by Julieanna Thomson
Many of us watched Hillary Clinton face off against Bernie Sanders in the first Democratic candidate debate. Polls show that average Americans who watched the debate thought that Bernie won hands down. His message resonated while Hillary’s didn’t.
A highlight of the event was when Bernie told Hillary, ìThe American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!” His point was that the media were beating to death the issue of Hillary’s emails and that grates on one after a while, especially when there are other important issues that deserve media attention. That said, the email issue is still important and calls into question Hillary’s credibility, as candidate Lincoln Chafee pointed out at the debate.
Then, after Chafee’s remarks, Hillary was asked by the moderator, Anderson Cooper, “Ms. Clinton, do you want to respond?” She retorted, “No!” with a sort of arrogant and conniving smile. In our debate-watch-party group of about 25, we laughed at Hillary’s “No!” as if to say, “There she goes again!”, with “Oh, no!” being some of the comments. And for Bernie to play “protective” and “cozy” with Clinton, even in body language and a handshake, was pretty disturbing to some of us who watched the debate.
Hillary also said at the debate that she “hoped” the TPP “would be the gold standard.” But what she had previously said when she was for the TPP, before she came out against it, was that the TPP “sets the gold standard” – an important distinction.
This slippery slope must run in the family: Slick Willy re-invents what “sex” is – and questions what “is” is. If Hillary is elected, would she likely change her opinion on the TPP and find yet “new” information suggesting that the TPP is good for America?
Bernie is passionate and more sure and consistent that the TPP is not a good thing for America. We trust him. And Hillary, being the slippery candidate that she is, didn’t mind using her private email for government business. In fact, we have been told that some of her emails contained classified information – an entirely illegal use of her private email server.
So was Hillary intentionally flouting the law or just merely negligent? She won’t say and at least one of her employees who helped her maintain her private server has invoked the 5th when asked about the issue. Hillary just says that it’s all a Republican conspiracy like the Whitewater affair and other scrutinized events like Slick Willy’s Monica Lewinsky affair.
Although Bernie may have minimized the issue of Hillary’s email usage by commenting that he thinks that Americans are sick and tired of hearing about Hillary’s damn emails, the issue still goes to Hillary’s credibility. Is she believable or is she just another flip flopper?
Meantime, agreed, there are other important issues facing our country which need to be explored by the media and which are often ignored.
Editorial afterword: What issues that are not being addressed by the media (if any) came out during the debate, and if not, why didn’t any of the candidates bring them up? Were there differences expressed about regulating Wall Street and banking, about ending the wars in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Iraq/Syria, about police accountability, any concrete proposals for government action to deal with global warming or rebuild an economy that provides jobs without destroying the environment, how to get money out of politics, immigration reform, etc etc?
We should also be concerned about the control of the debates by the parties themselves and the corporate media. The Dems are limiting both participation and the number of debates; they sold the radio broadcast rights to the debates to the Westwood One radio network (usually broadcast sports events like NFL and NBA games) so that other radio could only broadcast “highlights” after the fact. They excluded Rep. Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii, a vice-chair of the DNC, because she publicly called for more debates. Lessing didn’t participate, maybe because of their restrictive nature? This is laying the groundwork for even more carefully controlled “debates” during the general election period after the primaries. I find all that troubling and worthy of comment and concern whether people support Bernie, Hillary or “nobody for president.”–MN