On Hillary

I almost never post political stuff here, so I apologize in advance to those of you who don’t care for this kind of thing. Also, while there was some big news today about the FBI recommending no indictment for Clinton over the email scandal, this post isn’t about that.

Instead, I read two articles today by Michael Arnovitz, whom I’d never heard of before today. The first defends Hillary against the almost universal view that she’s untrustworthy. The second elaborates on the topic even more and also delves into the polarization of our politics. I thought both were great. While very lengthy, I think they’re worth the read.

One of the quotes that really stood out to me was this one from the second article:

In our own country, faced with serious issues and similar populist anger, both the extreme right and left have done much the same as the UK. And of course, they have both aimed their ideological guns at the usual suspects: the right have essentially blamed everything on immigrants and brown people, and the left have blamed everything on bankers and rich people. Both of these positions are ridiculous and juvenile. And unfortunately, they are also dangerous. But they have the advantage of being simple. And for a depressingly large slice of the electorate, that’s what works.

If you’re interested, you can read the full articles here:
Thinking About Hillary — A Plea for Reason
Thinking About Hillary — A Follow-up

16 thoughts on “On Hillary”

  1. As an outsider it bemuses me how hated Hillary Clinton seems to be within the United States.

    I find it even more perplexing when I read comments from those on the left of the political spectrum who suggest they would rather vote for Donald Trump.

    Whilst Hillary Clinton might seem to epitomise the political class which is so out of favour, I would find it difficult to invent a less suitable candidate for president than Donald Trump.

    I am speaking as an Australian not an American, but the view from this part of the world is please support Clinton rather than Trump.

    From my distant perspective the problem with U.S. politics appears more to lay with the obstructionist approach of the Tea Party influence in the Republican Party. Politics is all about compromising, reaching consensus and making the best of a bad situation. It is mainly about incremental change. Those who argue that it must be 100% their way or nothing are not helpful to the process.

    Those who consider the system broken and in need of re-inventing should be careful what they wish for.

    I admit that I am speaking from a distance and lack a first hand perspective of U.S. politics.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Well, you seem to have a better handle on it than many of the people living here.

    And honestly, I have to admit that I had assumed you were an American, so this is news to me!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks, Nate.

    I haven’t finished reading the two links that you suggested. But, thus far, I mostly agree.

    Perhaps it’s time that I posted something about Hillary on my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That was thoroughly unpersuasive. He’s absolutely right that Hillary Clinton has been subject to unfair attacks and criticism, and that Republicans have sometimes (often) descended into the fever swamp over her. But how is that different than the treatment of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama or whoever the other Democrat du jour is? How is it different than how Democrats reacted to Bush? That’s how partisans behave.

    And then he says negative perceptions of Hillary rise when she attempts to seek power. Are you kidding me? Of course they do! This is politics 101. When you seek more power (passing controversial legislation or seeking office), people pay more attention to you, criticism of you increases and your opponents try to rally people against you. That’s why, for example, blue state governor Mitt “gee whiz” Romney, enactor of Romneycare, somehow became a Monstrous Uber-Conservative who hated poor people and probably minorities right around the time(s) he ran for the Presidential nomination. That’s why mainstream conservatives become “leftists” when they run against more conservative primary opponents and “radical conservatives” when they run against Democrats. The same applies with Democrats, too.

    Then he acts confused over why Hillary is subject to criticisms about her speaking fees and donations from Wall Street, while Trump is not. He is, apparently, unaware that Hillary and Trump have been running in different primary elections for different parties, with different sets of voters who have different concerns. Do I really need to explain why people who like alleged billionaire Donald Trump probably don’t care about him making a lot of money? Or why his critics probably don’t attack him with that point since he talks about how much money he has made all the time? Or why Trump’s poor fundraising makes him less vulnerable to attacks about taking money from Wall Street? Or why somebody running against Bernie Sanders is more likely to face criticism over money and Wall Street?

    Then he says, “if a man with her qualifications were running in the Democratic primary, Bernie would have been done before he even started.” That is….absurd. Lots of men with enormous qualifications run for office and fail miserably, even to opponents with relatively thin resumes. In 2008 alone, Senators Biden and Richardson — both of whom had incredible resumes, probably better even than Hillary Clinton has today — were thoroughly defeated by a less-experienced Clinton and a relatively unexperienced Obama.

    Finally, with no evidence whatsoever beyond the demonstrably incorrect “I bet it wouldn’t happen to a man!” argument, he blames it on sexism?!? It’s as if he has suddenly forgotten than most of the recent criticism of Hillary that he’s been talking about has been coming from young progressives and not from the Republicans he spent much of the column complaining about.

