Today’s Hillary News & Views is my first in a week. Thanks to all of the writers who have joined the series! Great work across the board!
The only downside to me sharing HNV responsibilities is that I’ve had more time to think and reflect on this election. There are a lot of things that are angering me right now, from the disappearing of people of color as the progressive voters powering Clinton to victory, to the myriad of slanders against Clinton and the Democratic Party; from the appropriation of voter suppression by people who simply chose not to register as Democrats to the refusal of the media to confront the rank bigotry and racism that fueled Trump’s nomination as the GOP standard-bearer.
But I want to start with the misogyny. Dear God, the misogyny. I knew it was going to be bad. My conflicted feelings about Clinton running again were mainly about me not wanting her to have to walk through those fires again. That she’s chosen, once again, to be dehumanized and debased in the name of public service and breaking down barriers for women, and gave up her own years of retirement to do it, contradicts every lie about the true nature of her character and commitment to her party and her country.
But she couldn’t have known — none of us could have known — that her final opponent would be the culmination of all of the misogyny she has faced in her entire career.
I wasn’t really a feminist — and thus by definition, wasn’t really progressive — until I began being educated by Melissa McEwan at Shakesville, who continues to challenge my notions of what it means to be an ally, to embrace intersectional progressivism, and to listen when my privilege has indicated to me throughout my life that my role is to speak.
So it’s only appropriate that she is the one who again puts into words that nagging feeling in my gut that screams about perceived injustice.
Melissa McEwan writes for Shakesville:
Donald Trump spent the weekend disgorging vomitous streams of escalating misogyny against Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren. He added disgusting commentary about Clinton's marriage and about Warren's heritage to his usual "woman card" repertoire, while continuing to bray about how he'd be awesome for women.
I am, quite frankly, livid that the election in which we have the best chance of electing the first ever female president is simultaneously an election which is profoundly upsetting for so many women. Who risk being triggered just by following the news.
I am angry that the media barely mention the historic nature of Clinton's candidacy, and uncritically report Trump's misogyny.
And I grieve that Hillary Clinton has spent decades grinding her way through unfathomable amounts of mountainous shit in order to arrive at this moment: On the precipice of the presidency, only to be greeted by a final boss armed with the most vile misogyny.
Lest anyone believe that this misogyny is concentrated only on the right…
Melissa McEwan writes for Blue Nation Review:
But if you hear the word “liar” in the context of this election, it’s almost certainly being directed at Hillary Clinton.
After expressing my contempt for a trending hashtag admonishing Hillary to “drop out” (and starting the trending hashtag #KeepWinningHillary in response), my Twitter mentions were filled with people informing me that they don’t hate Hillary because she’s a woman, but because of one of a number of other reasons, most of which were (not coincidentally) narratives rooted in misogyny.
One of the most frequent words I saw was “liar.”
This is just incredible, given that Hillary has been found to be the most truthful candidate in the 2016 race, and that a prominent journalist who has investigated the Clintons for decades says Hillary is fundamentally honest and trustworthy.
Hillary is, as my colleague Peter Daou has documented, is “one of the most ethical (and most lied about) political leaders in America.” There are legitimate criticisms to be made of Hillary’s record, but that she is a liar is simply not one of them.
By way of comparison with her Democratic opponent, many of whose supporters have been chanting “she’s a liar” at me, Hillary has received 8 Pinocchios from the Washington Post’s Fact Checker since the beginning of March. In the same period, she also got two Geppetto Checkmarks (awarded for truthfulness) for items on which she was accused of being dishonest. (Chelsea Clinton also got 2 Pinocchios during this time.)In fact, the misogyny on the left this cycle has inspired some feminist awakenings.
Thrity Umrigar writes for The Huffington Post:
I told myself that surely the people that I encountered online were not a representative sample. Sanders himself seemed like such a decent man.
Until... the infamous “unqualified” speech. That swooshing sound you heard was a million female heads spinning. Because if Hillary Clinton was “unqualified” to be president, what woman ever would be? Not in our lifetime, for sure. Click.
And then the another blow. Or click. Bernie had called her unqualified because he thought she called him unqualified. And he got that information from a Washington Post headline. Which, everybody soon knew was misleading. Turns out that the man who would be president didn’t bother to read the actual story. Ah, Bernie. Next time, read the damn story before you get in a tizzy, would ya?
After this, the clicks began to grow. After his flame-out in the New York primary, Sanders claiming that the burden was on Hillary to work to win over his supporters. (Imagine Hillary making this demand in 2008.) Nobody in the media demanding that Sanders release years of tax returns, as Hillary had done. One story — one — about Sanders paying for his chartered plane to the Vatican out of campaign funds after claiming that this was not a campaign trip. (And no one accused him of dishonesty or corruption.) No major story about the child out of wedlock, the weird quotes about rape and sexual fantasies. Imagine if a female candidate had had this past.
