Wednesday, February 06, 2008

When triangulating hurts people

I've never liked the Clintons. It started on that dark day- January 24, 1992- when Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton left the campaign trail to oversee the execution of Ricky Ray Rector, a man so brain damaged that he left the dessert from his last meal so that he could have it after the execution. A columnist from the San Francisco Chronicle said in 2002
On that day in Arkansas, the Democratic Party also died. Its body is still with us, to be sure, but its heart and soul died 10 years ago.

In 1993, the heart and soul was put in its grave when President Clinton signed NAFTA.

In 1996, the grave was spat upon when Clinton signed the Telecommunications Reform Act. At the time, Clear Channel owned 40 radio stations. Today Clear Channel owns about 1200 stations, and the media business is dominated by a small handful of companies.

In 2000, the gravestone was kicked over when Clinton signed Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China. Do your kids like their lead-tainted toys?

Hillary Clinton has done nothing to lead me to believe she is a different politician than her husband. She supported the war in Iraq "with conviction." Until September, she supported torture. In 2005, she went to Israel, and while standing at the apartheid wall, she stated, "This is not against the Palestinian people." At a recent debate, after Barack Obama said that we should not be scapegoating immigrants for our economic problems, Mrs. Clinton scapegoated immigrants for the plight of unemployed, urban African Americans.

Like her husband, Hillary is a politician who will inflict harm on others for her political gain. I support Barack Obama because he is willing to stand on principle. He opposed the war in Iraq from the start and he has always opposed torture.

Which brings me to cluster bombs. In 2006, an amendment was introduced to a defense bill to block funding for the Pentagon for cluster bombs unless it could ensure that the bombs would not be used in civilian areas. Cluster bombs contain small "bomblets" that explode on impact. Sometimes these bomblets do not explode on impact. When they are later found, sometimes by children, they can detonate.

Obama voted for the amendment to block the funding. Clinton voted against it.

David Rees, creator of the brilliant cartoon Get Your War On, said at HuffPo this week:
Amendment No. 4882 was an easy one to vote against: Who'd want to risk accusation of "tying the hands of the Pentagon" during a never-ending, global War on Terror? As is so often the case, there was no political cost to doing the wrong thing. And there was no political reward for doing the right thing.

But Senator Obama did the right thing.

Democrats have a cult of personality around the Clintons that I do not understand. Either they don't care about the issues I've mentioned here, which I don't believe, or they just don't know the Clintons' record.

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