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Hillary Clinton Series

Why I Don't Support Clinton - Part 3 of 3 - Two Clintons Too Many

cross-posted to Jack & Jill Politics This is the third and final installment of my series "Why I Don't Support Clinton." You can read part 1 and part 2 to witness the build-up. There are many groups that want Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee: the press, Republicans and many on the left who get all hot and bothered at the mere idea that Bill Clinton might even walk past the White House one afternoon and perhaps sign a piece of paper accidentally. The Press Don't get it twisted. The press wants Hillary to be president, and not because it's a liberal press but because its a conflict-driven, profit-obsessed, drama-addicted entity that has much more in common with the shameless lowlifes behind TMZ than it does with the integrity of Edward R Murrow. Nothing would sell more papers or gross ratings points than a return of the Clintons to the White House. They could rerun all the scandal footage and theories from the 1990s and double their output with special reports from today. Hillary thinks she can handle the press scrutiny because she's been through it before. I'm sure she can. What I doubt is America's ability to handle the press scrutiny because we've been through it before, and it was exceptionally ugly and distracting. Also, that was the lite version of what would is likely to greet Hillary a full media-consolidated decade after their last turn at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The 1990s was a terrible time for American politics, divisiveness and the press. I don't want to go through that again. The GOP As ever-changing poll results are showing, the Republicans have yet to rally around a frontrunner for president. That's because their frontrunner is Hillary. Mayor 9/11 himself could not motivate as many GOP voters to the polls as could the prospect of voting against Hillary Clinton. Although she represents the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, many on the Right see her as some sort of leftist rebel. Oh, the terrifying stories they will weave about how Hillary-care will force your child to experiment with gay relationships and speak only in Spanish. If she does get elected, do you think for one second that the Right will allow her to govern? Without controlling Congress, this will be tougher, but all attempts to stop her administration will be made with full force. Charges of a liberal media, swift boat groups and more will come out of the woodwork to make sure absolutely nothing gets done. The Republicans cannot afford to have anything good come of a Clinton administration while Democrats control the House and Senate. The Left I asked my Dominican electrician who he wanted for president. "Hillary Clinton," he said. "Why?" "Bill Clinton! Anything to get him back in the White House." How many other Democrats are thinking this same way? Hillary is merely the vessel getting us our beloved Bill Clinton back. A big part of this series has be debunking the mythology surrounding Clinton. He was not a messiah. He brought us NAFTA, weak progress on energy, incomplete and thus unnecessarily cruel welfare reform, a centrist DLC attitude which had Democrats increasingly sounding like Republicans, abandonment of Rwanda and such a massive lack of sexual self-discipline that he almost got himself kicked out of office. If he's the messiah, I'd hate to meet the anti-Christ. What On Earth is Bill Clinton's Job? The Clintons need to stop being coy about Bill Clinton's role in a Hillary White House. Will he be an ambassador to the world, as Hillary has suggested? Great, then that ought to be a lot of fun for her Secretary of State. General policy role? There goes the vice presidential job. It's a classic case of too many cooks in the kitchen, and you don't have to believe me, look at what Al Gore suffered through as he got trampled by Bill and Hillary's outsized ambitions and personalities in the 1990s. I strongly recommend you read the entire November Vanity Fair article which is a book excerpt from the forthcoming White House Civil War. It provides impressive insight into the White House tensions between the Clintons and the Gores. You had Al competing with Hillary for Bill's attention during the first and part of the second term. And Al's presidential campaign was undermined both by Hillary's selfish Senate run and Bill's damaging infidelity and backstabbing remarks to the press. A sample:
Gore was the one most affected by Bill's reliance on his wife. It was a given in the White House, as Chief of Staff Mack McLarty said, that everyone would "just have to get used to" the fact that Hillary, along with Bill and Gore, had to "sign off on big decisions." But having what Clinton domestic-policy adviser Bruce Reed called "three forces to be reckoned with" added yet another layer of perplexity and rivalry to the West Wing, where advisers and Cabinet officers knew they could lobby either the First Lady or the vice president to reverse decisions by the president. David Gergen, counselor to the president in 1993 and 1994, called the "three-headed system" a "rolling disaster."
