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Desc:Short documentary / hit piece explaining the early Clinton scandal
Category:News & Politics, Crime
Tags:clinton, Hillary Clinton, cronyism, election 2016, travelgate
Submitted:namtar
Date:02/05/16
Views:618
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Comment count is 38
Hazelnut
Okay this video is making me like Hillary again. Glad for some balance. It is worth remembering that there IS a vast right-wing effort to tar her, even if it's less 'conspiracy' and more 'whole bunch of horrible people with no sense of proportion'.
EvilHomer
Why do you say that, Hazelnut?

Hazelnut
I like saying things are true. The opposite -- being pointlessly contrarian and nitpicky, presumably for the pleasure of trolling -- wears thin quick.

Plus, look, Hillary has flaws. We all do. I think she genuinely cares about a lot of the same domestic social things I do, and her plan of steady incremental improvement will build a lot better on Obama's legacy than some revolution. I wish she were less hawkish, but I wonder if that's just her speechmaking style; I may be in the minority but actually think she was a pretty great Secretary of State and deserves some credit for big achievements like the recent deal with Iran.

Hazelnut
It's just a shame she's, so... I have colleagues at work -- most people do -- who will say ANYTHING to get one rung up the ladder, entirely blind to what backstabbing unscrupulous (I'd almost say 'sociopathic' but that word gets thrown around too easily) careerists they are. And Hillary just gives off a vibe of being that worst kind of colleague. Sorry but it's true.

EvilHomer
So if someone were to post a documentary about GW Bush's cocaine use, and I replied "Glad to see some balance. This is making me like Bush again. It's worth remembering that there IS a vast left-wing effort to tar him, even if it's less 'conspiracy' and more 'horrible people people with no sense of proportion'" - how would you respond to that?

teethsalad
as long as you're okay with the blatant corruption, cronyism, and shameless shape-shifting, by all means, cheer away. I don't see how the existence of the "vast right wing conspiracy" brings her to absolution

Look - I'll most likely vote for whoever lands the tiny D next to their name this Fall, too - but to pretend like Clinton isn't a massively flawed candidate who personifies a great number of things wrong with American politics today isn't going to do the party or the country any favors either.

and the idea that Clinton, with all her baggage, can get the current congress to sit up, stand, roll over and beg any better than anyone else who stands to the left of John Birch is some pretty amazing wishful thinking

but yeah, either way, I'd vote for pretty much anybody who isn't Ted Cruz

Bort
"and the idea that Clinton, with all her baggage, can get the current congress to sit up, stand, roll over and beg any better than anyone else who stands to the left of John Birch is some pretty amazing wishful thinking"

I don't think anyone expects a Democratic president can command a Republican Congress. Well, Sanders kind of does, he thinks the "bully pulpit" (sometimes described as a Green Lantern ring these days) will grant him vast powers that no other president has possessed. And he speaks of negotiating with Republicans not as a necessary evil, but an optional evil that lesser men like Obama practice, as if there is some other viable route in a system where Congress has the most power and it runs on numbers rather than willpower.

But here's the difference: while we might be able to get some of Hillary's proposals passed in the course of negotiating with Republicans, Bernie's signature proposals tend to be so large and sweeping that we have NEVER had a Congress willing to pass them, and certainly not this Congress. That is in part because Bernie has ambitious goals, but it's in part because he has stupid goals that are more symbolic than practical.

Let's take single payer. Well these days the biggest problem is on the other side of the equation, i.e. outrageous medical costs. If medical bills are on the order of twice what they "should" be, the 15%-20% savings you could get from single payer is almost negligible. Now on the other hand if we went to the work of trying to regulate the medical industries piece by piece -- reining in the Shkrelis, putting limits on how much profit hospitals can work into their pricing, and so on -- each regulatory step could provide 15%-20% savings and it would be cumulative, so you start seeing savings across the board for all patients right away.

But Sanders has no interest in doing that because he wants his single payer and nothing else will do. Well he's going to die of old age before we have a Congress capable of passing it, and even if we eventually get it, it won't fix everything like he leads his supporters to believe. (Sanders hates being reminded that Green Mountain Single Payer crashed and burned in Vermont -- Bernie's own state -- because medical costs were too high. And you had better believe Republicans will seize upon that, how Bernie wants to take his own state's failure national.)

