November 1, 2007

Hillary Clinton: A Win-Win For Corporate America

By In Essays

It’s a done deal. The corporate power brokers who hold the politicians in their pockets like so many nickels and dimes have already hedged their bets and decided that– barring any unforeseen circumstances– Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for president.

It’s the smart choice for them, a win-win situation. Naturally, they would rather see a Republican become the next president, someone just as corrupt and heartless and dimwitted as George W. Bush, their ultimate wet dream. However, this is a tall order. It will be difficult to find another human being– even a Republican– so thoroughly bought and paid for with corporate dollars and so unbelievably devoid of compassion for average Americans.

Nevertheless, the corporate power brokers have plenty of Republican candidates to choose from, and any of them would be suitable replacements– except for Ron Paul, of course, who actually has some degree of integrity and independence, which immediately rules him out. But if polls are any indication of future success, and if the Republican candidate is destined to lose the next presidential election, who better than Hillary to win?

Of all the Democrats running for president, which one is the most mainstream and accommodating to corporate America? Which one has already sucked up to John McCain, Newt Gingrich, and Rupert Murdoch? Which one has a husband who makes the scene with George H.W. Bush every time there’s a natural disaster? Which one has no compunction about shifting her political philosophy to suit her ambitions, beginning as a conservative “Goldwater girl” in high school, to a liberal supporter of George McGovern in college, to a centrist Senator in the current Congress? And which one knows how to play the Machiavellian game of hardball politics in Washington better than anyone?

In other words, Hillary is the safe choice. The corporate elite have dealt with her and her husband for years, and they know they can count on the king and queen of compromise not to push the envelope nor do anything radical to shift the balance of power in the United States to a more populist agenda.

Ironically, many Democrats (especially women) are under the delusion that Hillary is liberal, even progressive, and they think she will right all the wrongs of the Bush regime. But what many of these individuals fail to realize is that on the three most important issues of our time– health care, the U.S. occupation of Iraq, and renewable energy– she’s almost as conservative as her Republican presidential opponents. And Obama and Edwards aren’t much better.

In fact, the only real Democrats in the race who aren’t bought and paid for by corporate America are Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel, but like Ron Paul, they have no chance of winning. This political reality is very depressing to liberals and progressives since once again their choice for president in the next election will be between two corporate-backed candidates who will do the bidding of their financial malefactors and leave most Americans out in the cold.

As a result, Democratic power brokers like Rahm Emanuel will once again use the same old saw to get liberals and progressives to vote for the lesser of two evils: “All right, maybe Hillary isn’t as liberal as you would like, but she is certainly better than her Republican counterpart.”

In other words, forget about voting for a candidate that would actually promote single payer universal health care, withdraw from Iraq within six months, and create a national renewable energy program that would undercut the power of the fossil fuels industry and ameliorate global warming. The best you’re going to get in our corrupt, corporate fascist system is Hillary. So be thankful for her, boys and girls. And remember, a half a loaf of bread is better than no loaf at all.

This was the same argument that Bill and Hillary used in the oval office when they negotiated with a Republican-controlled Congress. But what did liberals or progressives ever get out of their half-baked, “half-loaf” strategy? Name one major piece of liberal legislation that Bill and Hillary proposed during their two terms in office that was signed into law? NAFTA? Welfare reform? A balanced budget? Oh, wait! They were part of the conservative Republican agenda!

Can’t think of any? Neither can I. They got killed on health care, they did almost nothing on renewable energy (just ask Al Gore), and they stood idly by as wages stagnated and the disparity between the rich and poor continued onward and upward.

So when Democrats wax nostalgic for the 1990s and tell you how great the Clinton era was for average Americans, don’t believe it– it’s pure propaganda. It’s no different than when Republicans tell you what a great president Ronald Reagan was.

The truth is, both “Slick Willie” and the “Amiable Dunce” were consummate salesmen, ambitious alpha males with smiley faces who were more concerned with their own careers than the welfare of most Americans. And neither of them was averse to dropping their drawers from time to time and bending over for their corporate masters. The only difference was that Reagan did it gladly, whereas Clinton did it reluctantly (and felt a little pain in the process).

But this time things will be different, say rank-and-file Democrats. If Hillary gets elected president and has a Democratic majority in Congress, she’ll do the right thing. She’s more liberal than her husband was when he was president, more independent too, more willing to fight for the underdog. In fact, she’ll cross her corporate backers as soon as she gets in office and start a new era of populism in America, just like FDR did.

Yes, kids, wouldn’t it be pretty to think so! But if Nancy “Impeachment Is off the Table” Pelosi is any indicator of how a tough liberal woman is supposed to act when she assumes the reigns of power in the Democratic Party, we’re in for a big disappointment, because Hillary is less liberal than Nancy. Hell, she’s even less liberal than Joe Biden or Chris Dodd– they didn’t vote for the Bush resolution that labels the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization and sets the stage for an upcoming invasion of Iran.

But the old Goldwater girl did. And this time she can’t say she was duped into it.

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