Hillary Clinton: Pro vs. Con





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  • Benjamin Schwab

    “Will keep healthcare reform, saving countless lives.”

    I think these can indeed be counted. Before the Affordable Care Act, 45,000 people died each year due to lack of adequate healthcare. Being generous I’ll estimate 2/3 of these people will now not die (after all only a single payer healthcare system would provide universal coverage). This means that the Affordable Care Act would save the lives of 30,000 people each year give or take several thousand.

    This is far from a trivial number and is a positive improvement if true. Time will tell what the long term impacts of this health reform will be. True, the health care reform that a President Clinton would keep is modeled after the Republican alternative to what she proposed as first lady in 1993 leading to questions of Secretary Clinton’s judgment in terms of policy and it will require another reform in a few decades but people not dying is a good thing. Also, as long as liberals keep voting for conservative Democrats there will never again be a healthcare reform whose main purpose is something other than shoveling money at health insurance companies. That’s just a bonus!

    “Supported Iraq war, dooming countless lives.”

    I think that these can also be counted. Two sources, MIT and PLOS give estimates of between 400,000 and 650,000 casualties of war in the first three years and between 48,000 and 751,000 in the first 8 years. Also more than 3.5 million people have lost their homes because of the warMIT. Taking the total death toll at 400,000, which ignores the fact the people are still dying as a result of the US invasion, it would take 13 years before the Affordable Care act would save more lives than the US invasion cost.

    Being generous to Hillary Clinton and only taking her support for keeping the Affordable Care Act and the Iraq war into account (ignoring such things as the war in Lybia) it will be close to see if this healthcare reform will end up saving more lives than the Iraqi war cost by the time our healthcare system is reformed yet again. This also ignores those made homeless by the war. Are those lives counted as “doomed?”

    “Now flaying the rainbow flag/sponsored a bill to ban burning the U.S. flag”

    All these things do is the highlight that Hillary Clinton is a consummate politician. I don’t object to this outright but if anyone thinks that a President Clinton is going to be firm on principles there are plenty of examples to prove otherwise. Not everbody is convinced that a President Clinton will be a steadfast supporter of queer folk. I think she’ll end up being slightly positive on the issue compared to the current political mean but I also suspect that her tone will change drastically once she begins the general election campaign in earnest. The flag burning bill is just meaningless except to highlight that she is a consummate politician. She is the same when it comes to queer folk. Neither of these tidbits I would say is a reason to support or oppose her candidacy.

    “Vows to fight economic inequality…/…partly caused by her husband deregulating Wall Street.”

    Don’t forget her vote for TARP! Not only did President Bill Clinton deregulate Wall Street, Will Street is lining up to back a Hillary Clinton presidential run. I’ll once again be charitable to the Secretary because Wall Street would throw money at anyone who they think has a good chance of winning. That’s just good business. On the other hand there has recently been a Democratic President who fostered an image of getting tough on Wall Street while wanting to be their best friends. We all know how well an Obama administration is doing fighting economic inequality and a Clinton administration is sure to be better. Stock market is souring though. Something’s working.

    “Friends with Bono./Friends with Kissinger.”

    You left one out. Clinton has stated that Hosni Mubarak (and his wife) are ”friends of her family.” This was while she was Secretary of State. This is during the time that several of the practices of the Egyption regime were publicly known such as torture of prisoners. This was after the war on terror tactic of the US sending some of their prisoners to Egypt so that they can be tortured had become an issue. Sure Egypt was an ally on the war on terror and were on relatively good terms with Isreal but Secretary Clinton while acting as our nation’s top diplomat considered someone who maintained power through torture a family friend.

    This is who some of you are considering voting for president. As I’ve said above, Secretary Clinton has few to no principles and is willing to personally buddy up to people like President Mubarak even after their crimes against humanity have come to light while exercising foreign policy. This is the judgment that she will use as president. This is as dangerous a person in the White House as was George Walker Bush. At-least Secretary Clinton is doing the bold thing by being friends with a liberal rock musician who is also on good terms with Orrin Hatch

    “Would prevent total destruction of the Supreme Court./Can’t do much about Scalia.”

