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AdLib On April - 27 - 2015

hillary1

When first checking out each morning’s news, I have to confess to a faint preparedness for a blaring headline about something serious threatening Hillary Clinton’s candidacy (as well as a similarly big headline about Kim Kardashian having egg whites for breakfast).

It’s a given that Republicans have and will continue to manufacture “outrages” and “crimes” out of empty pork rind bags, chewing tobacco and tears of desperate inferiority with which to assault Hillary Clinton and damage her chances to beat them out of the White House. Thanks to their overuse of trumped up and hollow scandals against President Obama for seven years, that bullshit is already mostly white noise to all but the core Republicans whose favorite song is “The Dog Whistle Polka”.

However, due to the secretive and hubris-filled history of the Clintons, it is possible that some story of unethical behavior by Hillary could surface and such a revelation, however minor, could be like a detonator cap that sets off a more massive explosion by legitimizing the mountain of GOP attacks on her. People may think, “If this story about her is true, maybe the other stories are true too and she did cause Benghazi and ebola!”

It would seem unlikely that anyone in politics could lead a perfectly spotless life, there’s always something out there waiting to be discovered that could knock a politician back on their heels and force them to defend themselves and their reputation.

When you add to the mix an ex-President as one’s husband, a massive internationally connected foundation and contributors to it that are from Wall Street, major corporations and foreign countries…and you’ve been Secretary of State of the U.S…even if it was never intended, there could at least be the appearance of impropriety in certain situations.

And if there was actual impropriety…and when dealing with the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world, the temptation could be very powerful…what then?

There is one particular philosophy out there for Democrats that it would be a winning approach for Democrats to all get behind Hillary Clinton now as their Presidential nominee, even before the Democratic Primary begins. The view is that such solidarity from the outset would strengthen Hillary and the Democrats’ chances of winning the White House while any division, which a primary represents, would be counter-productive and potentially harmful to her.

Let’s begin with addressing the principle here first. Democrats should not fear democracy as a threat, firstly because just the opposite is true and secondly because Republicans will sue them for theft of intellectual property (it’s the only use of the word “intellectual” Republicans are permitted to make).

Also, primaries are the warmups for General Elections. Primaries are where you hone your persona and skills and make mistakes that you can learn from to become a better candidate. That’s also where it’s best to have your baggage opened up and explored.

Imagine if Obama hadn’t been confronted with the Reverend Wright/Obama Hates White People and America charges in the primary but had them hurled at him just before the General Election, how might that have changed history?

In addition to Hillary becoming a better and more tempered candidate by facing genuine competition and division in the Dem primaries, what if she became the Dems’ presidential nominee…and something happened to her?

Whether it’s a legit scandal, a health issue, an accident, if for some reason, Hillary couldn’t continue as the Dem nominee and no other substantial Dem had been campaigning against her for the nomination in the primaries, there would be no prepared and viable replacement for her and the Dems could lose to even the worst Republican candidate (the winner of that title would be hard to pick, so many to choose from!)

And historically, Democrats aren’t the ones who coronate their nominees, that’s not representative of their more democratic view of primaries.

There’s another reality as well. Some Democrats don’t favor Hillary Clinton at this point and having many in the party make it a “You’re with us or you’re against us!” thing can polarize them even more against her and depress turnout.

Democrats want to win the White House, some absolutely want Hillary to be the one that wins it, some want there to be other choices for them to consider. In either case, the healthiest way for the party to come together over a candidate is to be able to give the favorite and her competition a test drive as well as a real race. Then, whoever wins has participated in the Democrats’ democratic process and earned legitimacy as their party’s candidate.

Democrats would be well advised to recognize that right now they’re playing Wheel of Fortune – The Hillary Clinton Edition. Any morning that wheel could spin and stop on a troubling breaking news story about her that terminally damages her campaign. And Dems could lose all their vowels except “AAAAA!”

There needs to be a respect for the primary process, it will strengthen Hillary as a campaigner, could end up giving Dems a viable alternative choice and provide for all candidates to be battle-tested and more able to be the nominee, either as elected or if Hillary was to win but had to be replaced (one could be more prepared too to be her VP nominee).

Dems shouldn’t be playing games with their primary process, especially not Wheel of Fortune and leaving the outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election to the luck of the spin. Hillary shouldn’t have a Monopoly on the nomination or there could be Trouble and saying Sorry won’t stop the Risk of the Hungry, Hungry Hippos in the GOP trying to put most Americans in Jeopardy.