    Honestly, there’s a strong case to be made that people tend to be irrational and biased when it comes to politics, but this is just the least persuasive political column I have ever read. Or, at least since the last time I read anything supporting Trump.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I agree that political figures are unfairly demonized on all sides here in the states and I’m sure that’s the case everywhere. I agree that Trump is a worse choice than Hillary, but I think Hillary is a bad choice for several reasons.

    While I’m not a Libertarian, and While I don’t think Gary Johnson is the perfect candidate, I think he’s a far better choice than either Hillary or Trump – by a long shot.

    With Hillary, a few of my complaints with her are these:

    1) the emails…. The issue with those emails either means that she’s incompetent and didn’t realize it was an issue, and she’s not incompetent, or it means she was being shady… and neither are good qualities for the highest elected office in a nation – but I think it’s pretty clear she’s just shady.

    2) With everything surrounding Hillary, a Republican House and Senate are going to be even less likely to cooperate with her administration than they are with the current one – so things will get worse and more annoying. We might say that this is a problem with Congress and not the POTUS, but I think it’s a problem with both, and therefore the POTUS has it’s share of the blame. And it’s an inevitable gridlock I’d rather avoid.

    3) “Vote for me, I’m a woman.” I have no problem with a female president. I know that women have historically been oppressed and overlooked and all that. I get how a female president is a big deal – it’s just that gender and sex have no bearing on actual qualifications or efficiency. AND, if NOT voting for her because she is female is BAD, then voting for her because she is female is just as bad, because it validates bias on gender and sex. Why is she playing into it? Why not rather at least play the game smarter with something like, “Don’t vote for me because I’d be the first woman President, but because I’m the best person for the job.” Instead, “I’m a woman, vote for me.” If it’s enough to vote for her because she is a woman, then it’s enough to not vote for her because she’s a woman. It just seems dumb.

    4) $15 minimum wage and free college, etc… How will that be paid for? We have a deficit and are trillions of dollars in debt, but we’re promising more stuff?

    $15 dollar minimum wage: how will that do anything but lead to inflation? A 16 year old bag boy now makes $15 an hour, so then the 18 year old stock boy wants more than that, then the shift manager wants more that that, then the store manager wants more than that – and they deserve to make more. But grocery stores typically run on low profit margins, meaning that any increase to operating costs WILL be transferred to the product sale price, which means that groceries all of a sudden cost more. When essentials like food cost more, that soon ripples into every other sector, so salaries and wages increase across the board, so now the minimum $15/hr workers “living wage” no longer covers any more than the previous minimum wage. It just looks like pandering, trying to buy votes with what’ll turn out to be either net zero or close to net zero increase… But I’m no economist, so take that for what’s it worth.

    And I’m all for helping less fortunate people get ahead with college or whatever… as long as we can pay for it. It would be nice to help everyone with everything, but we don’t have the means for it. Joining the military in the US can get your college paid for – it’s how I paid for mine. There are student loans, etc… I don’t want to pay for some 18 year old douche to skip classes and get drunk at college. I have debts of my own to pay off. I think these are tactics that prey on greed, the sense of entitlement and laziness, when I think the real problem with our nation isn’t lack of free college, it’s laziness and wanting something with minimal effort; it’s lack of empathy and somehow believing that all forms of struggle are bad – I think they can build character. I think they’re a necessary part of life. Join the military. Get a job and actually save money, instead of buying every gadget, only name brand clothes, and brand new cars, and overpriced cups that keep ice for 3 days in a burning house – who needs that?…

    No, I don’t like Hillary. I sure don’t like Trump and my list for reasons against him is longer – but I’d rather vote for “deez nuts” than either of them – because somehow, because our universe has unraveled so much, that now a fictitious candidate of “deez nuts” makes so much more sense that the two major party front-runners…..

    Right now, I will most likely vote for Gary Johnson. As weird as he is, he’s significantly superior to Trump or Hillary.

    I’m praying for tidal waves.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 1) I disagree that she just used a private email server because she’s shady. I think she was doing it for convenience and doesn’t understand enough about network security to know what was wrong with that. I don’t fault her for that. I don’t understand all the ins and outs of network security myself, and I work in IT. People in her position can’t be experts in everything, and they need to rely on others to advise them on the things they don’t know. Perhaps someone did, and she made a poor choice. But however it happened, I’m confident it wasn’t for any nefarious reasons.

    2) But I think the solution to that issue is to change the makeup of the House and Senate. I don’t think a third party really has a shot at winning, and I think Trump would potentially be disastrous. Plus, I actually like Hillary and agree with most of her platform. So to me, she’s the best choice by far, but I get that not everyone feels that way.

    3) I agree with you that gender should really have nothing to do with it. At the same time, I don’t get the impression that she’s focusing on her gender unnecessarily. Like you said, it would be historic and pretty monumental to have a woman President, especially since women haven’t even had the right to vote for 100 years yet. So yes, it shouldn’t be the main reason to vote for her, but I think it’s okay for it to be a reason.

