Sunday, May 10, 2015

Where's Hillary?

Hillary has been making some of the right (actually, left) noises lately, but it's hard to tell what connection there is between what she says, what she will do when elected, and what she actually believes (which probably doesn't much matter.)  If nothing else, the Clintons have been consummate politicians, defined as saying and doing whatever is likely to bring the greatest political advantage.

When Bill's pollsters told him that American voters had swallowed Reagan's "welfare queen" routine hook, line, and sinker, Bill decided it would be advantageous to "end welfare as we know it." Sadly, though, just satisfying voters is not nearly enough to guarantee political advantage.  Bill also signed on to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which freed the big banks first to loot and then to collapse the American economy.  Political expediency does not, by any means, guarantee good outcomes.

Can we use Bill as a guide to how Hillary might act if she becomes president?  No, not if we expect her to do the kinds of things her husband did (pandering to the so-called "centrists" as a "New Democrat.")  On the other hand, I think it is entirely reasonable to expect that she will do and/or say whatever seems most likely to ensure her victory in the Fall — and then, as president, do or say whatever seems likely to ensure her re-election.

Big money is bigger than ever.  Can we believe anything politicians say, ever?  I'm with most of America on that, and the consensus opinion is negative.  On the other hand, if she feels it is necessary to commit herself to some more progressive positions, she just might feel obliged to carry through.

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