“Crossroads for Hillary” on a number of issues

The Hillary Clinton candidacy cum phenomenon is both interesting and problematical. On the one hand, many Democrats (I mean that literally; many “people wedded or welded to the Democratic Party”) are excited to have as their next candidate someone more “ballsy” than they perceive Obama to be. Signs of that hunger are everywhere, but nowhere more prominently than here.

On the other hand, Clinton would represent a continuation of the Reign of the Neoliberals, but with a ballsier cover story than Mr. Hope & Change (see image below).

The Reign of the Neoliberals brought you:

▪ The CAFTA, NAFTA and KORUS “free trade” agreements
▪ Relaxed regulation of financial markets (Clinton’s Commodity Futures Modernization Act)
▪ Creation of media-corporate megalopolies overseen by telecom lobbyists in the FCC
▪ The likelihood of Keystone Sludgepipe approval
▪ Confirmation of bankers as above the law
▪ Confirmation of Money as a suitable requirement for major cabinet positions
▪ And post-Bush II, endless war and disposable brown civilians who chose not to be born in the Land of the Free

Would a “ballsy” Madame President do anything to change any of these problems, especially the latter, the disposable brown civilians?

Climate crisis awaits the next American president

And lurking in that list is the one item I consider a killer about to enter the house of its victims — climate crisis. As I’ve written many times, it could well be true that we have no more than 5–10 years before James Hansen’s 3°C “mass extinction” scenario is inevitable.

We have 0.8–1.0°C “on the ground” right now, actually in front of us, with a roughly equal amount “in the pipeline” — inevitable. When will 1.5°C be actually in front of us, with 3°C inevitable? If we keep on the course we’re on right now and do exactly what David Koch and his political and media enablers want us to do — exactly nothing — 1.5°C shows up in the early 2020s, or sooner, making 3°C at that point inevitable.

The president who campaigns in 2016 and rules between 2017—2020 will face not only the fact of that crisis, but the fact of people realizing the fact of that crisis. To be blunt, the next American president will face a population that finally “gets” that government will need to save them — and doesn’t have the resources or will to do it.

After all, if our Betters are willing to let your parents switch to Friskies when Spam becomes too expensive — just to finance further tax cuts in a non-crisis economy — whom won’t they abandon when there’s a real crisis? If the next president isn’t the next Franklin Roosevelt (a real one this time), people will “get” the class war in all its ugly glory, and all hell will start to break loose.

That’s what awaits the next American president. Which brings us back to Hillary.

A crossroads for Hillary

The crossroads for Hillary is now. Where does she stand, or even lean, on a host of issues? So far she’s not stepped up, not shown her hand.

An obvious example is Keystone. Under her watch at State, Keystone was slated for approval at Obama’s bidding. Only because of a massive and embarrassing public protest was the approval delayed — not stopped, mind you; just delayed. Was Hillary on board with Keystone approval at the time? Despite her silence the answer has to be Yes until proven otherwise.

There’s more. Since her resignation from State, there was a massive toxic spill of Keystone-like sludge in her home state of Arkansas — and not one word from Clinton. Why the silence? The FAA has, in the view of many, ceded control of the airspace over the spill to the perp, those lovable scamps at BP. Locals feel “locked down” in a BP-controlled world.

Is Clinton good with that? Again, she may think her silence buys her wiggle room; but in my mind, it buys only suspicion. Do you want another high-carbon president? Can we afford one? Can we afford not to know if we’re being offered another?

There’s a second present issue on which Clinton is noticeably silent, and I’m not the only one noticing. That issue is Obama’s cruel and relentless push for social insurance benefit cuts. Here’s Robert Kuttner, writing in The American Prospect, asking Hillary to show her hand, to take a position, at least on this (my emphasis and some reparagraphing):

A Crossroads for Hillary

Will the former secretary of State oppose Obama’s back-door cut in Social Security?

clinton_texts_back-to-work-boys_tumblr_m29ii9oLoz1rt7gleo1_500_SMALLERHillary Clinton is making all the early moves of someone preparing to run for president, though she has given herself plenty of time to rest, rejuvenate, and review  a final decision. Now, however, President Obama’s ill-conceived plan to cut Social Security benefits via a “technical” change in the inflation index will force Clinton to make an awkward choice.

Most Democrats in both houses of Congress are not happy with this backdoor cut in Social Security. … Resolutely defending Social Security … has always been one of the Democrats’ great appeals. Obama gave that away.

At some point between now and 2016, Hillary Clinton would need to signal to a restive party rank and file that she will not just be an Obama third term or an Obama policy clone; that she will not be the fourth consecutive Democratic president since 1976 (Carter, Bill Clinton, Obama) to be disappointingly to the right of the party base on key pocketbook issues. …

May 2013 is far too early to break with Obama. She will need his blessing as part of her big-tent strategy. But given Obama’s blunder on Social Security, a selective break is exactly what Clinton needs to do. She has been silent on the issue so far, but she needs to say what she thinks.

As I noted above, it’s not just benefit cuts — a present issue, not a hypothetical — on which Hillary can’t be silent. Keystone is looming, and Keystone-like sludge is presently poisoning part of Arkansas, a state of which Bill Clinton was governor. When TPP, the next sovereignty-killing trade agreement comes up, as it will if Obama gets his wish, it too will be a present issue.

Will Hillary speak? Or will she seek the wiggle room of silence?

What about Elizabeth Warren as president?

And then there’s Warren. There’s a big push to elect the first woman president in 2016. Fine. What about a real progressive, Elizabeth Warren? People are noticing; so is Kuttner. From the same article:

Will Clinton be loyal to her president on a core (and bad) policy? Will she duck? Or will she say forthrightly, as Elizabeth Warren did, that cutting Social Security via a change in the inflation index—or any other way—is a terrible idea?

With Warren as a leader and possible candidate of the party’s progressives, Clinton will find herself repeatedly benchmarked by progressives against Warren, even if Warren makes gestures that she does not intend to run if Clinton is a candidate.

The possibility of a Warren candidacy — even if only a hoped-for one — is intriguing. Why? Because it will sort out those who want a woman to be president from those who want only a conservative woman to be president.

