Welcome to Buster's Blog

Irregular commentary on whatever's on my mind -- politics, sports, current events, and life in general. After twenty years of writing business and community newsletters, fifteen years of fantasy baseball newsletters, and two years of email "columns", this is, I suppose, the inevitable result: the awful conceit that someone might actually care to read what I have to say. Posts may be added often, rarely, or never again. As always, my mood and motivation are unpredictable.

Buster Gammons

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Thinking About Hillary -- A Plea For Reason

(Linked article shared on FB by a faithful reader.  Thank you, dear reader!)

Some delusional conservatives are totally freaked out by the FBI decision not to nail Hillary Clinton to the wall and send her to email jail.  They didn't see it coming, and now they just can't cope with it.  A cursory scan of media yields plenty of indiscriminate right-wing anger at Hilz:
  • "Walking the edge of justice."  
  • "Serial finagler" (i.e. cheater)
  • "Disregard for the rule of law."
  • "Petraeus was punished for far less."
  • and much, much worse
Time out!  And get real!!  To the surprise of no one other than those not paying attention, the FBI found no evidence of intent, of willful wrongdoing, or of any actual harm done.  And y'all wanna string her up?  C'mon!  Can you just stop this hysteria now?  No?  Good gawd!

Clearly, conserva-tards intend to flog this dead horse all the way to their inevitable November defeat.

Here's a better alternative:  Read this!!  Please!


(It's a long article, which many conservatives can't handle, so here are a few spoon-fed excerpts.)

Thinking About Hillary -- A Plea For Reason
by Michael Arnovitz, 6/12/16, for ThePolicy.us

To conservatives, she is a radical left-wing insurgent.  To many progressives, she is a Republican fox in Democratic sheep's clothing, a shill for Wall Street.  The fact that these views could not possibly apply to the same person does not seem to give either side pause.

For a surprisingly large percentage of the electorate, the claim that Hillary Clinton is innately dishonest is simply accepted as a given.  It's not actually true.  PolitiFact determined that Hillary was actually the most truthful candidate of either party in the 2016 election season, and is more honest than most (not all) politicians they'v tracked over the years.

"As an editor, I've launched investigations into her business dealings, her fundraising, her foundation, and her marriage, stretching back to Whitewater.  I'm not a favorite in Hillaryland.  That makes what I want to say next surprising.  Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest and trustworthy." -- Jill Abramson, in The Guardian, formerly of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

The main fuel that powers the anti-Hillary crowd is sexism (which almost nobody will admit to).

The one thing that seems to most negatively and consistently affect public perception of Hillary is any attempt by her to seek power.  Once she actually has power, her polls go up again.  But whenever she asks for it, her numbers drop like a manhole cover.

"America loves women like Hillary Clinton -- as long as they're not asking for a promotion." -- Sady Doyle, in Quartz.

So let's look at the issues people are currently using to disparage Clinton -- dishonesty, scandals, money, and Wall Street.

1) Honesty -- Hillary is a politician, and is no stranger to "massaging" the truth.  But is she worse than other politicians?  As already mentioned, the evidence suggests she is actually better than most other politicians.  According to PolitiFact, Donald Trump is in fact the least honest candidate they've ever analyzed!

2) Scandals -- Are scandals still scandals if nobody actually did anything wrong?  The negative effect on credibility is not so much the result of Hillary's "scandals" as it is the intent of those who create them.

Compare her private email "scandal" to that of General David Petraeus.  For Clinton to have committed a criminal act, she would have had to knowingly and willfully mishandle material that was classified at the time she did so.  After months of investigation, no one has accused her of that, and it doesn't appear as if anyone will.

General Petraeus on the other hand, as CIA Director, knowingly gave a writer, who was also his mistress, "classified information regarding the identities of covert officers, war strategy, intelligence capabilities, and diplomatic discussions from high-level National Security Council meetings and discussions with the president of the U.S."  Petraeus followed that up by lying to numerous government officials.  None of this is in dispute.  Petraeus admitted to all of it -- violations which were significantly more egregious than anything Clinton is even remotely accused of.

3) Money -- Hillary has a lot of it, most of it earned through well-paid speaking fees.  The idea of getting paid $200,000 or more for a single speech seems so ludicrous to many people that they assume it simply must be a form of bribery.  But the truth is there is a large, well-established and extremely lucrative industry for speaking and appearance fees.  To this day, Vanilla Ice gets $15,000 simply to show up with his hat turned sideways.

The All-American Speakers agency represents Clinton and 135 other people whose minimum speaking fee is $200,000, including Larry the Cable Guy.  Hillary's fees are in the upper range, but not unusual, unless it's for a woman.  In 2007, Rudy Giuliani was making $700,000 a month in speaking fees, averaging $270,000 per speech.  In 5 years, he earned $40 million in speaking fees.  No one cared.  We only focus on it when the person making the money has a vagina.

4)  Wall Street -- No, the majority of Hillary's speaking fees did not come from Wall Street.  She's given 100 paid speeches since leaving the State Dept., and only 8 were to "Wall Street" banks.

Does Wall Street have influence with Hillary?  Grow up!  Of course it does.  Wall Street is one of the key engines of the American economy, and as such has enormous influence with everyone.  EVERYONE.  The issue is not influence.  It is whether or not paid speeches and campaign donations are proof of corruption.  And they're not.  Donald Trump has been paid $1.5 million on numerous occasions with hardly a word said.  He's a proud scam artist who's regularly calling her "Crooked Hillary" and getting away with it??

What the actual fuck is going on here?  It's what we all know, but don't want to admit:  presidential campaigns favor men, and the men in them are rewarded for those traits perceived as being "manly."  Women who evince those same traits (like Hillary), however, are usually punished rather than rewarded.

Hillary is nobody's idea of perfect, but by any objective measure she is not just the most qualified candidate this season, she's one of the most qualified people ever to seek the office.

Trump is not merely a bad choice, he is (as many Republicans have already admitted) a catastrophic choice, unfit in every possible way for the office of the Presidency.

Hillary Clinton is going to be a fine president.

I'm with her.

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