I had never been enthusiastic about Hillary Clinton, but my indifference was not a very big deal. I just thought she was a little “too ambitious” without pinning down what that meant. My opinions have changed, however, and I see some purpose to her ambition. Also, I think she deserves credit for what she has accomplished.
I still had not been a big Hillary supporter. Republicans warn that she will extend the Obama years as if the last thing we want is four more years of economic growth, declining unemployment, and greater access to health care, among other things. Hillary Clinton is more likely to bring back more of the Bill Clinton years, which would be a more troublesome outcome. Both Bill and Hillary Clinton have been a little too close to the rightward-shifted center than to a truly progressive agenda.
But I would still vote for her. The plain and simple fact is today ANY Democrat is better than ANY Republican — and if you disagree you are, at best, lost in a long forgotten past. However, my turn to being a Hillary Clinton defender is more subtle. I would be voting for Hillary Clinton this year regardless and easily justify doing so without jumping up and down about it. However, I simply don’t understand the Hillary hate. Even supposedly thoughtful and informed people — pundits, politicians, my smart friends — roll their eyes when talking about Clinton. Nearly every single endorsement of Clinton is couched in some form of self-serving excuse as if there are or should be better choices. Well, guess what…there are not better choices and the one we have is pretty damn good!
I tweeted Julie Mason, a talker some people might consider informed and thoughtful, after I caught her caught up in the anti-Hillary hysteria. (Those who want to hang with the cool kids still need to posture.) I asked exactly what is it about Hillary Clinto that makes her a so-called “bad candidate”. Look at Julie’s response. In my opinion, her answer is pretty lame. It is also common. Take a look.
My follow up question might be to ask as compared to who?? This is one of those big LOL moments. Does Julie Mason believe every politician is a Barack Obama? Come, on Julie! What does that mean? It is this sort of weak reply that should cause eyes to roll and should not be excused at face value. What the hell is “overly careful” and can you give an example? How is it bad?
Perhaps the most laughable here is the idea that Hillary Clinton is not inspiring. On the contrary, I watched the DNC convention and it seemed to me that Hillary was indeed inspiring. You didn’t see many delegates at the GOP convention weeping joyfully for the nomination of a smart and capable female candidate, for example.
No core values? Just because Republicans have chosen to make the battle with Hillary Clinton a personal one does not mean she has not consistently stood behind a clear set of principles. She might be Democrat-lite, but she’s left of center. She certainly is not a pushover.
I’m guessing “pander bear” is a cute way of acknowledging that Hillary Clinton is a politician. And presume also that being a politician in today’s America is a bad thing. Although when you take a look at the anti-panderer on the other side — the self-anointed anti-establishment guy — things look pretty damn scary. Responding to change should be regarded as a strong quality, not a weak one. (NB Clinton’s changed position on same-sex marriage.)
Dishonest? Fearful? Paranoid? I’d ask anyone flinging those allegations to explain herself. Republicans have struggled — as a part of an open political strategy — to ruin Clinton in hearings over Benghazi, email, and so forth. It began with Travelgate and Whitewater. Remember? The personal attacks have not let up. Yet, after literally millions of dollars and countless hours wasted on these fruitless pursuits, there still is nothing there.
But the slurs have stuck, even among those who should know better. We have thoughtful people thoughtlessly lamenting the “bad candidate” every time they mention Hillary Clinton even though she is one of the best-qualified persons to run for president ever. Yeah, maybe her personality doesn’t feel chummy and she might be an awkward speaker, but if we were looking for chummy colorful characters to be president we would be electing Billy Carters not Jimmy Carters.
This ain’t no beauty pageant. And it isn’t a reality TV show. This is an election for the most important job we entrust to one person. Shouldn’t we be respectful of the qualities that will serve that position well?
Of course, Julie Mason is not alone. I am picking on her because her succinct tweet so simply captures the lazy criticism of Hillary Clinton that is everywhere today. Almost no discussion of the election can begin without first saying how flawed and hated the two major candidates are. It is absurd.
Hillary Clinton is not without flaws and deserves criticism. However, I would argue that she has responded to the cricitism she has recieved well and has been strong despite it. She has adapted well. Let’s move on. Let’s focus instead on why she is where she is today and why that makes her a very respectable choice for President of the United States.