On Sunday May 3rd, Britain’s Guardian, which has major influence upon Democratic Party opinion-leaders, headlined “Clinton campaign keeps progressives guessing: how far left will she go?” Tom McCarthy ‘reported’ that:
“In three weeks of multi-format politicking – roundtables, speeches, fundraisers, mile markers – Clinton has seized the Democratic banner and run with it, pitching voters on progressive priorities from reproductive rights to income inequality to climate change.”
The underlying assumption is that the record of Hillary Clinton indicates that her campaign rhetoric reflects accurately both her real beliefs and the policies that she has instituted in her political career. This is a false assumption.
Mr. McCarthy selectively interviewed ‘experts’ who espouse the same false assumption that he’s selling:
“Amy Walter, national editor of the Cook Political Report, said that while Clinton may currently be emphasizing issues that resonate with Democratic primary voters, there was no reason to think the words were not honestly come by, and the candidate did not seem to be straying outside her central political identity.”
Ms. Walter, in turn, supported her opinion by saying that Ms. Clinton’s “actual core set of values” such as supporting “gay marriage,” were “honestly come by” and constituted “her central political identity.”
According to Clinton’s supporters, her verbal endorsement of liberal social positions makes her a progressive regardless of whether she has an actual record of supporting Wall Street and the billionaire class, who, as I documented in a previous report, constitute and have constituted the top financial contributors to her political career. In fact, the assumption of these supposedly liberal pundits is that corruption (back-door political payoffs to financial backers) isn’t a far more important issue in American politics and policymaking than is mere verbal adherence (such as Hillary is now giving) to social issues such as feminism and gay rights.
However, those ‘journalists’ aren’t even accurately representing Hillary Clinton’s merely verbal record, much less her actual policy record.
On 12 June 2014, Ms. Clinton on NPR said, “For me, marriage had always been a problem left for the states.” In other words: it wasn’t a human right, available to people in a manner without prejudice; it was like slavery before President Lincoln: a state’s-rights matter instead of a human-rights matter.
Her interviewer, Terry Gross, however, pointed out, and asked:
“DOMA [the anti-gay-rights federal law] was actually signed by your husband when he was president. In spite of the fact that he signed it, were you glad at this point that the Supreme Court struck some of it down?”
“Of course. And, you know, again, let’s — we are living at a time when this extraordinary change is occurring and I’m proud of our country.” In other words: She follows, instead of leads, the country, on even that issue.
Gross then said:
“I understand, but a lot of people already believed in it back [in] the ’90s. A lot of people already supported gay marriage.”
Ms. Clinton replied:
“But not — to be fair, Terry, not that many.” In other words: She follows instead of leads the country — even in her mere rhetoric, not to even deal with what her actual policies are and have been.
However, her policies have been consistently to serve the rich and powerful (her financial backers) at the expense of the poor and powerless. This fact was amply documented in the links to my most recent article on her actual record. She ardently supported NAFTA but then criticized it when she was running in 2008 for the Presidency. And on Fracking, GMOs and other issues where large international corporations have profit-interests that go in the opposite direction to the public interest, she has reliably been with the mega-corporations.
When Ms. Gross then meekly said, ”I’m pretty sure you didn’t answer my question,” Ms. Clinton responded angrily, “You know, I really — I have to say, I think you are very persistent, but you are playing with my words and playing with what is such an important issue.”
Gross replied to that: “I am just trying to clarify so I can understand.”
Clinton said in reply: “No, I don’t think you are trying to clarify.”
To this allegation, that Ms. Gross was the one who was dissembling or misrepresenting, Gross simply caved: “You know, I’m just saying — I’m sorry.” (Perhaps she then bowed down to the queen, but, since this was radio instead of television, no record exists on that.)
In American journalism, standing up against a serial liar who has support from much of the Establishment can get one fired, or one’s show cancelled.
Clinton now gave sign that the offense of having probed ever so slightly would be treated by the queen with forgivenness:
“When I was ready to say what I said, I said it.”
Gross responded: “OK, thank you for clarifying that. [Now addressing her listeners:] If you’re just joining us, my guest is Hillary Clinton. Her new memoir ‘Hard Choices’ is about her four years as secretary of state.” The ‘journalist’ thus got back to what she’s paid for: selling what the Establishment is offering — in this case: selling another Republican ‘Democrat’ like Obama has been. This way, for example, the Wall Street bailouts and resultant soaring federal debt that will have to be repaid by higher taxes and/or less government services to all future U.S. taxpayers and that were started by George W. Bush and were continued by Barack Obama, will be continued without doubt if Hillary Clinton becomes the Democratic Party’s Presidential nominee: she’ll adhere to Republican policies as much as Obama has adhered to Romney’s policies on most things.
And that’s really what ‘journalists’ such as at Guardian and NPR are really selling. Their real audience isn’t the public who think they are receiving journalism instead of mere propaganda; it’s instead the aristocracy who control the ‘news’ media.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.