Hillary Earns Praise from Right, Angst from Left
Last week, we did two articles, with arguments for and against Donald Trump. And the harshest criticism was from a conservative source. Today, we’ll look at what’s being said about Hillary Clinton and her party, and again, it might surprise you. The conservative is arguing for her, and the liberal is arguing against.
First, we have Jonathan V. Last, from the conservative Weekly Standard.
How bad is Hillary Clinton, really?
I don’t mean this as a rhetorical question. Rather, what I’m interested in is placing Clinton in the continuity of recent Democratic politicians.
. . . ask yourself this: Let’s pretend for a moment that America has to have a Democratic president and that this president will be one of the figures to have won the Democratic party nomination over the last 40 years. In that context, where does Clinton rank?
Do you believe Clinton would be a worse president that Obama has been? I don’t. Clinton is venal and pliable and eager to follow paths of political opportunism, which suggests that she never would have pushed through unpopular measures such as Obamacare or mass amnesty. . .
How about John Kerry? Again, I’d prefer Clinton. She lies habitually, but. . .she’s a good deal tougher than Secretary Windsurfer.
Dukakis? Mondale? Clinton has liberal political leanings, but she’s too much of an opportunist to be a genuine ideologue. I’d much rather have Clinton than either of them. And Jimmy Carter? He was only the most disastrous (and insufferable) president of the twentieth century. I’d take Clinton, again.
In fact, the only Democratic nominee who makes it an argument is her husband. And the truth is, if Bill Clinton hadn’t defiled his office, broken the impeachment process, and lowered the bar so that his successors could safely break laws with impunity, then he’d have been a pretty decent president. . .
None of this is to say that conservatives should like Hillary Clinton, or vote for her. But. . .By the standards of Democratic party pols, Hillary Clinton might be the best you can hope for.
OK, that’s “faint praise.” But it’s coming from someone whose publication is dead-set against Donald Trump. So while he’s not saying you should vote for Hillary, the implication is that you shouldn’t vote for Trump either.
Now, let’s look at the other side of the aisle, as Sarah Eberspacher writes in the British Guardian.
The American electorate is complicated. But there is a narrow perspective that many liberals in my adult life use to paint the people from my hometown, and from the thousands of other places like it.
In that painting, it’s just the people reached on landlines that admit they plan to support Donald Trump who actually do. And those Trump voters time and again are given a suspiciously similar face: white; male; blue collar. And then those less neutral descriptors: racist; sexist; uneducated. The first three are often shorthand for the second set.
The Democratic party – and by that, I mean the party gatekeepers with power to wield media influence, which worked out great for the Brexit vote – are writing off those hardcore racists as an overblown minority that is making more noise than they can translate into votes. But overlooking “regular Joe” moderate voters like the ones who filled my childhood could be our undoing.
My party has gotten cocky, and I fear that condescending mentality will lose us this election. Because for all of his divisive bluster, Trump has gotten one thing right time and again: small-town America is not doing great. . .
Where my family lives, factories are closing. Schools don’t have enough money for teachers, and all of Barack Obama’s hope and change hasn’t done much trickling down in the last eight years. And just because the moderate voters living in these areas aren’t showing up at Trump rallies or plastering your Facebook wall with tirades about Muslims doesn’t mean they’re planning to support Obama’s heir apparent come November.
Even if Clinton does win in a landslide, what I fear most is the elitism my party is embracing, and its ultimate cost.
And, finally, whom does Hillary like these days? You wouldn’t guess.
In an unusual election year, when a quarter of Republicans say they do not have a favorable opinion of their presumptive nominee, Clinton is making striking overtures to conservatives even as she works to shore up support on the left flank of her party by winning over Sen. Bernie Sanders’ liberal backers.
That’s included surprisingly warm talk about both former Presidents Bush, as well as GOP icon Ronald Reagan. At a campaign stop in Westminster, Calif., earlier this month, Clinton said she was fortunate enough to have known “a lot of presidents.”
“I knew President George H.W. Bush, and he was always willing to talk about issues and ask what was on your mind,” she said. Of his son, she offered more specific praise, saying he was “absolutely committed” after 9/11 to his promise to get New York City the billions of dollars it needed to rebuild. “He never wavered and I’ll never forget that,” she said of Bush, as a few supporters clapped tepidly.