The Weakness of the Case for Hillary Clinton

Recently, after months of being asked to spell it out clearly, a Clinton supporter who is part of a progressive Facebook group shared his reasons for supporting her as the next Democratic candidate for President of the United States.  It was great to see the debate finally move from generalities to specifics.  Looking at the reasons in detail, I discovered that much of what people believe about her bonafides just does not stand up to inspection. 


Hillary Clinton has a great track record of her work as chair of the Arkansas Education Standards Committee

Except… what she did at the time was attack the teachers union and support an unconstitutional school funding policy.  Arkansas has long ranked among the lowest dollars spent per student in the nation, and her policies continued that decades long fundamental problem.  Arkansas didn’t make positive changes in compliance with the Supreme Court until 2007 – well after Ms. Clinton had moved on to “bigger” issues.

Hillary Clinton founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families

Except… despite 30 years of “Advocacy” by her organization, Arkansas still has some of the worst child poverty rates in America (29%).  Child victims of abuse and neglect are up by 4.5% since 2009.  From 2012-2013, for every 100 Arkansas families living in poverty, only 6 received TANF benefits. As of early 2014, Arkansas had 2,514 children on its waiting list for child care assistance.   Her advocacy agency was an epic fail at actually helping Arkansas children.
Hillary Clinton was named one of top 100 most powerful lawyers in America twice.

In 1988 and 1991 she was indeed named among the most influential lawyers in the US, she was the first chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession, and her husband was the sitting governor of Arkansas.    Setting aside the fact that most jobs I know don’t really care about what you did 25 years ago,  it is worth noting exactly what those awards recognized.  They referred primarily to her work with the Rose Law Firm, for which she compensated upwards of $200,000 per year.  She didn’t practice trial law, but rather worked as a “rainmaker” for the firm, bringing in influential and wealthy clients as a result of her position on several major boards of directors and her husband’s position as governor.  Rumors of financial impropriety and abuse of office during her employment at the Rose Law Firm were part of what prevented her from running for governor in 1990.  So, in essence, this  “job qualification” is that she has a history of getting paid a lot of money to broker relationships amongst the wealthy.

Hillary Clinton was First Lady for Eight Years

Could you list in your resume for working at Starbucks that your husband managed a Starbucks?  That is not experience.  It’s called “nepotism,” or  “feudal monarchy,” when you are given a position of power because of your spousal legacy of authority.

Hillary Clinton was a U.S. Senator from New York for Eight Years

Except… during her time as Senator, Hillary effectively destroyed her relationship with the New York City first responders.   She accepted literally hundreds of thousands of dollars from Wall Street banks during her campaign, and then voted for pro-Wall Street anti-consumer legislation that would change bankruptcy laws in 2001.    She also voted for both the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.

“If we can exercise our power wisely and well, we can make America great again.”  – Hillary Clinton, 2008

Where have I heard that since then?  Maybe someone picked it up and ran with it after he heard her say it at his 2005 wedding, or while working with her after donating on four separate occasions to her Senate campaigns and to her 2008 presidential campaign.
She Did an Excellent Job for President Obama as his Secretary of State

Except… during her tenure as Secretary of State she:

  • Supported the continuation of American interventionism,
  • Helped American gun manufacturers sell guns to Libyan rebel groups, who in turn violated a U.N. weapons embargo
  • Backed Israel in its continued settlement development in direct contradiction of U.N. mandates,
  • Expanded anti-Venezualan policies that led to the collapse of their economy
  • Helped support a military coup in Honduras which has since led to the murder of hundreds of environmental activists, reporters and members of the LGBTQ community.

The Clinton Global Health Initiative

Again this really like running on your spouse’s resume, but that aside there is ample evidence that it’s not as “wonderful” a group as you might think.

Her Stance on Women’s Rights, Abortion and Equal Pay

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are both rated 100% on Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s congressional scorecard for their perfect voting records on women’s health and rights.   They both supported the Freedom of Choice Act and the Equal Pay Act, which did not pass.  They both have a 100% voting rating from NARAL, and a 0% voting record from National Right to Life.   So, although this does appear to be a “real” qualification, it does not distinguish her in any way from her primary rival.

Hillary Clinton Supports Equal Rights and the LGBT Community

Except… that is a very recent change indeed.   In 1996, she supported her husband’s signing the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that defined federal marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

In January of 2000, she said, “Marriage has got historic, religious and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time, and I think a marriage is as a marriage has always been, between a man and a woman.”

And again in July of 2004,   Hillary said that she believed that marriage was “a sacred bond between a man and a woman.”

And again in May of 2007, Clinton remarked that she was “opposed” to gay marriage though she stated she supported civil unions.

Email gate was even more revealing – she told her staff not to change U.S. passport forms from “Mother” and “Father” to “Parent 1” and “Parent 2”

In late 2010, the State Department made an exceedingly innocuous change to U.S. passport application forms. Instead of listing “Mother” and “Father,” these forms would now list “Parent 1” and “Parent 2.”   She said could “live with letting people in nontraditional families choose another descriptor” so long as we retained the presumption of mother and father.  She caved into what she saw as a potential “Fox-generated media storm.”

Bill Clinton told interview and historian Taylor Branch, that his wife found gay rights “harder to swallow” and experienced “discomfort” around “gay people who were kind of acting out.”

It was not until 2013 that she started saying in public that she was in favor of gay marriage.

She is Much Tougher on gun Control than Sanders

Honestly, I’m not sure what that means exactly.   As near as I can tell, Hillary’s position on gun control is to “say whatever people want to hear” since no liberal gun control policies are likely to pass Congress.    At the same time, her actions continue to support international arms manufacture and distribution. 

She wants to fix the broken criminal justice system.

Except… she does not support retroactive modification of sentences for things like parity between crack and cocaine convictions.  She has said, “Drug use is a serious problem, and I have long supported strong antidrug legislation.”

As first lady, she lobbied for President Clinton’s crime bill, which expanded the list of crimes subject to the federal death penalty.  That same bill is one of the primary factors behind the rising incarceration rate for blacks and Latinos. It earmarked $8 billion dollars for prisons and continued a trend to harsher sentencing.

She has also specifically said , “We need more police, we need more and tougher prison sentences for repeat offenders. The three strikes and you’re out for violent offenders has to be part of the plan. We need more prisons to keep violent offenders for as long as it takes to keep them off the streets.”

And she has been a longtime advocate of the death penalty.

She is a Woman

Except… so are Angela Merkel, Nancy Reagan, Ayn Rand, Sarah Palin and Margaret Thatcher.