Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hillary Clinton is still my hero

Those readers who have followed the blog for a while will probably be aware of my sentiments regarding Hillary Clinton. I admire her tremendously and have written about her here on several occasions. I supported her campaign for the presidency in 2008 and I support her again in 2016.

I support her because I believe she is the most qualified person in the race for the presidency. Indeed, I believe she is the only person in the race, on either side, who is truly prepared to be president.

She's currently, of course, in a tightening primary race with Sen. Bernie Sanders, Independent, of Vermont. Throughout the campaign, Secretary Clinton has put forth detailed plans on many issues that concern Democratic voters. More recently, Sanders, too, has announced his plans for handling some of those issues, particularly health care and financial reform.

I'm not an economist and I don't pretend to be able to fairly judge the merits of these respective plans. But my go-to guy on economics is a Nobel laureate in economics and he has written extensively on the announced plans of the candidates and has praised Clinton's plans as practical and workable. 

Today in his blog, The Conscience of a Liberal, he wrote a bit more about Sanders and his announced programs. Paul Krugman writes:
On finance: Sanders has made restoring Glass-Steagal and breaking up the big banks the be-all and end-all of his program. That sounds good, but it’s nowhere near solving the real problems. The core of what went wrong in 2008 was the rise of shadow banking; too big to fail was at best marginal, and as Mike Konczal notes, pushing the big banks out of shadow banking, on its own, could make the problem worse by causing the risky stuff to “migrate elsewhere, often to places where there is less regulatory infrastructure.”
On health care: leave on one side the virtual impossibility of achieving single-payer. Beyond the politics, the Sanders “plan” isn’t just lacking in detail; as Ezra Klein notes, it both promises more comprehensive coverage than Medicare or for that matter single-payer systems in other countries, and assumes huge cost savings that are at best unlikely given that kind of generosity. This lets Sanders claim that he could make it work with much lower middle-class taxes than would probably be needed in practice. 
Sanders' followers have vociferously touted his "plan" (as Krugman calls it) to get to single-payer health care for all. It's a sexy "plan" that excites many in the liberal base as the next new thing, and many are always waiting to clamber on board the bandwagon of the next new thing. I think if we had our druthers, all of us would prefer a single-payer system, but the truth, as once again Krugman points out, is that it's not going to happen anytime soon.
To be harsh but accurate: the Sanders health plan looks a little bit like a standard Republican tax-cut plan, which relies on fantasies about huge supply-side effects to make the numbers supposedly add up...if the political theory behind supporting Sanders is that the American people will vote for radical change if you’re honest about what’s involved, the campaign’s evident unwillingness to fully confront the issues, its reliance on magic asterisks, very much weakens that claim. 
Nothing Sanders has put forth has persuaded me that he is ready to be president, and I seriously doubt that he could stand up to the Republican attack machine. At present, that machine is doing everything it can to support him because they prefer to run against him, but the moment he gained the nomination, it would turn all of its fury on him.

On the other hand, we do have a candidate who can survive the right-wingers' fury. We know that because she has done so for twenty-five years. 

On June 27, 2012, as Clinton was ending her run as Secretary of State, I wrote a blog post about her entitled "Hillary Clinton, my hero." Nothing has changed. She's still my hero.

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Hillary Clinton, my hero

There is a long and very positive piece in The New York Times Magazine about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton entitled "Hillary Clinton's Last Tour as a Rock-Star Diplomat."  I read it with some avidity since Clinton is a hero of mine, one of the people that I admire most in the world.

I am certainly not unique in being a Clinton-admirer. She is the most admired woman in this country, topping that list year after year and is arguably the most admired woman in the world.

There are good reasons for all that admiration. Wherever life has taken her, Clinton has always worked to make the world a better, safer, more equitable place, especially for women and children. She has taken up the cause of women and children around the world and made elevating their status a prime aim of her professional life.

By all accounts, she has been relentless in pursuing her passion for women's and children's rights. Everywhere that she goes in the world as Secretary of State - and she goes everywhere! - that cause is always part of her agenda. She is ever on the lookout for ways in which the lot of the common women in the countries where she visits can be advanced and, in her dealings with heads of state and diplomats, she is not shy about bringing these topics up and making them a part of the negotiations.

Improving the lot of women in developing countries often means paying attention to the most basic of human needs. Things like making access to clean water easier or providing ways of cooking food that do not pollute houses and the atmosphere and make families sick. Or making sure that women and children have access to health care and that women can have the means to limit the numbers of their children. Our Secretary of State is attuned to such commonplace needs and makes them a part of her writ. After all, there are rock-solid data that show that the key to improving society as a whole lies in improving the lives of women. As a rising tide lifts all boats, the rising status of women raises the status of all humanity. Not everyone in the world of politics and international relations accepts that truth, of course, but Clinton does and she is its most effective ambassador.

Clinton has said that she will end her term as Secretary of State with the end of President Obama's first term, regardless of the outcome of this year's election. I would very much hate to be the person who tries to fill her shoes when she goes.

It will be interesting to see what the next act of Hillary Clinton's life will be about. She has certainly earned a rest if that is what she wants, and, indeed, she may want that for a while. I suspect it will be a short while.

4 comments:

  1. Yes!

    On another note ... there is Dr. Siri coming out in August ... Yeehaw!

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    1. I hadn't heard that. Something to look forward to!

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  2. I am completely with you Dorothy on three major points: that she has the qualifications to hold and carry out the role of President, that Bernie Sanders has much less chance of winning the election (leaving us with one of those nutty Republicans in the White House) and that Hilary Clinton will improve the lives of women and children. Fingers crossed!!! I think it is about time our country has a female leader. And that is the most I have said about politics anywhere on the internet. You got me going.

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    1. We all need to get going and make sure she gets elected. After 227 years of male presidents, it is way past time.

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