Thursday, May 22, 2008

I used To Love Her But It's All Over Now

I don't want to offend my blogging friends who still are supporting Hillary. I understand their reasons for wanting a female President. I understand their nostalgia for the good old days of the Clinton Presidency. I also understand their passion for her as a woman who stands in as a representative for all the crap these women have had to deal with all their working lives--especially if these women are married and have children. Along with facing discrimination in the work place, these passionate democratic women have had to do must of the heavy lifting at home as well. They see Hillary as one of them. And it isn't mere projection--Hillary went to law school, married, had a child, was a helpmate for Bill in achieving his ambitions all the way to the White House. No doubt her life was not easy. She was not, like Bush or madam McCain, born into incredible wealth, so I'm sure she has faced some of the difficulties of average working married mothers. But not so much anymore. And the baggage she so famously has had rummaged through by the "vast right wing conspiracy," is part of the problem for me. It is the baggage of her bad judgement and penchant for secrecy, her stubbornness, her unwillingness to admit mistakes and most troubling for me, her seeming inability so say, "I was wrong, I made a mistake, I'm sorry," that has led to my parting of the ways with her.

I was thrilled to have a First Lady who was going to give us single payer universal health care, like most of the rest of the industrialized, modern world. If they can do it, why can't we, I thought. Silly me. What Hillary ran up against was the lobbyists for the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, a republican majority in congress, and her own hubris. Don't forget that word hubris, it will come into play again and again. But for me, this was her first big test. She was offered help by some of the best and brightest titans in the congress--she had potential allies, but she blew them off, preferring to do it her way, in secrecy. First big mistake, first red flag of stubbornness and bad judgement. And when it failed, what did she learn? She learned the wrong lesson, to my way of thinking. She learned to cozy up to the the industries that defeated her.

I think this defeat taught her some other lessons as well, but from my point of view, these, too, were not the right conclusions for her to draw from that first horrendous failure. She withdrew into a more traditional First Lady role. She probably did have great political influence with her husband, behind the scenes, but she gave up too easily.

And while Bill got good at making deals with his republican congress, he gave too much away. He gave them Welfare Reform, that was more a kick in the pants to the poor and disenfranchised, and way too little in the way of jobs programs and educational help to retrain these citizens. He gave us NAFTA, and turned the states with a strong manufacturing base into the Rust Belt--Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, to name the most hard hit. This began a weakening of rights for the American labor force leading to the race to the bottom, in terms of job security, wages, benefits, and training. Many who lost jobs in this race for cheap labor, were older workers, workers for whom no amount of training would give them the chance to compete for work. Unions had been under attack since Reagan busted the Air Traffic Controller's Union. NAFTA, further weakened unions. But this isn't about Bill, until we get to Monica.

Bill seems to have always had a penchant for dalliances with powerless young women. He came into office with accusations of sexual abuse for a number of young women--Elizabeth Ward Gracen, Sally Perdue, Gennifer Flowers, and Paula Jones were among the many, but Paula had the nerve to file a sexual abuse suit. Vernon Jordan, Clinton's long time friend and close advisor, became his sex scandal fixer. The Jones suit was eventually settled for over $800,000.

If Bill and Hillary had agreed on an open marriage, that's their business, but for a couple with big political ambitions, that's a risky arrangement. Hillary was a fierce defender of her husband against the claims of these women. This makes her, in my opinion, an enabler. It also undercuts her feminist stance. Were these young and relatively powerless women not deserving of respect? There was every attempt made to discredit and trivialize them. Hillary was in the forefront of this campaign. She was Bill's biggest defender. And then came Monica.

This was a young woman working in the White House as an intern. We all know the details. We all heard and saw Bill say the words we will always associate with him and that lead to charges of perjury. "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." He was convicted of perjury and impeached in the House, but not the Senate. Everything about this episode in Hillary's relationship with her philandering, lying husband smacks of expedience and deal making. Still, it's their marriage. It would have been so much better for all of us if Bill had simply said, "It's none of your business. It's our marriage," but he didn't. They circled the wagons and tried to tough it out. I can understand their staying together until his second term was over, but why not divorce and go their separate ways once the White House years were over. She was a woman with plenty of credentials to keep her working and keep her ambitions for her own political career alive. In my opinion she'd be a lot stronger without Bill. But those were her choices, not mine. However her choices have made her seem inauthentic, and a woman willing to make deals with the devil to achieve her political ambitions.

