Monday, October 31, 2016

On hating Hillary


Can "the left" please get clear on what we have against Hillary Clinton? It probably doesn't matter -- as "the left" we're pretty puny. But as objects among the targets of the right wing noise machine, sometimes articulate ones, we might matter a little during the coming Clinton presidency.

So it wouldn't hurt to do a practice run by deconstructing our reaction to James Comey's vacuous disclosure of something indistinct about emails involving Anthny Weiner, Huma Abedin, and the prospective president. It seems to have come about because an FBI director knew the wingers in his department would blow it open if he didn't speak up and then Republicans would beat up on him. Comey's a self-seeking coward apparently. This is significant to us? Really now!

Substantively, it's hard to imagine we, "the left," give a shit. I mean come on, this axis is just tabloid gossip fodder (consensual fodder, unlike Mr. Trump's sexual assaults on women within his reach).

And we have no need to jump in with the media firestorm. In any Hillary Clinton media pile on, we can be tempted to participate -- hey, we the ignored get to spend a few minutes on the side of the noise machine. How satisfying ... and the right will offer endless opportunities during a Clinton presidency.

That's more bullshit. Unlike the right, we don't hate Hillary Clinton for being an uppity woman whose life has been about desacralizing the works of that loathsome old huckster Ronald Reagan. (Good oped by Susan Faludi on this point.)

We don't hate Hillary Clinton because she is "crooked." Like most all people who enjoy privilege at whatever level, she is almost certainly guilty of bending and warping the rules for her personal and family benefit. (Not of course on the scale of Mr. Trump, but that goes without saying.) In this, she's just normal in a society in which we're taught it is every person for themselves. Law constrains most people at least somewhat, including Clintons. We think it should constrain everyone equally, don't we?

Unlike the right, we don't hate Clinton for her domestic policies. She could always be better. But if she has her druthers (likely she won't) she'd implement measures that materially benefit poor women of all races and ethnicities. That should matter. And, perhaps even more than Mr. Obama whose own race has forced him to keep his head down, she'll be open to pressure from communities of color on justice issues because these communities will have elected her. She needs to defend immigrants in any way she can within the law. That's not a reason to hate her.

A wiser left would largely avoid hating politicians at all. They do what they do in response to incentives we should seek to understand - and to influence. Some of them may seem congenial human beings and many do not, but that is just how it is.

We will be properly and intensely critical of Clinton because 1) unless constrained, she'll bend toward the interests of financiers and corporations that gouge ordinary people and 2) she's historically a war hawk, inclined toward military adventures in the face of increasing imperial impotence. "Jail the bankers!" and "No more wars" are slogans for "the left." "Crooked Hillary" and "Jail the bitch" are the calls of people who are as much our enemies as Clinton's enemies.

Let's try to remember that, lest a Hillary Clinton presidency confuse we, "the left," about who we are.

So we don't have to hate Hillary. Spewing Clinton-hate is the right's tactic. And we certainly don't have to adopt right wing memes as we respond to another President Clinton.

2 comments:

Hattie said...

Excellent analysis. I liked the Faludi piece, too. She is so right about "King Ronnie." Californians like me knew exactly what he stood for. All my relatives were on board with him. I know their values quite well. They believed the world belonged to them. Any questioning of that premise would throw them into a rage. Well, they are all dead now, except for one.

amspirnational said...

This fake left "hating the Clintons is a right wing conspiracy" spiel is a crock.
You need go no further than Christopher Hitchens (before he turned neocon) who wrote many columns and a book on the treachery of the Clintons.
As far as actually supporting her as the lesser of the evils, a bigger crock.
She is complicit in murdering Khadaffi, and glorying in it, her orgiastic glee available to witness on You Tube. Of course Libya is rent by anarchial jihad bloodletting since, with thousands flowing into Europe.
If you forgive Clinton and ridicule Stein or other alternative party voting, which you have in these posts, you might as well forgive Bush's WMD lies and immoral warmongering in Iraq.
"Lesser of the evil" voting on economics, sure, but not on murder. And Clinton wants to do the same thing on Assad.
Your references in another post to the futility of alternative party voting as escapist idealism is fine, providing you then advocate sitting the presidential election out and voting only other slates. But voting for a sociopathic war criminal who vows to do more?
Inexcusable.

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