    4) I agree with you on the $15 minimum wage thing. Also on college tuition. I think Clinton’s original positions on those were more reasonable than what Sanders was touting. There are widely different costs of living across the US, and that’s why I think a blanket $15/hr minimum wage would cause more problems than it would solve. I think college should be more affordable, and we need to revise the way we do student loans. But I think her initial plan of making sure students had some kind of skin in the game when it came to costs is much better.

    Anyway, I voted for her in the primary, and I’ll be voting for her in the general. I think she’ll do a good job. I can acknowledge that she isn’t perfect, but I think the rhetoric about her being untrustworthy, dishonest, or unlikable is simply that: rhetoric. I don’t think those claims are backed up very well by the evidence.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You may be correct, but I find it very hard to believe that a former lawyer and professional politician of her level was genuinely unaware that government correspondence, including classified materials, were to handled over secure, government emails.

    If the internet and email had only been invented recently, I may could buy it. 18 year old military privates, who do not work with classified documents, are even instructed on things like email security – they’re issued government, (.mil) email accounts, and the importance of security is stressed, with passwords having to changed like every 30 to 90 days – it’s a real hassle.

    But I just can’t by it. I think it’s shady.

    ..and, a third party only has no chance if everyone believes they dont… and the two parties want you to think that they dont…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, I know she knew that emails had to be secure. From what I understand, certain kinds of classified emails can only be accessed on certain workstations anyway. So she knew that classified communications like that wouldn’t be coming through her regular email. So I think she believed that there was nothing wrong with the way she was doing it. It’s not how things should have gone, but I don’t believe she went into it knowing that it was creating security risks.

    And that is a good song, by the way. I actually listened to it a couple of weeks ago — it came on my iPod while I was doing yard work. I had forgotten how good it was. 🙂


  9. Agreed – with the song, not as much on Hillary. I don’t hate the woman. And won’t cry if she’s elected – again, I prefer her over Trump… but then again, deez nuts still sounds pretty good.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Nate, you may be right about Hillary, but IMO, if she had thought about it at all, she couldn’t help but know. I mean, we’re talking about CLASSIFIED information. IOW, serious stuff. Further, she may not have outright “lied” about the whole thing, but I definitely think she fudged to protect herself.

    She’s a Class A Politician so I’m sure she’ll do well in the office of POTUS. But I don’t like her and would prefer someone else … BUT NEVER, EVER tRump! He scares me. I’m just hoping the rumor going around that he may not accept the job if elected is true. Doubtful, but we can always hope. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  11. “I disagree that she just used a private email server because she’s shady. I think she was doing it for convenience and doesn’t understand enough about network security to know what was wrong with that.”

    Come on, anybody who has been involved with the federal government as long as Hillary Clinton is very aware of basic computer security issues like this. She doesn’t have to be knowledgable about the details of email and servers to recognize that vulnerability, or to realize that not all sensitive information is classified.

    She used a private server so she could have more control over what was eventually made available through FOIA. She may not be an IT expert, but she knew what she was doing.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Hello all. I think the idea of a $15 dollar an hour minimum wage, with the wage of $15 per hour being reached over a period of time is not as bad as some have said. IN fact it has been shown in the places where the wages have been increased , both the companies and the local economy has improved. Plus once people are paid a living wage then public support measures which are needed now for the working poor can be reduced greatly, saving town , cities, states money. Recently ON Bill Maher he discussed how california proved raising wages and taxes has done wonders for the state and they have a soaring economy right now. Be well. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m not an economist, so I still have to wade through a lot to figure this all out.

    So far, I haven’t found a lot that’s very current, but I found this on New York and haven’t finished reading it yet, but one thing jumped out me at the beginning:

    Click to access 2016-01.pdf

    Second Bullet Point under “Key Findings” reads, “These estimates include a ripple effect in which some workers who already earn $15 will also receive an increase.”

    I think this makes sense. I think, “of course they will.” What I don’t quite get yet, is why it seems to be implying the ripple effect will stop there.

    So let’s say that the $9/hour worker will now get $15/hour, so then the previous $15/hour worker would get bumped up to somewhere presumably between $16 and $21/hour… Wouldn’t the workers who made between $16 and $21/hour also want and likely deserve a wage increase too? And then whatever their wage is bumped up to, would those already in that range think they deserve more money too, maybe because they do more, or are trusted with more, etc, and so on, up the chain?

    So what I don’t yet understand is why and/or how would the ripple effect just stop in the first 2 or 3 tiers? If the ripple effect doesn’t stop (or even if it does), how do these increases in operating costs not effect cost of goods or services sold, which would mean all pay more for what we buy?

    Anyways, I’m still looking for a recent review of California’s wage increase to sift through. If anyone can recommend one, it would be appreciated.


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