Interesting perspective. Excerpt on Hillary:
Hillary's record as First Lady, alone, tells you all you need to know. From Vital Voices, which spurred women in politics internationally, to the Children's Health Insurance Program, The Adoption and Safe Families Act (1997), The Department of Justice's Violence Against Women office, the Foster Care Independence bill, and of course the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in China in 1995 -- she has led the struggle. This is a remarkable story.
Yet, throughout the 90s, as First Lady, Hillary was routinely attacked for her leadership, because she was a woman, pushing her unelected weight around, as they saw it, and the men hated it. They branded her a socialist for her health care push, which she doggedly dragged forward, taking on big pharma and the health insurance industry. How dare she? They sued over her even being involved as First Lady. And so began a now decades-long smear campaign to discredit and disempower her, with not a single finding of wrong doing, despite millions spent on special prosecutors and investigations.
And on Bernie:
He's been a lone-wolf his whole life, crying the beautiful call of economic justice from the woods of Vermont and the Senate floor. But this is not a winner-take-all election. This is not a theoretical government. His campaign is all theory and no plan. That is a recipe for conflict: the wrong kind of conflict. Obama got a lot done, despite the ferocious racists rebuke, because he was smart, not angry. Wise, not adversarial.
My latest Blade column takes a historical view of how public policy is changed. We must honor the struggle, not avoid the work by indulging in magical thinking. Here's an excerpt:
Chez Pazienza of The Daily Banter put it well: "If You're Liberal and You Think Hillary Clinton Is Corrupt and Untrustworthy, You're Rewarding 25 Years of GOP Smears." Bernie Sanders has yet to face the brutal assaults of the GOP war machine in the way Secretary Clinton has for decades. Indeed, the Republicans want Sanders to get the nomination.
Brett Arends of MarketWatch compiled a list of the terrible things Hillary is accused of doing. My favorites are #12, "Unnamed and unverifiable sources have told Peggy Noonan things about the Clintons that are simply too terrible to repeat," and #44, "She's really ambitious and calculating, unlike all the other people running for president." Bob Woodward says Hillary is too loud. Really? Has he heard Senator Sanders? Susan Sarandon slams Hillary for not endorsing marriage equality until 2013. Is Sarandon aware of the global LGBT rights initiative Hillary launched in December 2011?
Sanders opposed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 on states' rights grounds. He endorsed marriage equality in 2009; but in 1982 he described marriage as "a lifelong commitment between husband and wife." Granted, that was typical for the time. Few gay activists then focused on marriage. In 1981, AIDS had hit American cities, and D.C.'s first attempt to repeal its sodomy law was blocked by Congress. That was the year I came out to my family. I didn't have my first argument with a politician on same-sex marriage until 1994, fifteen years before D.C. enacted marriage equality.
D.C.'s marriage equality victory resulted not from revolution but from strategizing, researching, organizing, drafting, negotiating, messaging, and electioneering. It required careful preparation, coalition building, and long-cultivated relationships with public officials. It ripened via sustained work that began long before the final bill was written.
Those seeking change must honor the struggle, not just the result.
Donald Trump with an upper-class British accent. More on this from Jeff Guo at WaPo.
This is fun. It just goes to show you that also-rans can have their uses.
Actress Susan Sarandon slammed Hillary's record on gay rights. She overlooked her launch of a global LGBT initiative in December 2011 as Secretary of State in Geneva:
EPIC FAIL: Elite Media Furiously Spin Defeat of Their Anti-Hillary Agenda in Iowa via @BlueNationRev HILLARY won... A WIN is a WIN! GO . HRC— Donna Ysland (@52fairway) February 2, 2016
The relentless demonizing of this accomplished woman has failed. The haters will continue to spew their venom on social media; but at some point the voices of traditional media need to face reality. They don't have to like it, just recognize that once again, she is still standing. Her endurance and resilience, in fact, are key job skills.
From four years ago, an extraordinary and illuminating tribute to our former Secretary of State. You may learn things you didn't know from this. And if you have bought into the decades of calumny, you may decide you have sold her short. Appropriate viewing on the eve of the Iowa caucuses.
Chris Wallace is not going to be bullied by Raphael, who is sinking fast, and Wallace sticks it to Jeb, who promises to dispense with legal niceties in our warmaking. Rubio got applause just by promising not to walk offstage. Clever of SNL to hack into Fox, but which one was Darrell Hammond playing?
A rare moment of humanity was seen from Donald Trump last night in response to a jab at "New York values" by Ted Cruz.
The president soared last night, a fact that was all the more clear as Republicans, trapped in their refusal to give him credit or respect for anything ever, sat on their hands. He outclassed his detractors by so far it was embarrassing, and showed he was the grownup in the room. Here are excerpts.
"Will we respond to the changes of our time with fear, turning inward as a nation, and turning against each other as a people? Or will we face the future with confidence in who we are, what we stand for, and the incredible things we can do together?"
"Some of the only people in America who are going to work the same job, in the same place, with a health and retirement package, for 30 years, are sitting in this chamber."
"Food Stamp recipients didn’t cause the financial crisis; recklessness on Wall Street did."
"Sixty years ago, when the Russians beat us into space, we didn’t deny Sputnik was up there. We didn’t argue about the science, or shrink our research and development budget. We built a space program almost overnight, and twelve years later, we were walking on the moon."
With all due respect to Mr. Trump (none), I am not concerned about people flooding across the U.S.-Morocco border. It is instructive that his people could not find a suitably dramatic video of Mexicans rushing across our border in large numbers (since it isn't happening). Naturally, Trump's campaign staff isn't even embarrassed at this. The more of this recklessness Trump indulges, the more he advertises the limits of his appeal.
Thank you, Ambassador.
My year-in-review column went online today at the Blade. My summary blurb is "Historic progress met the usual backlash." Here's an excerpt:
"Set the motherfucker on fire!" That recent call by a Donald Trump rally goer concerning a black protester, with another attendee yelling "Sieg heil," illustrates the viciousness fueling Trump's presidential campaign. If you take this lightly, Google "lynching." It is not just that what happened in Europe in the last century could happen here; what happened here could happen again. Trump's incitements, and those of his rivals, do not just pander to intolerance, they spray gasoline on the fire.
Hate-spewing demagogues were not the year's only newsmakers, but they produced its most dangerous legacy. The demons they unleashed cannot easily be tamed. But the haters cannot win the general election unless the rest of us allow it. Before we head back into battle, let us review some positive developments of 2015, though with cautionary notes.
The landmark victory for nationwide marriage equality in Obergefell v. Hodges, which President Obama celebrated by lighting the White House north front in rainbow colors, inspired opponents to switch tactics by pushing "religious freedom" laws (better dubbed "religious supremacy") to continue their anti-gay attacks. The Equality Act represented a new approach to LGBT anti-discrimination legislation, but stood no chance in a Republican-controlled Congress. Openly gay Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson and several colleagues launched the smart, well-designed Campaign Zero policy website.
The decency of Bernie Sanders shines through.