(You’re Likeable Enough) Hillary


Everything is subject to change, but for now I’m going to vote for Hillary, mostly because I don’t confuse politics and morality. She’s on the right side, and that’s already good enough. I voted for Hillary in the primaries the last time around, and then made my peace with Obama, whom I was happy to see win, twice.

Truth be told, Obama has proved to be only so-so despite being the smartest guy in the room, or actually maybe because of it. Even with this and that flash of genuine brilliance, he’s proven to be a stiff political communicator, sententious and tinny. About Israel I think he’s been just fine, but not tough enough against the occupation. And much of the fault for the current Syrian debacle hangs squarely to these past two Administrations. Instead of taking the lead, he let the Russians and Iranians manipulate the vacuum filled by ISIS. Is there any reason to think a deal with Iran won’t advance Iranian hegemony and aggravate the unfolding disaster there and in Iraq?

It just might happen that her campaign this time will collapse. I’m ready for that, and then I’ll move on. But as a matter of principle, I refuse to vote for prophets and saints. In politics, I actually despise them. I don’t like the supercilious sense that they know how to do things better than anyone else. Immodest, they always disappoint. That’s why I have always thought that Hillary would have made the better president; because she’s tough as nails and just a little corrupt, an established and experienced pol, an operator practiced in the gross political arts of back slapping and glad-handing. It’s a pity that Obama was nowhere near as good.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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11 Responses to (You’re Likeable Enough) Hillary

  1. bluebryan says:

    Lovely, another Clinton supporter that has literally no reason to support her. Please tell me, what will she do for our country? Because you, like every other Clinton supporter, has failed to mention that.

    • zjb says:

      I’d guess she’ll continue to advance a liberal agenda, and nominate judges and liberal Supreme Court justices. I imagine she’ll do as much about income and racial inequality and climate control as anyone else can actually accomplish, including Sanders. All that is “good enough” for me.

      • bluebryan says:

        Clinton will promote racial INequality as much as any other liberal politician. She will raise taxes and ruin businesses to fund feel good programs like EBT and HUD housing so the lower class doesn’t have to work. She will buy the votes of minorities with the middle and upperclass Americans money. That’s not “good enough” for me. But thank you for being a prime example of the majority of ignorant Americans that will vote for Clinton based on name recognition alone.

      • zjb says:

        Ok, now i see where you’r coming from. Good luck with your primaries.

      • Just Somebody That You Used To Know says:

        “Good enough” for you because you’re part of the country’s elite. Why don’t you pick a “high-crime” region of Syracuse off neighborhoodscout.com, knock on a few doors down there and ask them whether they think it’s good enough for them? Those people will be coming out for this primary just like the tea party did and just like the people of Vermont have turned out for Sanders’ elections, because he is offering a credible, sustainable alternative to the defeatist, cynical attitude behind most of the support for Clinton.

        I’m curious about what you think of these remarks from Sanders:

        One of the biggest mistakes President Obama made once he was in office was, after mobilizing millions of Americans during his brilliant 2008 campaign, to basically tell those supporters, ‘Thank you, I’m going to sit down with John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and take it from here.’

        I will not make that mistake.

        What we’re building together as part of this campaign is not just about electing a president. No one person, not me or the best president you could imagine, can make the changes we need by him or herself.

        What’s necessary to make change happen is a mobilized grassroots movement. That’s especially true when a few wealthy billionaires and corporations have their sights set on buying our elections.

        If we’re going to accomplish what we want for this country, it won’t happen by negotiating with Mitch McConnell — it will only happen when millions of Americans get out and make their voices heard.

        I’m watching that movement is forming. Sanders is the nucleus the atomized Left can form around.

        Also, it is lazy to think that Sanders is less electable than Hillary because he wants to return to a so-called socialist tax-and-spend regime approximately the same as that of the Eisenhower administration. “Old, Jewish Socialist” are basically the only three epithets you can hurl at Sanders, and only two of them are convincing to most people. I know because I’ve talked to a lot people about him (over a thousand), including many conservatives. Meanwhile, the epithets Clinton has opened herself to are legion and highly damaging. If she gets the nomination it is pretty obvious that she is going to lose. I’ve talked to a lot of people, and I haven’t met a single one who is passionately for Hillary, but MANY who are disgusted by her.

      • zjb says:

        I’m not part of the “elite,” unless by that you include the entire middle class. But yes, undoubtedly, I’ll admit that my politics are class politics. If Sanders can win the nomination, then god bless him. I just don’t think he can. I’ll also add that the comment you posted about not working with Republicans only makes sense when you enjoy a super-majority status in both the Congress and Senate. That’s just the way our system is rigged. I don’t think you can run the White House as a bully pulpit. Lastly, we’ll see if Sanders can get the African American and Latino primary vote in the Democratic primary. At present, his numbers there are anemic. So far he’s doing well in Iowa and NH where the politics are boutique and lily-white.

      • Just Somebody That You Used To Know says:

        His numbers are anemic in a lot of groups because most people have never heard of him. That’s going to change.

      • zjb says:

        Let’s see!

  2. chicagoteamster says:

    About your 2nd paragraph (above): Makes sense to me, but I don’t see what this has to do with being a HRC supporter. Coincidentally, there’s a passing reference to HRC’s service as Secretary of State in today’s (7/12) NY Times. Book review of Emma Sky’s “The Unraveling” says that HRC backed US Ambassador Hill in 2009-2010. Hill was backing Maliki, and Maliki was alienating the Sunnis. Might have thought that the unwillingness to press Maliki on pluralism (or to consider alternatives to Maliki after he lost the 2010 elections) came direct from the White House. But today’s book review suggests that Emma Sky suggests that HRC had a hand in that debacle.

    • zjb says:

      fair enough, and thanks!

    • zjb says:

      i think though that even with this point about Maliki that HRC would not have made the same mistakes with Syria. But that’ might just be wishful thinking on my part. About Iraq, it’s probably the case that the only party with real influence was/is Iran.

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