law at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
•Former Director of the Arkansas Legal Aid Clinic.
•First female chair of the Legal Services Corporation
•First female partner at Rose Law Firm.
•Former civil litigation attorney.
•Former Law Professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law.
•twice listed by The National Law Journal as one of the hundred most influential lawyers in America
•Former First Lady of Arkansas.
•Arkansas Woman of the Year in 1983
•Chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession
•twice named by the National Law Journal as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America
•created Arkansas’s Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youth
•led a task force that reformed Arkansas’s education system
•Board of directors of Wal-Mart and several other corporations
•Instrumental in passage of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program
•Promoted nationwide immunization against childhood illnesses
•Successfully sought to increase research funding for prostate cancer and childhood asthma at the National Institutes of Health
•Worked to investigate reports of an illness that affected veterans of the Gulf War (now recognized as Gulf War Syndrome)
•Helped create the Office on Violence Against Women at the Department of Justice
•Initiated and shepherded the Adoption and Safe Families Act
•First FLOTUS in US History to hold a postgraduate degree
•Traveled to 79 countries during time as FLOTUS
•Helped create Vital Voices, an international initiative to promote the participation of women in the political processes of their countries.

Ok, yes, the Young Republican stuff is awkward, but a: Republicans were a different breed back then (bear in mind it was a Republican who created the EPA), and b: we all have our experimental phase in college. And I could do without her being on the board of Wal-Mart.

Otherwise, what I see here is someone who, again, has stood up for liberal causes, defended the rights of women and children, and has a great educational background. All of this points to someone who has been generally liberal and, at her worst, a left-leaning centrist.

None of this is the behavior of a DINO.

But, hey, let’s take a look at what she did once she was actually in a position of power.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Live-Blogging the Clinton Acceptance Speech


Here we go! Press F5 to update occasionally. Enjoy!

Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_crop

7:05pm MST – As we begin, Chelsea is giving a speech introducing her mother. She still looks quite a bit younger than I think she should.

7:07 – Hillary used to leave notes for young Chelsea detailing her plans for improving childcare in Arkansas. Cute, but…I mean, c’mon.

7:10 – We’re getting a good framing of “Hillary as caring mom”, which is nice. She’s always handled mothering well.

7:12 – The image of “Hillary as a fighter for you”, is also a good one.

7:16 – The speech is over, and now we go to the obligatory candidate video, narrated by Morgan Freeman, because of course it is.

7:19 – We’re getting repeats of a lot of the bits we heard the other night when Bill spoke. It’s a bit eh. The watermelon bit was amusing, though.

7:22 – Glad to see that the Democrats aren’t above exploiting 9/11. I really look forward to when this is no longer something viable for candidates to talk about.

7:24 – Ah, “the bin Laden situation”. Another thing I am kind of tired hearing about, and btw, we didn’t “bring him to justice”, as people like to say. That would have involved a trial, which we didn’t bother with.

7:25 – “There is more than enough of the American dream to go around…” Excellent.

7:27 – Finally done. It wasn’t terrible, but…eh. Now on to the main event!

7:28 – Whatever problems the Clintons might have had during their marriage, I still get the impression of two people who care deeply about each other. It’s nice to see.

7:29 – Ok, the video has been done for two minutes now. Can we stop with the song and get to the speech?

7:31 – She certainly seems quite choked-up, which is understandable!

7:33 – A few moments of self-deprecating humor. Always welcome!

7:35 – A thank-you out to Sanders. A smart idea, given the Sandernistas who continue to agitate.

7:38 – An emphasis on compromise by invoking the Founding Fathers. Quite wise, especially given the way the Republicans (and the extreme left), have viewed compromise as vice rather than virtue.

7:39 – “Rise together”. There’s a campaign motto for you.

7:42 – She’s taking Trump head-on. This is good.

7:43 – Now they’re chanting her name. Seems spontaneous, but my guess is that it’s an effort to drown-out some Bern Victims.