Let’s play this primary according to Hoyle, whoever can fairly outplay the others is the one who should win the pot.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

41 Responses so far.

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  1. KarateKid says:

    AdLib, my old friend, it’s been a long while, I read and liked your article. I am still not sold on Hillary, and still have the scars from the awful attitude of her supporters when the President beat her in the primaries in 2007-08. That arrogance and attitude of entitlement is still there. I have to weigh that with what the other party has to offer; I mean, Carly Fiorina thinks she can win…really??? It’s a sad state of affairs, to have to vote for the lesser of two evils because in many ways, the two parties are the same; the rhetoric is vastly different but their actions, especially economically and in foreign policy, are the same. I agree we need choices, and wish there were viable alternatives, but I don’t know of anyone who has stepped up that we can rally around, like we did with Barack Obama. That being said another Clinton/Bush race leaves me feeling……disappointed. It’s going to be very interesting what transpires.

    • Nirek says:

      KK, if you don’t mind me butting in, I think you would like the agenda that Senator Bernie Sanders has. If I remember correctly you have similar ideas of how the government should work. Bernie wants to increase taxes on the 1%ers greatly, equalize womens rights, gay rights, and end our interference in other countries “civil wars” ( uncivil to be sure). He has an idea to pay for college for all who have the desire to go with a tax on Wall Street traders. It is a modest tax of $.50 per 100 shares traded. Modest as that sounds it will pay for millions of young people to get a college education. I hope you will read my newest post that is on the front page now.

      Again sorry to intrude.
      Peace

  2. Nirek says:

    Ad, Bernie is going to run as a Democrat, so there will be no split of votes like with R. Nader.

    The New Yorker Mag says “Bernie Sanders integrity disqualifies him for the White House”! I think it is the best quality for a President. Bernie has never wavered from his integrity. He has always been for the 99%, wanted to break up the BIG banks, been for equal pay for all, been for a higher minimum wage, been in favor of gay equality, been against WARS, been against citizens united, and against XL pipeline as well as for renewable energy! Bernie is for the people and all the issues we have been pushing for.

    Running a grass roots campaign with little money will increase his integrity in my opinion. I’m going to give him some of my “fortune” well into triple digits!

    • funksands says:

      Nirek, the fact that Bernie is running as a Democrat means that he gets what his role is in the primary. He is going to be a badly-needed voice to push the debate into uncomfortable arenas, bringing the discussion away from bs.

      Not only that, but his head economist on the Senate Budget Committee is the leading MMT voice in the nation!

      Is he going to win? Probably not, but I’ll sure support him. If he doesn’t win, he’ll have certainly left an important mark on the process.

      • Nirek says:

        Funk, I agree, he will put an end to all the BS with facts that he has in his head. I’m not rich but my wife has written a check for $100 to Bernie so we are in ! I’ll do everything I can to promote Bernie for President. If he should lose the primary, I’ll support the Democrat. I have not seen a repuke that I could vote for!

        Go Bernie, peace!

  3. funksands says:

    Ad, very clear-eyed perspective about the upcoming vomitous election process. I will loudly and boldly proclaim my undying support for Hillary in the upcoming general election should she be the nominee. I’ll donate money, time, and effort to help her election.

    I’ll also donate money, time and effort in the primary to her opponents that I agree more with.

    I’ll also donate MORE money, time and effort to local and state elections that will grow the next crop of truly excellent candidates that 20 years from now will ensure that we aren’t forced to choose between Jenna Bush and Chelsea Clinton for the 2036 nomination.

  4. All I can say is there is no way in hell that I would vote for any of these fanatics in the republican party.

    Some people think Hillary isn’t progressive enough, and that may well be true, but seriously, look at the alternatives on the right. They are just slightly left of Mussolini!

    See how I just avoided Godwin? 😎

    • kesmarn says:

      Well done, Homie! And I’m right with you on your assessment of the situation.

      There’s absolutely no one of the GOP candidates who’s even remotely tolerable. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a bad roster in my entire life. Some of them may even be to the right of Mussolini!

  5. VegasBabe says:

    SANDERS is running! Now it’s time to get to work! He just might be able to win this thing!

    • Nirek says:

      VB, Bernie is my Senator and I have voted for him every time he has run for House or Senate! He is my first choice and Elizabeth Warren is my second choice. The GOP has nobody I could vote for.

