As I clear out the News Chum, some political news chum. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m settled on being a Hillary supporter. Is she perfect? By no means. In some ways, I feel like PJ O’Roarke (a conservative commentor) on his “ringing” endorsment of Hillary on last week’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me:
“I am endorsing Hillary, and all her lies and all her empty promises,” O’Rourke continued. “It’s the second-worst thing that can happen to this country, but she’s way behind in second place. She’s wrong about absolutely everything, but she’s wrong within normal parameters.”
Of course, being a Hillary supporter can be dangerous. On my Facebook feeds, I found a wonderful article about that danger. It noted how, if you come out about supporting Hillary, you’ll often be attacked by the rabid Bernie supporters, and be barraged about all sorts of lies about Hillary’s character. What they forget is this: despite all the wishing by Bernie supporters and the various machinations attempted (getting California Republicans to reregister and vote for Bernie; gaming Superdelegates), it is mathematically highly unlikely that Bernie will get the nomination; he is also way behind in the total number of votes against Hillary. The article about the danger of being a Hillary supporter had this great quote:
Hillary is not a perfect candidate. There are many valid criticisms of her, and she has certainly made mistakes in her 30-year political career. I don’t regard her as a pinnacle of political purity. In fact, I disagree with her on several issues. I agree with many people that we need campaign finance reform, and I see the hypocrisy in her calling for campaign finance reform while simultaneously benefiting from the current law. But to me, the presidency encompasses so much more than the mechanics of a campaign, and Hillary Clinton’s approach to policy aligns with my own more closely than any other candidate. I believe she is by far the most qualified candidate in either field to lead this country, and my support for her isn’t all about pragmatism — believe it or not, she inspires me. She has been attacked and knocked down and had her name dragged through the mud by Republicans for decades, and she is still standing, still fighting. I admire her resilience, her capacity for compromise, and her toughness. I support her with joy and without apology.
I’ve heard people question how it’s possible that Clinton is winning the election when you hear so little from her supporters online. One reason your Facebook feed isn’t brimming with glowing pro-Clinton posts is because when you say nice things about Hillary Clinton online, you will face a barrage of ridicule and spite from purer, more “progressive” liberals. If you know you’re undoubtedly going to be taken to task over posting a video clip that inspired you, you may think twice about sharing it. Sometimes I don’t feel like playing defense with multiple people in the comment section who are attacking my integrity. It’s exhausting.
For me — and I’ll emphasize this for me — she is the only candidate out there with deep experience in foreign policy at the national level, deep experience in running an executive department of the federal government and in interacting with other federal departments, deep experience in working with Congress and testifying before Congress. She has seen firsthand what it takes to head national interests, and how to work those through Congress. This is a level of experience that neither Donald, Bernie, or Gary have.
But, you say, the email server incident. Here’s an interesting article on that from the LA Times. The article notes:
Most legal experts, including a number of former federal prosecutors, believe that Clinton faces little risk of being prosecuted for using the private email system to conduct official business when she served as secretary of State.
Using a private email system was not banned at the time, her supporters note, and other senior government officials also have used personal email to transact official business.
The primary question is whether Clinton or her aides distributed classified material in email systems that fell outside the department’s secure classified system.
Even if prosecutors determine that she did, the chances that she will be found criminally liable are low, experts say. Federal law makes it a crime only if someone knowingly or willfully retains classified information, handles it in a grossly negligent manner or passes it along to someone not entitled to see it.
Clinton: Well, first, I always believe that military force should be the choice of last resort, not the first choice at all. And I, as secretary of State, advocated for what I call smart power. And part of that was to elevate the role of diplomacy and development after what had been the eight prior years of much heavier emphasis on military solutions to all of the challenges that we faced.
I’ve asked this before on Facebook, and only one person read it right and took up me on the challenge: instead of telling me why Hillary is bad, tell me why your candidate is better. Specifically, tell me policy areas where your candidate has a better policy proposal, and compare and contrast it with the opposition with respect to their policy in that area. Tell me the assessment of whether that policy proposal is achievable — both whether it could get through Congress and the cost estimates for the proposal on the Federal Budget — and the impact of those costs. Let’s focus on a positive, policy-based, discussion.