7:47 – “Love trumps hate” is also a great motto.

7:49 – She’s directly addressing her public perception and personality issues. That’s good.

7:54 – She’s never going to go down as a great public speaker, but she is making some excellent points about what really matters.

7:57 – Sanders looking dour. But to be fair, I suspect he’d look dour even if someone handed him a gold brick on a platinum plate.

7:58 – “When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit!” I do like some of these lines.

8:02 -Appointing the right kind of justices is a good first step. Second? Making the Senate give them hearings.

8:04 – “I believe in science!” It’s quite sad that that’s a campaign point.

8:06 – Interesting to see how many non-white faces are out there. From what I understand, only about 20 of the delegates at the RNC were black. 20. I also like that she’s calling it, “Donald Trump’s convention”.

8:09 – Now talking about student debt. A definite plus for the Sanders crowd. And a sop out to those who want to go to technical schools. An excellent idea.

8:13 – Now calling out Trump on his various shady and hypocritical business practices. A wise move. The idea of “Trump as successful businessman” needs to be stomped down hard.

8:15 – She’s right to tout the Iranian deal, even if it was done after she left office.

8:17 – I’ve seen others talk about it, now I will, too. It’s strange, fascinating, and a little neat to see the Democrats co-opting all the religious and patriotic imagery that the Republicans have relied on for the last 35 years. It wears better on the Democrats than it did on the Republicans.

8:18 – “A man you can bait with a Tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”

8:20 – “I’m not here to repeal the Second Amendment. I’m not here to take away your guns. I just don’t want you to get shot by someone who shouldn’t have a gun in the first place.”

8:26 – A reminder of how important it is to stand up to bullies. I like that.

And that’s that. I enjoyed it for the most part. Good, but not quite great. She said what needed to be said, and said it well enough, though. Even if she didn’t quite hit it out of the park, it was still a solid triple, and that’s fine.

To My Fellow Liberals: Stop Acting Like Spoiled Brats


So did you hear? It’s such a scandal. Apparently the Democratic party leadership did whatever they could behind the scenes to ensure that the Democratic party nominee for president in 2016 was someone who had been a Democrat for their entire political career, had campaigned for Democrats, raised money for Democrats, supported the Democratic party, and generally helped the Democratic cause.

64936633

Yes, apparently they went out of their way to support the Democrat that was in the race instead of supporting the guy who became a Democrat only a few months before deciding to run as one.

The horror.

First off, this scandal isn’t really much of a scandal at all. As I pointed out, it’s perfectly understandable that the party leadership would support someone who has supported the party. That’s reasonable, right, and proper.

Second…you know, there really isn’t a second here. The first is all that I need, because it’s entirely correct.

Since 1992, the right wing in this country has been consumed with Clinton Derangement Syndrome. Since that year, they’ve hounded Bill and Hillary like no other president has ever been hounded. Hearings? Yes. An impeachment? Oh, yes. Actual convictions? Not really.

The Republican establishment has spread lies, innuendo, and blown every little possible thing out of proportion for the last 24 years. Republicans soak their minds in this. They believe utterly in the evil, corrupt, lying bitch version of  Hillary.

So it’s no surprise to me that people who have been alive about that long, even liberals, also share that view.

But it is very sad.

It’s sad because Hillary is a fantastic candidate. She’s the ultimate survivor in politics, taking everything that can be thrown at her, and remaining a decent person. She would really be an amazing president.

It’s also dangerous for liberals to share this “evil bitch” view of Hillary. You may not have noticed, but this past week the Republicans selected a neo-fascist white nationalist to lead their party. There is a very real chance that this person could be the next president of the United States.

If you are a liberal, that should trouble you way more than any problems you think the Democratic party has or that Hillary has. You have issues with the party? Join the party, work with the party, and help change the party. You have issues with Hillary? Suck it up and deal.