And as Kuttner points out, Warren will benchmark Clinton every step of the way, as she is doing even now. Warren is on the record; Clinton is ducking. Bill Clinton is not on the board of Pete Peterson’s Fix the Debt (yet), but he’s one degree of separation from Pete Peterson, who created that hateful group. And one can rightfully be suspicious of a candidate (Clinton in 2008) whose economic advisor was Robert Rubin.

Thank you, Ms. Warren. Game on, Ms. Clinton. Time to come out of the neoliberal closet and declare yourself. Because your silence shows you’re in one.


To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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  • Jim Olson

    It honestly doesn’t matter who we elect. Both parties, and any candidates, are fully owned by AmeriCorp. They no longer work for the American People, they work for their corporate overlords. We’re just collateral damage.

  • ezpz

    Haha. Nice voice!

  • ezpz


  • Naja pallida

    Calls into question not only her progressive principles, but her real commitment to consumer protection. Jack Lew profited well off betting that the economy would collapse on the mortgage fraud scam, while living it up in Citibank’s pocket.

  • Ford Prefect

    Perhaps. If she starts selling out her strongest positions (that people actually like), then I’d guess she’s leaning towards a run at it. If she stays consistent on banking/finance reform, then I’d bet against her running, as the Inner Party will go all Hammer & Tongs on her. We’ll see. In the end, I don’t think it really matters.

  • Z, do you have a link to that blog?

  • “Maybe you like Mother Jones better than Huffington Post..” My guess is that the smarmy swami has his face buried in the Drudge Report.

  • Oh, you mean the Party that supports cutting out married gays from the immigration Bill?

  • “nihilistic orgy of cynicism.” Is that like nattering Nabobs of negativism?

  • I’ve been on board that train since Obama’s second year.

  • True, integrity is a rare trait among the elite.

  • My god, what a devastating article on sweatshop Hills. Good work. Hillary must be channeling her inner Tom Delay.

  • Naja pallida

    I never claimed to want perfection. I just want someone who is less Republican.

  • Naja pallida

    He too has also started talking about how progressives need to be pushing to primary Democratic party candidates who are more Republican than Democratic.


  • “This is how spoiled brats and weenies live their sad little lives.” Is that what you see in your crystal ball Smarmy Swami?

  • Swami, Swami, how I loves ya, how I loves ya! Our dear ole Swami!

  • How droll is your cynicism, oh turbaned one.

  • I seems she is taking a page out of the Hillary political play book and building a platform in the Congress first.

  • I think Warren is just like Obama, a find minded orator and a corporate-con in practice. It’s a damn shame we lost true liberals like Weiner and Spitzer.

  • Naja pallida

    Because they realized that once you have a butt load of money, it doesn’t cost much to maintain yourself at a butt load of money. The problem comes when a butt load just isn’t enough. When you can’t be content to see anyone else with anything, because you just have to have it. When you want to be able to get away with anything, and be entirely unaccountable. The gullible rubes keep voting for more of it though.

  • Yep, even the worst President in American history—lil Dubya, seems like a sad clown compared to Obozo.

  • pppppfffftttt How’s that lesser evil working out for ya?

  • I am one of those rare liberals, who heartily supported and still do Ralph Nader. He is a great American of absolute principle when it comes to democracy and full Constitutional exercise. He has devoted a lifetime of superior effort and excellent work to maintain a credible justice system and a true American democratic republic. That’s more than can be said of most politicians these days—including the sainted Elizabeth Warren, our next Obama in waiting.

  • There is a distinct difference between old money and mere millionaires. The Roosevelts, both Republican and Democrat, were long secure enough to put the needs of the country above personal gain.

  • ezpz

    She voted to confirm Jack Lew. That vote alone speaks volumes.

  • Naja pallida

    Of course, he didn’t let his disability get in the way of him doing anything he wanted to do, and having plenty of money probably afforded him opportunities that most people who suffered from polio never dreamed of. Plus, he went to great lengths to make sure his disability was never a central theme of anything political. If he ran today, everything he did would be in the media shadow of that first, policies second.

  • Kim_Kaufman

    I’m waiting for Elizabeth Warren to take a few votes before I declare her a progressive. So far, she talks a pretty good game — at least in front of the cameras — but she hasn’t done anything yet. While running, her position was that she was not in favor of legalizing drugs — and how can you want to reform the banking industry without acknowledging that probably a large percent of the banks’ business comes from drugs? On Iran… it was “everything on the table.” Let’s not forget she started out as a Republican and I believe that other than consumer affairs, she’s still pretty conservative and hawkish. As for Hillary, no effing way.

  • I’m a little late with this post, but here’s still another reason I won’t vote for Hillary under any circumstance I can currently imagine.


    We’ve got a Big Banker president now, and surely don’t need a Walmart POTUS.

  • mpeasee

    …he also was a minority, he was disabled.

  • samizdat

    ‘Feral rich’. I love that.

  • I will max out, and so will my spouse, for Elizabeth Warren. We won’t contribute to HRC, because she can raise all she needs from the feral rich, and she will ignore the needs of the 99% at least as thoroughly as the current President.

  • condew

    The United States has a 2 party system. The Tea Party became a force by becoming a problem for Republicans. I suspect a lot of Koch money went into determining that this revolution within the Republican part had a much better likelihood of success than starting a new party. For one thing, participation in debates gives a candidate, particularly a little-known candidate, legitimacy. Not Democrat or Republican? no participation in the primary debates, and then third party candidates generally don’t have sufficient poll numbers to get into the general election debates. So no legitimacy and getting 15% of the vote is a miracle. All the while, third party candidates always take votes away from the other candidate they would most agree with if they were not on an ego trip.

    Progressives could become a force by becoming a problem for Democrats in Democratic primaries, but it won’t happen because we’ve got this “purity” fetish and many like you would rather lose than work for small, stepwise strategic gains.

    So it’s this self-defeating whine “I can’t voter for her, she’s not perfect.”

  • Naja pallida

    FDR was a millionaire too… it’s just a shame more millionaires don’t think like he did, and realize that universal prosperity works better than theft. At least if you want a functional nation.

  • condew

    I agree with Swami, the posts here have pretty much trashed every possible candidate in a nihilistic orgy of cynicism.

  • Naja pallida

    I honestly don’t consider Ross Perot or Ralph Nader to be especially good examples of third party politics at work. Even though they have eternally doomed our third party candidacies into the foreseeable future.

