Dissatisfaction with Hillary Clinton emerges


While the mainstream media has pretty much decided that Hillary Clinton will easily cruise to the Democratic nomination should she choose to run, which is looking increasingly likely, there are signs that the more progressive wing of the party is not yet ready to roll over and play dead.

The Hill reviewed hundreds of emails from a progressive members only Google group called the “Gamechanger Salon,” a forum where nearly 1,500 activists, strategists and journalists debate issues and craft messaging campaigns.

The group includes prominent Democrats, Sierra Club officials, journalists who work for The Huffington Post and The Nation magazine, senior union representatives, leaders at the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and the president of NARAL.

In the emails spanning over a year — starting in June 2013 through July of this year — frustration with Clinton is evident.

Clinton’s too much of a hawk, too cozy with Wall Street, hasn’t spoken out enough on climate change, and will be subject to personal questions and criticisms, members of the group stated in the emails.

Much of the exasperation with Clinton hinged on the former New York senator’s vote for the Iraq War, which is still toxic for many progressives. Clinton has since said her vote was a mistake.

Charles Lenchner, a progressive operative and executive director of Organizing 2.0, said Clinton — and anyone else who voted for the Iraq War — is “tainted.”

“And personally, I would like to see a Democratic Party where folks who enabled George Bush to drag the country into a permanent war are punished at the ballot box,” he said in an interview.

Ryan Clayton, a left-leaning commentator and strategist, wrote in a July 2013 email, “The more Progressives I talk to, the more people tell me that they’ll never forgive her for voting for the Iraq War… and won’t even vote for her in the general.”

Another area of irritation is the economic policies instituted by her husband, former President Clinton, that some progressives say contributed to the financial collapse. Lux, a former Clinton administration aide, wrote in an email that while he didn’t think she was involved in crafting economic policy as first lady, he’s concerned about her relationship with Wall Street.

There are a lot of quotes in the article from named people who really dislike what Clinton has done and what she stands for. I am not sure who leaked the emails from what was supposedly a private listserv but it was clearly someone who was concerned about her becoming the nominee. Whether that will slow her down remain to be seen. I can understand why she is favored by big moneyed interests because she embodies the worst elements of neo-liberal, warmongering, Wall Street pandering Democratic politics. What I am mystified by is her appeal to large numbers of ordinary people.

Comments

  1. funknjunk says

    I say it everywhere I comment. I will not vote for her. period. The Democrats think they can count on progressives as a sure voting bloc because we would NEVER vote for the other side, and who ELSE are ya’ gonna vote for, dirty hippy? well, I might vote for a Green, I might write-in, but I won’t vote for the status quo any more. They are at the very least, complicit in the ruination of the country politically and financially, and probably more accurately, actively and willingly participating in said ruination. If things need to get “much worse” before they change (a la Republican control, more conservative policy), so be it. North Carolina has seen that and has produced a movement the likes of which the rest of the country needs to create. Coalitions of people who have seen what it means to really have conservative ideology run the show. I say good. Apparently, ignorant of history, people need to see it again for themselves…..

  2. Mobius says

    I am less than thrilled by the thought of Hillary as president. However, that said, if she does get the Democrat nomination I will almost certainly vote for her because I can not envision the Republicans nominating someone I would ever consider voting for.

    A lesser of two evils thing.

  3. says

    right. And she has given NO indication her tenure wouldn’t be business as usual. There’s a MAJOR vector change needed, part of which is coming whether we like it or not…She (and the democratic party writ large ) are NOT up to that task. It might even be a better long term strategy to stand firm even if it means handing the WH over to the republicans this time around…And thankfully their mean spiritedness is also accompanied by breathtaking ineptitude, incompetence and inevitable internal backbiting plays for power.

  4. says

    Sorry for the 3 in a row, but this:

    there are 4 very important things to do to make your non-vote count:

    1. register to vote…they can’t know that you didn’t vote if you weren’t registered to do so
    2. make it clear WHY you didn’t vote in emails and petitions and even in comments on political or news blogs.
    3. make it clear that your vote is available when certain issues and decent candidates are put forth
    4. make it cleared that you will NOT be swayed by the lesser-of-two-evils argument

    I’ve done a 180 on this issue, and I’m still not 100% convinced or comfortable that I’m doing the right thing. But I don’t see ANY substantive changes on the most important issues happening under Clinton…I have other ‘theories’ as to why ‘letting’ the republicans take the highest office wouldn’t be as apocalyptic a scenario as one would imagine.