Because no candidate is perfect. None. But while both Trump and Hillary are imperfect, there’s a gigantic difference between the levels of imperfection. Donald Trump is the single most unqualified person ever nominated by a major party, and he has plans to advance a large number of extremely un-American goals.

And Hillary? She’s not quite as liberal as you might want, and might try to enact only 50% of what Sanders promised rather than the 100% he would have tried to enact. It’s worth noting that she’ll probably succeed in that 50% where he would have largely failed.

So you don’t get to vote for your perfect candidate? Tough shit. Be an adult. You can’t afford to be a spoiled brat right now and say, “Well, they’re both the same, so fuck her, and fuck Trump, and I’m voting for Jill Stein!” Because, yes, voting for the anti-science Green party is a smart move!

Politics is about compromise. It’s about not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. It’s about accepting that you can’t always get what you want, but sometimes you can get enough of what you need.

Hillary may not be what you want. But she’s substantially better than Trump. She’ll preserve and expand the ACA. She’ll preserve gay marriage, and the right of gays and transgendered people to serve in the military. She’ll protect abortion rights against the forced birth crowd. She’ll work to increase the minimum wage. She won’t start a war with Poland because of what someone said about her hair. She will be a pragmatist who will work hard to bring what change she can to improve all our lives.

So grow up. Stop whining. Accept reality, and quit looking for excuses to not vote for Hillary. The stakes are just too damn high.

How Bernie Won


Bernie Sanders was quite defeated at the ballot boxes by Hillary Clinton. This wasn’t a big conspiracy, or anything like that; it’s just that most people who voted, voted for her. They didn’t vote for the guy who came in out of nowhere, with no history with the party, and said he was going to be the one in charge.

But Sanders did accomplish something good, and that’s moving the party a bit further left on certain issues. He forced Hillary to talk about issues, and take positions on those issues, that she’d probably rather not have had to address, so as to avoid alienating middle-of-the-road voters in November.

He also has had an effect on the party platform, a draft of which was just approved. This platform includes abolition of the death penalty, $15 an hour minimum wage (which is small thinking, but it’s a start),  expansion of Social Security, more oversight for law enforcement, and more oversight of Wall Street, among other things.

Now this isn’t to say that, absent Sanders, these items wouldn’t be on the platform anyhow. They probably would, though in a reduced form. Say, a $12 minimum wage rather than $15 (though given that just a few years ago, $10.10 seemed pie-in-the-sky, this is great progress). So I think we can agree that Sanders probably had an influence.

And that pleases me. I’ve always respected the guy (though less so as the primaries went on), and I’m glad to see him helping to shape the party’s direction for the next twenty years.

Cassidy-Bernie-Sanders-Loud-and-Clear-1200

To win is to lose, and to lose is to win!

Of course, to move us along that path, we do rather need Hillary to win in November, so please, please, don’t forget to vote!

About Last Night


Click to embiggen!

Last night Obama and Boehner gave dueling speeches. Obama’s was reasonably non-partisan, clear and measured, with smacks to both the right and left for not accepting reality. He did blame Republicans more than Democrats, but only because at this point they should be blamed more. Boehner, on the other hand, gave a highly-partisan speech wherein he whined some more and blamed everyone except the Republicans. Neither actually solved our problem with the debt ceiling, but I expect that will sort itself out no later than Monday.

For the record, mad Socialist though I am, I’m in favor of certain targeted cuts to Medicare and Social Security (ie: if you’re rich, you don’t need either). I’m also very much in favor of raising taxes on the wealthy and, FYI, if you pull in $250,000 and have a family of four, you’re rich, even if you live in Manhattan.

I’m also in favor of cutting back on the debt and deficit as much as possible, but this is not the time. This is the time to spend even more money to do things like repair our badly aging infrastructure, something I never hear the GOP wanting to do. But doing so will fix some massive problems we have and will also create jobs.

