Friday, June 5, 2015

My One Remaining Question for HRC

It is obvious that Hillary Clinton has put a lot of thought into the roll-out of her presidential campaign. And so far, she's hitting all the right notes. With her bold speech about voting rights this week, she adds to an impressive array of issues she's covered so far.

Immigration Reform
In perhaps the strongest remarks on immigration of her entire career, Hillary Clinton vowed Tuesday evening to “do everything I possibly can” to help immigrants – including going beyond President Obama’s executive actions to extend deportation relief to undocumented immigrants.

“We can’t wait any longer for a path to full equal citizenship,” Clinton declared during a roundtable meeting with young, undocumented immigrants at a high school here.

Clinton distinguished herself from Republicans on the issue and made a personal appeal for reform. “This is where I differ from everybody on the Republican side,” she said. “Make no mistake. Today, not a single Republican candidate – announced or potential — is clearly and consistently supporting a path to citizenship. Not one.”

Republicans who do support comprehensive reform typically favor a pathway to legal status, but Clinton said anything short of full citizenship is “code for second-class status.”
Criminal Justice Reform
In a powerful speech Wednesday on the “hard truths about race and justice,” Hillary Clinton called for ending the “era of mass incarceration” and getting every police officer to wear body cameras...

While Clinton has spoken out about criminal justice in recent months, and this week wrote an essay calling for reform, her Wednesday speech suggested criminal justice reform will be a priority of her campaign. It’s a dramatic break from the legacy of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, who adopted a tough-on-crime mentality. And it’s an embrace of a new bipartisan movement for reform, which also has strong support among liberal Democrats.
Campaign Finance Reform
Hillary Clinton made a surprising move this week. It wasn't running for president — she'd already set the stage for that — but embracing the idea of a constitutional amendment to restrict or eliminate big money in politics.

The notion of amending the Constitution this way has been discussed, literally for decades. But Clinton is joining a new, if small, chorus of prominent politicians who are talking it up.

"We need to fix our dysfunctional political system and get unaccounted money out of it, once and for all, even if that takes a constitutional amendment," she said to a gathering at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa.
Climate Change
In the meeting with about 40 to 50 state legislators, held at the offices of the state Democratic Party in a residential area near the capital here, Clinton said the country government must do “whatever it takes” to convince Americans climate change is real.

Clinton reiterated her support for President Obama’s executive actions on carbon emissions, and suggested she might be open to more.

“I give Obama and the EPA enormous credit for going as far as he can go as a president using executive and regulatory action,” she said, according to pool reporter Annie Karni of Politico. “We have to actually convince more Americans that this is in their interest. You know, whatever it takes. I happen to think it’s a real threat.
Voting Rights
Hillary Clinton is already leaning into the ever-simmering battle over voting. Her Democratic allies are preparing to wage a national legal battle against GOP state-level voting restrictions, and she is calling for a national 20-day early voting period.

But now, Clinton is rolling out another proposal in her push for an expansion of voting access: In a speech in Texas that is underway right now, she is calling for universal, automatic voter registration.
While Clinton hasn't specifically laid out an economic agenda yet, she is sending a very strong message about where she's heading. First of all, with statements like this.
There’s something wrong when CEOs make 300 times more than the typical worker. There’s something wrong when American workers keep getting more productive, as they have, and as I just saw a few minutes ago is very possible because of education and skills training, but that productivity is not matched in their paychecks. And there’s something wrong when hedge fund managers pay lower tax rates than nurses or the truckers that I saw on I-80 as I was driving here over the last two days.
And secondly, by hiring someone like Gary Gensler to work on her campaign.
This is, for Wall Street skeptics, a huge deal: Gensler is the kind of regulator a President Elizabeth Warren would be expected to pick, not a President Clinton. But if Clinton is going to pick the kinds of regulators Warren was going to pick, then the difference between them isn't as large as many thought.
Watching all this unfold, it's clear to me that Clinton has a plan and is not going to let the media derail that with their trumped-up "drama." Of course she'll talk more to journalists over the next year. But for now, she is avoiding them in order to stay on the offense about her agenda rather than get swamped with playing defense to theirs.

As someone who came into all this as a skeptic about Hillary Clinton, I can say that I'm impresed. But I have one remaining question for her to address: foreign policy. Since she has admitted her error, I am prepared to forgive her for giving George W. Bush a "go-ahead" on invading Iraq. But we all know by now that she argued in favor of engagement in Syria's civil war and has, at best, been lukewarm about the Obama administration's negotiations with Iran.

Given the unrest that continues in the Middle East, I hope to hear reassurances from Clinton that she will not chose military engagement as her first option when/if things escalate. I'd also feel a bit more comfortable if she would show some willingness to occasionally challenge Israeli PM Netanyahu - as President Obama has done. Ultimately, I'd be thrilled if she embraced a truly feminist foreign policy.

But overall I say...so far, so good Hillary.

8 comments:

  1. For all that good stuff she says now, I'd want to know why it's not just shit that sounds good to say - what in her past performance so much as SUGGESTS she's either capable or interested in achieving any of those things.

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    1. Thank You! I'm not falling for the propaganda some are pushing to elect Billary without having her EARN the nomination first. I don't trust her or her overrated husband.

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    2. Tammy - "Billary" is sexist. I don't mind if you disagree with what I've written. But please don't use that term here. Thanks.

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  2. That's were the country is on those issues, it would be dumb for her not to. She's better than any republican.

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  3. I just can't take it on faith that she's going to change her tune from being a neocon to someone who will follow through with the kind of diplomatic advances made by President Obama.

    Hiring Gensler might be the result of that private meeting she had with Elizabeth Warren a few months ago. Elizabeth may have said she'd stop undermining Hillary in exchange for some concessions and adjustments in rhetoric and a couple hires.

    Then there's the whole Wall Street thing. Hillary is their candidate, through and through. She says she won't roll back Dodd Frank, but Wall Street probably thinks otherwise. I remember seeing a video once where Elizabeth Warren said Hillary treats Wall Street like her constituency.

    I'm going to pay less attention to what Hillary says and plenty of attention to what she does. Her actions will speak much more loudly than her words.

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    1. How about the fact that Hillary hired Maya Harris as her top policy adviser? One of my liberal African American friends just pointed this out to me as her reason for being optimistic about Hillary.

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    2. I'm willing to give her credit if she actually learns from her mistakes last time with regard to how to run a campaign. She seems to have hired a much better campaign manager than last time. Time will tell. It's one thing to run on policy statements; it's another to run on accomplishments.

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  4. My big thing is the ACA. There is no doubt in my mind that President Hillary Clinton will fight to the last man standing to defend and strengthen it, and that last man will be a woman - her. Obama has done many great things, but this is his most important accomplishment, finally making progress on healthcare in this country. With the process moving, the inertia is finally on the side of a permanent solution, and there is no doubt Hillary Clinton will advance that goal while in office. I'm looking forward to the day when no member of the richest country on the planet is denied their health.

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