    Ralph Nader has always been seen as the constant guy running for President. Nobody has ever taken his candidacy really seriously. He’s just the guy that is always there. Yes, the number of votes he got were well within the margin of a win between Gore and Bush leading many people to blame him for allowing a Bush win, but 2 million votes is probably close to the number of ballots that were thrown out and uncounted nation-wide during the 2000 election.

    Ross Perot is a lot closer to what a third party candidacy should look like, but he became a controlling nut in the summer of his campaign, and waffled horribly in the last weeks of the election, blowing what were exceptional poll numbers for a third party candidate. If he had listened to his advisors, he probably could have maintained polling above 30% going into the election, making it for all intents and purposes a
    statistical dead heat. Instead, he pissed it away being a petty, whiny prick, which turned at least 15% of the electorate immediately away from him to not even consider returning.

    I think the country is begging for the right candidate, and they would vote for that person regardless of party if they hit on the right points. The problem is, now we’re once bitten, twice shy. Obama hit on the right points (at least in the speeches that got the most airplay), and has delivered the opposite. Nobody wants to hear lofty rhetoric anymore, now they want real action.

  • JayRandal

    Hillary Clinton as President unfortunately would serve Wall Street NOT Main Street Americans.
    She and Bill are millionaires now. Congressional Democrats who support her the most like Pelosi are millionaires too. Her presidency would not be one of protecting New Deal programs. This is why I can’t
    support her. If 2016 election is Hillary versus Jeb Bush then we the voters are basically screwed over.

  • condew

    No. Third parties are a guaranteed disaster. Ross Perot and Ralph Nadir have proven it.

  • condew

    I don’t know if it matters what Mrs. Clinton says, Candidate Obama was all about strengthening Social Security by raising the cap, but President Obama conspired from day one to enable Social Security cuts, and then make a “grand bargain” with Republicans to enact them. So of course Mrs. Clinton will be for “strengthening” Social Security (probably using exactly that weasel-word).

    On the other hand, if Hillary Clinton came out squarely for no cuts to Social Security right now, and continually renewed the pledge right up to election day, I’d be more likely to believe her, and she’d be more likely to win.

    As to the environment, I hope she is sensible, but strategically, I don’t think she should put such ammunition in the hands of Republicans to use against her; it would energize the Republican base while Democrats fight among themselves about whether anything she proposes is adequeate. Plenty of time for her to be “convinced by the facts” after the election.

    For the economy, I’ve said many times we need protective tariffs back. It is one thing for American workers to be beaten in a fair fight, it is quite another to ask them to work for wages that would not pay the bus fare to get to work while stripping them of benefits like health care and retirement that were won by blood by many generations of American labor. Still, I would not want a Democratic candidate to run on tariffs, rather to point out the raw deal American labor is being given and promise to fix it, to stop the flow of American jobs and treasure, and reverse it.

  • Swami_Binkinanda

    Read Sharlett’s book about The Family. I just don’t think that what he is saying about Hillary Clinton is compelling, meaningful, or significant. It’s hearsay and it implies a lot of things that could be true but don’t seem to have any substantial policy repercussions in her political career.

    She can be as insincerely a member of a DC cult as she can be an insincere liberal or insincere WalMart lawyer. That is as fluid and unpredictable as Wikipedia. What has she done? That’s the beef with Obama. He can sing and dance and say all the right words the right way but what has he done and is it satisfactory?

    It would be wonderful to have a political party that wasn’t carrying over a century of baggage or candidates who agreed with what I want but it doesn’t work that way in a democracy. Hill and Bill were great moderate Republicans and the majority of Americans found that satisfactory, and it is fortunate that our Republicans are so venal and incompetent. But they keep winning enough to block things and it is unclear whether what we have right now is a political standoff where both sides can’t really move either way without risking future electability.

    Bush II for example had party control of both houses of congress and the judiciary but he didn’t make a move on abortion despite overwhelming control of government because it would remove an issue that drove his base. We can’t have single payer, decriminalization of drugs, re-regulation of the financial industry and so on because Democrats are beholden to the beneficiaries of those policies. We can’t vote Green because they are powerless to make a PR move that affects anyone and are no threat to either party, and in Nader’s case took money from the R’s to split the D coalition. We have to pick A or B and nag and whine and demand and plead for ordinarily corrupt and all too human people to go beyond the normal and do the right thing sometimes.

    Mark Begich-can’t fight the gun nuts or he’s toast, but proposed ending the SS income cap.
    Al Gore-music censor and Southern aristocrat goober but good on environment and invented the Internets.
    I think we can’t let the small victories be crushed by the overwhelming flood of corruption and misdirection. I see what R’s do and I see what D’s do and I would rather a slick Willie than another business aristocrat handing out favors to religious fanatics in exchange for further destruction of the planet, our society, and the unity of our nation such as it is.

  • Ford Prefect

    I agree with both of you. My comment should be read very narrowly, as far as Dems are concerned. The odds of my ever voting for another Democrat are slim to no-(bleep)ing-way. Warren has surprised on the upside lately, so I’m willing to let her fail on her own accord, assuming that happens. I’m trying to rein in the cynicism a wee bit. (It’s not really working, but it does help me say naive things at times)

    Mostly though, I don’t think she’d run in the first place, so any such discussion is largely on the level of fantasy football. If she does run, she’ll be railroaded into oblivion by the usual suspects. Or, she’ll sell out and still get railroaded.

  • ezpz

    In addition to the Mother Jones link I just posted, here’s another one that is not owned “… by a woman who was married to a closeted gay Republican before she got (dumped) all liberal….”


  • ezpz

    Talk about shooting the messenger. This is NOT “casual gossip” just because you don’t like what it says, or the site on which it is posted.

    Maybe you like Mother Jones better than Huffington Post…

    Here is the link to an article written by Kathryn Joyce and Jeff Sharlett, who is *the* expert on “The Fellowship” aka The Family. He has done extensive research and has written books on it.


    Is that a better messenger for you?

    And no, the choice is NOT a real choice, as you say.
    I know there is no perfection, but come on, Hillary, Obama, Warren, et al are just as bad as republicans, if not worse for their duplicity and pretense of being something they’re not.

    If you don’t see that, you’re either not paying attention, or you like the status quo or both.

