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(43,864 posts)
41. Sirota - still a hack
Fri Aug 1, 2014, 06:30 PM
Aug 2014

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.


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.”


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?


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.
Kick, Rec n/t Smarmie Doofus Aug 2014 #1
To be honest, I thought Hillary abstained from voting on Bankruptcy Deform. closeupready Aug 2014 #2
She voted for the 2001 bill which didn't pass and missed the vote on the 2005 bill. PoliticAverse Aug 2014 #5
k&R KoKo Aug 2014 #3
k&r for the truth, however depressing it may be. n/t Laelth Aug 2014 #4
Why would Hillary be Warren or why would Warren be Clinton? How do you determing who would be Thinkingabout Aug 2014 #6
The present Warren or the one who probably voted for Reagan twice? BeyondGeography Aug 2014 #7
"probably voted for Reagan twice"? "PROBABLY"! hedgehog Aug 2014 #9
Per-zactly! Plucketeer Aug 2014 #11
She can say she didn't vote for him BeyondGeography Aug 2014 #17
I am sick and tired of Republicans oozing over to join the Democrats Fred Friendlier Aug 2014 #33
There's not enough "oozers" to explain that effect Scootaloo Aug 2014 #51
Hillary was a Goldwater girl PADemD Aug 2014 #24
Who supported Eugene McCarthy as a junior in college, and then campaigned for McGovern in '72 BeyondGeography Aug 2014 #25
Hey, good point. Richard Shelby was a Democrat when *he* was 46 years old.... beerandjesus Aug 2014 #28
there are pubs in my family who vote dem. broad brush much? roguevalley Aug 2014 #42
And Reagan used to be a big time Democrat too! cascadiance Aug 2014 #30
The main point is how easy BeyondGeography Aug 2014 #37
not likely imho roguevalley Aug 2014 #43
I guess just as easily as wingnuts "deflate" Thom Hartmann for campaigning for Goldwater... cascadiance Aug 2014 #48
How dare you not toe the DU line when it comes to the infallible Warren... Cali_Democrat Aug 2014 #35
So the person who "probably" voted for Goldwater... ljm2002 Aug 2014 #38
She was not even eligible to vote for Goldwater is how it works BeyondGeography Aug 2014 #39
Well since she campaigned for Goldwater... ljm2002 Aug 2014 #40
She campaigned for Goldwater but was not old enough to vote. Thinkingabout Aug 2014 #46
I concede. n/t ljm2002 Aug 2014 #49
Or, or the future Warren that probably will become a Scientology. rhett o rick Aug 2014 #45
Good...Warren also has her flaws... joeybee12 Aug 2014 #8
No, they do admit she has flaws. Erich Bloodaxe BSN Aug 2014 #27
If anyone is looking for any dem to mildly criticize and say, maybe, just maybe joeybee12 Aug 2014 #29
Actually, they can look at Rep Ellison of Minnesota. nt Erich Bloodaxe BSN Aug 2014 #32
He's the only one, and I should clarify any Dem with national joeybee12 Aug 2014 #34
I would vote for Warren over Hillary but I have some suspicions about what role Warren is... L0oniX Aug 2014 #10
Don't forget, we're talking about the Democratic Party here - hedgehog Aug 2014 #13
Yep ...thinking the Dem party is above manipulation is indeed ludicrous. L0oniX Aug 2014 #15
If we are going to discuss manipulation, let's get serious and look hedgehog Aug 2014 #23
could it be,that Rogers meant a small d? sadoldgirl Aug 2014 #18
if Warren lets Hillary make that claim, then it's essentially true Enrique Aug 2014 #12
It is going to be hard to find a candidate who is mot supported by corporations. Thinkingabout Aug 2014 #47
Sirota is taking a break from Obama bashing this week? conservaphobe Aug 2014 #14
some people don't like conservatism, regardless of who's practicing it Doctor_J Aug 2014 #20
Lol. Melodramatic much? nt conservaphobe Aug 2014 #21
says the poster of reply#14 Doctor_J Aug 2014 #22
That is a good read. JaydenD Aug 2014 #16
The Hillary Is Inevitable club make a few vanity posts every time Warren Doctor_J Aug 2014 #19
Its like Obama split into two people LiberalLovinLug Aug 2014 #26
HRC played a leading part in drafting the TPP antigop Aug 2014 #31
To be fair Clinton was in the Senate for eight years whereas Warren has only been in totodeinhere Aug 2014 #36
Sirota - still a hack wyldwolf Aug 2014 #41
that is_why he will never get my vote. clinton better step up. I'm already tired of her and her tin roguevalley Aug 2014 #44
" . . . filled in for George W. Bush . . ." Major Hogwash Aug 2014 #50
Well, it's a step, and a tool Babel_17 Aug 2014 #52
Hillary is clearly campaigning for the support of the wealthy and no DLCer yurbud Aug 2014 #53
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