By Lila Garrett

Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

Recently in the presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton supporters have complained vociferously that Bernie Sanders is being too critical. In reality, he’s been far too polite. He’s obviously uncomfortable insulting his opponent, shooting from the hip, using sarcasm instead of facts. Clinton’s comfort zone is all of that. Her sarcasm slops over the brim, and facts vanish like so much fairy dust. She dismisses the effective Sanders, with the solid progressive agenda, as a dreamer, while she, the proud warrior, paints herself as the pragmatist.

Enough of this. Let’s meet the real Clinton.

She has been running hard as an anti-gun candidate. Really? Then why, in 2008, did her then-opponent, Barack Obama, refer to her as “Annie Oakley”? Clinton was far more lenient on gun control at that time then Sanders ever was. If he’s pro-gun, why does he have a D- rating from the National Rifle Association? And in case you think Clinton has completely turned around on the issue of guns, on March 19 she was given a whopping fundraiser by John Forbes, a major lobbyist of the NRA.

Not only is Clinton not the progressive she claims to be, she has consistently supported the agenda of corporations wishing to overrule government decisions (witness her strong previous support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which gives corporations exactly that power).

Her foreign policy, endorsed not just by Henry Kissinger and neoconservative Robert Kagan, is lauded by Dick Cheney. Remember him? The Dr. Strangelove of the Bush administration?

Of course he would admire her. As secretary of state, she rarely, if ever, saw a war she didn’t love. She was the primary cheerleader on the lethal attack on and destabilization of Libya. She also strongly supported attacks on Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and Syria. She gave her blessing to the administration’s weekly drone and bomb attacks on all of these countries and who knows how many more.

Until this presidential campaign, she strongly supported environmentally toxic policies, the Keystone XL pipeline and fracking among them.

She had no interest in raising the minimum wage until forced to by Sanders’ advocacy for $15 an hour, and even now she’s only willing go to $12.

Then there is the little under-the-table exchange of $900,000 from Boeing to the Clinton Foundation as the secretary of state granted the company the right to sell warplanes to Saudi Arabia; an additional $10 million has flowed into Clinton coffers from Saudi Arabia, which bought more arms from us than ever before while Clinton was secretary of state. The $10 million went to the Clinton Foundation. Where else would they hide it—under their mattress? And while we’re on the subject, who knows what else is under that mattress? The Clintons are very wealthy people. You don’t get mega-rich on a president’s or a senator’s salary.

The Clintons’ habit of exchanging favors for payoffs is well known. Bill Clinton did it when he left office. He got $100 million from speeches after lifting the regulations on derivatives—a major factor in the wild ride from Wall Street that we were victimized by. But the Clintons went on their way, bouncing merrily on their now-very-fat mattress.

In a TV interview, Hillary Clinton attributed some of her lethal decisions to “hard choices,” the name of her book. When her vote for war with Iraq came up, she admitted it was a mistake, but dismissed it as an example of “one of those hard choices.” She accompanied that dismissal with a laugh so loud, so sardonic, it could have come from a gargoyle in a horror movie.

She is not that fictional creature, however. She is the potential leader of the free world. And that makes the situation serious.

We like the idea of a strong woman as president. We agree it’s long overdue. Is Hillary Clinton what we mean by “strong”? Or is she simply an example of a hypercompetitive person driven by greed and a need for power and revenge?

CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked her the key question some months ago. Cooper said:

“You were against same sex marriage. Now you’re for it. You defended Obama’s immigration policies. Now you say they’re too harsh.You’ve supported trade deals dozens of times. Even called them the gold standard. Now suddenly you’re against it. Will you say anything to get elected?”

I have seen Hillary Clinton cry only once. The country loved her for that moment of vulnerability. I could understand it. The year was 2008, and she cried when she lost the presidential election.

It takes less to bring me to tears. I cry when I think of her winning this one.

Lila Garrett is a TV writer, director and producer. She also hosts the political talk show “Connect the Dots” on KPFK-FM. She has won a Writer’s Guild Award and two Emmys.


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