See what I'm saying? Too many cooks.
Yet Hillary always had an undercurrent of competition with Al Gore that burst into the open from time to time. One day, when Gore and his team presented their plans for improving government efficiency, Bill asked so many questions that the meeting ran a half-hour too long. As a result, Bill was late for a session in the White House Residence with Hillary and her health-care advisers. Feeling snubbed, Hillary lectured her husband on the importance of health care. Bill "retreated a bit," recalled a participant. "It took five minutes to get through that situation.… She was not pleased."
People who support Hillary because of her "experience" really need to think about whether we want to relive the "experience" of an unmanageable White House. There is no experience for having two presidents in the White House, living together. It's completely uncharted, and if the rough approximation that is Bill Clinton's White House is any indicator, fraught with counterproductive conflict. Rather than being focused on making sure we'd continue to have a Democrat in the White House, Bill became obsessed with getting Hillary into the Senate. He pretty openly acknowledged that he owed her for being such a disrespectful, back-stabbing husband. (BTW, to all my ladies on the Left, please stop adoring this man. He's a bad guy when it comes to respect for you. Infidelity is not sexy.)
In his practical and optimistic way, Bill saw the Senate candidacy as a prize for Hillary, a lifeline for him, and a salve for their marriage after her humiliation over his sexual affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, which had been sensationally revealed the previous January. <snip> As a sitting president, Bill was in a unique position to boost his vice president's candidacy by scheduling White House events to highlight his achievements. But in 1999 those resources were diverted from Gore to Hillary "in a big way," said one member of the Gore team. "The Clintons come first. That was their basic framework." From June through December, Bill and Hillary appeared at 20 events under the aegis of the White House, including a celebration of Hillary's 52nd birthday, where in typical style Bill larded his tribute with statistics on welfare, poverty, crime, and economic growth as he touted his wife as a "genuine visionary" needed by the Senate—the ultimate confluence of the personal and political. During the same period, Gore was featured only at a White House Conference on Mental Health—with Bill, Hillary, and Tipper.
Gore was in an impossible spot. He could not use Bill that much because Bill was tainted, but he needed Bill's confidence, advice and Democratic fundraising abilities to operate the strongest possible campaign. However, Bill and Hillary were blinded by the idea of a Clinton political legacy. Focusing on her campaign kept them from talking about his sins. Energy that could have gone into Al's campaign was siphoned off into hers. Check this ish out right here!
Before Hillary officially established her exploratory committee, she began directly competing with the vice president for money, sometimes even at his own fund-raising events. When Tipper's friend Melinda Blinken and a group of women planned a Gore fund-raiser in Los Angeles, Hillary insisted on being invited—over the objections of the event's organizers. Hillary then shocked the vice president's supporters by soliciting donations for herself in front of Tipper.
You see what's happened here? It takes a special flavor of triflinity (yeah, I just made that word up yall!) to poach funds at someone else's fundraiser, especially if that someone is your friend and political teammate. This is that single-minded ambition that throws so many people off. It definitely throws me off. Why? Because all the while, the Clintons are practically ushering George W. Bush into the White House, as if it were no big thing because Hillary would at least get to be a Senator. Because of their greed and Bill's wayward penis-fueled debt to Hillary, these two put her election to the Senate above Al's election to the presidency. To me this is the greatest error in judgment of both Clintons. Would America have been better off with a President Gore or a Senator Clinton over the past seven years? The worst case scenario if Hillary didn't get that seat is that half of New York state is represented by a nobody named Rick Lazio. The worst case scenario if Gore didn't win is that all of America is represented by George W. Bush who spends his downtime clearing brush and his office hours launching poorly planned, illegal, preemptive wars which drain the treasury, accelerate an already apocalyptic energy crisis, undermine nearly a decade of civil rights, environmental and safety regulations and forces Americans to pretend they are Canadians when they've scraped together enough worthless dollars to travel abroad. All the hullabaloo about Hillary's Iraq war vote would be moot, for there would have been no Iraq war under President Gore. I don't want either of these people running my country again.