  6. gyp46 says:

    The greatest tragedy that could occur for America and the progressive movement would be the election of a republican in 2016 for the presidency. Of the current group running on the right no one stands for the people of this country. While I agree with ‘Ad Lib’ that an aggressive primary season is a good thing, I kinda like Webb, and certainly like Sanders, in the end we must work to take the Senate back and keep the White House. so if that means Hillary, so be it.

  7. kesmarn says:

    AdLib, I agree that a vigorous, healthy primary season will benefit the Democratic Party in the long run.

    I have seen some people who feel that the nastier it gets, the more Hillary will be “toughened up,” and I can’t say I see the logic in that. It would be like saying that bullying your kid at home before school will make him tougher when it comes to facing bullies when he gets there. I realize that’s not what you’re advocating, but I have seen comments like that. That seems just silly.

    But really hashing out issues like the TPP and cracking down on Wall Street is something that needs to be done. I’d like to see Hillary obliged to make some firm commitments in those areas.

    Refusing to vote or voting for some splinter party candidate just seems self-defeating to me. Do we really want Scott Walker to appoint the Supreme Court justices that the Koch brothers tell him to?

    I may be wrong, but I wonder if — should Hillary have some sort of health issue or whatever — Elizabeth Warren might feel freed up to step forward and accept the nomination. I can’t see her doing it under any other circumstances, though.

    Bottom line, as you said: a Dem win is a must in 2016.

    • AdLib says:

      Kes, I sure hope Dem candidates would be better than just throwing mud at Hillary, I think most of us want to see a really critical series of conversations on specific issues and where they and Hillary are on those.

      I also hope that those Dems who were forced to live through 8 years of Bush learned that voting for a Nader or not voting has terrible consequences, far worse than voting while holding your nose.

      • kesmarn says:

        Looks as though Bernie is going to announce tomorrow, AdLib. I think this could be a good thing. He’ll raise some important issues and ask questions that need to be asked. At the same time, he’s unlikely to fight “dirty.”

        This should be a fascinating primary season!

        Totally with you on the fact that voting while holding our noses beats Naderizing the Dem candidate or just sitting on the sidelines whining!

  8. Kalima says:

    Such a great and sensible article, AdLib.

    It does look like a case of “Hobson’s Choice” right now but there is still hope. That the Clintons are dirty is hard to deny, but even “Republican Light” is so much better than “Full Frontal Republican Crazy”, and there is still one year, seven months to go where anything could happen.

    If Hillary is all that Dems have at the end of the road, then it would be irresponsible to say that you won’t vote for her when the alternatives are so mind boggling that you would need to be water boarded daily, or institutionalised to vote for any of them.

    I have been a naturalised Brit since the age of 19 and wanted to help vote the Tories out of power this year. Turns out that because I’ve been living abroad for more than 15 years, and haven’t registered to vote in that time, I can’t vote. So much for British citizenship. Think yourselves lucky that you can vote, and hold your nose if necessary to do it. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.

    You survived 8 years of the Bush so I’m sure you can do the same with 4 years of Hillary Clinton. If you vote for someone else, make sure that they stand a chance of winning or why bother.

    Talk is cheap. Human lives and their suffering at the hands of vindictive idiots, is not. Being angry and not voting is what gave us the destructive Tories for 5 years. Hope America doesn’t make the same mistake.

    • AdLib says:

      Kalima, what I really dislike is the game itself that they all play. Pandering and misrepresenting their true positions on issues and the MSM helps them so willingly. And undemanding voters are so quick to swallow whatever BS is purposely spooned to them.

      Hillary is busy thumping the populist/Progressive drum right now but Wall Street just chuckles and keeps financing her, they know it’s all an act.

      She’s a pro-war conservative, not the most appetizing choice but choosing between her and a Bush or Rand Paul is not hard.

      That’s what’s too bad about a two party system, very often it’s the lesser of two evils. But to not vote for the lesser is to help the greater evil who needs one less vote to win.

      Sorry to hear about your disenfranchisement,mender if the Tories were behind such a provision..

      I sure find it hard to imagine a majority of voters wanting a President to kill Obamacare, privatize SS and Medicare and slash social welfare spending along with the taxes of the 1%.

      Not to mention empower the crazy Baggers to wreak so much more havoc.