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    Clinton’s too much of a hawk, too cozy with Wall Street, hasn’t spoken out enough on climate change, and will be subject to personal questions …

    And even among the “progressives”, no Democrat has what it takes to mention her blind devotion to Israel.

    *sigh*

  6. says

    I am less than thrilled by the thought of Hillary as president. However, that said, if she does get the Democrat nomination I will almost certainly vote for her because I can not envision the Republicans nominating someone I would ever consider voting for.

    A lesser of two evils thing.

    And that’s why the Democrats will continue drifting further to the right.

  7. jws1 says

    So the progressive wing of the Democratic Party reveals itself to be anything but pragmatic- not voting for a centrist is the same as allowing the GOP to dominate the SCOTUS for most if not all of this century. Wonder how that would work out?

  8. jws1 says

    You can call it a cudgel all you want, if that makes you feel
    better. I call it the consequences of elections with far-reaching repercussions affecting all around it. Pragmatism will always be superior to partisan purity.

  9. Chiroptera says

    jws1, #8: So the progressive wing of the Democratic Party reveals itself to be anything but pragmatic- not voting for a centrist….

    I can’t speak for the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, but I myself would get excited if the Democrats would at least someday nominate a centrist.

  10. Kongstad says

    Well Obama is a conservative, and Hillary seems to even more right wing. I think demanding a centrist nominee for president is not to much to ask.

    Besides that – Hillary is not the democratic candidate for presidency yet. Let pragmatism have its day, but putting pressure on to make the Democratic party less right wing can’t be wrong.

  11. says

    In the primary, I will vote for the most progressive candidate (as I see it). I live in New Jersey, which typically has a late primary, so it might be all locked up by then. In 2008, I intended to vote for John Edwards, but ended up voting for Obama because Edwards was out of it by the time I got to vote. I don’t expect the 2016 Democratic primary process to last very long. If Clinton has it wrapped up, I’ll cast a protest vote of some kind. In the general, I will probably vote Green again (as I did in 2012, after unenthusiastically supporting Obama in 2008).

    But it’s not surprising to me at all that Clinton is so popular with Democratic Party voters. She’s well within the mainstream of Democratic party politics. She’s a centrist Democrat, not a conservative Democrat… she’s not an outlier on the right side of the party. Yes, she is conservative, but only to the extent that the party is conservative. Any progressive alternative (Warren, Sanders, for instance) will be less in step with the mainstream of the party than she is. It’s interesting that this is the opposite of the situation faced by the GOP. A hardline Republican is more in line with GOP voters (especially primary voters) than a centrist would be.

  12. alkaloid says

    @Teddy Lavalamp, #7

    The only (and really minor) quibble I have with what you said is the word ‘drifting’-because they’re not drifting towards the right. They’ve gone full speed ahead towards the right based on the premise that their voters won’t abandon them for betraying us.

  13. alkaloid says

    @jws1, #10

    You can call it a cudgel all you want, if that makes you feel
    better. I call it the consequences of elections with far-reaching repercussions affecting all around it. Pragmatism will always be superior to partisan purity.

    I agree that it is a cudgel as well. Unfortunately, the size of your cudgel shrinks significantly when it is pointed out that:

    1) When Democrats are in power they rarely, if ever, do anything about conservative Supreme Court judgements no matter how ridiculous and clearly partisan they are. FDR with his court packing idea (although it unfortunately failed) at least got the Supreme Court to wisely shut up for a bit. Ultimately one way or another, this nation is going to have to confront the problem that a Supreme Court ‘liberated’ to reach decisions based on any far right doctrine is incompatible with the society that most people actually want to live in. To put it mildly, the Democrats in their current form are not up for this challenge, nor is it particularly likely that they can be convinced.

    2) For a lot of the justices on the Supreme Court they were either approved by Democrats as well.

    I also think it inadvertently says a lot about your true opinion of American ‘democracy’ that you aren’t actually arguing that the Democrats are good-you’re just arguing that electing them has some probability of limiting the harm that an unelected, unaccountable third party might do to the American people.

    As far as the rest of the Democrats are concerned they’re terrible. While the Obama administration has been less flamboyant about it than the Bush administration was, they seem to be just as strongly committed to pre-emptive war and spying on the American people (in addition to being if anything, even more secretive and hostile against us). Dianne Feinstein, who is one of California’s Senators (I won’t say that she’s mine because she in no way represents me) had no problem with unconstitutional spying until it turned out that the government was spying on her as a Senator. Just think about what that says about her ‘standards’ as to what’s acceptable to do to ‘the little people’-namely everyone without several hundred million dollars-as compared to her. Hillary Clinton is nothing but an epitome of everything that is wrong with them.

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