Why I Don't Support Clinton - Part 2 - No War for Polls

cross-posted to Jack & Jill Politics Welcome to part two of my three-part series on why I am not supporting Senator Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. If you missed part one, you can find it here. I don't think it's a coincidence that on the day part one dropped, so did Clinton's Iowa poll numbers. Perhaps Democrats are waking up. Part Two will focus on this illegal, immoral and clusterf*ck of a war we've got going in Iraq and Clinton's part in getting us to this place while utterly refusing to acknowledge that she was wrong, wrong, wrong. Post 9/11 "patriotism" As a woman and a New York senator, Hillary probably had to come across as tougher than average following the September 11 attacks. I know that after 9/11 lots of sensible people found redeeming qualities in Bush and decided, despite red flags to the contrary, to trust him. I was not one of those people, but by and large, the public was behind the man. In my way of thinking, that is exactly when a discerning eye is most needed. It's easy to stand up to Bush when he's at a 30 percent approval rating. Do it when he's at 70 percent and people are challenging your patriotic bona fides, and you might just be a leader. Hillary Clinton was not a leader. As I mentioned in Part 1, I'm quoting extensively from the research in Her Way. The authors' work reconstructing the period from 9/11 through most of the Iraq war is incredibly valuable and depressing. Right after 9/11, from the Senate floor, Hillary vowed that any country choosing to harbor terrorists and "in any way aid or comfort them whatsoever will now face the wrath of our country." That's just stupidness talking, and I hate when any politician picks up useless words and reuses them, thinking they are a substitute for strategy, leadership or clear thinking. How exactly do you comfort a terrorist in any way whatsoever? If a terrorist slips and falls on my pillow, did I comfort him? Why the talk of wrath? This knee-jerk and far-reaching violent response should have tipped us off. RTFM The key issue around Clinton's Iraq vote is yet to come, however:
What has not been discussed publicly is whether she specifically read the classified version of the National Intelligence Estimate, the most comprehensive judgment of the intelligence ommunity about Iraq's WMD, which was made available to all one hundred senators. The ninety-page clasified report was delivered to Congress on October 1, 2002, just ten days before the Senate vote. An abridged summary was made public by the Bush administration, but it painted a far less subtle picture of Iraq's weapons program than the full classified report, part of which was later declassified. To get a complete picture, one needed to read the entire classified document Hillary still had no one on her staff with the security clearances needed to read the NIE and the other highly classified reports that pertained to Iraq. This put more pressure on her to read these reports herself. Senators could easily access the NIE in a secure room on the fourth floor of the Capitol or in the offices of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Rather incredibly, given the magnitude of the vote to come, only six senators personally read the report.
WTF, and hold the damned phone. Stop the game. Do not pass go. I want to know the names of the six, and the rest I want thrown out of office and into jail. This has got to count as gross negligence. How hard is it to read 90 pages when war is on the line? I bet these Senators read more than 90 pages from their campaign donors. Don't we elect these people to do a job? Isn't it part of the job to do the basic prerequisite reading before pushing the giant kill button on the national war apparatus? We are doomed as a people when a $400 haircut gets more attention than such a flagrant and dangerous abdication of responsibility, and we let it slide. The French people go on strike when someone threatens to stop paying them long after they stop working. We Americans just head to community-destroying Wal-Mart for a re-up on useless "consumer goods" while trillions of dollars are raided from our treasury and tens of thousands of our children are mentally and physically traumatized by war and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are murdered in our name. We are so screwed. In 2007 there was a bit of a stink around Hillary when she was asked at a campaign stop if she read the NIE. She claimed she "was briefed" but as Her Way points out, "none of her own aides could possibly have done so." The book continues:
