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Hillary Rodham Clinton (donkeyHotey)

Some Questions for Hillary Clinton Supporters

John Atcheson

1.) Why is Wall Street Giving her Money?

Since Sanders made it an issue, Ms. Clinton has repeatedly said she would be tough on Wall Street and the big banks. If that’s the case, why have they given her so much money?

Are we to believe these savvy, bottom line types aren’t looking for a return on their investment?

Her defense has been to challenge Sanders to give one example of how the money has influenced her vote. Well, we have at least one. Elizabeth Warren documented how Hillary shifted positions on a key provision protecting consumers and students (while providing a giant give-a-way to the ultra rich) when she went to the Senate.

It’s worth noting Hillary’s “prove it” argument is identical to the one conservatives use to justify Citizen’s United.

Here’s a few more related questions for you. Could the banks and Wall Street believe she’s only saying what she thinks the people want to hear? Do they have assurances – beyond her track record – that she’s on their side? Which brings us to …

2.) Why is she so unwilling to share what she said to the big banks in her multi-million dollar talks?

This issue has hurt her as much as anything throughout the campaign, and yet it is the easiest one to put behind her. If she’s telling the truth, if she has nothing to hide, why doesn’t she simply release them?

3.) Why is she on record championing the repeal of Glass-Stegall, among other regulations?

About the best Clinton could do when challenged for being too cozy with Wall Street was to claim that she told them to “cut it out,” in her words. The facts tell a different story.

4.) If she understands how big a mistake her Iraq vote was, why does she continue to advocate regime change without examining what happens the next day?

She’s doubled down on what is essentially a neocon foreign policy with her positions on Honduras, Libya, and Syria. Her belligerent approach to foreign policy is closer to that of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney than it is to Obama’s. Do you want to run the risk of perpetual war? Which brings us to …

5.) Can you really be “Ready on Day One” if you got most things wrong and haven’t learned from it?

She got Iraq and foreign policy wrong. She got trade policy wrong. She go deregulation wrong. But these aren’t the only area she’s demonstrated poor judgment. For example, her decision to use a private email server was simply foolish, and risky to boot. Whether or not her emails broke the law, they risked exposing the intimate details of how the US made decisions at the highest levels, and that, in the end, is far more compromising than the issue of whether one or more items were classified.

6.) Do you want to risk having a Republican win the Presidency?

Hillary is an extremely vulnerable candidate in the general election for two reasons.

First, in polling she doesn’t do as well in head-to-head races against Republicans and Sanders does, and that’s been true for months, now. In fact, she loses to Kasich, while Sanders beats him handily. She’s been a toss-up against Cruz, and if the convention deadlocks, Republicans will try to nominate a more electable candidate, in which case, Democrats are in serious trouble if Hillary gets the nomination.

Second, Ms. Clinton is weak in each of the most important factors in gauging electability -- the ratio of favorable to unfavorable ratings, her “likability”, and a candidate’s perceived trustworthiness. These determine how vulnerable a candidate might be to attack adds and how successful they might be in attracting new voters.

Hillary Clinton is the least liked and has the worst favorability ratio of all candidates except Trump. And her trustworthiness has been below even his, on most polling.

So she’s unlikely to be able to expand her support to independents and true progressives. And this means a low turnout, which typically means a disaster for Democrats.

But it gets worse. She has a track record of ludicrous statements that play directly into the trust issue. For example, her absurd contention that she was “fired upon” by snipers while landing in Bosnia – a claim she reiterated several times even after tapes showed her and her daughter being greeted by a child with flowers on the tarmac. Or there’s her statement about being “broke” when leaving the White House, in a clumsy attempt to show her empathy with the poor. With the prospect of a seven figure book deal and those now infamous speaking gigs for Wall Street in the offing, this was patently – if not pathetically – false. Imagine what a well-funded Republican campaign could do with a record like this on a candidate like Clinton. Frightening!

It’s worth noting that Sanders has the highest trust, likeability, and favorability ratings of any candidate in the race, Republican or Democrat.

And while much has been made about Clinton getting some 2 million more votes than Sanders, most of them came from the South – which has not played a part in electing a Democratic president since Carter. And no, it’s not racist to say that. It’s simply acknowledging that the South hasn’t gone Democratic since then.

Finally, do you honestly think that what this country needs right now is incremental change?

C’mon. You know we are in a crisis. Elections and candidates are bought and sold like cattle, the middle class is disappearing, our infrastructure is collapsing, our climate is on the way to creating the biggest disaster humanity has ever known, and all Ms. Clinton has to offer is “deals.” And as for Ms. Clinton’s contention that she can work with Republicans, do you really believe that Mitch McConnell and crew will suddenly turn conciliatory?

Sanders is right. It will take a political revolution to deal with the challenges we face. It will take a candidate who attracts new voters; one who uses the Bully pulpit and people power to confront the Oligarchy and the political establishment that has created this mess. The neoliberal economic consensus and the militaristic neocon foreign policy Ms. Clinton espouses amounts to putting trim tabs on sinking ship.

And in your heart, you know it.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
John Atcheson

John Atcheson

John Atcheson, 1948-2020, was a long-time Common Dreams contributor, climate activist and author of, "A Being Darkly Wise, and a book on our fractured political landscape entitled, "WTF, America? How the US Went Off the Rails and How to Get It Back On Track". Follow him on Twitter @john_atcheson. John was tragically killed in a California car accident in January 2020.

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