You can tell a lot about a person by the company she keeps, the saying goes.
With that in mind, consider the subtitle of Elizabeth Schulte’s piece at Jacobin today, Hillary Clinton: Capital’s Plan A:
“Hillary Clinton has been talking about economic inequality lately, but there’s a reason Wall Street isn’t worried.”
Schulte’s piece is yet another devastating commentary on the absurdity of the over the top support for Clinton. For those deluded by Hillary’s newfound economic populism, Schulte explains:
Indeed, if Clinton talks today about economic inequality while she throws her crown into the ring, she has a long and loyal relationship with money and power. Among the top ten contributors to her 2008 campaign were employees from JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, CitiGroup, Morgan Stanley, and Lehman Brothers — institutions that can all benefit from a few friends in high places.
As secretary of state, she pressured governments to change policies and sign deals that would benefit US corporations like General Electric, Exxon Mobil, Microsoft, and Boeing. She also promoted hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and contracts with US oil companies like Chevron in Poland, Bulgaria, and elsewhere.
But perhaps her most telling corporate relationship is with the union-busting retail giant Walmart. Clinton served on the company’s board of directors from 1986 to 1992, and the law firm she worked for, Rose Law Firm, represented the corporation.
During those years, Clinton sat quietly as Walmart waged a war on workers trying to unionize and fight for basic rights on the job. This fealty to Walmart never wavered. During her three trips to India as secretary of state, she tried to convince the government to reverse its law aimed at keeping out big-box retailers.
Clinton’s newfound populism would be laughable if it weren’t for her actual record — decades’ worth of cruel attacks on workers and the poor. From support for welfare reform and tough-on-crime policies in the 1990s to shilling for US corporations abroad as secretary of state, Clinton has never strayed from the Democratic Party’s aim — protecting corporate America’s bottom line.
But it’s not just on inequality that Schulte exposes Clinton as a raging hypocrite. It’s on mass incarceration. It’s on education. It’s on union-busting. It’s on the shredding of the social safety net. It’s even on reproductive rights.
Readers here no doubt will bristle at this post, as they have at previous posts of mine on this subject. But as they blather on about how Hillary is “better than the Republicans,” perhaps they’ll at least consider Schulte’s closing:
The “mavericks” like Warren and de Blasio — just as Dennis Kucinich and Jesse Jackson before them — will remain loyal Democrats who convince liberal and progressive supporters of the party to set aside their principles and vote for the moderate, “electable” choice. And alongside the liberal Democrats are the organizations whose job it is to line up support by fundraising and sign up voters — like the National Organization for Women, which endorsed Clinton when she ran for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.
The problem isn’t just Clinton, but the iron grip the Democratic and Republican parties hold over elections, where independent alternatives to the two corporate parties have few opportunities to break in. The Clinton campaign stands in sharp contrast with the mood of the people who will be strong-armed into voting for her — frustrated with corporate greed, low wages, and police racism, they are beginning to organize for change.
But Hillary Clinton isn’t the candidate of people’s hope and dreams, she is the one shooting those dreams out of the sky.
Call me crazy, but, in my simple mind, if we continue to support candidates who are shooting our dreams out of the sky, our dreams will continue to be shot out of the sky.