By Steve Croyle
TOPIC: Hillary Clinton
Don’t look back in anger, Hillary, just go away
Hillary Clinton says she no longer wants to be a candidate, but Hillary says lots of things that prove to be untrue. Her actions tell us that she has a very strong desire to reassert herself as a major player in Democratic politics ahead of the 2018 midterms, which is a critical play toward establishing a foundation to run for the White House again in 2020. Her book “What Happened’ is another crabby tirade about how she got screwed over, a card she’s been playing for years, but the truth is that Hillary has been a member of the Old Boys Club for quite a while now.
Her entire career since leaving the White House has been one of privilege, connections, and shady back door deals.
As FLOTUS, Hillary did stand up for some progressive issues. She fought to expand child health coverage, successfully, and even cajoled her husband into vetoing bankruptcy legislation that would have made it more difficult for middle class and lower income homeowners to protect themselves from foreclosure through bankruptcy protection. It was almost as if, in 1999, the banks knew that the housing bubble was going to burst, and they didn’t want to be stuck with a whole bunch of deferred or restructured mortgages.
Good for Hillary, right? Except Hillary the Senator from New York, a state in which she never resided, caucused with Republican Senators to pass that very same bill. Her record as a Senator was hawkish, and very friendly to wall street and big banks.
Hillary Clinton, much like her husband, is a Neoliberal. She uses progressive social issues to position herself favorably with voters on the left,while furthering a fiscal agenda that is well right of the Reagan Administration. She has favored trade agreements that hurt unions, and send blue collar jobs overseas, without offering any sort of reprieve to the workers adversely affected by those agreements. Oh, sure, on paper it might look like the US comes out ahead on those deals, but the money coming back into the US isn’t going back to where the jobs were taken. CEOs, and preferred shareholders are getting rich, while the middle class languishes.
This is why Obama was able to turn the tables on Hillary in 2008, and run away with the nomination. This defied the internal plan. Obama was supposed to spar with Hillary during the primaries, to make her look sharp, and establish him as a future candidate. Obama saw weakness, and pounced, exposing Hillary as the inept huckster she’s always been.
The Democratic Party punished Obama for his insolence, forcing him to drag the party to the right, even though he ran on a fairly progressive platform. They made sure he gave the top cabinet job to Hillary, which provided her with considerable autonomy. She was able to leverage the State Department’s power to benefit Clinton Foundation cronies. The fact that the Clinton Global Initiative was shuttered immediately following her defeat in 2016 is a pretty fair indication that the Clinton Foundation’s success was tied directly to the Clinton Foundation having a direct conduit into the American Political system.
Obama needed to know that he wasn’t in control, and the Democrats drove that message home. This provided the GOP with a cue to simply defy Obama at every turn. If the Democrats weren’t standing behind their own President, why should the GOP provide him any quarter?
This is the same sort of backdoor collusion we saw again in 2016 as the DNC conspired with Hillary, to undermine another upstart. This time, the DNC made the mistake of underestimating the power of Bernie Sanders’ progressive message. Once they realized he was building a coalition of progressives, the DNC did everything they could to pull the rug out from under him, and provide the edge to Hillary.
Hillary isn’t good at campaigning, and that is because she just can’t fake humility. She comes off as aloof, arrogant, and self absorbed. Her advocates talked about her 30 years worth of experience, but those 30 years didn’t teach her to avoid saying stupid things like “we’re gonna put a lot of coal miners out of business” or making the unacceptably stupid decision to combine personal, campaign, Clinton Foundation, and State Department emails on one server.
The content of her emails wasn’t important, but why somebody so allegedly astute would leave herself open to consternation by not setting up separate accounts was baffling. Also lost on her was the fact that you never pat yourself on the back for a historical achievement. Hillary kept banging the drum that she was going to break a glass ceiling, but that sounded hollow against the backdrop of a campaign that offered no real solutions to the problems the country was facing. Great, you’re a woman. How will that raise wages, and bring jobs back to the rust belt?
It fed into a convincing narrative that Hillary wasn’t running for office because she cared about the country. Instead it was an exercise in vanity. She was going to be the first female president. After that, well, it was hard to tell if she had a plan beyond making sure the history books spelled her name correctly.
In the middle of a primary campaign where Bernie Sanders was hitting her hard with questions about her high dollar donations, Hillary spoke with Wall Street investors at a private fundraiser, then she flew out to California to rub elbows with George Clooney, offering up a seat for two at the table for the modest amount of 350 grand. It was almost as if she was flipping progressives the proverbial bird, but thanks the corrupt machinations of the Democratic National Committee, this didn’t matter and Hillary snagged the Democratic Nomination.
Now Hillary’s complaining that Bernie didn’t work hard enough to bring his Progressive minions into the fold, and that the Obamas only offered lukewarm support. She made a few mistakes, of course, but this book is all about how other people screwed her. How the deck was stacked against a woman who was more qualified than the Orange Buffoon who ultimately beat her in November.
But was she qualified? Hillary didn’t really work her way up the political ladder. She was handed a Senate seat by the Democratic Party. It was a favor she leveraged while in the White House. She scarcely campaigned. It was nothing short of a ploy to build her credentials and prep her for a run in 2008. As a Senator, Hillary laid pretty low. She didn’t lead the way to pass any sort of legislation. She caucused with Republicans becoming BFFs with Lindsey Graham. She never really provided the progressive opposition to the Bush Administration that was sorely lacking. She just bided her time, and padded her resume.