Her Senate run put her on the trajectory for a bid for the White House. But her vote to authorize the Iraq war disqualified her in my eyes. She did not give that vote due diligence--she passed on reading the classified intelligence reports. This alone makes her unfit to be President or Vice President. She went along with the crowd, she acted cowardly in trying to look strong. Whatever respect I ever had for her evaporated in that instant. She was trying to look tough, instead she looked cowardly. It takes courage to stand up to power gone amuck. Her judgement is flawed. I've seen that over and over throughout her public life. She makes a mistake, and instead of admitting her mistake, she takes the cowards way out and tries to justify and rationalize her actions. Throughout this bid for the presidency she has tailored her face and voice for her audience. She has become so many Hillarys in so many different places and settings, I no longer know if there is an authentic person underneath all the disguises.

She is too ambitious to ever tell us what we need to know, if it isn't what we want to hear. She had mismanaged her first go at health care reform and used very poor judgement first time on that big stage. She has mismanaged her own campaign, it's direction, it's long term objectives and strategy, it's fiscal health. She has offered shot term help on gas prices that had not a snowballs chance in hell of getting implemented and offered little help to those desperate for long term solutions to our energy problems. She has pandered at every opportunity.

And so, though I once wanted to love her, wanted to believe she would fight for us, I have come to see her cozy up to lobbyists of every stripe, to vote against us in favor of helping George W. Bush plunge us into a war that had absolutely nothing to do with the "War On Terror," make us less safe, has bankrupted us, killed thousand of our soldiers, ruined a once lovely country, killed maimed and plunged into poverty and dislocation the citizens of Iraq, and destabilized the entire Middle East.

My affection for her has turned into an antipathy that has nothing at all to do with my desire to have a female President, and everything to do with Hillary. It is not Hillary the woman I dislike, it is Hillary the deal maker, Hillary the panderer, Hillary the liar. Hillary the woman willing to ruin the democratic party to satisfy her own political ambitions I have come to loathe.


DivaJood said...

"He was convicted of perjury and impeached in the House, but not the Senate."

The way it works is the House votes to Impeach, it is tried in the Senate with the Supreme Court hearing the case.

That said, I still maintain that if they could Impeach Bill over lying about Monica Lewinsky, they sure as shit ought to have Impeached Bush, and Cheney, over lying about Iraq.

Liberality said...

May I respectfully suggest you read a blogger that I consider to be excellent for his analysis of the fall of our country? You can find him at The Existentialist Cowboy. He analysizes how Reagan began dismantling our democracy and the results of "trickle down theory".

Given what Bill Clinton inherited from Reagan/Bush I think he did a hell of a fine job as president. He was not perfect by any means and some stuff he did, NAFTA, just pissed me off but you have to look at it in context: considering the odds against him it's a wonder he was able to accomplish anything at all.

As far as Hillary goes, her failure to get health care reform passed can be blamed on many things, including her inexperience. And about her marriage to Bill, well that's none of my business. It should have been none of the republican's business either but they love to preach morality while they secretly diddle the babysitter/maid/child. They are hypocrites of the first order!
Well, that's about as much arguement as you'll get from me. Consider it bloggy love or something ;-D

Utah Savage said...

How right you are Diva. I am obviously no constitutional historian and one very lazy researcher. I rely too much on my readers to inform me of the mistakes and correct the record. Thank you.

I sign every petition that comes my way for impeachment of these to criminals, starting with Cheney first. I'm furious with Pelosi for taking it off the table.

an average patriot said...

That was right on Utah!
Hillary's problems have nothing to do with sex as far as I am concerned. Billary are using the sexism moniker for their gain and I don't like it. I don't hear Obama crying about his ism!
My complaints about her is her willingness to exaggerate then when caught say gee I misremembered! The truths she is hiding about her and Bills exploits since entering political service. I guess those are all Politicians problems.
I don't like her tenacity at Democrats expense thus the countries just for their inflated egos.
I do feel for her and the screwing she has taking because of Bill's sexual indiscretions. All guy are not like that. Some of us are one women men but I guess we are not Politicians.
Anyway I think if he gets the chance Obama will unite us and fis the ills of Bill, Bush, and all the rest of them. He will reinstate the Constitution and the real role of the Government.
Obama is already calling out the Lobbyists and as a result McCain is starting to dump them but he can't hide from his record as he likes to say about Obama. i think Obama is the best person for us left standing now we just have to keep him alive!

Utah Savage said...

Lib, you are the blogger I feared hurting, your gentle correction is kind and I thank you for that. None of this is meant to hurt Hillary's supporters. I understand your feelings, and I know you understand mine. I did very well during the Clinton years, but I don't really attribute my financial windfall to bill, so much as the advertising industry waking up to the fact that boomers had money are were the most populous generation. I hope there are no hard feelings, Lib, since I have great respect for you and your position.

Naj said...

