Thought for the Day: February 6, 2016

Thirty five years of one step forward, two steps back is enough for me. It’s time to mount a counteroffensive. “So long as our candidate is pro-choice and supports same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization that’s good enough” isn’t good enough for me.  I’m sick of perpetual war.  I’m sick of policies which advantage capital over labor and result in decent jobs getting shipped overseas.  I’m sick of politicians who brush off the environmental destruction we’re wreaked for the past 100+ years.  All those meat and potatoes liberal declarations that Clinton has made since Sanders has challenged her? I firmly believe that she will walk them all back once she takes office. That’s where I’m coming from. I’ve had enough.


The other day Paul Krugman wrote,

“If you didn’t see something heroic about [Hillary Clinton’s] performance in the Benghazi hearing, you’re missing something essential.”

There was nothing heroic about Clinton’s performance at those hearings. She demonstrated she’s tough as nails and I’m glad she stood up to the panel of reactionary mouth breathers* who grilled her, but it was not a heroic act. Why not? Because she had nothing to lose by standing up to them.  You want an example of heroism in the face of Congressional inquisitors? Look at the people who got called before HUAC and told them to go pound sand rather than smear friends and former colleagues who’d done nothing wrong. People who told HUAC to go pound sand lost their livelihoods. In order to qualify as a hero you need to put your neck on the line. Clinton did right but she risked nothing doing what she did.

* Their buffoonery is actually beside the point.   They disgust me because they put on a show trial.  I don’t believe for an instant that any of Clinton’s inquisitors gave a shit about preventing another Benghazi-like incident.

Clintonism vs Rooseveltism

I did not listen to Hillary Clinton’s speech yesterday and have not yet digested the transcript.  (That’s on tap for this week.)  I have substantial reservations about Clinton.  I don’t hate her but she generates no enthusiasm.  My sense is that she represents a contemporary Rockefeller Republicanism – more socially-liberal than the original but still very Free Market friendly.  With respect to the latter, she appreciates that government can sand down some of market capitalism sharp edges.  Sure, but… “Meh.”  If the overall mood of the country were along the lines of Rockefeller or Eisenhower Republicanism then decent odds I’d go along with it – “Meh.” but you could certainly do much worse.   Unfortunately, the country has been infected by a virulent strain of JohnBircherism which has effectively killed off the nominally liberal Republicans within the party.  The extinction of liberal Republicans leaves that niche to the Democrats and we don’t fill it very well.

Continue reading