HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » wyldwolf » Journal
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU
Page: 1

wyldwolf

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Macon, GA
Home country: USA
Current location: Atlanta, GA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 36,237

Journal Archives

Former Sen. James Jeffords (I-VT) has died

Former Sen. James Jeffords (I-VT) has died at 80, the Burlington Free Press reports.

"Jeffords was regarded as a maverick in Washington even before he split from the Republican Party in 2001, decried the party's rightward shift and criticized what he saw President George W. Bush's political intransigence on a number of issues... Jeffords' decision to become an independent in 2001 rocked the nation by giving control of the Senate to the Democrats, costing his Republican colleagues their committee chairmanships."

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/politics/2014/08/18/james-jeffords-dies/14229425/

Sirota - still a hack

David Sirota doesn't like so-called centrists. We get it. He's made it abundantly clear. And if he'd stick with facts and avoid the slime-ball tactics, I'd have a lot more respect for the guy. But as it is, he's never been one to walk the straight and narrow when it comes to writing.

There was that really odd attack on Senator Clinton in 2007 after one of the Democratic debates. Here was the line from then that so infuriated Sirota:

Moderator: All of us remember the big NAFTA debate when your husband was President of the United States and a lot of us remember the debate between Al Gore, who was then Vice President, and Ross Perot. Ross Perot was fiercely against NAFTA. Knowing what we know now, was Ross Perot right?

(Laughter first from the audience, then from Hillary]

Clinton: All I can remember from that is a bunch of charts. That sort of is a vague memory.


Here, Senator Clinton was obviously making a quip about Perot's debate with Gore and his use of charts. But how did Sirota react?

Really, what an offensive statement Clinton made to the millions of American and Mexican workers who lost their jobs and saw their wages destroyed thanks to NAFTA - a deal pushed by the Clinton administration. You want to talk about showing how utterly out of touch you are, that's how you do it - you laugh and say you barely remember the debate over the very trade deal that is destroying America's middle class.


Regardless of how you feel about NAFTA or Hillary Clinton, Sirota's reaction was way off the mark - either intentionally or unintentionally. Either way says much about Sirota.

Matt Yglesias called out Sirota's creative spin on reality in a thorough debunking of a piece he wrote on 'centrism.' Again, regardless of how you feel about the subject matter, it's clear Sirota simply didn't know what he was writing about:

It seems to me that David Sirota's latest attack on the DLC and other "centrists" is in need of a response... the problem is that he's gone off and created a straw man here, attacking the nefarious DLC for positions it doesn't hold... The point here isn't to become a thoroughgoing DLC apologist, and I've offered criticisms of some things they've said... Sirota's attacks are growing increasingly vitriolic and wind up having increasingly little to do with the actually existing DLC and its real merits and flaws.

http://yglesias.typepad.com/matthew/2004/12/debunking_debun.html


I seem to recall some (ahem!) creative interpretations Sirota made of statements from President Obama back in the day as well. And if I wanted to spend the time, I could did up more misleading pieces by him.

So that's why I wasn't surprised at Sirota's little jab at Clinton here. I mean, all this has been debated thousands times on DU but he broke new ground here with his inclusion of Elizabeth Warren:

For example, in her book, The Two Income Trap, Warren slammed Clinton for casting a Senate vote in 2001 for a bankruptcy bill that ultimately passed in 2005... “As first lady, Mrs. Clinton had been persuaded that the bill was bad for families, and she was willing to fight for her beliefs,” Warren wrote. “As New York’s newest senator, however, it seems that Hillary Clinton could not afford such a principled position. … The bill was essentially the same, but Hillary Rodham Clinton was not.”

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025321334

quoting: http://inthesetimes.com/article/17021/Clinton-Warren-differences


Typically, Sirota either didn't dig deep enough or left off some pertinent Warren information to better influence progressive minds. It only took me 30 seconds of Googling to find this from a 2007 PBS interview between Maria Hinojosa and Elizabeth Warren

HINOJOSA: There's a story that I wanna share with our listeners that you actually shared when you were on Now—on our TV program and it's a fascinating story about Hillary Clinton. You said that when the credit card companies were pushing for legislation to tighten the bankruptcy laws, and this is when President Clinton was in office you were summoned by Hillary Clinton to discuss this legislation. And you sat down with her in this back room and you filled her in on what this new bankruptcy law was gonna mean.

And she at that moment said, "Oh my God. We have to stop this law. It's not gonna happen." It gets passed in Congress and Bill Clinton, because of Hillary's conversation with you more or less, vetoes that bill. Now we fast forward to Senator Hillary Clinton, bankruptcy law comes for a vote and she votes for it?

WARREN: Yes.


This excerpt was quoted and posted a lot at the time - not as any statement on Warren because none of us knew who she was back then. Rather, it was meant damning evidence of how Senator Clinton has changed.

But Warren made a clarification in that interview and gave, in my opinion, some very insightful information about working in Washington that we already know:

WARREN: ... So it was one thing for Mrs. Clinton to be First Lady and not running for office and tell President Clinton what she felt about this bill. And then very different for Senator Clinton who had to get political contributions and run her—her campaign—she voted differently. Now I wanna be fair in this story.

Mrs. Clinton, in a much more secure position—as Senator a couple of years later—when the bill came up once again—Senator Clinton was not there—the day of the vote. It was the day that President Clinton, you may remember, had heart surgery. But she issued a very strong press release condemning the bill and I assume if she had been there that she would have voted against it. I—I tell my story not to try to thump Senator Clinton but the story is important because it's a reminder of how money talks in Washington.


Here is an excerpt from Clinton's statement on the bill:

This bankruptcy bill fundamentally fails to accord with the traditional purposes of bankruptcy, which recognize that we are all better off when hard-working people who have suffered financial catastrophe get a "fresh start" and a second chance to become productive and contributing members of society. With the passage of this legislation, which makes obtaining this fresh start more expensive and more difficult, we are ensuring that many responsible Americans will continue to be buried under mountains of debt, and unable to take back control and responsibility for their lives.


I also want to add Senator Clinton voted for every single amendment to add consumer protections to the bill - both times - each of which were rejected by both Republican majority and other Democrats. She voted against cloture in an attempt to keep the final bill from coming to a vote at all.

As a side note, Joe Biden not only voted for the 2005 bill, he rallied around it.
Go to Page: 1