Old_Zircon
Hey Bort, do you know why medical costs are so much lower in Canada?

No hints.

Bort
No it's all right, I'll give you some hints. Here's a link:

http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/in-the-literature /2014/sep/hospital-administrative-costs

Here's a picture:

http://www.commonwealthfund.org/~/media/images/publications/in -the-literature/2014/sep/himmelstein_comparison_hosp_admin_costs_h a_09_2014_itl_exhibit.png

Lower hospital costs (for example) mean lower medical bills, meaning your insurer (private or otherwise) has to collect lower premiums to cover all the bills.

That's just administrative costs. How about pharmaceutical costs? How about medical malpractice insurance? We nibble away at costs and even private insurance starts being affordable. Which, apparently, would be a terrible outcome because it makes single payer feel less vital and more optional.

Old_Zircon
Well, there seems to be some disagreement but here's an admittedly small sample statistical comparison of prescription drug prices from online pharmacies in the US compared with a major online pharmacy in Canada. Looks like US is not quite twice as expensive as Canada in this case, but it's close.

http://www.statcrunch.com/5.0/viewreport.php?reportid=22285

memedumpster
That's not a tiny D, that's a capitol D!

:D

John Holmes Motherfucker
I didn't watch the video. Instead, I read the wikipedia article on travelgate.

For those who don't remember, the Republican Congress spent six years and millions of dollars investigating every rumor and innuendo that the conservative media could dream up about president Clinton and his wife. In the end he decided to impeach Bill Clinton for lying about a blow job., because in the end nothing else could stick. The Republican vindictiveness became so obvious that it hurt the Republicans in the second term midterms, in the midst of the Lewiniski scandal. Clinton became the most popular Democratic President in recent memory, and his wife was launched on her own political career.

To anyone who remembers, and who isn't a Limbaugh fan, this isn't baggage. It's a big reason why older people (the ones who vote) love Hilary, and to me it's the best reason to support her. I'll say it again: we can expect any Democrat who wins the white house to be subjected to vicious conservative attacks, and Hillary is not only the current world champion at deflecting vicious Republican attacks, she's pretty much inoculated.
Bort
Another thing those of us from that era remember: Republican intransigence knows no bounds, and it didn't happen to Obama just because he's "naive" or "inferior to the white man" or whatever it is kids these days believe. It's not going to be overcome by a Larry David lookalike angrily shaking his podium and shouting "Political revolution!"

EvilHomer
Hey John, as a feminist, what do you think about Bill Clinton, a rich, powerful male, leveraging his position of authority in order to coerce sex from young women, young women whose careers depended on him? Be sure to phrase your answer in the form of a polemic against Republicans.

Old_Zircon
EH, that's a pretty good description of Floyd Dell. So "archetypal male feminist."

Back when I was a lot more involved I didn't see much evidence that Dell wasn't still a pretty accurate posterboy for an unfortunately large part of the male feminist population, unfortunately.

John Holmes Motherfucker
As I said at the time, if I'm President of the United States, SOMEBODY is going to suck my cock. I'm not really defending it, but I do get it. The cock wants what the cock wants.

>>a rich, powerful male, leveraging his position of authority in order to coerce sex from young women, young women whose careers depended on him?

This is how some Republicans tried to spin it, and it was just as ham-handed and obvious coming from them as it is coming from you now. People can understand a blow job, but it was Conservatives who arranged for Monica Lewinski's friend to record their conversations and exposed her to public humiliation for political advantage, and then shook their heads, because they couldn't understand how they came off as mean-spirited exploiters.

The important thing to remember about The Great Blow Job Case of 1998 is how much investigation of every aspect of the Clinton's affairs went into uncovering it.

John Holmes Motherfucker
As a feminist, if this was how Monica Lewinski had described it, I'd tend to believe her. As far as I can recall, she tended to describe it as a playful flirtation.

Hazelnut
Weird, I find myself agreeing with everything JHM's written on this page. I am not able to reconcile this...

Hazelnut
...at a best guess, I think JHM is at his weakest when defending Hillary's cynicism, and at his strongest pointing out the awfulness of most of those trying to smear her.

EvilHomer
So, according to you, when a wealthy and privileged boss has casual sex with his female employees, that's fine. It's just a blow job. Boys will be boys.