    • VegasBabe says:

      I take issue with your calm and unflattering assertion that not to vote for HRC should she win the primary is “irresponsible”! In fact, it is anything but! I and many many others will not have a hand in putting one in office whose agenda in our opinion has little to do with resolving real American issues. Currently, all she is now doing is voicing the same rhetoric that we’ve heard from Elizabeth Warren and there is little evidence that she is legitimate. She just wants our votes, and to become the first woman POTUS while she’ll continue catering to her corporate comrades! It is irresponsible to vote for anyone known to have less interest in you and your needs IMO. What did she do for New Yorkers while their Senator? New Yorkers are still wondering! Frankly, what major accomplishments were there from her as SOS remains unknown to me!

      • Kalima says:

        VegasBabe, I take issue with the fact that you think this is about you. Please read my comment again, I’m generalising, but if you choose to include yourself, then that is not my problem. If enough people think like you do in November next year, then “Hello” President Rand Paul, President Marco Rubio or President Jeb Bush, the recent midterms should remain a perfect example of what happens when people don’t vote. Now a Republican will really take on issues and work for the majority of Americans, right? Personally, I would give an arm and a leg to be able to cast my vote.

        I think I’m entitled to my opinion, don’t you?

        Btw, when I posted my comment above, I had not had the time to read anyone’s comments here because I am too busy working on another part of The Planet to make sure we run smoothly.

        • VegasBabe says:

          You said if HRC is all the dems have then it would be irresponsible to say that you won’t vote for her and that’s exactly what I said, I won’t vote for her. It stands to reason that I assumed you were referencing me and many others who won’t either for that matter. I am not going to debate rhetoric usage! Glad to see your on the job keeping the Planet running smoothly!

      • kesmarn says:

        I have to ask then, whom you would vote for, VB?

  9. I know how effective the republican spin machine (FOX News et al) can be at generating fear and suspicion, but I have to say, after all the probing and searching for dirt that has been directed at both Hillary and Bill, over the years, they really haven’t come up with anything solid.

    I have a hard time imagining what has been overlooked in all those years. Sure, the GOP may try to invent something, but even the RW spin meisters and the Joseph Goebbels types in the RW media will have a tough time of trying to find a legitimate smear against Hillary.

    Sure, there are plenty of cranks out there that will buy into whatever the talking heads tell them to believe, but that crowd is not big enough to be a serious threat.

    The coming year will be interesting, that’s for sure.

    • AdLib says:

      KT -- Maybe you’re right and nothing new comes out from her past to bust her but as we saw in 2008, Hillary can say or do the wrong thing during the campaign that hurts her. Remember, Obama too had his campaign almost derailed from his “guns and bibles” comment.

      Just saying, things can come up that trip the front runner, there need to be others running behind her just in case.

      • Oh, no doubt. I was referring to any yet undiscovered scandals. I don’t think there are any. Any candidate faces the very real possibility of flubs and stumbles.

        I’m glad to see Bernie tossing his hat into the ring. It will definitely help Hillary move a little more to the left. I’d love to see Sanders win, but I seriously doubt that’s going to happen. You know, the whole socialist thing. Talk about an albatross. Of course Sanders is well aware of this, I’m sure.

  10. VegasBabe says:

    No more family dynasties in the WH and that includes the Clintons. She won’t get my support or my vote!

    • Well VB, we may not have a choice. How have you been, BTW?

    • AdLib says:

      VB -- I’m looking to see other nominees in the primary but whoever ends up winning the Dem nom, I’ll be supporting them.

      Are you saying you wouldn’t vote for Hillary in the Dem primary or if, say, it was her vs. Jeb Bush in the GE?

      • VegasBabe says:

        The woman who advised us that she’d “obliterate” Iran if they attacked Israel which in and of itself should be more than enough not to support her for myriad reasons not the least of which is Israel’s horrific and heinous crimes against the Palestinian people. Now their looking to attacked Syria??? And they still are demanding the US attack Iran, who has never given any evidence of intent to attack anyone? The family who brought us the elimination of Glass Stegall and introduced NAFTA to America? With a massive international collection plate (foundation) from extraordinarily questionable sources? Whose linkage to corporate America is indisputable? Look, we can go on here but is it really necessary? Either she backs down and allows a dem without the history and baggage she brings to the table lead or not, it’s up to her. God only knows what her plans for the US is and its doubtful if she wins she’ll be permitted two terms. Suggesting Cruz, Rubio, Walker or a number of rethug opponents won’t change my mind….inevitably gopers will choose someone with a more sound mind than these genius’, to much is at stake. They won’t get my vote, I would never vote rethug. But I can just not vote if the scenario I’ve described is my only alternative.

