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I'm reminded of what I wrote about Obama's prospective Presidency back in the early days of this site;-

It was Matt Taibbi who first identified the real problem with Barack Obama, that he is a largely self-satisfied exponent of the status quo. Jerome's recent (and necessary) evisceration of his foreign policy statements only underlines the fact that, should Obama become US President, nothing much will change. Not on the foreign policy front, and, especially, not on the domestic front.

I feel we're in the same territory with Hillary. Politicians rarely make concrete promises during campaigns, "Hope" and "Change" are more their tenor. "I'm not Trump" will probably do for Hillary.

But what we missed with our cynicism over Obama was .... everything. Everything that mattered anyway. You can complain about this or that, and god knows I've had a few moans myself about this and that, but the fact is, Obama has done a large amount. And condiering the opposition he's faced while doing it, it is beyond amazing he achieved anything.

Hillary will not be Obama, she will not be Bill. She has given no hostages to fortune, made no promises I can think of. But she has spent 25 years at the forefront of power. She's learned hard bitter lessons. Nobody denies she's an intensely bright, capable person, with character forged in the white heat of public vitriol few can even imagine, let alone experience. And she has come through whole.

Do. Not. Under-Estimate. This. Woman.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 04:00:23 PM EST
Good advice.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 09:58:20 PM EST
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I would disagee only with the 'has given no hostages to fortune' part. She is thoroughly hostage to the survival of the current financial system - AS IT IS or worse.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 7th, 2016 at 11:48:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To me, Hillary is fairly obvious.  On domestic policy, she's basically Obama.  Well to the left of how her husband governed, although Bill was obviously severely hindered by governing in the immediate aftermath of the takeover of the Reagan Coalition, whereas Obama's governing at that coalition's twilight.

On foreign policy, by her own words and by all inside accounts of her time in the Obama administration, she's much more hawkish than Obama.  Obama's made what I think are some boneheaded moves with the Arab Spring, but his cautiousness has, I think, helped ensure those boneheaded mistakes haven't resulted in us getting sucked into quagmires.

(He's made some good moves too, of course:  Normalizing with Cuba, reaching out to Iran, etc.)

She also seems to be much more comfortable with our traditional role of supporting Israel, babysitting our Arab "allies," and generally screwing around in the Middle East.

Whereas Obama has made it pretty clear that he hates the Israeli leadership (and been perfectly happy to let Bibi slowly turn Israel into a partisan issue), doesn't see any of the Arab regimes as allies (in fact openly jokes about it with regard to the Saudis), and would really rather focus on building alliances with emerging countries in Asia instead of dealing with all the crazy the Mid-East comes with thanks very much.

She's not Bob Rubin in a pantsuit.  She's Barack Obama with Madeleine Albright's foreign policy.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jun 8th, 2016 at 01:32:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...adding:

And I've sort of made my peace with that.  I hate it, of course, and my fondest wish is that she's putting on a "toughness" schtick because, not being a complete idiot, she knows misogyny dictates that women have a tendency to be portrayed as weak.  And, unfortunately, we're still, at base, a bunch of dumb apes, and "strength" in the midst of a campaign is often bestowed upon s/he who talks the toughest game about sorting out the savages with freedom bombs.

So perhaps she pivots away from the hawkishness when/if she wins.  That's the hope anyway.  But my inclination is always to take politicians at their word barring strong background evidence to the contrary.  They may all be corrupt liars, but presidents do historically move in the direction they promise to move.

Some of the difference between the two is probably generational.  They're about 15 years apart, I think, which is massive in a cultural sense.  She grew up a middle- to upper-middle-class white woman from a pretty standard suburban family in Illinois during the height of the Cold War.  He grew up a middle-class black man raised by an academic mom in Hawaii and Indonesia and came of age as the Soviet Union was rotting.

She always strikes me as a classic Boomer, and he always strikes me as a classic Gen-X'er (even if he's technically from the back end of the Boomers).  They can kinda understand each other, but it's like me and my friends sitting at a bar here and chatting with the college kids.  We can talk football or something else universally relatable all day, but when you get into politics or music or something, there's a little common ground.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Wed Jun 8th, 2016 at 06:26:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The price of putting a woman into office is that she may feel she has to be a reincarnation of Maggie Thatcher to justify herself in that position.  Or maybe it is that men pre-select those women they will allow into power by allowing only Thatcher wannabes into the game. Certainly many women's libbers I know felt they had to be twice as tough and work twice as hard as the men to get to where the men got to.  

Trump fits that stereotype pretty well too.  Born into money, he can do more or less as he pleases, say whatever, fail any number of times in business, have no educational qualifications or previous public service accomplishments and hey Presto: He's a leader, ready for the White House. Can you imagine a women with a similar track record get past first base?

Hopefully Hillary has learned that she doesn't have to act like a macho man once in office.  No drama Obama could be quite a powerful role model for her. She's also not inheriting a full scale war from him and Isis seems to be on the run. A key test will be how many neo-cons she puts into powerful positions.  Obama has pretty much marginalised the worst of them. We'll see.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 9th, 2016 at 04:17:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Imagine a woman with similar track record...

