A Squalid Bit of Dishonesty

He says it's a challenge and he says it's questions but, in fact, it's a list of insinuations that would make Darrell Issa proud.

(Original article here: http://tqwhite.org/?017B0D)

Though the article is contemptible and deserves to be reviled, my rage forces me to answer. 

1. Why is Clinton more capable of leading our nation than Sanders, if it was Vermont’s senator who voted against Iraq and predicted its outcome, while Clinton calls her vote a “mistake”?

Implicit in this argument is that everything Bernie has done is perfect. That all disagreement and every error disqualifies. It is a fascist view of intolerance.

Why is Clinton more capable? Because she has been in the crucible. She has made mistakes, understands their consequences and takes her responsibility. Bernie criticizes. One is the voice of experience. The other, a complaint.

2. Why are supporters of Clinton willing to move the Democratic Party and America dangerously to the right with Clinton’s neoconservative foreign policy?

The use of prejudicial language doesn't make it true. In fact it emphasizes the fallacy of the statement. Were there substance behind this assertion, the supposedly dangerous ideas could be stated and we would see their evil.

Instead, we have rhetoric. Like the Tea Party, we have accusations of sin. The Syrians are dangerous. So is Hillary. In both cases, they are baseless, coward's propaganda.

3. Without claiming Republicans are worse, how is Clinton going to fulfill her promise of ending mass incarceration, when her campaign has accepted $133,246 from two major prison lobbyists?

The premise of this question is that everyone is as dishonest and self-serving as the author and people who support this notion. The surveys tell me that Bernie has increasing support among Tea Party activists because of his hatred of bankers. Are we to think that he will also turn against women's reproductive freedom because he has taken their money?

Politics is a business as much as it is a calling. Hillary has chosen a strategy that requires money. Hillary believes that she cannot prevail against a moneyed, Republican opponent on individual contributions alone.

It is a reflection of the corruption of the opposition that this point is ignored. There is nothing in Hillary's background to suggest that she supports injustice. It is a notion that reveals the internal views of her detractors that they can be so certain that everyone can be bought.

4. Why has Clinton evolved on so many issues, when Bernie Sanders remains true to his principles?

Because Hillary is an intelligent person. Because Hillary is not dogmatic and trapped by her previous viewpoints. Because Hillary has reached beyond her limitations and sought to do great things.

Republicans and, apparently, Bernie supporters require faithful adherence to a single dogma. Hillary has rejected the roles foisted on her as a woman, as a liberal and as politician. She has changed and grown. This author might consider Bernie to be extra virtuous for not having learned anything in the last thirty years. It is a narrow, conservative conception of the human experience.

5. How is Hillary Clinton better for African Americans and Latinos than Bernie Sanders, in light of the fact she utilized Republican strategies (race, Islamophobia in order to defeat a political opponent) against Obama in 2008?

Race-baiting is another way to demonstrate a craven spirit. Announcing the policies she proposes would not support a sneaky accusation of racism. Reaching into the bowels of political speech to emphasize passing ideas and pretend they are representative is another rhetorical devise of the bigot. 

This author could as easily wonder how fabulous it would be to have a President that whose history included so many brilliant and supportive racial statements. That would not support this greasy effort to smear Hillary.

6. Who is more trustworthy?

And so we come to it. She can't be trusted. She's a 'clinton'. She's 'other'.

Why not just say it? She's also a 'woman'. She's a liar. Only Bernie is lovely and virtuous.

It's another right-wing emphasis on faith and character. The kind that can't be refuted and has no meaning but somehow denigrates the accused.

Neither is more trustworthy. Neither is more corrupt. Both are politicians. Both have said things that are reprehensible. Both have lied. Nobody is perfect and people who are working for the salvation of society sometimes have to dance with the devil. The implication that only Bernie is perfect is offensive.

7. Who is more likely to have a scandal-free presidency?

Who is more likely to fly? Who is more likely to learn to sing. Who is more likely to have diarrhea or get a venereal disease? Who is more likely to make love to a Republican?

Who is more likely to succeed?

That last, of course, is the only question that matters yet is the one left unasked. That is, of course, because Hillary has a much stronger chance of actually winning the game of politics. Bernie has been a mayor and a Senator. His policies are simplistic. She's done more and her policies are fully explained and subtle.

We don't talk about policies. Here we talk about virtue, character, faith. Why? Because this author is a Tea Party, emotional, faith-based right-winger in liberal clothing.

Questions 8-19 provide no new perspective and are not really worth discussing.

The real import of this series of 'questions' (irony quotes are appropriate since the questions are all really accusations) is to imply that Hillary can't be trusted. 

It's the same tactic, expressed in almost the same language, as that used by the Republicans against Obama. He's shady. He's dishonest. He's allied with the wrong kind of people. While we are at it, shouldn't we wonder why he won't use the precise language we prefer? Doesn't that make him unqualified? Doesn't that mean he's an imposter.

The only question in the remaining list worth answering is the last one. 

The reason that Clinton supporters question the motives of people who 'critique' Hillary is that the critique is always about her personality and her virtue. The critique never seems to focus on issues, or electability, or intelligence, or capability, or experience.

Instead, we always hear that she's dishonest, corrupt, can't be trusted. These are criticisms that, as they do when uttered by Republicans, say more about the questioner than the subject of the question.

Talking about these points reveals the speaker to be a person who believes that people are corrupt. Focusing on character, personality, family and faith are tricks used by those who do not have real evidence. 

In fact, it is probably right to say that there is no question about the motives of the people who are critiquing Hillary in this way. They are speaking for themselves. their motivations are obvious and never have anything to do with seeking truth.

For the record, here are the questions that were not specifically commented on:

8. Will Clinton continue to oppose Keystone and the TPP as president?

9. How did Clinton evolve on gay marriage?

10. Why did it take Clinton so long to evolve on gay marriage?

11. Does Hillary Clinton really believe wiping a computer server means with a cloth?

12. Does Clinton’s experience translate to good judgment and decision making?

13. Was the Libya bombing a wise decision on the part of Secretary of State Clinton?

14. Why didn’t Clinton mention Sandra Bland, like Sanders, in the debates?

15. If gun violence is a tragedy, then is gun violence also a travesty in Iraq and Libya, if Clinton’s foreign policy decisions helped lead to this violence?

16. Who’s more likely to be influenced by factors other than progressive principles?

17. If Hillary Clinton didn’t have name recognition, but still held the same prior positions and subsequent flip flops, would you still vote for her?

18. If you fear future Supreme Court nominees, then in the future would you vote for someone even more conservative than Clinton on foreign policy, or would you take a stand against the DNC?

19. Which candidate inspires voters?

20. Why do Clinton supporters always question the motives of anyone critiquing Hillary Clinton?