What if the party affiliations were switched? Newt Gingrich, Bill's arch-nemesis, had sex with at least one of his own staffers. I take it you, feminist that you are, see nothing wrong with that either. Right?

John Holmes Motherfucker
Intransigence | Definition of Intransigence by Merriam-Webster

What made you want to look up intransigence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Thanks, Bort

EvilHomer
Hazelbut - does the "awfulness" of the people trying to smear Hillary truly matter? Why or why not?

EvilHomer
Nut. Sorry, typo, not an attempt to Cena you.

John Holmes Motherfucker
So, according to you, when a wealthy and privileged boss has casual sex with his female employees, that's fine. It's just a blow job. Boys will be boys.

Fuck you, Homer. I already weighed in on this. Get someone to read it to you if you can't read it yourself.

memedumpster
As a feminist, I am so fucking proud of her for landing the most powerful man on earth. My God, she didn't even have to commit to him, just weigh anchor and sail on once the dress was laundered.

You guys need to respect that Monica is a stud.

I too am experiencing quality EvilHomer withdrawals.

John Holmes Motherfucker
I came into this discussion to address Hillary Clinton's "baggage" and her viability as a candidate, and I don't think that obligates me to address all this other stuff. But here it is.

>>What about Newt's affair?

Like Bill's affair, a sordid, private matter.

>>My line of reasoning went something like this: if a public figure is inoculated against criticism, does that include the valid criticism along with the bullshit?

I don't believe that it does, and I wouldn't want it to.

>>a rich, powerful male, leveraging his position of authority in order to coerce sex from young women, young women whose careers depended on him?

I'd take this argument more seriously if Monica Lewinski was a White House Staffer, but is "Intern" really a career?

The first time a president was Impeached, it was over the nature of Reconstruction, and the outcome of the Civil War. Impeaching Clinton over Monica Lewinski was an embarrassment for the Republicans., and after the 98 midterms, that must have been abundantly clear. I can only imagine that it would have been even more embarrassing to have all this investigation lead to nothing.-

John Holmes Motherfucker
I came into this discussion to address Hillary Clinton's "baggage" and her viability as a candidate, and I don't think that obligates me to address all this other stuff. But here it is.

>>What about Newt's affair?

Like Bill's affair, a sordid, private matter.

>>My line of reasoning went something like this: if a public figure is inoculated against criticism, does that include the valid criticism along with the bullshit?

I don't believe that it does, and I wouldn't want it to.

>>a rich, powerful male, leveraging his position of authority in order to coerce sex from young women, young women whose careers depended on him?

I'd take this argument more seriously if Monica Lewinski was a White House Staffer, but is "Intern" really a career?

The first time a president was Impeached, it was over the nature of Reconstruction, and the outcome of the Civil War. Impeaching Clinton over Monica Lewinski was an embarrassment for the Republicans., and after the 98 midterms, that must have been abundantly clear. I can only imagine that it would have been even more embarrassing to have all this investigation lead to nothing.-

Two Jar Slave
EH, you're not quite at your best here. JHM wrote, "As a feminist, if this was how Monica Lewinsky had described it, I'd tend to believe her." Presumably, he would decry Bill Clinton for exploiting his power over Lewinsky if she had framed the relationship in those terms--as a coercion. And presumably, JHM would hold Gingrich and anyone else to the same standard. That's the argument he tabled, and we should respond to that. You might, for instance, try to argue that a victim's acknowledgement of herself as a victim is irrelevant in assigning guilt. I.e., how Lewinksky saw herself doesn't matter; Clinton's actions were wrong full stop. Victims of abuse often normalize things, and it's up to a third party (usually the law) to step in and say, "Actually, what happened here is not cool." Now, I'm not sure how well this argument would hold water in Lewinsky's case, since 'exploiting an opportunity for consensual sex' and 'abuse' aren't the same thing. Clinton and Lewinsky were consenting adults; if there existed an institutional imbalance that gave him power over her (and there certainly did), can we hold a particular man accountable, or does our criticism have to be more generalized, more targeted at the institutions which promote bad behaviour? If we hold one man responsible for an institutional imbalance, we risk falling into a pattern of 'fall guys', whacking down moles one at a time without contesting the machine that makes their heads keep popping up. I'm not sure--I feel like this is when personal politics enter the debate, although I'm also not ready to throw up my hands and call it subjective either.

