Archive for the ‘Benghazi’ category

Should We Be Worried?

May 16, 2016

With Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton now considered the presumptive nominees (sorry Bernie), the early descriptions of what might come to pass is worrisome to be sure. The media, particularly the television variety which has feasted off Trump’s outrageous conduct during the primaries has a huge responsibility ahead. Will entertainment drown out serious news reporting?

If primaries are the standard, the Presidential race will become another round of “what did the Donald just say?” “He said what about Bill Clinton’s philandering?” “What happened in Benghazi that Hillary won’t talk about?” “Why did Hillary allow US secrets to be put at risk on her private email account?” “What did Hillary discuss with aides about payback they would receive for their financial support?” And so on.

If the news media allows this type of reporting to continue, in the absence of in-depth questioning of both candidates on specific platform promises and exactly how these promises would take effect, the prospects of a President Trump look both very well and very worrisome.

Hillary may have high negatives and may not be trusted by many Americans, but few can question her experience, intelligence, and qualifications to become President. Consider Donald Trump’s business experience, which he offers as proof he can lead the US government, with Hillary’s Senate, first Lady, and Secretary of State experience.

One might see one candidate as cautious, inclusive, and a deep thinker, while the other as narcissistic (look what I did), high risk taker (bully and bluffer and who looks for someone else cleans up the mess), and a blank sheet versus domestic and foreign policy (no relationships with world leaders or in-depth knowledge of cultures and nationalistic conflicts).

It would seem this Presidential race should be open and shut in favor of Clinton. Hmmm.

Maybe it should be open and shut, but it is not in the minds of voters. Too many do not trust the Clintons and most think less of how well government is functioning now. What better candidate could there be than a successful business man and entertainer?

The Clinton “trust issue” is a thin reflection that voters do not think she will even try to “fix Washington” but instead will go along and get along.

Voters are not wondering about what policies might be necessary to ease China into the world order without provoking conflict? Just what type of US foreign policy will facilitate India, Southeast Asia, Japan, and Korea to maintain their growth and not develop destructive conflicts with China? How will European countries develop healthy economies and not threaten Russia? And, how can the US remain helpful to the Middle East but not involved in the armed conflicts?

Trump would suggest these are not important questions (because the US is the greatest country in the world and he is only going to make the US greater). The Trump message is “as a businessman, he encounters problems all the time and he solves them when they arise.  As President, he would do the same.

Clinton is quite the opposite. Policies and strategies are essential in Hillary World. A fair question is “what is going to happen when some of the world’s bad actors do not respond to a Clinton Administration set of policies and strategies?

Debates around these two perspectives could be illuminating without presuming how voters might react. For my money, the choice of President made upon these propositions regardless of its outcome, would be acceptable.

On the other hand, “Crooked Hillary” or “Trump’s disrespect for women” campaign claims are emotional and probably irrelevant. Can the press put “big boy pants” on and steer their questions and observations to a higher level?

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The Hillary Problem

March 17, 2015

Did former Secretary of State Clinton sign a “separation form” when she left government service? A Fox News reporter opened this can of worms and now pundits are opining about another example of rules for some and different rules for others. Clinton avoided answering the question with a smile.  (After all it was a Fox News question.)

Sunday, New York Times op-ed columnist Maureen Dowd wrote an entire column critical of Hillary and pronouncing the “private email server” as an example of what we would get if she was elected President. While Dowd is most likely correct, she doesn’t take the time to explain why Clinton’s behavior might be continually in the public debate while others seem not to gain the same attention.  Just as important was the consequences of Hillary Clinton not running for President.

Make no mistake there are big stakes in play. If the next President is from the GOP, and in such circumstances he would most like inherit a GOP controlled Congress, the social pendulum would be poised to move far to the right. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act would be open for repeal or significant modification according to GOP press releases. This potential change, of course, is the right of the American people to choose. That choice, however, ought to be made with a full understanding of the consequences.

The Hillary Problem, IMO, results from Hillary being a tough, smart, and cleverly combative woman. Men and particularly GOP men find it difficult to get out maneuvered. Bottom line, the GOP does not want there to be another President Clinton.

The first foray was the Benghazi hearings. Clinton (and the White House) saw correctly the side show aspects of the hearings and that their main purpose was a “fishing expedition”. House Speaker John Boehner has weighed in saying he wants the Benghazi incident fully investigated and key to that investigation will be getting hold Clinton’s private email server. Hmmm.

Here’s the Hillary problem.

Is she or isn’t she?

Is she going to run for President or not. If the choice is “not”, this problem will melt away.If she is going to run, the GOP will sanctimoniously call for more and more hearings.

The problem is Hillary must make a decision to run soon, like in weeks, in order to free other Democrats to throw their hats in the ring if Hillary is not there. A late decision to not run will be ruinous for Democrats.

Lastly, it is wise to note that Benghazi was as much a problem of Congress not authorizing sufficient funding (for security forces) for the State Department. The email issue has not been linked to anything illegal but rather to the potential of some unnamed acts. Fishing.

Congress members have received outrageous amounts of money from dark sources and spend inordinate amounts of time while in office begging for more money from special interests. If someone wanted to go fishing, there would surely be more fish in that pond.