The question of whether Hillary took the time to read the NIE is critically important. Unlike the abridged and sanitized summary, the longer, classified version of the Intelligence Estimate contained numerous caveats and dissents on Iraq's weapons and capabilities, making it sound less certain that the country posed a legitimate threat to the United States.
On the floor of the Senate October 10, 2002, Hillary ran off her list of reasons for supporting the vote. Among them she stated Saddam had given "aid, comfort and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members," but as Gerth and Van Natta point out, "Hillary's link between Iraq's leader and Al Qaeda, however, was unsupported by the conclusions of the NIE, as well as by several other classified reports and unclassified documents that were available before the Senate vote." That's a fancy way of saying she made the ish up or went along with Bush, Cheney and the other criminals drooling for a chance to wave their Halliburton-inflated penises around in the Middle East. The kicker: "In fact, the lone Democratic Senator who came close to echoing Hillary's hawkish remarks about Hussein's alleged assistance to Al Qaeda was Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut." Nuff said. Since that dreadful mistake, Hillary has been willing to refer to it as anything but. She's said she "takes responsibility" for her vote, but what does that mean? If I drive drunk and kill four members of a family, I don't take responsibility for my actions by talking about how I take responsibility for my actions. I go to jail. I do community service. I suffer pariah status within my community. I pay a price. There is accountability. Real leaders don't talk about how they take responsibility. They simply do it. Code Pink implored her. Thanks to Her Way, I found the following YouTube video of Code Pink insisting on getting time with Clinton shortly before the war was to be launched. They actually traveled to Iraq to see the situation on the ground. They returned with a message. Watch as much as you want. I recommend starting at about minute 5:00.
Key statement from Code Pink:
We know you have talked about it takes a village to raise a child. We know it takes a bomb to destroy a village. And we've seen that around the world. We don't want to see that again. We want you to help us protect the Iraqi women, the Iraqi children, and we want you to help us protect our children. And you also know much better than we do that every state in this nation is suffering from deficits right now. We know we need that money to go to child care to go to health care, to fighting things like AIDS around the world. We don't think we can afford to spend billions of dollars on killing people in Iraq. We know that you're a wonderful woman, and deep down we really think you agree with us.
They were wrong, and I think many others are wrong to this day. Hillary Clinton is not an anti-war candidate. She's quite hawkish on the whole military thing. She's probably not the change candidate. She's not going to radically open government to the people. We project our own values, hopes and dreams onto the nearest available leader, and like a broken relationship, we think we can change them. Few constituencies know this better than Black America when it comes to the Clintons. The boy has rhythm, can play the sax and is comfortable around Black people. All the sudden we think he's the second coming of Martin Luther the King. Many refer to him as the first black president. It's insanity. Those Code Pink women wanted desperately for Hillary to say, "Oh you're right. Thanks