    There are none so blind as those who will not see…

  • Swami_Binkinanda

    So what? Is she actually doing something in line with The Family? I’m more irked that she worked for WalMart in the day. Show me where Hillary Clinton comes out with her hair on fire screaming that Dick Cheney’s daughter Mary shouldn’t get married, women deserve to make less than men for the same work, and people of color are genetically inferior and born to a life of poverty and slavery.

    I’m not impressed by casual gossip from a web site run on free or cheap content run by a woman who was married to a closeted gay Republican before she got (dumped) all liberal. Religious bigotry doesn’t look good on anybody, either. There are a surprising number of churches that live up to their creed and don’t fall for the anti-Christian propaganda that evangelicals and some others have contrived.

    Critical thinking and evaluation skills count. All this “both sides do it” rhetoric is designed to neutralize the possibility of opposition. The right is afraid of the Clintons because they are effective and appeal to a substantial majority of Americans. The choice is real and though it isn’t perfect and not how I wish it would be, it is what it is and sliding into fantasy or conjecture won’t change the facts on the ground. In the meantime, Mark Begich.

  • dula

    Our political system is broken and beyond repair. Shouldn’t we be discussing solutions to our death spiral in a post-political manner rather than the same old two party context? I don’t know what that would possibly look like but why haven’t we begun the process?

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
    -Albert Einstein

  • ezpz

    And you call yourself Swami?
    What a misnomer!!

  • ezpz

    Hillary Clinton: member of “The Family” with co-members being Rick Santorum, John Ashcroft, Sam Brownback, and other such ‘pro equal rights’ wingers:


  • ezpz

    “Taking your ball and going home is the only way to guarantee that evil absolutely and totally wins….

    Uh, I guess you haven’t noticed, but evil DID win.
    Republican wins, we lose.
    Democrat wins, we also lose.

  • Bill_Perdue

    And, don’t forget, he invented the internet. That should count in his favor.

  • ppppffffftttt try that again.

  • Swami_Binkinanda

    Where are you going to find the absolutely pure candidate who has never and will never disappoint you?

    In what test tube does this mythical figure dwell and why has this pinnacle of perfection been denied the people so long?

    I am fascinated to see what kind of magical person can get elected by ignoring a powerful and important political constituency in a democracy. Perhaps use Star Trek transporters to evict the Jews from Israel and then something something Bill Perdue’s Final Solution? Like the Islamic factions won’t then kill each other off? Or Christians, the third of three crazy Middle Eastern religions roaming the world?

    Maybe the magic candidate will get elected without money or advertising or polling? Maybe a giant force field will prevent us from interacting with the rest of the world that might hurt our feelings or challenge our sensibilities?

    Wandering the earth in search of ultraliberal Jesus.

  • Swami_Binkinanda

    So go home and cry alone, emo kid. Boo hoo everyone is corrupter than meeeeeee.

    Taking your ball and going home is the only way to guarantee that evil absolutely and totally wins. This is how spoiled brats and weenies live their sad little lives. Life isn’t about easy choices and no consequences and purity tests and magic rainbow pooping unicorns who will fix everything to your liking. Complain on the internet because that is how you effect real change in the world.

  • Swami_Binkinanda

    Mitt Romney: part of a church that spent serious money opposing gay marriage, women’s rights and civil rights. Party endorses terrorism against family planning clinics. Threatens to mount an armed revolt if they don’t get their way.

    Obama: part of a party that didn’t.

  • Not to mention WAL*MART.

  • cole3244

    very good, that describes all but a few of the supposed dems in wash.

  • Yep.

  • ezpz

    “I voted Green last time and will never, ever vote for a Democrat at the national level again.”

    Ditto and ditto.

  • Lets hope.

  • FLL

    That is a national misfortune, but yes.

  • How many times do we have to dust off the lesser of two evils? Democrats have cut off and betrayed the liberal base.

  • Same here. If the Repubs have enough sense to pick moderate candidates (Huntsman?) they will annihilate the Dems, and deservedly so. I voted Green last time and will never, ever vote for a Democrat at the national level again.

  • We can see the oncoming reaction in the case of the Mass. senate seat vacated by the death of Kennedy. It went to Scott Brown, because the Demo candidate was an Obama, arrogant party hack, who didn’t bother to campaign because she though it was all sown up. Same thing is going to happen to anyone with Obozo’s taint on him/her.

  • Damn, lady, your crystal ball scares the pudd’n outta me.

  • side saddle: sits left, falls right.

  • In the end, I think you and I know we’re going to be stuck with Lesser Evilism again.

  • Good god I hope not. He folded like a weak tent last time.

  • FLL

    The DLC for economic policy and her fundie Christian buddies in The Family for social policy. You don’t need a crystal ball.

  • Fanboi Luigi thinks there’s broom enough in the Party for another sellout, disastrous Clinton.

  • And you I take it are the Hills fanboi of the plecostomus wing of the Demo Party.

  • FLL

    Now that you’ve explained the health care angle in more detail, I understand your point. Yes, that’s an interesting possibility. If the Republican candidate said he wanted no government regulation of health care other than barring pre-existing conditions, that would become a winning issue for the Republicans. As far as military engagements, I think you’re making too many guesses concerning the Obama administration. You say that the Republican candidate might just announce support for no-fly zones and expanded use of drones, knowing that the American public has no stomach for sending U.S. troops into Syria or Iran. But that sounds exactly like what you could expect from the Obama administration. I think it’s highly unlikely that Obama would want to send troops into Syria or Iran. As far as chained CPI, I think your hypothetical Republican candidate would be either in the same place as a hypothetical Democratic candidate or perhaps even to the right. As far as social policy, I doubt the Republicans could resist the “traditional marriage” demands of their base.

    What you have left is two candidates who are similar enough that the public might choose the Republican candidate in 2016 based only on the possibly sluggish economy. Yes, that’s a possibility. Another possibility is that the demographics of the U.S. have changed enough to tip the balance against the Republican candidate in 2016. I can see either scenario happening.

  • I’ll never forget how Bill helped to undo the Great Society and its attempt through Welfare to eliminate poverty not just for the elderly, but for everyone.

  • nicho

    Oh god, not another DLC fanboy who apparently can’t remember what things Hill&Bill, Inc. brought us the first time ’round. They would have sold us out on Social Security and Medicare too, if Bill had been able to keep his mouse in the house — or at least be discreet about whom he was diddling and where.