Just as Obama’s election ripped the mask off of the racism that had simmered below the surface, something very similar is happening with sexism during this primary season. And, it is radicalizing women. This past weekend I was at a birthday party where every woman — ranging in age from 20 to 70 — said that even though she agreed with much of Sanders’ platform, he had lost her in the last two months. I have yet to see the media cover this story.
Sanders continues his character attacks in his vain attempt to win the nomination, making his inevitable endorsement increasingly useless.As for this feminist, the time has come to confront her own assumptions. And to connect the dots so that I can see misogyny when it attacks me as clearly as I can when it does one of my sisters. I would never vote for a female candidate based solely on gender. But to vote for someone like Hillary because she’s eminently qualified and because she’s a woman? You betcha. I Am Woman. Watch Me Vote.
While presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is pivoting toward Clinton and the general election, Sanders has maintained that he will fight on to the convention. His campaign has also been talking to superdelegates.
Clinton holds a lead of nearly 300 pledged delegates over Sanders. But when factoring in superdelegates, her advantage balloons to almost 800 delegates.
Sanders stressed that this country doesn’t need a president who’s supported “disastrous” trade deals, received millions in campaign contributions from Wall Street, voted for the Iraq War and won’t end fracking — all attacks directed at Clinton.
Meanwhile, Clinton stuck to the issues on the campaign trail.
Bloomberg Politics reports:
At a campaign stop Monday in Northern Virginia, Hillary Clinton reiterated her support for a government-run health plan in the insurance market, possibly by letting let Americans buy into Medicare, to stem the rise of health-care costs.
"I'm also in favor of what's called the public option, so that people can buy into Medicare at a certain age," the Democratic presidential front-runner said during a roundtable with local residents at the Mug'N Muffin coffee shop. "Which will take a lot of pressure off the costs."
While Clinton long has supported including a public option in the insurance market, her campaign said she was floating the idea of letting Americans not yet of retirement age buy into the Medicare system as one way of accomplishing that. She's also open to creating a separate government-run option on the Obamacare exchanges.
Clinton has endorsed a public option on her website, though it seldom comes up on the campaign trail. She also discussed her proposal to ease the cutoff point for Affordable Care Act subsidies, which the law makes available to Americans making 400 percent of the federal poverty level.
She was responding to a question from a resident who complained that she's just above the cutoff level to enjoy subsidies on the Obamacare exchanges.
"There's just a cutoff, instead of what I'd like to see which is a kind of gradual diminishment. People shouldn't just—once they get to a certain income level shouldn't lose all their benefits," Clinton said. "That's something I'm looking at."Loudoun Times-Mirror reports:
Clinton said there's been ongoing, and at times, heated debate among legislators about how to boost education in the country. One side, she said, wants more testing and methods to hold educators and school districts accountable, in turn, causing a backlash from parents.
“There are different reasons for the backlash, but sort of underneath it, as I talk to parents in places where the 'opt out movement' is pretty strong, parents are saying to me 'that's not what my child needs. My child needs … that creativity needs to be sparked, that independent learning that collaborative learning,'” Clinton told the group.
“I think we need better, but fewer tests,” she added.
Clinton said a lot of low-income schools districts in the country have been stripped of any extracurricular activities, leaving students with only “core” educational instruction.
Other schools, she said, are also trapped in the past.
“They're fine schools … but they could be doing more if challenged to do more about how to change learning and emphasize more independence, more learning, more creativity in collaboration,” she said. “... I think every community should be having this conversation.”
Clinton said she's working to figure out how the country can put paid family leave into effect without burdening small businesses.
Paid family leave, she said, makes economic sense as many working women quit their jobs rather than be forced to leave their child to go back to work, some only two to three days after giving birth.
The candidate used the opportunity to address equal pay rights for women.
“It's not just a women's issue. It's a family issue. It's an economic issue,” Clinton said, using Lilly Ledbetter as an example.
Ledbetter was paid 40 percent less than her male counterparts while working in an Alabama factory.
“That's 40 percent less going into Social Security. Our 401Ks are 40 percent less,” she said. “So, I make the point that if you have a mother, a sister, a daughter who's working, it affects you.”
Clinton said she's determined to get the Paycheck Fairness Act passed if elected, which would increase the penalty for violations of the Equal Pay Act and other federal laws against pay wage discrimination.
Clinton was a sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act in 2009 when she was a U.S. senator. The bill died in Congress.
