Thanks for responding. I appreciate it.
Jeff Hudecek

Not at all. It’s nice to have an intelligent interlocutor on the topic. (Much of the rest has been variants of “Trump is the Devil/the next Hitler/the Apocalypse incarnate,” which is many things but not particularly hard to rebut.)

I’ll take the bullet points in order.

I don’t think it’d be unfair of me to treat the first two as a single point: it is flat out untrue to suggest that Hillary Clinton pushed for universal healthcare, or that her good intentions were foiled by opposition from the political right.

Robert Reich, Secretary of State for Labor at the time, exposed the Clintons’ welfare reform for what it was in 1999.

“When, during his 1992 presidential campaign, Bill Clinton vowed to “end welfare as we know it” by moving people “from welfare to work,” he presumably did not have in mind the legislation that he signed into law in August 1996. The original idea had been to smooth the passage from welfare to work with guaranteed health care, child care, job training and a job paying enough to live on. The 1996 legislation contained none of these supports — no health care or child care for people coming off welfare, no job training, no assurance of a job paying a living wage, nor, for that matter, of a job at any wage. In effect, what was dubbed welfare “reform” merely ended the promise of help to the indigent and their children which Franklin D. Roosevelt had initiated more than sixty years before…
…In short, being “tough” on welfare was more important than being correct about welfare. The pledge Clinton had made in 1992, to “end welfare as we know it,” and “move people from welfare to work,” had fudged the issue. Was this toughness or compassion? It depended on how the words were interpreted. Once elected, Clinton had two years in office with a Congress controlled by Democrats, but, revealingly, did not, during those years, forward to Congress a bill to move people from welfare to work with all the necessary supports, because he feared he could not justify a reform that would, in fact, cost more than the welfare system it was intended to replace.”

On health care specifically (and moving swiftly over Ms. Clinton’s endorsement of abstinence-first sex-ed whilst her husband was, shall we say, testing the alternatives): I touched, in the piece, on the fact that Ms. Clinton’s reforms were deemed so important that many other initiatives, including the one to preserve the lives (never mind the health) of Bosnian civilians, were put on hold so as to secure health care reform the maximum possible exposure in the press.

Far from being torpedoed by right wing opponents or opposition from the health insurance industry, it was the four largest insurance companies — Aetna, Prudential, Cigna, Met Life — who drew up the Clintons’ preferred ‘managed competition’ scheme in the first place. They ruled out from the start the plan for a single-payer system put forward by Physicians for a National Health Program, which the CBO had judged to be the most cost-effective way of providing truly comprehensive coverage.

In the end, and by design, the largest health insurance companies were allowed to buy up the smaller HMOs in advance of the adoption of the managed competition plan they, and the Clintons, had drawn up together. Drawn up so incompetently, it should be added, that the whole endeavour was shelved, but only after the damage had been done.

So any subsequent pandering on Ms. Clinton’s part to the idea of good health care is the very least we should expect of the person who effectively destroyed the best chance at meaningful health care reform in a generation or more.

On point 3: I’m not overly familiar with the state of trades and workers’ unions in the United States (residing as I do across the Atlantic), so I won’t presume to question your statement other than to say that, given the GOP’s entrenched opposition to the very idea of unions, anyone who doesn’t declare their antipathy is likely to attract a good deal of support.

Point 4: saying that she’s sponsored or co-sponsored bills that have gone on to become law is basically reciting her job description. I’ll set aside some time this evening to go through the 70; until then, I don’t know enough to pass comment, other than to say that my argument rests not on the assertion that Ms. Clinton is entirely evil but that she is significantly malign.

Finally, on The Hillary Doctrine: there have been several variants of said doctrine put forward in the press, with very different meanings. One such Hillary Doctrine is touted as the Kissingerian ‘realism’ which prizes stability in foreign regimes over all other concerns. Another says that The Hillary Doctrine is a plan for tackling Islamic Fundamentalism.

The one you reference, regarding the lip-service she pays to the notions of girls’ and womens’ rights, is rather undermined by the closed mouth and open wallet she presents to such bastions of gender equality as the House of Saud, is it not?

As for whether or not she’d make a good president, I think it’s quite clear that we do not draw the same conclusion…

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