  • You misstated what I said about 2016. Governor Stuffedsuit wouldn’t run on making healthcare more affordable. The only red meat the GOP base demands is a promise to repeal Obamacare, end of. All they’d have to do is say they’d keep the pre-existing conditions stuff and it’d turn into a winning issue for them.

    As for curtailing military engagements, again, he wouldn’t put it that way — instead, he’d be announcing that we’d adopt policies of no-fly zones and expanded use of drones.

    In no way did I mean to imply they’d run anything even vaguely like a moderate candidate.

  • lynchie

    Wow you brought up all the arguments the Republicans will use. Don’t forget she is a Neocon and was there for NAFTA, deregulation of the banks and wall street, She will be a continuation of Obama and Bush in terms of aggressive foreign policies and—-oh forget you know all that you are one of her apologists.

  • FLL

    The Democrats got creamed during the eight-year period of 2000-2008, when Republican controlled the White House and both houses of Congress, so you have a recent historical record to examine.

  • I wouldn’t know about that, but a few months back on another blog I was told by the blog-owner herself that she wasn’t going to tolerate any negative remarks about Hillary and invited me to depart. Haven’t seen any sign of that here.
    The still-fanatical 2008 fans of Hillary may get her the nomination, but I’m predicting in the general election she’ll be squashed like a bug. Even in an honest election!

  • FLL

    First, I’ll say that I’m in general agreement with your suggestion that the Democrats would only be shooting themselves in the foot by supporting austerity measures, cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and an American war in Syria that John McCain is pushing for. And now, on to your specific points.

    Regarding the 2014 midterms, I’ll mention this historical pattern again, at the risk of boring everyone. The party of a second-term president almost always loses seat in the midterm elections. The only time, since the Civil War, that this didn’t happen was in 1998 when the Republicans were making jackasses of themselves by impeaching Bill Clinton for having an affair with Monica Lewinsky. Regardless of anyone’s puritanical bent, this was thoroughly ridiculed throughout the world: in some of the countries that progressives admire, like Canada and northern Europe, as well as among our increasingly progressive neighbors in Latin America, where the Lewsinky impeachment hearings had people rolling in the aisles laughing. If the Republicans gained a few seats in the House in 2014, that would not be a crushing victory; that would be the historical norm, to put it mildly. However, if the Republicans gained a huge number of seats, that would be a victory rather than just the historic norm. If the Republicans actually managed to lose House or Senate seats in 2014, especially in view of the continued poor economy… Well, I won’t go there. You get the idea.

    Regarding the 2016 election, if GOP Governor Stuffedsuit of NameAState campaigned on undoing Social Security and Medicare cuts, making healthcare more affordable for poor and middle-class families, and curtailing U.S. military engagements abroad, I’m sure that he would win the general election, and he would deserve to. In what alternate universe, Becca, would someone supporting those policies win the Republican primaries? The Republican Party’s base hasn’t been that moderate since Adlai Stevenson ran in the 1950s. With the today’s much shrunken right-wing Republican base, the only candidates who have any chance of winning the Republican primaries (e.g., 2012, 2008, 2000, etc.) are those candidates who support more foreign wars, not less, privatizing Social Security and Medicare entirely (e.g., the Romney/Ryan plan) and no government involvement in health care at all. You do see the same Republican primary voters that I do, right?

  • ezpz


    “I opposed third parties on practical grounds. I like to take the better roads to victory, so I prefer primaries. It would be a mistake to extrapolate that to support for Dems…”

    Okay, you oppose third parties, and to the best of my observation, you don’t support any GOP candidates, so WADR, what else is one to extrapolate?

    Yes, you’ve called out Obama’s betrayal many times and very effectively, but as just noted above, by the process of elimination, you support only those candidates that wear the D tag, your occasional reluctance duly noted.

    Again, with the utmost of respect, your non support for anyone who is not a D, and your critique of many in the D party (suggesting there are some good ones – there aren’t) – well, those two things just don’t square.

  • **** Hillary?—–snowball in hell. ****
    That’s how I see it too. Even if she happened to be running against the clone of Jack the Ripper, I’d stay home on election day. “Worse than Obama” is pretty damned bad.

  • Luigi DaMan

    Oh god, not another liberal fanboy who hates Hillary. Well, Josh Marshall and the boys derailed her last time and got the change they were hankering for. As you weren’t writing here in 2008, how do you know she won’t make an exceptional candidate? Got that crystal ball on loan from Harry Potter working overtime? Is it possible, she might already know where the bodies are buried and thereby may be able to push the legislature toward actual work? No, you’re right. She should fess up now on the pipeline and SSI. Hell, she might as well throw in a confession on Benghazi, too. An early admission would certainly help the Republicans more. They’ve been so helpful to all of us ‘Mericans. Oh, and as you weren’t here yet, remember the words “White Water.” It’ll come up.

  • He became political toast the day he sold Current to Al Jazeera. I won’t matter that they’re actually a remarkably unbiased worldwide media network. The progressives hate him for selling out and the regressives will see the obvious political commercials and want to lynch him as a terrorist sympathizer.

  • Ford Prefect

    Very good point. That wouldn’t surprise me in the least. “Honest” should always be in quotes with that crew. Hence my lack of enthusiasm for any of it.

  • Campaign-Edition Obama’s positions were even better on health care than Hillary’s.

    Just pointing out that what they say is rarely what they actually do once in office.

  • Just_AC

    Maybe it will be time for Al Gore to reappear – he has now distanced himself from the Clinton and he certainly has the climate credentials

  • ezpz

    Thanks for the detailed reply, GP.
    I was referring to the 2012 election, not 2008.
    I believe it was during that campaign that you expressed your opposition to third parties. Speaking of “practical grounds” and “better roads to victory” – I have to disagree that a primary challenger within the same party is any road to victory at all. Au contraire!

    And yes, by the same token, third parties have not won a presidency yet, but I believe in large part, that’s due to this type of defeatist attitude and rhetoric. If everyone voted their conscience instead of what’s ‘practical’, a third party candidate would have won a long time ago.

  • cole3244

    wait hillary, i have a saddle for you for that fence.