    Ahh yes. The ultimate in Democratic hack fear mongering. A Democratic president will appoint slightly less conservative judges then a Republican president. Never mind the fact that a Regan appointee in Justice O’Connor provided all those key votes on abortion or another Regan appointee in Justice Kennedy who is so critical to liberals today. Sure we won’t get another Scalia or Thomas or Alito or Roberts while there is a Democrat in the White House but as long as liberals vote for people like Clinton there will never be another Warren or Black or Marshall or White no matter which party is in the White House. I thank you for this reality.

    “Would be first Woman President./Hard sell in a country that can’t even put a woman host on a major late-night TV show.”

    In my completely inexpert opinion, more people will vote for Hillary Clinton because she is a woman then won’t vote for her because she is a woman. Overall I don’t think these votes will make a difference. If Hillary Clinton loses it will be because of everything else of which there is no shortage of both legitimate an illegitimate reasons. I don’t think there has ever been a realistic presidential candidate in my life (born 1984) which has more already established about them 18 months before the election.

    Also, saying this as a man which probably means I shouldn’t, I don’t know how much of a victory electing a woman president who wouldn’t have been elected if she didn’t marry the right husband would be. It would still be a victory but a mixed one. There are other woman in prominent positions in the Democratic Party like Nancy Pelosi, Kathleen Sebelius, Dianne Feinstein, or (the most entertaining) Debbie Wasserman Schultz who would make better woman presidents and would be more of a victory for woman’s rights.

    “She’s the only realistic choice.”

    I guess we can stop here as for some of you at-least this is the only argument that matters (also it is the last point or two). There is no doubt that some of you will vote for anyone with a “D” next to her or his name and that’s going to be Hillary Clinton. This goes for those of you who favored Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in 2008. So if Secretary Clinton becomes president several of you will support someone more conservative than the current president with all the fervor that you can muster.

    This is an administration that while talking a-lot about economic inequality hasn’t done a lick about it while the stock market is booming and the economy is working very well for his best friends (those that can write the largest checks). The 2008 “peace” president who, as promised in 2008, expanded the war in Afghanistan and the Drone War not to mention a good old fashioned Kosovo like booming of Libya. The administration that hasn’t given us immigration reform, repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, regulations to prevent another Deep Water Horizon or Freedom Industries, or card check. A Clinton administration is going to do better, I’m sure.

    As long as liberals will continue to vote for conservatives the public policy of this nation will continue to shift rightward. Voting for another president Clinton in 2016 may mean that we won’t have another president Bush but it will mean that the next time a Democrat reforms healthcare in 20 years or so it will yet again be another reform whose main goal is to send money to health insurance companies with just enough reforms to get liberals to cheer it as a major achievement. If you actually want to get universal health care coverage in the US, the last thing you want to do is to vote for Hillary Clinton for President. You’re not going to get improvements to our healthcare system in the next decade no matter who you vote for but who you vote for now has large impacts on what the next healthcare reform will be. Unless Democrats fear losing liberal votes, they have no reason to be liberal. This is especially true for consummate politicians.

    • A. C. Fenderson

      Re “countless lives”: You didn’t count them; you only *estimated* them.

  • ThorstenV

    Think I’l just keep on being unrealistic. Even as unrealistic as trying to convince folks about individual political questions by the sheer power of logical arguments, one at a time.

  • A Toomim

    I went to a Clinton rally, last week. As a middle-aged, liberal, woman, it should have been easy to seal the deal with me. I went in worried about Hillary’s stance on fracking but ready to give her a chance to persuade me. Instead, she simultaneously mocked and misrepresented single-payer healthcare. ARGHHH!

    Why would any Democratic candidate think that it is a good idea to mock single-payer to a room full of Democratic primary voters? Is she trying to help Bernie Sanders?

    Maybe she’s trying to make this race more competitive so that Democrats will get some attention. I don’t know. But so much of what she said on so many issues made me want to go with Bernie.

    I went into that rally wanting to be persuaded. Instead, the whole thing just re-enforced the words of Will Rogers:

    “I’m not a member of an organized political party. I’m a Democrat.”

  • Nate Gross

    Well, scalia’s dead now, so that’s irrelevant, and we now have a major female late night host, Samantha Bee, who’s awesome, so that’s checked off.

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-syndicated political cartoonist whose work has appeared in The Progressive, The Nation, Daily Kos, Austin Chronicle, NPR, Ms., Politico, and many other publications. The recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, she tweets at @JenSorensen.

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