Part of the test for proving your qualifications is campaigning successfully, and Hillary has proven to us that she is terrible. She admitted in one Wall Street speech that a politician has to have two faces, one for the public, and the other for the people behind the scenes. Hillary’s public face tells one story, but it’s superficial. She doesn’t commit to anything of substance because privately she is for sale. So, when she campaigns she can’t stand on issues, she has to go negative. That backfired against Obama in 2008, and it would have backfired against Bernie in 2016 if not for Debbie Wasserman Schultz turning the DNC into the Committee to Elect Hillary Clinton.
Sadly, Hillary’s tactics imploded against Trump. After watching Trump prove the adage about no such thing as bad publicity, Hillary doubled down on the failed strategy of the Republican Candidates who lost to Trump in the GOP primary. She didn’t even let Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren play to their core, progressive audience. She insisted that they attack Trump.
She also pivoted away from the working class, and pandered to moderate Republicans who seemed ready to jump ship and support Hillary. It was a bad decision, one even Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer admits was a detriment to the Democratic Party.
Even now, the Democratic Party is sitting on its hands waiting to see which way the wind is blowing in 2018. And, sure enough, along comes Hillary with her book, and her excuses, and her lies. Her she is telling us that we can’t let Bernie Sanders dictate the direction of the party.
And that’s where Hillary proves her incompetence. It’s not about Bernie Sanders, it’s about the people. Hillary didn’t lose because Obama wasn’t engaged. She didn’t lose because Bernie Sanders divided the party. It wasn’t sexism, or Comey, or even Trump’s insults. Hillary lost because she made tactical errors.
She ran a negative campaign, and played right into Trump’s hand. How can you even look yourself in the mirror when you lost to that clown car?
While Hillary’s campaign was handing out signs and strategically arranging the dozens of people who would show up to her rallies, Bernie went from addressing small crowds under pop up tents, to filling 20,000 seat arenas. It’s perfectly acceptable to question his authenticity as a democratic candidate, given his career as an Independent, but you can’t deny that his message appeals to a lot of people. Maybe it’s time for the Democratic Party to shift back to the left, and take up the mantle of being the progressive voice in our political system.
If that happens, the Republican Party can move back toward the center, and eliminate the need to pander to the far right in order to win elections. There’s no question that the GOP became vulnerable to demagoguery, around the time Bill Clinton parked the Democrat’s trailer in the middle of the Republican Party’s front yard. Yes, the Clintons are as much to blame for Trump as the “basket of deplorables” are. At some point Democrats are going to have to admit that the door swings both ways and that the Clintons have played no small part in shaping the ugly, partisan nature of today’s politics.
If the Democratic Party can muster up the courage to kick the Clintons to the curb, the political climate in this country just might start to improve.
QUICK TAKE I
Time for a Change
Topic: OSU Football
JT Barrett isn’t a bad guy. He’s a good college QB. Unfortunately, good isn’t sufficient at Ohio State. The inherent promise in football is that every job is up for grabs. You earn your starting job each week. It doesn’t matter how many games you’ve started, and when you really scrutinize JT Barrett’s career you have to ask, what has he really done? Since impressively taking the helm as a redshirt freshman, JT has shown us he is more concerned with proving critics wrong, then he is with winning games. That’s why he’s holding onto the ball too long, and forcing poorly thrown footballs into tight coverage. He wants to show NFL scouts he can stand in the pocket.
This has been happening for a while. JT made bad decisions in a loss to Penn State last year, and performed terribly against Clemson in the College Football Playoffs. Ohio State’s defense has managed to protect the team from other lackluster performances.
There’s no way to coach a player out of having rabbit ears. JT’s allowing criticism to influence his play, and that’s hurting the rest of the team. That’s not starting QB material, and it’s unfair to the rest of the team to leave JT in as a starter.
QUICK TAKE II
Hey Ginther, what about Hilltop?
Topic: West Side development
Mayor Ginther is immersing his administration into neighborhood development, but it’s difficult to tell if he’s willing to listen to the actual residents, or if he’s going to default to the Area Commissions. The Hilltop area is replete with many problems that exist because the Greater Hilltop Area Commission is too large, and corrupt to properly address concerns on the West Side. It would make sense to parcel the area off into smaller areas, forming three or four smaller commissions that represent smaller geographic areas. This would put the westside in line with other parts of the city.
GHAC is problematic because there are people on the commission who don’t have the best interests of the westside at heart. Some members are slumlords, others harbor criminal enterprises in commercial properties. The commission itself doesn’t reflect an appropriate degree of diversity given the ethnic composition of the area, and yet Ginther seems ready to allow the worst commission in the city to have a say in how resources are allocated in Columbus most desperate neighborhoods.
GHAC doesn’t even seem willing to acknowledge the existence of smaller neighborhoods in the Hilltop Area. They seem committed to a “One Hilltop” concept that reinforces the unmanageable nature of the area. If GHAC would encourage and embrace the development of more localized Civic/Neighborhood associations, and provide those organizations with seats on the commission in order to delegate responsibility, and better serve the overall area, it would be different, but GHAC sees these smaller organizations as a threat to its solvency.
Hopefully Mayor Ginther reviews the performance of Area Commissions. GHAC has spent years insulating itself from the Community it is supposed to serve.