  • GaiusPublius

    I opposed third parties on practical grounds. I like to take the better roads to victory, so I prefer primaries. It would be a mistake to extrapolate that to support for Dems.

    About support for the the party, there are three main writers here, myself included, plus a few other regulars. If there’s a consensus, pro-Dem isn’t it.

    Understand the good intention of your comments, ezpz. I also understand there was quite the battle here in 2008. But let that go; this is not the same place, and it’s certainly not the same world.

    As far as I go, note I showed up here as a writer in 2010 and in one of my earliest pieces, laid into Obama about Social Security.


    Opening paragraph:

    Just like it takes a Republican to open Communist*
    China, it takes a Democrat to kill Social Security. Get ready, folks.
    If you thought the corporate gifts in the so-called Health Care bill
    were bad, just wait till Obama’s so-called Deficit Commission gets its
    claws into Social Security.



  • Very like!

  • I was going to say ‘honest Indian’, but apparently she’s already been called out for that.

  • “Warren will be sabotaged” Exactly, Obama sabotaged her from the get go, so she had to run for the Senate.

  • Yep, here we go AGAIN!

  • News From The Future, Today!

    November 2014: The Democrats suffer crushing losses in the mid-terms as the Long Depression continues for what some economists, including Paul Krugman, are now saying has been a full decade. Tens of millions of Americans remain without health insurance because it turns out the PPACA premium subsidies don’t come close to making it affordable to most poor and middle class uninsured families. Many political analysts point to the adoption of chained-CPI and the U.S. intervention in Syria’s civil war, along with the continuing 13 year war in Afghanistan as the reason for depressed Democratic turnout. However, Democratic insiders and pundits claim it was because gays, African Americans, and Latinos didn’t turn out in expected numbers. When asked for comment, a senior administration official bitterly complained, “Those gays, hippies, and minorities have only themselves to blame for us losing the Senate majority.” This reporter tried to point out the unpopular Democratic policies that could actually have been to blame, but was soon escorted from the building by security.

    November 2016: As the Syria war grinds on well into its third year, American troops continue to die in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Gitmo remains open. (With the DoD citing bad publicity, we no longer know how many prisoners are there, who they are, or how many are being force-fed.) Hillary Clinton (or insert any Dem candidate’s name here (ed.)) lost the election for what analysts say are many reasons: The continued Long Depression and record low employment participation; even though unemployment has been pegged at only 6.5% by the official numbers, in reality fewer Americans are in the workforce since the 1970s when most families only had one wage earner. Then there were the ever-deepening austerity measures, the fourth straight year of budget sequester, and the cuts to Medicare and Social Security advocated by the previous administration, as well as the ongoing American troop involvement throughout the Middle East. GOP Governor Stuffedsuit of NameAState won handily by promising to undo the Social Security and Medicare cuts, repeal Obamacare, curtail U.S. military engagements abroad, and institute unspecified tax reforms.

  • You go Gaius! Anything to bring down the Hills, early and often.

  • The Democrats are going to get creamed in 2014 and I going to do my part to make it happen. Hillary?—–snowball in hell.

  • ezpz

    Perhaps I’m mistaken, and if so, I apologize in advance, but it seems that what all the writers at AMERICAblog have in common is their loyalty to the Democratic Party. Notwithstanding a few nuances, that includes you, GP.

    You corrected me a while back when I stated that you supported Obama’s re-election. You didn’t, but I think that I got that from the fact that you were against any third parties. Instead, you occasionally suggested a primary challenge to Obama.

    There were many great comments on those threads, which, alas, have been wiped out when Ablog had its makeover.

    As a former lifelong Democrat, I can no longer support ANY candidate that runs on the ticket, regardless of how ‘progressive’ they sound at any given moment. Like the GOP, the Ds are corrupt through and through, and their agenda is the same as that of the GOP, with only minor cosmetic differences. One uses the other for cover to get the same agenda through – the agenda that benefits only the one percent, the rest of us be damned.

  • FLL

    Any voice that pushes Hillary to reveal her honest intentions (rather than just giving her an opportunity to tout her candidacy) serves a good purpose. I definitely wasn’t grouping you together with Hillary worshipers. My only point was that it’s easy to extrapolate Hillary’s positions from her past history, that is, barring any public change of heart from Hillary. She could publicly distance herself from the pro-development, anti-environmentalist Democratic Leadership Council (with which she was long associated) or the fundamentalist Christian group, The Family (with which she was long associated). I just think it’s unlikely that she will disassociate herself from those groups, but that’s only a guess on my part.

  • ezpz

    Her rhetoric may sound ‘progressive’ but if we’ve learned anything from Obama’s bait and switch, it’s that rhetoric and action are often worlds apart.

    I put little stock – VERY little – in anything politicians say anymore. Instead, I look at their history and their records, including their votes (Jack Lew anyone?) as well as their actions and lack thereof.

    As far as rhetoric goes, we have to look at the whole picture of what they’ve said in the past vs. what they now say, and thus find major contradictions, as well as words matching the ambitions of the moment – past and present.

    Hence, from my other comment: she’s an opportunistic fraud.


  • GaiusPublius

    I’m going to make a general comment, since I see what’s behind the struggle in some of the comments is whatever happened in 2008.

    I was not a writing on this blog in 2008. No one here knows my thinking about that contest, unless you extrapolate backward from my current writing, my own current writing.

    Each of the writers here has an editorial free hand — huge props to John for that.

    As a result, there is no “AMERICAblog position” on any candidate or issue. Please read each writer separately.

    Just saying… Thanks.


  • With the exception of her courage to call for universal health care, I’m not a huge Hillary fan either. (Or of political dynasties in general.)

  • GaiusPublius

    Just a quick reply. I wrote the post to piggy-back on, and amplify, Kuttner’s piece calling her out in public. I also wrote the post as an opening salvo at EMILY’s List, who is pumping for #MPOTUS ,which I take to be a first (disingenuous) pass at Hillary support in 2016. EL takes out progressives; they don’t just support women.

    Like Kuttner, I want Hillary on the record early and often. It will paint her as she is. My contention is that she’s hiding her neoliberal self, and I want that self out. “Cue the Hillary worshippers”? I’ve never been one; just the opposite.


  • ezpz

    I would have to disagree with the ‘honest’ part, even though you did qualify it with the word partially. Just like ‘lesser evil’, I would put that in the ‘little bit pregnant’ category.