for seeing deep into my heart and reminding me of my roots and who I really am," but she did not. Hillary did not care about the millions of Iraqi women and children. Her vote tells us that. Hillary Clinton is not the leader we want her to be. She's who she is. The sooner we acknowledge that the sooner we can start to evaluate her and all candidates back here among the land of the mortals. Hillary really wanted to believe that Bush would sincerely pursue diplomacy, and many of us really want to believe the Hillary didn't screw this thing up. She and we were wrong together. "I voted for diplomacy." My final beef with Clinton's war vote and her subsequent representation of it revolves around her claim that she was "voting for diplomacy." That is so disingenuous, and I'll explain why, again thanks to some text from Her Way
...she stressed the need for diplomacy with Iraq on the part of the Bush administration and insisted she wasn't voting for "any new doctrine of preemption, or for unilateralism." Yet just a few hours later, Hillary voted against an amendment to the war resolution that would have required the diplomatic emphasis Hillary had earlier gone on record as supporting -- and which she now says she had favored all along The long-overlooked vote was on an amendment that had been introduced by several Senate Democrats who hoped to rein in President Bush's authority by require a two-step process before Congress would actually authorize the use of force.
Oops. Busted. Funny how facts get in the way of a good story huh? The problem with trying to rewrite history is that we now have a pretty good record of the first draft. Why Am I Making Such a Big Deal Of This? Am I playing "gotcha" or "the blame game?" You're damn right I am. This is war! Our leaders seem to have forgotten this, while the women of Code Pink had exactly the right idea and called the outcome well in advance. We have destroyed a nation. We bombed its history into rubble. There is no more Iraq. Peace is done there. We have ripped families apart. We have sent millions fleeing into neighboring countries. We have created monsters of our own children. We have multiplied war profiteering, treasonous life sucking entities. We have bankrupted our treasury and our children's treasury. We may not recover from this war for a generation or two. Of course I'm playing the blame game. It was designed for just such an occasion. Now we have the same macho talk being directed at Iran. I've seen this movie before. It sucked, and the sequels are always worse. I know politicians have to survive, and their lifeblood consists of money and votes (probably in that order), but we're not talking about naming a national park. We're talking about killing people. Killing people. You do not get to slide on this. You do not get to simply say, "I take responsibility for my vote." You enabled this crazy incompetent mofo to go tearing up the world, using our military and our kids as his personal play toy, so you could "look tough." Why didn't you just wear the flight suit right next to him on the aircraft carrier and join his self-delusional land of make believe? I have no patience for people who only pay lip service to their "solemn oath" with regard to using the military. For Hillary Clinton, the Iraq War was not just a massive mistake in judgment, but it was also a massively missed opportunity. Just imagine how things might have been different if someone with her clout had the courage to speak up when it mattered. Not only could she have avoided the box she voted herself into, but given her name and power, she might have been just what other Senators and Congresspeople were looking for. She might have influenced them to follow her example. She might have led. Just imagine, as Kucinich said in the last debate, "what it would be like to have a president that was right the first time." This has been part two of my series explaining my frustration with Hillary Clinton and why I do not support her campaign. Tomorrow, I will post part three, the final part, on why two Clintons are worse than one. As always, I welcome comments.

