Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why Hillary 2016 Will Suck

It’s pretty safe to say Hillary Clinton is running for president. She’s all over the place, putting in her two cents on whatever issue is getting attention, and next month, she’s heading to Iowa. At this point, it’s a matter of when she’ll officially announce her candidacy, not if. She’s also the frontrunner—by, like, a lot. Granted, that doesn’t mean too much yet, but if election season has already started for the 2016 Democratic primaries, we might as well start to evaluate the candidates that are out there. My evaluation for Hillary can be summed up in about three words: she is awful.

It’s hard to even figure out where to begin, Hillary’s such a hopeless old hack, to borrow Hunter S. Thompson’s phrase (not one he lived long enough to apply to Hillary Clinton, but one I think he’d agree applies to her pretty well). Let’s start with the economy—not exactly a really exciting topic, but an important one. Clinton seems perhaps a bit less bipartisan and a bit more aggressive than Obama, so maybe she could be good economically, at least. Or not. As it turns out, she’s pretty chummy with Wall Street—not exactly a good sign. They might even prefer her over some of the potential Republican candidates. And with an ever-widening gap between the rich and poor, Clinton’s approach seems to be every bit as weak as Obama’s, if not weaker—all you hear from her is talk about “consensus,” how we’re “in this mess together”—but that idea isn’t even coherent. Wealth inequality means some people are better off than others, and the only way to correct it is some form of redistribution—the rich have to get poorer for the poor to get richer; granted, that’s not true when there’s economic growth, but the benefits of that growth are currently going to the richest, so at least that has to change, which is obviously to the detriment of the richest. Good luck getting Hillary Clinton to say that—or act in a way that treats that as the reality.

What about social issues? Nothing too impressive there, either. Hillary came out in favor of gay marriage in 2013, so don’t expect her to exactly lead the way when it comes to promoting more tolerance and greater rights for persecuted groups. Her view on the drug war isn’t really anything to write home about—basically “maybe we can think about legalizing marijuana if it works in Colorado and Washington.” Even her rhetoric on medical marijuana is pretty lackluster. Obama had rhetoric that sounded better in 2008, and we all know how that turned out. She also supports the death penalty, not that that should come as a surprise for any Democrat at this point.

Clinton also doesn’t have much to say about how the government has shredded the Bill of Rights in the name of protecting us from terrorists. She’s another Snowden-basher, who mostly wants to focus on what a scumbag he is, etc., etc. Oh, and maybe we can reform the NSA or something like that. But first let’s talk more about how much Edward Snowden sucks. While in Congress, she was a supporter of the PATRIOT Act, and its renewal. Don’t expect any big change from the Bush-Obama “counterterrorism” policies if Hillary gets into the Oval Office.

Foreign policy is where things get really awful, though. Obama might not have made many changes from the Bush years, but Clinton sounds more like John McCain or Lindsey Graham than she does Obama. She’s a diehard defender of Israel, including of pretty much all of its recent actions—bombing a UN shelter for civilians was done in the “fog of war,” according to Hillary—and Prime Minister Netanyahu, a diehard right-winger, has actually done his best to be a broker for peace in the region. She’s even agreed with his remarks essentially ruling out a two-state solution. She’s big on getting involved in foreign conflicts—apparently, what helped the Islamic State gain so much power was that we didn’t sufficiently arm moderate rebels in Syria, despite all evidence that arming Syrian rebels has only helped groups like ISIS. She’s also a long-time defender of the drone war that continues to go on. Clinton is basically a neocon, as evidenced by the fact that she voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq, and was still refusing to call her vote a mistake in 2007.

She’s also a little on the fascist side when it comes to personal expression. While a senator, she introduced a bill to outlaw flag burning, punishing it with up to a year in prison. That’s a year in prison for burning a piece of cloth. Let that sink in for a minute. She also co-sponsored the Media Marketing Accountability Act, introduced by Joe “Marilyn Manson caused Columbine” Lieberman, which would have criminalized marketing “adult material”—in Lieberman’s own words, anything that contains “sex and violence”—to minors. Because teenagers aren’t already aware of sex or violence, or anything like that.

To be blunt, Hillary Clinton is an absolutely god-awful candidate. I may not always agree with Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, or Bernie Sanders, but I’ll take any of them over Clinton any day of the week. In fact, if the 2016 race comes down to Hillary Clinton or Rand Paul, I might find myself voting for Paul, in spite of all the issues I have with him. He at least makes good points about US foreign policy, the drug war, the drone war, the NSA, and a few other areas. Clinton makes good points on virtually nothing.

Note: Originally this blog stated that the Syrian rebels committed massacres, and linked to a source. However, I have judged that source unreliable, and have not been able to find a reliable source to back up the massacre it alleged. I apologize to everyone for the error.

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