    In fact, maybe because she gives the impression to some like yourself that she’s ‘honest’ just like Obama projected an anti war liberal persona, she just MAY be ‘allowed’ to run, and if she were to win, she could pull the same switch after the bait.

  • GaiusPublius

    Sorry. Could have been more clear. Re Warren I said last night on Virtually Speaking that I see her as having progressive views but as being too easily folded into the Democratic party structure. The benefit is that as a woman to the left of Clinton (arguably true, yes?), she forms a marker that makes Clinton look like what she is — a neolib.

    Would I prefer a President Warren? I’ll have to see how much of a go-along person she is. I had real trouble with her when she was up for nomination, since I don’t know if she got that the reason she wasn’t getting a vote was … Obama, not the Rs.

    But yes, I could have been more clear. Thanks.


  • Ford Prefect

    Maybe. But she won’t be allowed anywhere near the podium at the DNC in any case. Your points about her are all valid, which is why I wouldn’t actually do much for her. But at least she’s kind of honest, which none of the other presumed front-runners will be able to claim.

    Warren will be sabotaged and that’s likely why she won’t even run. We’ll be stuck with the usual list of corrupt d-bags. It won’t matter who wins the nomination. In the end, the nominee will have to explain why he or she is somehow better than Obama was. Good luck with that!

  • nicho

    From a purely political view, why take a firm position now? That just gives the other guys something to use to start running against you two years out. It also helps them flesh out their playbook for 2016. Don’t make snowballs for the other guys to throw at you.

    From the craven politician point of view, don’t take a position until the polls tells you which line of bullshit will get you the most net votes. We’re not talking about people of principle here. We’re talking about people who will say whatever they need to say to get elected.

    As other have eloquently pointed out, Hillary will do whatever the corporatocracy wants her to do, as will Barry, as Mitt would have, as Jeb would.

    One party — the Corporate Party. Two right wings — Republicans and Democrats.

  • ezpz

    I’m not sure about her real estate endeavors. Until Bush v. Gore, I really wasn’t paying much attention to politics, though I never missed voting in an election, and it was always for everything/anything with the D for democrat tag.
    I don’t doubt it, though, that she may have had some ‘unsavory’ dealings, but it seems that real estate speculation and a membership in the RW group called “The Family” are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

  • FLL

    Weren’t Hillary’s early interests (pre-politics and as First Lady) mostly in real estate speculation? Didn’t Whitewater concern real estate speculation? At least here in South Florida, real estate speculators have an unsavory reputation, by which I mean, people who are not committed to protecting the environment or benefiting the common good. Environmentalist groups in South Florida have locked horns with real estate speculators more than any other single group.

  • ezpz

    “…That said, I’d still prefer her to any Democrat likely to run for POTUS…”

    Do I detect some ‘lesser evilism’ in your comment?

  • Ford Prefect

    There still seems to be an assumption among Democrats that the next preznit will be a Democrat. I simply cannot fathom such misplaced faith. It’s possible, of course. But it’s not likely. The Dems had their eight years and now it will swing back in the direction of the Bush Crime Family, most likely.

    In any case, Hillary has given us all the clues we need about her and they’re all rather bad, except for her stalwart defense of the right of wealthy white women to get ahead in life. She is under no obligation to share anything with the world until she files papers in 2015 or 2016. She has been a Neo-Liberal since grad school. She counts vicious dictators as “close family friends.” She’s rather openly corrupt, as is the wont of Neo-Libs.

    Who cares what she thinks? You think asking her questions will do anything to shape the Amerikan political landscape for 2016? Think again. You think any Democrat is going to care any more about global warming, our socio-economic collapse or our various imperial misadventures? Think again.

    Obama will leave office likely about as popular as Dubya was when he left. This is why a guy of Jeb’s caliber will be able to win a gerrymandered “election” as the Anybody-But-Obama candidate, just as Obama won as the Anybody-But-Dubya guy. The campaigns (both of them) will be built on the edifice of militarism, war-mongering, contempt for foreigners, muslims and so forth. Real issues will be studiously avoided, simply because they can.

    This is how post-democratic, corporate oligarchies work, right?

  • ezpz

    Oops, sorry, I didn’t read this comment before posting mine with the same link.
    Well, the more, the better…

  • ezpz

    Good comment. I agree completely.

    And let’s not forget that like many ‘powerful right wing politicos’, Hillary was also a member of that “Nasty Pastorate” called “The Family” on which Rachel Maddow did extensive (opposition) research, except she omitted the part about Hillary’s membership.


  • Ford Prefect

    You’re suggesting there’s a difference?

    LOL. There isn’t.

  • Ford Prefect

    She’s a moderate conservative who has lived in the rarified air of Harvard for a long time. She believes in things like “fair play,” as if it exists in the real world. This aspect to her makes her appear “progressive,” because progressives believe in that notion as well. But that’s as far as that goes.

    That said, I’d still prefer her to any Democrat likely to run for POTUS, simply because the DNC will not allow anyone who isn’t wholly bought and paid for to get near the nomination.

  • Ford Prefect

    This is putting it mildly:

    As the icing on the cake, she even courted a more right-wing crowd in the 2008 primary.

    She was openly racist. She argued she would get more bigots to vote for her, so she should get the nomination, as if that meant she deserved it or something. Every time her fans or the media get excited about her, I think about that period and how repugnant she really is.

  • ezpz

    And then there’s this from Oct, 2011 – Samuel P. Jacobs:

    Warren Takes Credit for Occupy Wall Street

    The Harvard professor has spooked the right. As she begins her high-profile Senate campaign against GOP star Scott Brown in Massachusetts, the consumer advocate tells Samuel P. Jacobs how she created ‘much of the intellectual foundation’ for the Occupy Wall Street movement. She also talks about her past life as a Republican and the challenges of being a woman on the campaign trail—and says she’s no ‘guileless Marxist..

    That would be funny if it wasn’t so blatantly deceitful – that she inspired OWS.

    From that same interview, in her own words:

    “…“I was a Republican because I thought that those were the people who best supported markets….I was a Republican at a time when I felt like there was a problem that the markets were under a lot more strain. It worried me whether or not the government played too activist a role.”

    So, like republicans, she doesn’t like big government who might be too ‘activist’.