        • VB, that’s really just political puffery. Hillary is not George Bush, meaning she is much smarter and won’t shoot first and ask questions later.

          I also think she understands how important Iran is in the middle east. I don’t think Iran is really going to attack Israel in any major way. They know that to do so, would be committing suicide.

    • Nirek says:

      VB, I share the feeling of no more family dynasties. That said, if she gets the nomination she would be the lesser of two evils. I could never vote for one of the clowns the GOP is trying to push on us.

      I, by far prefer Senator Bernie Sanders to anyone else so far.

      • AdLib says:

        Nirek, for those Dems who don’t see Hillary as genuinely Progressive (and she hasn’t changed her war hawk standing), it may be more a lesser of two evils situation in an election between her and one of the Repub candidates.

        That wouldn’t make it any less imperative for her to win, it just means the motivations behind some of those supporting her are different.

        I like Bernie Sanders too and even though I can’t imagine him winning, I hope he runs to promote a genuine Progressive agenda on such a national platform as the Dem Primary.

  11. sherrybb says:

    I will be supporting ANY Democrat candidate( even a flawed one) over ANY of the GOP clown car candidates for several reasons: The Supreme Court nominees the new President will likely choose, the policies the Dems favor vs the R’s and of course, the R’s would undo pretty much all of O’s policies.

    That said HRC is not like most candidates. She and her husband have been vetted for over 20 yrs and although accusations run amok, there is no evidence anywhere. Even this latest, the author of Clinton Cash himself admits he found no illegal actions, no quid pro quo and even the big Canadian donation turns out to be a yr before HRC became SOS and 9 agencies were involved in the deal resulting in Uranian 1 to the Russians. Unless something comes out that is real, it is all smack talk as usual and reeks of desperation of a party determined to get HRC to drop out.

    My preference would be that they refuse all foreign donations although the 6 countries they accept them from do not seem terribly risky, if at all. I would also prefer HRC resign from the foundation.

    That said, we need to support whoever our nominee is…the damage the R’s can do is scary to even think about.

    • AdLib says:

      sherrybb, you make a great point about the longterm impact of the next President because of the likelihood of appointments to The Supreme Court (and that also means the importance of a Democratic majority in the Senate as well as the WH so they can be confirmed).

      Peter Schweizer who wrote Clinton Cash is such a documented Republican hack (he was Sarah “Africa-is-a-Country” Palin’s foreign policy adviser) that his book’s charges should rightfully be looked at as partisan propaganda.

      I do agree that whoever the Dem nominee is, needs to be fully supported and win. My point though is that I don’t think it helps the party or the nominee for there to be a pre-selection before it’s decided by the primary as to who the nominee will be.

      The whole inevitability thing is dangerous as Hillary learned in 2008. She’s being much more deliberate about not being viewed in the same way this year which is smart.

      Whoever the Dem nominee is will have to win votes from independent voters as well as Dem voters and the primary process gives them a better chance to present their platform, views and personality to non-Dems as well. So a lively and engaged Dem primary would be far more helpful than a quick cakewalk for Hillary to the nomination.

      And just as Obama was 30% behind her in the December 2007 polls, another Dem nominee who could be unlikely to win today may end up as the best candidate in 2016 once Dem voters get to know him/her.

      Hillary is of course the likely nominee but the Democratic Party shouldn’t toss democracy and the primary process out the window just because they’re so confident and pleased about Hillary being the nominee. If she is as strong as many view her to be, that will become very apparent in the primary. But like a top athlete, she needs to compete and prevail in the first rounds of competition to prepare her for the finals.

      That’s my main issue with at least rhetorically handing her the nom ahead of time, she needs to earn it like all Dem nominees in recent times. It will be good for her, for the party and the democratic process. Afterall, if she was virtually appointed to be the nominee because DNC operatives chased any real competition away from running against her, the base won’t be as enthusiastic to support her as they would be if she won the nom in a genuine contest.

      If anyone but Jeb wins the Repub nom, you can bet one line of attack will be about the Clinton Dynasty, Hillary’s sense of entitlement and such. One way to help disarm that is for her to win a real political competition against other legit Dems.

      Again, whoever the Dem nominee is will have my support, the idea of any of these Repubs winning is a nightmare.

      Just as I was open in 2007-2008 to the candidates running then and eventually decided to support Obama, I want to see everyone our party has to offer so I can choose and support the candidate in the primary who most reflects the values, sensibilities and political skills that I think would be best for the future…and for winning the election.


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