Republicans Hate Hillary Clinton (Unless They Actually Know Her)

Republicans Hate Hillary Clinton (Unless They Actually Know Her)

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Dating back to Hillary Clinton’s earliest days as First Lady, the frame imposed on her by mainstream and conservative media both has been “unlikable” — a description that has mystified many people who know her.

What this framing has proved is that she is disliked by a lot of journalists and columnists, most of whom don’t know Clinton, at powerful outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post, the broadcast networks and cable shows.  (A clinical example is Maureen Dowd of the Times op-ed page, whose crazed animus seems based on no personal knowledge whatsoever.) To those who are familiar with Clinton, in fact, she has always seemed considerably more agreeable than the vain, bitter, superficial journalists who whine incessantly about her. But hammered in over and over again for decades, the framing stuck.

In the current electoral context, it is hard to imagine Clinton being less likable than the juvenile bigot and prevaricating braggart Donald Trump (who used to praise her quite generously, by the way, until he decided to run for president and realized that she’s the devil).

But what I’ve found truly striking about the “unlikable Hillary” narrative is how often and how bluntly it is contradicted not only by Democrats and independents, but by Republicans, too, who actually know and like the former Secretary of State despite their profound disagreement with her political outlook. These Republicans, including many of her former Senate colleagues, admit that they like — or even “love” — Hillary despite her liberal voting record and Democratic loyalties.

So I wrote a guest column for Monday’s Daily News that noted how routinely she has earned the affections of Republicans and conservatives who served and worked with her — as Weekly Standard online editor Daniel Halper learned, to his apparent dismay and frustration:

…Halper was astounded to hear Hillary Clinton praised by one Republican after another on Capitol Hill while working on Clinton, Inc., a scathingly negative book he published in 2014. When he interviewed “Clinton’s biggest opponents within the Republican Party during her time as First Lady,” Halper recalled, “no matter how much they were coaxed, not one of them would say a negative thing about Hillary Clinton as a person.” Unwilling to believe his ears, Halper assumed that she had merely flattered them into extolling her.

But the positive view presented by her erstwhile critics was remarkably consistent, Halper admitted. Among those who got to know her best was Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who “developed a very friendly relationship” with Clinton on the Armed Services Committee. McCain’s political consultant Mike Murphy explained, “They get along. He respects her. She’s funny. She’s smart.” Former Arkansas Sen. Asa Hutchinson, who ran the Drug Enforcement Administration during the Bush years, said working with her was “always a joy.” Other Republicans described her as “highly regarded,” “engaged,” even mischievous, with a keen sense of humor.

There is much more at the link, notably the revealing remarks of conservative commentators Dick Morris and Michael Medved (who has known Clinton since law school and, I’m reliably told, may soon endorse her over Trump, whom he despises). The point is simple: Be skeptical of journalists who constantly disparage the personality of a public figure whom they scarcely know at all.

Joe Conason’s Quote Is Still Relevant…


Joe Conason

From Wikipedia:

Joe Conason (born January 25, 1954) is an American journalist, author and political commentator. He writes a column for and has written a number of books, including Big Lies (2003), which addresses what he says are myths spread about liberals by conservatives. He currently is editor-in-chief at The National Memo, a new political newsletter and website.

Conason wrote:

Liberal policies made America the freest, wealthiest, most successful and most powerful nation in human history. Conservatism in power always threatens to undo that national progress, and is almost always frustrated by the innate decency and democratic instincts of the American people…

The above quote comes from Joe Conason’s 2003 New York Times Bestseller, Big Lies.

It appears that the Republican attack machine’s vitriolic approach to politics by barely compromising across the aisle with Democrats,  inter alia, may have reached it’s peak during the Clinton Administration and has carried on to this day with perhaps even more vitriol and much less compromise.


“Dysfunctional” Too Polite to Describe Tea Party Congress

I agree!

Yahoo News   – Joe Conason

As America lurches toward new and unfamiliar status as a nation that defaults on its debts, commentators around the world are wondering how the democratic government that was once the most admired in the world — for many reasons — is now so “dysfunctional,” to use the polite term. But the truth is that the entire U.S. government is not dysfunctional. Much of the government functions well enough or better, and even the members of the troubled U.S. Senate seem to be trying, a little late, to deal with the problem before us.

No, dysfunctional is the too-polite term for the House of Representatives, specifically its dominant tea party Republicans, who can be described in far less dainty psychological terms. Even the most extreme Republican partisans in the Senate seem to realize that their House colleagues, seized by some combination of ideology, madness and pig ignorance, are propelling the country and the world toward economic chaos.

Of course, the tea party Republicans insist that no such thing will ever happen — the warnings from economists, business leaders, financiers and public officials are merely so much “scare talk.”

When President Obama says that he won’t be able to send out Social Security and Veterans Administration checks or meet the nation’s obligations on Treasury debt come Aug. 2, he is just trying to frighten his opponents into giving up their principles. They don’t accept the idea that we have to pay for financial obligations already incurred — or that the rising interest rates caused by default will make future deficits much deeper.

But they don’t have to believe the president to understand that the threat posed by default is real. They could listen to ultra-conservative senators like Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga. — members of the Gang of Six/Seven whose own profound ideological hostility to Obama and the Democrats still leaves space for prudence.

Continue reading here…


Bill Clinton: I’d use 14th amendment

Former President Bill Clinton would invoke the 14th Amendment – “without hesitation, and force the courts to stop me,” he says – to raise the debt ceiling if he were in President Barack Obama’s shoes, with the deadline to raise the limit just two weeks away.

“I think the Constitution is clear and I think this idea that the Congress gets to vote twice on whether to pay for [expenditures] it has appropriated is crazy,” Clinton said in an interview with journalist Joe Conason.

Clinton said he would turn to the Constitution “if it came to that,” but doesn’t think that Obama will need to. “It looks to me like they’re going to make an agreement, and that’s smart,” he said.

Obama has sidestepped direct questioning about invoking a clause in the amendment to the Constitution that has been interpreted by some to mean that the president has the authority to take all necessary steps to maintain the good credit of the United States. But a lawyer for the Treasury Department has publicly refuted that interpretation, saying that Secretary Timothy Geithner has “never argued that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows the president to disregard the statutory debt limit.”

Clinton said that raising the debt ceiling “is necessary to pay for appropriations already made.” Congressional Republicans, he said, “can’t say, ‘Well, we won the last election and we didn’t vote for some of that stuff, so we’re going to throw the whole country’s credit into arrears.”

The former president also noted that he could have faced a similar crisis during his own time in office, when congressional Republicans weighed blocking a debt ceiling hike. Republicans “did think about doing that … and I knew they were thinking about it,” but they decided against it because “they didn’t want to get caught” in a position where they might be seen as attacking Clinton’s two immediate predecessors, both Republicans.

“The reason that raising the debt limit is so unpopular is that people think you’re voting to keep [increasing] deficit spending, instead of voting to honor obligations that were already incurred,” he said. “I think [the Gingrich Republicans] figured I’d be smart enough to explain to the American people that they were refusing to pay for the expenses they had voted for when Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were president. And that would make ‘em look bad.”

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