Except, oh, wait, according to the GOP government never creates jobs. Well, except presumably jobs for police, fire departments, schools, libraries, the military, Congress, the Senate, the Executive Branch, the Judicial branch, all those state and local government jobs, the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, NASA, various jobs with defense contractors, various jobs with other contractors and all those other job that government doesn’t create. Indeed.

(chart lifted from here)

A Bit of Good, a Bit of Bad


So the great 2009 election chaos is over. Yes, for those who hadn’t noticed there were five important elections last night. These were governor’s races in New Jersey and Virginia, Question One in Maine, a Congressional race in NY 23, and Referendum 71 in Washington State.

Now the two governor’s races and the Congressional race were about local issues so it was, of course, all about Obama. Well, at least according to the MSM and the GOP. I noticed the GOP crowing long and loud last night about their crowning achievement in unseating two incumbent governors who just happened to be Democrats. This is, to them, proof that the GOP is back and on the rise and about to destroy the hated, unpopular Obama, etc.

Oddly I notice that they’re ignoring NY 23 where, at least in part due to the GOP turning on its own, the conservative candidate lost. Clearly that was a referendum on the GOP’s policies and, obviously, it means that the GOP is on the decline and the Democrats are about to destroy them, etc.

The lesson here is that all three of those elections were local elections about local issues and have no real national significance.

Meantime, a little bit of bad and a little bit of good for gay rights issues. The voters in Maine choose to outlaw gay marriage after their legislature and government passed it and this despite my personal plea for them not to be a state of dicks. I am very disappointed in you, Maine! I expected better than for you to prove that direct democracy is a bad idea.

Over in Washington state we see how wonderful direct democracy is as a gay rights bill there pass, showing public support for civil unions. Knowing what I know about Washington and how the courts have ruled, I’m guessing that within two years we’ll have a court ruling there saying that giving all the rights of marriage but calling it a “civil union” is discrimination illegal.

So five races. Two went the way I wanted. Three didn’t. I don’t view any of these as having any real national significance beyond, say, next week. By this time in 2010 we’ll have all forgotten about them.

Where Are All the Liberals?


The other night I was watching Real Time with Bill Maher, and Maher brought up an interesting point. He made the argument that we do not have a liberal and conservative party. We have a moderate and extremely conservative party. He said we don’t have a left party and a right party, we have a right-of-center party and a bunch of fucking wingnuts.

I think he’s pretty accurate in these descriptions, though I’d not go quite as far as that about the right. But he does have a point about the left. The Democrats are, basically, pussies on all the issues we claim to support.

Think about it. We Democrats say we’re anti-death penalty, but I don’t recall the last time I heard any Senate Democrats stand up and say, “Hey, we really need to stop killing people in our prisons.”

We’re pro-choice, but I don’t recall any attempts at, say, a constitutional amendment that would codify pro-choice options and prevent any possibilities of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade.

We support sensible gun control legislation, but I haven’t heard of much coming along down the pike.

We’re not really calling for single-payer universal health care like we should, and instead appear to be willing to accept some pussy little compromise that doesn’t solve any of the real problems (though it does have some promise to it. We shall see).

We don’t really have anyone standing up saying, “Hey, in this time of great financial woes, why don’t we cut back on military spending? Do we really need a military that’s largest than the 20 nations’ militaries combined?”

We’re pro-union, but I don’t remember the last time I heard of us really making any effort at empowering unions.

We say we back educational reform, but I don’t see anyone actually calling for things like national educational standards instead of this idiotic state-level business.

We claim to support equal rights for all, and while we aren’t nearly as appallingly bad on gay rights as Republicans are, we certainly aren’t where we should be.

Basically the party isn’t doing what it should be. We’re liberals, but we aren’t acting like it. Prominent Democrats (I’m looking at you, Kennedy, Reid, Pelosi and Obama), need to step up and start doing their jobs.