But instead of debating a 20-year-old beejer, why not respond to JHM's original point that Hilary Clinton's having been so steeped in scandal that she's, counter-intuitively, the most trustworthy?
Two Jar Slave
meant as a reply. oh well

John Holmes Motherfucker
>>You might, for instance, try to argue that a victim's acknowledgement of herself as a victim is irrelevant in assigning guilt.

If the sex was consensual, who other than the participants get to decide if there are "victims".

Fuck you, too. I never said that it was all right. I said it doesn't justify 6 years and millions of dollars worth of investigation. And "trustworthy" seems like a willful what I said. I said she's good at deflecting partisan attacks, because she's been doing it for so long. Nothing counter-intuitive about that.

John Holmes Motherfucker
*a willful misreading

Two Jar Slave
>> If the sex was consensual, who other than the participants get to decide if there are "victims".

Well, I guess that's the question I was trying to frame. I could see the more radical argument that within such a completely imbalanced power dynamic the idea of consent changes. But I also don't want to slip-n-slide all the way down to "employees are incapable of giving consent to sex with bosses, or students with teachers" or whatever. And I see now that you weren't exactly defending Clinton so much as damning all the spilled ink (and time, effort, and money) surrounding it, so that's fine. No need to add any more to it.

As for 'trustworthy', sorry if that came off as a misreading. My line of reasoning went something like this: if a public figure is inoculated against criticism, does that include the valid criticism along with the bullshit? Doesn't vulnerability imply a sort of trustworthiness? Anyway, it's all a bit high in the sky. No offence meant.

EvilHomer
Two Jar, those are all very valid points - the trouble is, I'm not arguing here. I am simply asking Mr Holmes to clarify his reasoning, so that I can better understand his reasoning. These questions are merely an attempt to lay groundwork, because if there's one thing I've learned over the years, it is that Mr Holmes is a very complex thinker, and it would be a mistake to make assumptions about his position.

You are quite right in pointing out that a victim's testimony *could* be irrelevant in assigning guilt. Indeed, this line of thinking is not uncommon within feminist circles (which is why I felt the need to question John), and for most people is actually the DEFAULT when dealing with relationships whose power imbalance is based upon age or government-regulated coercion (for example, teacher-student or guard-prisoner), rather than economic necessity! (one could. for example, make the argument that president-citizen is a relationship every bit as inescapably coercive as guard-prisoner) BUT, if John does not accept that covert sexual relationships between extraordinarily powerful political figures and the vulnerable women whom they employ are inherently coercive, then that is his business. I'm glad he cleared it up.

Which leads to the next question - again, just a question, not an argument - what about Newt's affair?

Hazelnut
I'm not going to reply to EH until he gets back on his game. I feel we owe that to him.

John Holmes Motherfucker
>>But instead of debating a 20-year-old beejer, why not respond to JHM's original point that Hilary Clinton's having been so steeped in scandal that she's, counter-intuitively, the most trustworthy.

They ruthlessly investigated the Clintons for six years on all of these trumped-up, obscure, convoluted, impossible to understand scandals. Kenneth Starr served a subpeona to a high school kid when he was in class. He had Susan McDougall locked up in leg irons, as she tells it, for refusing to perjure herself. All of it ws done in connection with some hypothetical, incomprehensibly obscure white collar crimes. And in the end, no charges against the Clintons, not for any of it, except for lying about the blow job, which, it's reasonable to suppose, didn't involve Hilary.

I think that it's either disingenuous or ignorant to refer to this manufactured and unsuccessful state of affairs as "steeped in scandal".

Hazelnut
aaaaaand JHM makes me dislike Hillary again. Thank you. Balance is restored.

John Holmes Motherfucker
It's a thin line between irony and perversity.

EvilHomer
It's the same with you, Mr Hazelnut. All I am doing is asking you questions; questions about your own reasoning, about your own position. I simply want to better understand your way of thinking, and maybe quietly encourage you to better understand yourself. You are an intelligent person, and I am confident that, if there ARE problems with your reasoning, you will be able to identify them on your own.

If I dismissed criticism of Bush on the same grounds that you dismiss criticism of Hillary, how would you respond? And does the "awfulness" of the people trying to smear Hillary truly matter? Why or why not?
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