Why I Don't Support Clinton - Part 1 - Abandoning Friends and Principles

(cross-posted to Jack & Jill Politics)Today, I'm commencing what will probably be a three-part series on why I don't support Hillary Clinton's run for the presidency. I plan to drop a new post each day. Tentatively, the schedule isMonday - Abandoning Friends and PrinciplesTuesday - No War for PollsWednesday - Why Two Clintons are Worse Than OneThursday - americans over consume food for thanksgivingFriday - americans over consume goods for the "economy"Until about a month ago, I was open to any of the candidates, though I had an inarticulable hesitance when it came to Hillary. The more I've learned and thought on the matter, the more I actively oppose her campaign. As we get closer to the nomination, with her national poll numbers soaring, I'm getting nervous. There's a certain momentum to her campaign, and while I'm not so arrogant as to think I can single-handedly stop it, my conscious demands I throw this out now, for me, before it's too late. Given the choice of speaking now or forever holding my peace, and I'm opting to speak.About Me (my biases, conflicts etc)

• I believe I am registered as a Democrat. I go back and forth between Democrat and Unaffiliated depending on the primaries in my state, but basically, I'm a lefty.• I recently and for the first time donated $25 to Obama's campaign. He is now my number one preference partially because he has the best shot at beating Hillary, partially because he's got the most potential to inspire new participation in the political process. He is not perfect, but he's the best option I see to bring about the severe change we need to survive this country's coming challenges. And yes, I chose the terms "severe" and "survive" intentionally.• Two influential sources for this series are the book Her Way by NY Times reporters Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr and a November Vanity Fair article, "White House Civil War" by Sally Bedell Smith. At least with Her Way, I know there are folks (including Media Matters) that call into question the motives and accuracy of the authors. Still, my impression is that the book was tough on Clinton but not unfair and certainly not a conservative think tank-funded hit job.Finally, let there be no misunderstanding: I prefer Hillary Clinton to any of the Republican candidates, but a preference is not the same as support.Part 1: Abandoning Friends and Principles (many of whom happen to be black women)You can judge a lot about people by the company they keep, who they count as friends, who they tap for important roles (<cough Giuliani & Kerik </cough>). Your associates are a reflection of you as a person. So, knowing that Marian Wright Edelman -- founder of the Children's Defense Fund and something of a saint -- hired Hillary back in 1970 to lead the organization, is a big deal to me. The fact they became close friends is an endorsement. Discovering how badly the Clintons alienated Edelman with the welfare reform bill is a major strike against them.According to Her Way, "a key opponent of the legislation was Marian Wright Edelman, the founder of the Children's Defense Fund, and the woman who Hillary credited with inspiring her in 1970 to commence a lifelong advocacy for children. Twenty five years later, however, Hillary was no longer an idealistic advocate..."In fact, by all accounts, Edelman was devastated by the Clintons' support for this bill and took great pains to let her position be known. A New York Times story at the time reported that Edelman "sent a blistering memorandum to the Cabinet, warning that one of the welfare options being considered will 'violate every standard of decency and fairness.'"Back to Her Way: "Publicly, Hillary denied compromising her principles or values when she endorsed her husband's support of the welfare legislation, which came as he was facing reelection. She believed, she claimed, that the third bill passed by Congress went far enough in its guarantees of medical benefits, child care and food stamps to warrant her and Bill's support. (Others, both liberals and conservatives, noted that the third bill was almost the same as the previous two Bill had vetoed.)"This sort of self-deceptive justification sounds too familiar. When Hillary describes her vote for this blood-draining, money burning, illegal occupation known as the Iraq War, she likes to say the bill she voted for was for diplomacy. She's the only one who believes that.Back to Her Way: "Years later, the welfare reform bill was viewed by many as a success; others considered it an abandonment of the truly needy for the sake of scoring political points. In her book Living History, Hilary found the space to acknowledge more than four hundred friends, colleagues and supporters. Marian Wright Edelman was not one of them"Damn. That's cold. It's one thing to have a disagreement. It's another to completely and utterly dis a friend, supporter and mentor of over 20 years.This past July, Marian Wright Edelman was interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now. The subject was, in part, Hillary Clinton and welfare reform. Here is the exchange:

AMY GOODMAN: Marian Wright Edelman, we just heard Hillary Rodham Clinton. She used to be the head of the board of the Children's Defense Fund, of the organization that you founded. But you were extremely critical of the Clintons. I mean, when President Clinton signed off on the, well, so-called welfare reform bill, you said, “His signature on this pernicious bill makes a mockery of his pledge not to hurt children.” So what are your hopes right now for these Democrats? And what are your thoughts about Hillary Rodham Clinton?

MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN: Well, you know, Hillary Clinton is an old friend, but they are not friends in politics. We have to build a constituency, and you don’t -- and we profoundly disagreed with the forms of the welfare reform bill, and we said so. We were for welfare reform, I am for welfare reform, but we need good jobs, we need adequate work incentives, we need minimum wage to be decent wage and livable wage, we need healthcare, we need transportation, we need to invest preventively in all of our children to prevent them ever having to be on welfare.

For the sake of looking tough on "welfare queens," Bill and Hillary (and they were indeed a team) sacrificed the well-being of millions, forced single mothers into underpaid, underinsured work and added further strain to many families. Edelman continues:

And yet, you know, many years after that, when many people are pronouncing welfare reform a great success, you know, we’ve got growing child poverty, we have more children in poverty and in extreme poverty over the last six years than we had earlier in the year. When an economy is down, and the real test of welfare reform is what happens to the poor when the economy is not booming. Well, the poor are suffering, the gap between rich and poor widening. We have what I consider one of -- a growing national catastrophe of what we call the cradle-to-prison pipeline.