    And like the rest of our politicians, D and R alike, she’s an opportunistic fraud. Nothing less.

  • nicho

    Oh yeah, right, lesser of two evils. That is working out so wonderfully for us now.

  • ezpz

    Seriously, GP, you think the former republican Elizabeth Warren is a liberal and you would like to see a president Warren?

    Here are some articles you might find interesting – AND enlightening:



    “…But let’s be frank, she [Warren] is a stalking horse for Obama. She is deep in his pockets, supported strongly by his organization. She is the spokesman for “saving the Middle Class”, saying things which Obama can no longer say and pass the laugh test….

    …But what this mainly reveals is that Warren is incompetent. She has just told most of the left, the very people who are reluctant to work for Obama, that there is no real point in working for her….”



  • FLL

    Everyone understands (although some pretend not to understand) a very basic concept in reading called an implied main idea. Yes, your reading comprehension is fine. You understand the implied main idea, which comes to you from Zachary Smith in Mississippi North.

  • Bill_Perdue


    Some liberals will turn left and some will turn right but as a group, as liberals, they’re impotent. They aren’t able to create or stop change. Tammy Baldwin and Kucinich are examples of Liberals turning right as all Democrats do sooner or later.

    Elizabeth Warren is swinging right after beginning as a liberal. “The United States must take the necessary steps to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. I support strong sanctions against Iran and believe that the United States must also continue to take a leadership role in pushing other countries to implement strong sanctions as well. Iran must not have an escape hatch…”

    And she’s a supporter of the zionist bunkerstadt. “Warren’s position on Israel may be the most craven of all, as she leaves little doubt which side she would have taken in the recent brouhaha, that erupted at the DNC, when a reference to Jerusalem was rammed into the party’s platform. Her website rolls out the usual platitudes (“steadfast, trusted, and reliable allies”) and identifies Palestine’s membership effort at the UN as a “unilateral step” that cannot be condoned. As for the United States assisting in a two-state solution, America “cannot dictate the terms” to Israel, regarding whether or not they should refrain from bulldozing houses or cutting off a population’s access to water.In an article, at Al Akhbar, Max Blumenthal took her to task on the question of Israel, before ending with an entirely sensible point, “ It is far better for progressives to grill her on her foreign policy positions before the campaign is over than after the next war begins.” both from http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/10/01/the-problem-with-massachusetts-and-elizabeth-warren/

  • FLL

    Someone’s life history often reveals a lot, so I suggest you look at Hillary’s life history. She comes from the “Democratic Leadership Council,” Blue Dog wing of the party, which is certainly to the right of Obama’s history in Illinois. She enthusiastically voted for the Iraq War, and Obama campaigned against it (although for the Afghanistan War). She has always been to the right of Obama. Are you just being coy here, Gaius Publius?

  • I agree. Though BHO has been horrible, Hillary would be worse on every single account.
    Regarding 2016, we’re pretty much SOL because of BHO’s cave on Social Security and sucking up to Big Banking. Since ObamaCare will be kicking in by then, the Democratic brand will be thoroughly tarnished.
    High odds of a “moderate” Republican like Jeb or Our Man Mitch from here in Mississippi North.

  • Elizabeth Warren is a “real progressive”? I don’t think so! Just because she’s capable of making sensible noises about the Big Banks doesn’t mean she can walk on water with the other issues.


    So far as I can determine, she’s used lip glue on the climate change topic. Social Security? Earlier she was OK with making only ‘necessary cuts’ and ‘modest changes’ to the program. Lately she’s saying chained CPI is bad, but after the earlier waffling I’m not sure I believe her.

    She’s a total hawk on many foreign issues like Iran.

    Finally, Warren was a Republican most of her life.


    I made the mistaking of voting for Reagan in 1980, but it was one I didn’t repeat. When did Warren stop voting for the lunatics?

    Back in 20008 I voted for a not-Bush. That was a dreadful mistake. I’m going to try very hard not to do it again with a not-Hillary or not-BHO.

  • lynchie

    It makes no difference. Her policies are the sames as O’s and the same as Republicans. She was still helping Walmart as secretary of State.


    The elections are all a charade to make us feel like there still is a democracy.

  • Bill_Perdue

    There are no differences between Democrats or Republicans except their gang colors.

  • Bill_Perdue

    I’m not sure it matters much what positions she takes because she’s a Democrat and what she says will be lies to appease people affected by the Long Depression and Obama’s drive against unions and the standard of living of working people. H Clinton, who learned about the labor movement while on the Board of Directors of Wal-Mart, the nation’s worst corporation, and watching B Clinton use NAFTA to bust unions.

    With cuts in Social Security and Medicare on the horizon, with unemployment holding steady at +/- 15% (1) for the last four years or so, with a stagnant economy and Europe on the brink Obama is not going to leave office as a successful leader. H Clinton will have to explain all that and more.

    She’s goings lie like a trooper and even then there’s no guarantee she’ll be elected. Since 2004 the time when either Democrats or Republicans could lie and get away with it has been over.

    The revelations of the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions and occupations, the terrible shocks of mass foreclosures, unemployment and poverty rates, the betrayal of the public option and socialized medicine and what’s going to be a Long Depression (2) have all decreased the credibility of both major parties and led to paralysis in the Federal government.

    The Republicans are widely seen as being incompetent and out of touch by large margins and the Democrats fare better but not by much. The only thing that’s saving them is Republican control of the House and if they win it back they’ll be back in the frying pan. Neither have any real plan to deal with the economic crisis except to toss trillions at the banks and the rich in the forlorn hope that they’ll invest it.

    In fact, both parties are dinosaurs looking up at the pretty light growing in the night sky and far too dumb to know they’re politically doomed.

    (1) ( http://portalseven.com/employment/unemployment_rate_u6.jsp )

    (2) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/the-long-depression_b_3009521.html

  • gaylib

    So what then? Elect a Republican?

  • Jim Olson

    Hillary as President will be a disaster. She’ll spend her term doing the same thing Obama has done; fighting with the House at every turn. Not Obama’s fault, really, nor will it be Hillary’s…but it will be four more years of complete gridlock.

  • AristarchusSeleucus

    Why the fake “drama” of this article ?

    AMERICABLOG will give Hillary a blank check just as it has given the current Administration a blank check.

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