"Stubbornness" in a politician is the first sign that they do not belong in the helm of a democracy.

I am hearing the word "fight" coming out of her teeth these days, and she is striking me as a woman who is living to just "fight" and prove a point.

who are we kidding, as women we ALL have had to "fight" to open up our place in a society male-rendered unsuitable for us; but to "fight" all the time, for the sake of "fighting" and making sacred the notion that fighting is an honorable deed to do to "win"--god knows what ...

I think the English language needs to use more nuanced words than "fight" ...
fight death
fight floods
fight democratically
fight to win

"she is a fighter" ... and that is a good thing?! When will word achieve peace if "fighters" are the winners all the time?

Utah Savage said...

Naj, Never, is the answer to your question. She is fighting to defeat, divide, gain more power, look tough. But mostly, now, she is fighting to raise funds like a corrupt televangelist to pay herself back the money she had to loan herself because she so badly mismanaged her campaign. She has a judgement problem.

Stella said...

It would have been so much better for all of us if Bill had simply said, "It's none of your business. It's our marriage,

YES, YES, YES, Utah. Bill's prevaricating was what started the entire mess with the Rethuglicans and Ken Starr. Anyway, I don't know why women stay with men who cheat on them. They are, thankfully, in a different world than me.

I was appalled when Clinton capitulated to the Rethuglican Congress and signed NAFTA. Now he's hanging out with Daddy Bush, and I've read enough about Hillary to know she is ruthlessly, politically ambitious. But then, that characterizes most politicians. It's a filthy business.

I also don't want to offend Hillary supporters. So, to be fair, I know she did a lot of pro bono work when she was young, she worked as an political activist (2002)—the good kind.

Sure, I like Obama and would vote for him, but I wonder if Hillary, like Obama, is playing politics during the election and might revert to the positive activist she once was. I'm still considering asking for a write-in ballot and vote for Kucinich. He won't win, but my conscience will.

There's a pile of research to do between now and November. I'm all for dissent, as long as it's civil, with one exception of course.

Ghost Dansing said...

i know it doesn't look like it right now, but i think an Obama-Clinton ticket is in the cards.....



enigma4ever said...

I don't know what will happen....but I know as a woman, and some one that I thought I knew and respected this has been an awful year...your post was spot on...and I am sure in some ways hard to write...but it was written with great clarity...good for you for being honest about what has been revealed to us as voters...I think many of us used to think highly of them a long time ago..but now we know more than we did then....

( btw I did leave you a comment back over at Watergate Summer...thanks)

have a good rest of the day...

enigma4ever said...

( just to backtrack for a second- I dont know them other than watching the Nineties and reading all of their books- and now I know apparently that was not enough...)

Madam Z said...

You know what really makes me shudder? It happens when I see Bill and Hillary lovingly embracing, for the cameras. I have a feeling that they both have to suppress a gag reflex to accomplish the act. I doubt if they ever touch one another, when they're alone. But, like you say, that's none of our business!

What IS our business is to try to get the smartest and least corrupt of the current candidates elected. Yes, I'm talking about Obama. I figure that the person whom Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Michael Savage hate the most is the person I love the most.

Stella said...

What ghostdansing said. I, too, think we're in for an Obama/Clinton ticket. And it may be the ticket to beat McCain/Lieberman. Just my gut feelings.

Fran said...

I was never so much a Hill fan, but I had such hope when there was a democratic majority @ mid term elections. Finally, I thought, there will be an end to this rogue disaster @ the helm. I too shared such disappointment when our other "gal", we had such hope in, Pelosi pulled the table out from under us.
I always felt that even if they could not get a majority of votes to go through with impeachment, that it was historically important that our system of check & balances kick in & at least put it on the table. Have people formally vote on if they were for or against the lawless, high crime Bush regime.
Put it in the public record.
Those hopes were dashed, and each time both the House and congress wielded the approved stamp for more & more billions.... the spinelessness of Congress became too obvious. Even recently when the house crafted 3 versions of a response, I can'g get excited about their refusal to approve bush's request for billions, how many times have we seen bush veto all proposals until he gets the version he wants? Besides-- just NOW they get it together to try to do something-- just before the November elections they begin to find their spines?
Amongst those spineless, do-nothing members is Ms. Clinton, her votes change whichever way the wind blows & seem to be based on what is popular at the time. She was alos quick to approve teh Kyl -Lieberman bill which basically said yes to war with Iran.
Had she learned nothing from the quick to answer & slow to ask questions disasterous result of the Iraq illegal occupation?
Clearly not, or she would never have been so quick to approve. In the midst of her campaign, the question was asked what would happen if iran invaded/attacked Israel & her answer was "to obliterate them".
Got war on your mind Hillary?

