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Is Hillary Clinton ‘Honest’? (A Response to Kristof)


#1

Is Hillary Clinton ‘Honest’? (A Response to Kristof)

Robert Parry

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has offered a curious defense of Hillary Clinton’s “honesty,” refuting the public’s widespread view that she is a liar by narrowly defining what it means to be “honest” and arguing that she is less dishonest than she is a calculating and corner-cutting politician.


#2

And is her newfound "opposition" to the TPP "honest"? I seriously doubt it. She'll drop that the minute she thinks she no longer needs to win over voters. So even Kristof is wrong. She lies about her policy positions too ...


#3

I am reminded of ex Prime Minister Jean Chretien up here in Canada when he ran against Mulroney and the Tories.

NAFTA was being negotiated and there tremendous public opposition to it for many of the reasons that were later born out in that it was Corporate friendly and would lead to the erosion of wages in Canada. In the campaign leading to the election Mr Chretien claimed that the Liberals, on taking power, would tear the thing up as it was a bad agreement.

They took power and the Liberal Policy position changed. It was suddenly a "good deal" and signed into law.

There another thing these two parties like to do up here in Canada and especially for a contentious bill or one where the House does not have a majority. The party in opposition will get the sense of Public sentiment and if they feel they can gain points will rail against an impending bill coming before the House. It becomes clear that the bill might well be defeated due to that opposition when they really want it passed. On the day it comes up for a vote members of this given party are suddenly out of town or on vacation, or business elsewhere or have "pressing issues at home" so do not show up for the vote. The bill passes and they all proclaim they did their part in opposing it .


#4

To approach the subject of honesty, and what's honest in media, one has to expose the fact that in the U.S.A today, the President presides over an oligarchic state where special interests (i.e. powerfully entrenched corporate interests including Big Media, the big banks, and the MIC) run the agenda.

Thus, the focus on Hillary's purported honesty or lack of same is really trivia.

Here is the interview:

The most vital info is at the 16 minute point and the 24-28 minute points:


#5

Everything you describe is also represented here in the U.S.

I hope you watch the interview I linked below. If you're pressed for time, tune in at the 24 minute mark. Paul Craig Roberts nails the relationship between foreign policy and special interests.


#6

Yes, I think that is a primary component of the "untrustworthy" tag -- no one believes that she'll do what she says she'll do. I suspect even people who support her feel the same way, but shrug it off as politics as usual.


#8

Many authors both left and right make the "mistake" of referring to intentional acts of criminality as mistakes. Using a position of power to authorize or otherwise facilitate crimes against humanity is a criminal act, not merely a mistake.

"The little people" are charged with crimes not mistakes. Journalists should spend more precious print ferreting out the crimes of the powerful, instead of opining about their "mistakes".


#9

Yes, it is politics as usual, except for Bernie. So her supporters are right about the first part, but lose it when they can't see past that to Bernie's almost unique honesty ...


#10

That she doesn't learn from her mistakes - at least not publicly- and the fact that there never seem to be bad consequences to her personally makes her a dangerously reckless leader. That she follows Nuttyyahoo's advice on all matters and wants him in the WH with her is a sign that she is unhinged from her American constituency. Americans increasingly do not want to be engaged in bloody Imperial wars and interference and illegal coups of democratically elected leaders or support the Apartheid govt.of Israel. We see that all of this is leading to a refugee crisis and Increasing the power of ISIS and deaths of human rights and environmental rights leaders - as well as ordinary citizens. Hillary is as dirty as they get. She is everything I used to hate about the Rethuglicans - greedy, selfish, believe in fracking and dirty oil and the trickle on down theory of all the lesser peaons. She doesn't even want $15 per hour. She has Nothing to offer the average citizen and she is not going to be good for the environment. She is a fricking fracker!


#11

That is precisely what Bill Clinton did, he opposed NAFTA during his campaign, and one of the first things he did after he was elected was sigh NAFTA.


#17

A big reason many people don't trust HRC is that her positions on issues are not based on any principled beliefs but on political expediency. It's obvious from the timing of when she flip-flops on her views. But what she says is always nunced; she is also careful to leave herself an out.


#18

Thanks for great link.