Hmm, Fiorina?

by fjallstrom on Thu Jun 9th, 2016 at 05:11:49 PM EST
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Well - she did run. But no one took her seriously.

They might have if she'd built a Trump-style empire. Or at least given the impression of same - which is, to be fair, all that Trump has ever done.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jun 9th, 2016 at 08:44:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right, she's universally known as a colossal failure -- rightly so, having destroyed not one but two major tech companies -- whereas people tend to assume a certain level of competence with Trump given his name is bolted onto so much crap.  He just hopes you don't look too closely.

It helps him that he's more of an entrepreneur.  A really bad one, generally, but one nevertheless.  Whereas Fiorina's more the MBA-type, so she doesn't really have the brand that goes along with an empire, however shitty that empire that may be.

I assume she did something at least half-decent to get the HP job while she was at AT&T and (I think?) Lucent.  In that sense, kinda like Trump:  One decent effort followed by colossal failure everywhere else.  Trump was just savvier in turning his real business into a brand.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Jun 10th, 2016 at 05:58:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, Lucent. Who could imagine that the successor to Bell Labs could fall so low. But Bell Labs was never expected to be a major profit center in the short term.
Lucent did damage all around as it went down.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jun 10th, 2016 at 07:48:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hopefully she'd inherit a manageable situation.  ISIS is eventually going to collapse, and we and the Russians -- at least last I read -- seem to have come to a kinda-sorta agreement on what should happen in Syria with respect to Assad.

If we and the Iranians can get the stupid Iraqi government to reconcile with the Sunnis, we might be able to get something approaching a functioning state over there.

She's supportive of the nuclear deal with Iran.  That's good.

So catastrophic-mistake-making opportunities should hopefully dwindle a good bit.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Jun 9th, 2016 at 05:14:41 PM EST
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You may have seen reports that Hillary recently said:"Not doing stupid shit does not make a foreign policy", or words to that effect. I also saw a claim that Obama was considerably annoyed at this. My fear is that when she proposed hawkish moves that Obama's response was "We don't do stupid shit" and that she chafed under that injunction. The easiest way for her to blight her administration would be to pull another stupid intervention, comparable in some way to Iraq.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Jun 10th, 2016 at 09:34:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Her exact words, in reference to arming Syrian rebels earlier and at greater scale than we did, were: "'Don't do stupid stuff' is not an organizing principle."

Obama, who tends to be pretty levelheaded and tends to roll his eyes at obvious politicking like this, was reportedly livid.  He didn't respond in public but did apparently give her a piece of his mind in private.  Axelrod, on the other hand, had no qualms about responding on Twitter.

I'm sure there were situations like that, where she'd advocate a larger response and he'd veto it under the "Don't Do Stupid Shit" doctrine.  And I'm sure it did chafe her.  Clinton tends to favor sweeping ideological positions in the foreign policy realm that suppose our military and intelligence folks are capable of a lot of social engineering.  Obama tends to be skeptical of sweeping ideological positions on anything (he's a liberal, obviously, but doesn't tend to be wedded to methodology), doesn't think large-scale military interventions like Iraq are either necessary or desirable, and prefers calculated risks on an ad hoc basis that leave us with an ability to wind down or ramp up as results dictate.

(His interview with Jeffrey Goldberg was pretty informative on that.)

If she's smart, she'll see that it served him pretty well.  It's how he beat her eight years ago, after all.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 11th, 2016 at 09:07:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For public purposes 'stuff' is more presidential. And I fear her tendencies, by now, are pretty much hard wired and that she will try to open every can of worms and then live in the midst of them. I certainly hope not.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jun 11th, 2016 at 09:46:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you have anything substantial on her support for the Iranian deal?
As far as I remember there was no progress while she was Secretary and her support of the deal after the fact was rather lackluster.
Convince me of this and I'm rid of one of my biggest worries concerning her presidency. The second being Syria.
by generic on Tue Jun 14th, 2016 at 04:21:28 AM EST
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The Chinese have colourful experience with powerful women. And indeed, successful Western female chiefs tend to be Iron Ladies. On a scrupulous level, the misogynous presumption of snootiness, bitchiness (rather than motherly attention) of women in power still has to be disproved.

Here is what Queen Victoria wrote in 1870:

... this mad, wicked folly of `Woman's Rights,' with all its attendant horrors, on which her poor feeble sex is bent, forgetting every sense of womanly feeling and propriety.  Lady -- ­ought to get a good whipping.  It is a subject which makes the Queen so furious that she cannot contain herself.  God created men and women different -- ­then let them remain each in their own position
by das monde on Thu Jun 9th, 2016 at 09:36:39 PM EST
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I don't underestimate her.  She's very good at delivering the goods for her cronies and controllers, just like every other DLC product, and that's what we'll get from her too.
by rifek on Wed Jun 8th, 2016 at 08:56:06 PM EST
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