A black boy today has a one-in-three chance of going to prison in his lifetime, a black girl a one-in-seventeen chance. A Latino boy who’s born in 2001 has a one-in-six chance of going to prison. We are seeing more and more children go into our child welfare systems, go dropping out of school, going into juvenile justice detention facilities. Many children are sitting up -- 15,000, according to a recent congressional GAO study -- are sitting up in juvenile institutions solely because their parents could not get mental health and healthcare in their community. This is an abomination.

You know what else is an abomination? The way the Clintons so quickly sacrificed so many friends, black women especially, in their quest to appease the Right, move to the center, win elections or all three. Yall remember Lani Guinier? Oh yes, let's revisit that painful episode..Guinier was nominated by Bill to head the DOJ's Civil Rights division. The two knew each other from back in the day at Yale Law School, but when a fanatical group of conservatives and a shamefully lazy press manipulated Guinier's positions on race to the point that she was being called "quota queen," the Clintons were nowhere to be found. They withdrew Guinier's nomination with the quickness rather than defend a friend and intellectual powerhouse who they'd know for 20 years.The Center for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting put out an article on the manipulative press and cowardly Clinton:

But there was also an ideological agenda at work: promoting Clinton's media-celebrated shift "back to the center." It seemed as if the hiring of Republican spin doctor David Gergen had to be complemented by dumping a representative of the "radical left." "How he deals with Ms. Guinier in the weeks ahead may show whether Mr. Clinton is moving back to the middle of the road," the New York Times' R.W. Apple wrote (5/31/93) in a front-page news analysis of the Gergen appointment.

To make her a proper sacrificial offering, however, the establishment media had to reinvent Guinier -- transforming a sophisticated advocate of racial reconciliation and participatory democracy into a sinister, race-baiting enemy of the American Way.

Finally, there was the sacrificing of Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, a longtime friend of the Clintons from back in Arkansas. After conservatives got their knickers in a bunch over Elders's suggestion that kids possibly should be taught about masturbation as an alternative to sex, the Clintons tossed her out as well. Of course, those same conservatives would be glued to their computer screens years later, reading the sordid details of Bill's ever-distracting and disgusting adultery, but at the time, they were trying to protect children from their own nasty, nasty genitals.The Clintons' abandonment of Elders is especially frustrating because she seemed to really be about the business of the job, coming in ready to make real change. In 2005, Elders was interviewed by CNN:

"I went to Washington, not to get that job but to do that job," Elders said. "I wanted to do something about the problems that I saw out there that were happening in our country. I wanted to do something to make sure that all people had access to health care. I wanted to do something to reduce teenage pregnancies and begin to address the needs of our adolescents."

As surgeon general, she advocated universal health care and comprehensive health and sex education, but some of her comments -- such as her remarks about masturbation -- enraged conservatives.

"Our country talked about masturbation more in December of 1994 than they ever have in the history of the country, and you know, people would think you'd be embarrassed about that," Elders told CNN in 1996. "I'm not embarrassed about that."

I hope this post has shed some new light on Hillary and the Clintons generally. There is a dangerous messianic air about the Clinton name, especially among African Americans, but it is a gross disservice for us to idolize the past merely because the present is so abominable.I welcome your comments and questions. I'll do my best to write back. My overall disappointment is that they have sacrificed good people and/or good principles in the name of political expediency. I'm sure this is not unique to Hillary as a politician, but I have a higher standard I guess. I could settle for people who did this, but I won't actively support them.Stay tuned for part two tomorrow, tentatively titled "No War for Polls." In it, I plan to document how Clinton went below and beyond even the neocons in promoting this disastrous war and still refuses to acknowledge the biggest error in judgement on the biggest immediate issue facing our nation. Hundreds of thousands of people have died, and she bears significant responsibility for that.Stay tuned.