I'm voting for the guy who says he's willing to talk before any war or aggression comes to pass.

Hillary is too far right of center for me. Her style seems more aligned with that of John McCain. Maybe she can be his VP?

As for me --I ain't gonna study war no more, and I can't support any candidate that is hawkish or lacking in spine.

Nan said...

Nicely said. I started off supporting her, but the combination of hubris, apparent sense of entitlement, and incompetence drove me away. It's hard to believe she could run the country when she couldn't run a campaign. The fact they had no game plan for the post-super Tuesday time period because they failed to consider she might not get handed the nomination on a platter floored me. That demonstrated a complete lack of imagination.

The close association with sleazeball Mark Penn sure didn't gain her any points with me either. I don't see how she can claim to be for labor and/or working folks when she's so cozy with a man who specializes in union busting.

Robert Rouse said...

Savage, I completely understand where you are coming from. I used to have the utmost respect for the Clintons - especially Bill. But as I wrote in a pst about two months ago, "Isn't it ironic that Bill's mouth has caused him to lose more respect than Monica's mouth ever did?"

By the way, I'm adding you to my blogroll at Left of Centrist.

Big Yellow Forehead said...

There are so many problems with the current administration. Where to begin? How about choosing someone to lead this country who will not carry on the Bush "legacy" of fear tactics and foreign policy dementia? Once we get him off the ballot, why not select someone who will not lie, er, "misremember" documented events, use the cop-out "it's because I'm a woman" argument, and basically be a big biotch?

Obama '08!

Blueberry said...

I used a song title for one of my "I've had it with the Clintons" posts awhile back. I called it "Gone, Gone Gone, Done Me Wrong" (Everly Brothers, Plant/Krauss).

If she would run her administration like she has run her campaign, then she is surely incompetent. Crooks, liars, double-dealers, back-stabbers, evil bedfellows, no control over the budget, no exit strategy for the fight.

I think she has planted a poison pill in this nomination run, if they don't put her on the ticket, the Republicans will end up winning because her hard-cores will go so far as leaving the party on her behalf. This has already been happening for awhile. There can be healing, but I think much of the damage is done and won't heal in time for November.

I don't like it, but I think Obama/Clinton is what will happen, and that will be a winner.

They always mix up the tickets anyway with two people very different from each other to bring in more folks. (Gore/Lieberman anyone?).

Utah Savage said...

She has pledged to campaign and unite the party one the nominee has been decided. What does she bring to the ticket except all her problems and that includes Bill. If I were Obama in this scenario, I be watching my back and getting a food taster. I think Jim Webb brings much more to the ticket than Hillary. He has the military creds and trumps McCain's bullshit hero status.

If Bill and Hillary don't get behind our candidate with all their enthusiasm and energy they can withdraw into the oblivion they will deserve. If they campaign and work to unite the party, Hillary can probably pick her job--so long as it isn't veep.

goatman said...

Now you've done it. I now have that song running through my head and I cannot remember who did it. Beatles?
Rubber Soul album perhaps. Can't remember, brain is ossifying.
Thanks for your comments on my blog. I try to visit the commenters rather than answer on my blog. Like you left bread crumbs and I follow to say hi. We live near Columbia Missouri; I think Southwest Mo State is in Warrensburg which is west of here.

I mean to get a copy of Lolita in Tehran sometime. I have heard it made reference to many times.
Yup its your Naj. She has given me a lot of information on Iran and seems to be very well educated although a bit political on her blog, Which is okay too. I doubt a woman in Iran can hope to escape the politics of that country.
We had much fun a few years back camping near Lake Powell in the south of your state. I hear that it's beginning to look like a bathtub now with a large ring around on the cliffs as the water is used up. I still want to canoe down the lake to the dam once but that will be another time in another year.
Hey . . . 63 isn't old!!
Best to ya.

Utah Savage said...

It's a Bobby Womac Song that was covered by The Rolling Stones in 1964

D.K. Raed said...

Hah! I was just gonna tell Goatman it was Rolling Stones, but you went even further back, UT S.

Lake Powell is currently as high was it was in 2003, but still only about 1/2 as much water volume as 10-yrs ago. We will be draining more after SW UT builds a pipeline to LPowell in the next few yrs. Sheesh, we are so unenvironmental down here, we don't even have a recycling plant.

Just checking in, UT S. Great post and comment thread. Hillary lost my good will after the health ins debacle & never regained it, except when I briefly felt sorry for her during Bill's impeachment.

Utah Savage said...

Goatman, Southwest Missouri State is in Springfield.

Stella said...


Utah, you were right about Hellary all along. Can any of you believe her comment on Friday?