“The big answer to this is people in the workforce say 'well, women's lives are different. And, they take time off when they have a newborn or they make take time out of the workforce when their children are little,' but really if you hold constant for all those different factors you will get a range of discrimination that is hard to explain or justify by any other explanation,” she said.
Clinton said the issues affecting families today are harder than the ones she dealt with as a lawyer in Arkansas trying to raise her daughter, Chelsea.
“Costs are greater, everything from commuting time to feeling like if you take that vacation day, you are going to be viewed as slacking off,” she said.E.J. Dionne writes for The Washington Post:
Clinton’s visit to Appalachia last week reflected this realism, but it was about more than electoral calculation, because she is highly unlikely to carry either West Virginia (most Democrats think she’ll lose its primary on Tuesday to Bernie Sanders) or Kentucky this fall. Believe it or not, there are moral obligations in electoral politics. This is why her Appalachian outreach represented one of the admirable moments of her campaign.
She had to offer an apology for her statement this year that “we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
Politically, it was not, to be charitable, a wise thing to say. But consider the context of that line, at a March CNN town hall:
“I’m the only candidate which has a policy about how to bring economic opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country. Because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business, right, Tim? And we’re going to make it clear that we don’t want to forget those people. Those people labored in those mines for generations, losing their health, often losing their lives to turn on our lights and power our factories.”
The media often don’t put comments of this sort in context because, as you can see above, it takes a big fat, space-consuming paragraph to make it clear that she was speaking with empathy for coal miners, not consigning them to the economy’s dustbin.And her speech last Tuesday in Athens, Ohio, offered un-glitzy, realistic policies to try to bring back an Appalachian economy that can no longer rely on coal. “At a time when our energy sector is changing rapidly, we need to invest in coal communities,” she said. “We need to figure out how to bring new jobs and industries to them, and we need to stand up to the coal executives trying to shirk their responsibilities to their workers and retirees.”
In her speech, Clinton acknowledged several times that many of the voters she met with during her Appalachian tour would never vote for her. The trip nonetheless made sense as part of a larger obligation of leadership. Making America governable again requires breaking down barriers that get in the way of empathy across not only the lines of race and class but also of social status and personal values. And making America a more just nation requires honest talk about policies that can lift up those still hurting in our economy.
The hard political truth is that economic justice and empathy are the true alternatives to Trumpian divisiveness.
Lexington Herald Leader endorses:
Hillary Clinton is the most-qualified person running for president of the United States and has demonstrated the deepest understanding of how to address the challenges facing Kentucky. Kentucky Democrats should vote for her in the May 17 primary.
The difference between Clinton and her leading opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, was evident in their appearances this week in Kentucky. Sanders appeared in Lexington and Louisville, giving his standard stump speech to large and enthusiastic crowds. Clinton’s two-day tour of Appalachia included a session in Ashland where she talked with about 25 people for two hours about the region’s problems and promise. Two other candidates on the ballot have not been active in the race.
Clinton, who has served as secretary of state and in the Senate representing New York, in addition to her eight years as first lady during her husband Bill Clinton’s presidency, has an impressive resume and a thorough knowledge of both this country and its place in the world. She’s smart, extremely knowledgeable, thoughtful and — after decades of withstanding virtually every possible attack — unflappable. In a word, she’s presidential.
Clinton’s history of championing progressive causes confirms her commitment to bringing about a safer, more equitable world.
She has consistently and effectively backed expanded access to health care and women’s rights. She has courageously defended Planned Parenthood and taken on the National Rifle Association during this campaign.
Clinton had a powerful message for Lucy McBath, mother of Jordan Davis, on Mother's Day.As for Kentucky-specific proposals, while in Ashland Clinton laid out her vision for something similar to the Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe after World War II to help Central Appalachia recover from the economic devastation of the decline of coal. She spoke specifically to protecting miners’ health and pension benefits in the face of mine closures and bankruptcies. Her plan also calls for federal assistance to create alternative jobs in coal country and more money for research aimed at keeping coal in the nation’s energy mix while limiting its environmental impact.
It’s a truly moving speech, as Clinton showers her friend McBath with the praise she deserves for turning her “sorrow into a strategy” in the face of Davis’ tragic passing. “Lucy’s heart was broken, but not her spirit,” Clinton said. “Lucy’s traveled from one end of America to the other to demand justice, accountability and real change.”“Honestly I don’t know how you do what you do,” Clinton addressed McBath in her message. “You’re moving mountains through your faith and determination. Everywhere you go, you spread love.”
Here’s the full clip:
This campaign is about the progressive coalition standing together. We must stand firm and resolute against the onslaught of misogyny, bigotry, and disregard for truth. When our voices are raised in unison for justice, we are unstoppable. Let’s do this. — Lysis
*** SUPPORT HILLARY CLINTON ***