#19

Take the time to listen to this interview in full.


#20

[quote="Miner, post:14, topic:21564, full:true"]

"The difference between Democrats and Republicans is that Democrats like Obama lie about what they are going to do. Republicans lie about the effect of what they are going to do will have in reality, These types of lies are designed for different kinds of brains. The "fact check" process is designed to correct the Republican kind of lies, not the Democrat kind of lies."

I think this post is quite astute and it's always refreshing when a poster doesn't sound like the same CANNED cloned comments.


#21

You're welcome. There's a very strong consensus around the issue of economic collapse and it's surprising that it comes from diverse corners... even a Hopi Indian prophecy. One could say that the economic collapse pales in comparison with the pending ecological one... as the oceans grow acidic, the fracking operations tear at the crust of the earth opening up old fault lines, and the heat in the atmosphere fuels incredibly violent storms, etc. Add it the FACT that the "ring of fire" is now lit with lots of formerly dormant volcanoes letting off more than just steam.


#22

Arrogance as only a white male can deliver it.

What makes you think I--the one who added the link--has not listened to it, genius?


#23

Sr11, please stop taking some things so personal. I listened to it, first the time frames you suggested, then the whole 35mins. I found it to be very informative. I was merely suggesting that folks listen to it. Probably would have been better if I had not done so as a reply to you. What makes you think I am a white male?


#25

On the matter of "mistakes". There's a wonderful film from the 1980s called "The Verdict", starring Paul Newman, written by David Mamet and directed by Sidney Lumet. It features Newman as a washed-up alcoholic lawyer who is handed a surefire big money case involving negligence by doctors at a Church-affiliated hospital in Boston. His clients are a hardscrabble working class couple from Southie. He is offered a substantial settlement from the Archdiocese, in effect to cover up the case. He refuses the offer, convinced that the wrongdoing should be exposed, and his clients are entitled to a much larger judgement. His clients confront him in the courthouse, furious that he turned down what to them was an offer of a fortune. When informed of Newman's belief that he can get justice for the victim (the wife's sister who is in a permanent coma), the husband delivers one of the most profound and stunning statements I've ever heard in a movie: "You guys are all the same - doctors, lawyers, you're all the same. It's always 'what I'm gonna do for you', then you fuck up, and people like us have to live with your mistakes the rest of our lives".

Yeah, Hillary. And Obama too: Go see the movie. And think about it. And all you people who think that Hillary just made a "mistake" when she voted to invade Iraq. And Libya. You think about it too.


#27

The Supremely Court infamously decided to condemn corruption only if an official gets caught being paid in exchange for a favor - quid pro quo. To which most of us would say, ‘That is too hair-splitting for me; real life political corruption is more circuitous, more devious. Outside a court room, in the voting booth, we rely on common sense to tell us when someone does not pass the smell test.’ Similarly, Clinton would like us to apply an equally stringent and low standard to the question of ‘personal honesty’. Sorry, Hillary, from your bank speeches to your family foundation, you do not pass the smell test.


#28

Honesty, unlike beauty or even character, is not in the eye of the beholder. It can be determined by comparing one's writings and utterances with what is universally accepted as true.

In the case of HC there is a long history of assertions that are at odds with reality. She was caught in lies early in her career by her supervisor at the Senate committee investigating the Watergate crimes. Most recently, her initial statements about her use of a private computer server for her work as a public servant have been proven false. Confronted with discrepancies, the candidate tends to rationalize or express annoyance or indignation, usually signs of a guilty conscience. Honest mistakes are easy to acknowledge. Honest people almost always acknowledge theirs.

The determination of a person's intent is impossible, absent the ability to read minds. But this does not mean a conclusion about someone's veracity cannot be made. Evidence accumulates over time, and over time we can justly conclude, beyond a reasonable doubt, that someone is a liar. In making an important decision, like who should be president, we shouldn't allow political affiliation a place in our verdict about truthfulness or its absence. Honesty transcends left wing or right wing or centrist interest. A candidate who lacks the quality is unfit to serve the public. The dishonest tend to serve only themselves.

The most refreshing aspect of Senator Sanders is that his word can be trusted. That used to be a primary qualification for the job. It no longer is.