Fact-free hyperbole like suggesting the Clintons have never done anything for the middle class and never kept any progressive promises is the type of hysterical extremism that makes it easy to tune out the left, to the detriment of the country. For some reason, some have a very difficult time making nuanced statements that acknowledge the Clintons’ liberalism while also pointing out their mistakes and stating that Hillary, like all politicians, should be pushed to do more.
This kind of irrational blather is typical of the right, but progressives apparently want to be just as silly and embarrassing. Repealing Glass-Stegall was a major mistake that Hillary should be pushed to reverse. The lack of effective regulatory controls to protect workers from the excesses of free trade is also something liberals should be pushing for.
But I’m going to partake in the selective memory of progressives who like the igmore the progressive compromises and outright victories of the first Clinton administration. DADT was a progressive incremental change that allowed gays not to be thrown out of the military completely based on rumors and innuendo. Ditto DOMA, which prevented a federal marriage amendment which then have veto-proof support in the Senate. The State Children’s Health Insurance Program was the biggest expansion of healthcare between Medicare and Obamacare. Clinton lost Congress in 1994 because he raised taxes on the rich; the deciding sacrificial vote was cast by Marjorie Margoles-Mezvinsky, their future son-in-law’s mother. Under pressure from her conservative distruct, Margoles was planning to vote against that budget until the Clintons intervened. She lost her seat because of it and the Democrats lost Congress, but the country and progressives gained: that budget ushered in the longest era of uninterrupted prosperity in US history, one that lifted millions out of poverty. And we’re supposed to pooh-pooh the Clintons because they aren’t perfect? Pfft.
Hillary brokered the Israel-Hamas ceasefire that prevented a 2nd Gaza War and saw peace between the two during her tenure. She was responsible for making women’s and gay rights official US international humanitarian policy. She created the State Dept initiatives to 1) include energy independence in the US national security portfolio and to 2) combat digital terrorism, recognizing Bush admin neglect. She presciently warned Republicans that cutting funds for embassy security would put diplomats at risk.
As a private lawyer, Hillary chaired the American Bar Association group that instituted gender bias reforms in the profession. As First Lady of the US, she was the force behind worldwide women’s rights efforts, expansion of poor children’s health insurance, and adoption reform to give unwanted kids homes.
As a Senator, she fought the Bush tax cuts for the rich. As First Lady of Arkansas, Hillary made it the first state to embrace early childhood education. She got Congress to triple the budget of Legal Services to aid the poor when she ran the program, successfully fighting Reagan’s attempts to cut it.
No one to Hillary’s right or left has worked harder for the vulnerable. Does she have flaws? Yes, she’s human. She is also the best candidate progressives have had in a while, but maybe you have to be a real progressive to notice.
Hillary’s angry critics have nothing besides bitter negativity, paranoid scandalmongering, and doom-and-gloom pessimism. She says she wants to connect directly with everyday Americans, to ensure economic recovery does not leave the poor and middle class behind, and to protect equality for all regardless of race, gender, orientation, or belief. If she keeps looking forward like this, America will elect her.