Her record as an advocate of Bill Clinton’s policies, her record as a US Senator, and her record as Secretary of State under Obama all bear testimony to her true political colors and philosophical leanings.
- She supported NAFTA. She supported federal mandatory minimum sentencing, supported Bill’s massive prison construction projects, and supported the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which allowed states to ban marriage equality.
- She pandered to the Jewish vote in New York with her votes to invade Iraq and for the fascist Patriot Act.
- She took political bribes from the big banks, Wall Street, Monsanto.
- As Secretary of State she laid the groundwork for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and until last month, considered it the “gold standard” of trade agreements.
- She was part of the ill fated decision making process that has the US murdering civilians in the Middle East with our outrageous CIA drone strikes, with the destabilizing of Libya and Syria, protecting Saudi Arabia and squandering billions of dollars in military expenditures and aid, all lining the pockets of US arms manufacturers and defense contractors.
- She proudly referred to herself as a “centrist” until “feeling the Bern.”
Now that Sanders has created a groundswell of support on the Democratic left, Hillary is redefining herself as a progressive and moving sharply left in her public pronouncements. She has come out against Keystone XL, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), in favor of some unspecified Wall Street “reform.”
Even so, the nomination of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic standard bearer and her election to the presidency would accomplish absolutely nothing in terms of enacting any of the progressive positions she now espouses, even if she has actually had a change of mind and is now a progressive at heart (a questionable proposition to most progressives).
That is because neither a President Clinton nor a President Sanders will be able to pursue a legislative agenda. While the Democrats will likely retake the US Senate, the House of Representatives will remain in the hands of Republicans. It will be four years of gridlock regardless of whom is elected.
The Republicans control the House because in 2010 they controlled enough statehouses to gerrymander congressional seats during reapportionment following the Census. The result is that more Republicans were sent to Washington as Members of Congress even though in the total vote for Congress, Democrats out polled Republicans.
Democrats won’t be able to undo the Republican gerrymandering until 2020.
The fight for the future of the political parties will be in the 2018 and 2020 campaigns.
If Democrats can re-take enough statehouses to redraw congressional districts fairly, the Republican Party will be finished as a national political party, and will be merely a regional right wing party, reduced to a few red states.
The Democratic Party will control both the House and the Senate until at least 2030, perhaps for a generation.
Which Democratic Party will show up for the 2020 elections? Will it be a tired and frustrated party attempting to defend an abysmal Clinton presidency? Will it be a party led by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren? Will it be an energized and dynamic party turning out to defeat a right wing incumbent?
The least successful scenario would be Democrats defending Clinton. It is difficult to envisage any such effort enthusing the Democratic rank-and-file to the degree necessary to impact state legislative races.
A Sanders presidency, however, would have been building toward a political revolution for his entire presidency, building constituencies far beyond those capable of being built by traditional Democratic operatives.
The likelihood, of course, is that Sanders will neither win the Democratic nomination nor be elected president. That is primarily due to the fact that almost the entire leadership of the Democratic Party is beholden to Wall Street, special interests, and has been bribed over the years by corporate interests and lobbyists. Sanders would end the the influence of such Democrats and end their careers.
Clinton and the establishment Democrats hope to appeal to progressives in the primaries and count on their unquestioned support in the general election, holding out the frightening prospect of a right wing Republican president as the reason to unify around Hillary.
The problem with that for progressives is that we will end up with Wall Street Democrats continuing to control the Democratic Party.
The Republicans and the Wall Street Democrats differ on social issues, but are in total agreement when it comes to capitalism and to corporate control of government.
In recent years Reagan, Pappy Bush, Clinton, W, and Obama all appointed industry lobbyists and executives to Departments and regulatory agencies that were responsible for overseeing the very industries the appointees came from.
There is a revolving door for bankers to go to Treasury, Big Ag hacks to be appointed to Agriculture and Interior, Wall Street insiders go to Commerce and Labor, Big Pharma lobbyists to the FDA, etc.
No matter who is president, corporate America runs the country.
Hillary Clinton will continue the policy of corporate control of government.
So what is the benefit to progressives of a President Hillary Clinton?
The argument that is compelling is that she would appoint better justices and judges than would a Republican.
But even that is hardly justification for throwing away the opportunity to turn the Democratic Party into a democratic socialist party.
With Wall Street Democrats like Hillary, the Democratic Party supports the death penalty. Opposes marijuana legalization. Opposes public financing of campaigns. Opposes GMO labeling.
With Sanders, the opposite will be true of the Democratic Party.
And that is exactly why progressives should work to defeat Hillary Clinton, both in the Democratic primaries and in the general election if she is nominated.
If Hillary and the establishment Democrats are defeated, Sanders, Warren, Grayson, and other true progressives will be able to lead the party into the future as a true leftist party.
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