Issac Saul, a Bernie supporter who has learned to love Hillary Clinton, writes:
Perhaps Clinton’s greatest blemish on her record is the destabilizing of Libya, which led to the Benghazi diplomatic compound attack. Certainly, it was one of the career bullet points that made me despise her. But despite $7 million dollars spent on Benghazi investigations, 1,982 published pages of reports on Benghazi, 10 congressional committees participating in investigations, 3,194 questions asked in a public forum, Clinton and her administration have been found guilty of zero wrongdoing.
I really dislike how, even among some lefties like Issac Saul, the problem with Clinton re: Libya has become about “Benghazi.” As if the (genuinely ridiculous) GOP attacks on Cllnton have made lefties forget all the genuine reasons to criticize Clinton on Libya.
But Clinton made bad decisions regarding Libya that may have led to a protracted war and thousands of deaths, and which undermined US credibility on nuclear disarmament. And it’s notable that the Iraq disaster and the Libya disaster both stem, in part, from the same American delusion – underestimating the chaos that follows a forcible regime change, and overestimating the ability of the US to prevent that chaos. This is a worrying pattern.
(Nor are Iraq and Libya Clinton’s only foreign policy disasters – I just posted about her siding against democracy in Honduras.)
I’m going to vote for Clinton, because Trump is so much worse, and because Clinton’s team is advocating some really great policies.
But it’s important that liberals and lefties not abstain from holding Clinton’s feet to the fire on her foreign policy problems. However bad Clinton’s foreign policy will be over the next 8 years – and I assume it’ll be a mix of good and bad – it will be worse if she experiences only compliance from her left.
I believe Mickey Kaus made this point a year or so ago. It’s really an excellent point and needs to be made more frequently.
Unfortunately I expect any attempts from the Left to hold her feet to the fire after she’s elected will meet with the same disingenuous smears from the Daou-Marcotte Amen Corner.
And I say this as someone who will also vote for her if my state is at all close in late October.
I just hope the enormous Millennial support for Sanders signals a general shift in the Democratic Party similar to Momentum’s overturning the Blairite/NuLab coup in the UK. Thirty years of this Clinton/DLC crap masquerading as “progressive” is enough.
Unfortunately, the general left’s ability to hold her feet to the fire after she’s become President is minimal.
I’m hopeful that they’ll be able to do so. If she’s smart — and I know she is — Clinton is aware that 80% of Democrats under 30 supported Bernie over her. And she’s aware that another four year cohort of her base has gone on to their reward and been replaced by those people in 2020. On top of which, the Berniecrats show no sign of shutting up shop and being quiet for the next four years — they’re by and large the same people involved in Occupy and BLM. So there’s a very real possibility that if she screws over the left and triangulates like Bill did the same people will be running a challenger in the 2020 primaries or bolting Green on a larger scale.
” if she screws over the left and triangulates like Bill did the same people will be running a challenger in the 2020 primaries or bolting Green on a larger scale.”
But as we all know, voting Green just brings in the Republicans.
A challenger in 2020 is an interesting possibility, but still pretty unlikely. (Although more likely than a Green candidate winning the Presidency, I’ll give you that)
But the US electoral system means that Clinton can basically be as unpleasant as she wants as long as she’s more pleasant than the Republican nominee. And even if the Republicans nominate somebody less offensive than Trump, that’s still very likely to be the case – I seriously doubt anybody would be arguing that Clinton was worse than Romney or McCain.
I really like many of Clinton’s domestic policies. Some of her proposals are actually do-able (unlike most of Sanders’s, no matter how excited he got his base), and many are more progressive than anything coming out of the White House in my lifetime.
Alas, as much as I like Clinton on domestic policy, I dislike her on foreign policy. And with things are the way they are, presidents have much more impact on foreign policy than on domestic policy. Trump is a nutter, so I definitely like her more than him on foreign policy (and while I am not an interventionist, I am not an isolationist either).
It really is too bad that Clinton bought into the “we can remake the world in our image” delusion without the accompanying massively expensive occupations (in personnel and money). Its like people forgot that Japan and Germany were actively occupied by huge armies for something like 40 years, which certainly helped turn them into stable democracies. Now, there is this idea (for which Libya is a perfect example) that foreign powers can create power vacuums that will miraculously be filled by stable (and desirable from the power’s point of view) leadership that springs up fully formed from the ruins left behind without massive bloodshed.
” Its like people forgot that Japan and Germany were actively occupied by huge armies for something like 40 years”
Depends what you mean by ‘occupied’. While Allied forces stayed in both countries for a long time (they’re still there, in fact), they explicitly disclaimed any intervention in either country’s domestic politics from 1949 and 1955, respectively.