Why I’m Team Hillary (At Least for Now)

I’m so very not even remotely excited about the prospect of a President Hillary Rodham Clinton.

When Barack Obama announced he was challenging Ms. Inevitability for the 2008 nomination, I became one of the earliest small donors to his campaign. I continued to make little contributions when I could. The funding pleas from Hillary went unopened. When he got the nomination in Chicago, my face was waterlogged with joyful tears for so many reasons. Mainly I preferred his positions on the issues. An African-American major party presidential nominee felt like a bit of balm on the wounds of our country’s racist history. It was pretty cool to have a contemporary who reminded me of my university friends running for president. At the invitation of a generous friend, we even traveled to DC to attend the inauguration. Never have I been more proud of our son, who was barely five years old, walking without complaint for hours in the cold as we tried to find an entrance to the Mall that wasn’t closed.

The euphoria has long since worn off, and Obama’s presidency has disappointed and enraged me many times, but I fear Hillary would have been even more deeply in the pockets of anti-worker big business and even more hawkish. Now the 2016 election is less than 20 months away. I’m not seeing any Barack Obama mounting a challenge to the Inevitable Hillary Juggernaut this time around.

Of national figures, I’m most closely aligned with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Warren has said repeatedly that she won’t run. Her voice is indeed desperately needed in the Senate, and a Warren presidency with a Republican Congress couldn’t accomplish anything anyway. I’d vote for Sanders in a heartbeat, but his avowed socialism probably renders him unelectable, because nothing scares large swaths of American voters like “European-style socialism” . . . never mind that they’ve never been to Europe or experienced first-hand the horrors of societies that invest public funds in universal health care, housing, education, infrastructure, renewable energy and culture instead of endless, pointless wars in the Middle East.

That leaves Hillary. She’s really smart, she works her ass off, and I like her dry, twinkly humor. How she and Bill run their marriage is none of your or my or anyone else’s business. But I don’t trust her. Of course much of the “scandal” of Bill’s administrations was Republican-pumped hot air about nothing, but I fear ambition will always trump integrity with her. For all her talk about women and families, she and Bill were part of the Democratic Leadership Council Democrats who, in the name of “welfare reform,” took significant strides toward dismantling what little of a social safety net we had. The effects of the NAFTA treaty on American workers and families are debatable at best. She’s shown too much willingness to use military force without thinking through the consequences and wink at corrupt, worker-oppressing big business. She doesn’t seem comfortable with the wheeling, dealing and arm-twisting a president must do to move legislation, which is the last thing we need after eight years of Obama’s squirrely relations with Congress. She performed dutifully as Secretary of State, but hardly exuded excitement about working in the foreign policy arena. Other than a sense of dynastic entitlement, I can’t figure out why she wants the job or what she thinks she can accomplish in office.

I know choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil. But . . . but . . . but . . .

If no viable challenger emerges, I’ll back Hillary all the way, every way I can. Our country cannot afford to have Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio or Rand Paul or Sarah Palin any of those other wing nuts who call themselves Christian but openly worship at the shrine of (the ironically atheist–do they even know?) Ayn Rand in the White House. Whatever her shortcomings, however many ways I expect her to disappoint me and make me mad–

I can count on Hillary not to deny climate change.

I can count on Hillary to leave women’s reproductive choices to their consciences and their health care providers.

I can count on Hillary not to shove the GLBTQ community back in the closet.

I can count on Hillary not to advocate abolishing the minimum wage or repealing anti-discrimination laws.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg is 82, Steven Breyer is 76, and Scalia and Kennedy are 78. It makes me nauseous as a pubic hair on a soda can to realize how long Clarence Thomas has sat on the Supreme Court. He, Roberts and Alito together make up a youngish trio of horrors. I can count on Hillary to make Supreme Court appointments I can live with for the next 30 or 40 years.

And it would be kind of cool to have a woman president.

© 2015 Susie Allison-Litton. All rights reserved.


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