Thursday, March 10, 2016

Untrustworthy Hillary

Hillary's bogus criticisms of Sanders undermine her credibility.  A few examples:
  • She claims that she supported the auto industry and Bernie didn't.  In fact, she was referring to TARP (a Wall Street bailout).
  • She claims that the Koch brothers support Sanders.
These claims don't pass the smell test.  I support Sanders because I like his policy proposals.  Hillary also impressed me by seeming to embrace similar proposals. but the longer this campaign goes on, the more I am noticing that she is, in fact, trying to trick us.  She is out of touch with reality if she thinks she can credibly outflank Bernie from the left.

There is a fundamental dishonesty at the heart of Hillary's campaign.  She is a centrist Democrat in the mold of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, pretending to be anti-Wall Street.  She is in favor of working with sympathetic elements on Wall Street and in the business community.  Clinton and Obama have had some successes with this approach.  The Clinton and Sanders administrations have relied on Wall Street from Robert Rubin, Clinton's Secretary of the Treasury and former Goldman Sachs and Citigroup chair, to Jack Lew, the current Secretary of the Treasury, and former COO at Citigroup.   This is a legacy she could honestly run on, but she's attempting the opposite.

In my opinion, the financial deregulation that Robert Rubin engineered in the late 1990s was a really, really bad idea.  This fact is more or less universally acknowledged, but not something that the Clinton team has come to terms with.  Bernie's campaign is pressing this issue in a similar manner to the way the Trump campaign is pressing the folly of the Iraq War in Republican discourse.

For Hillary to run an honest campaign, she would have to promote her ties to Wall Street as an advantage, something the electorate does not agree with.  Or else, she would have to repudiate much of her legacy with the Clinton and Obama adminstrations which would undermine her Democratic base of support.  She's in a no-win situation.

Kevin Drum makes the point that Hillary has been subject to decades of abuse, and, perhaps as a result, is not very direct in communicating her stance on the issues.  But there are good reasons that straightforward communications do not come easily at this point in her career.  


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