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Monday: So much going on

Update: So, TPM is trying its hand with a little expectation setting. To TPM, it is unthinkable that Hillary will get a crack at the nomination until 2016. The subtext is, “don’t even think about it, bitches”. Like we’re going to be satisfied with that. Hokay, suit yourself. But don’t expect me to vote for YOUR guy in 2012 just because you think I don’t have anywhere else to go. And if it turns out that you find you need me come late October, I’m just going to tell you to wait until 2016.

Also, Rick Warren is a dick. It now looks like both sides of the aisle are engaging in a lot of black-white thinking on welfare reform without considering that there was a right way to do it that would have been both liberal and not redistributory. Europe does it all over the place. So, you know, I reject arguments from both sides while putting myself firmly in the liberal camp. I can promise you that Hillary would never have Rick Warren at her inauguration.

Nothing good ever comes of a bad seed.
**********************************************
I’m in the local Starbucks (found a bit of serendipitous change in my pocket this am) waiting for my car to be fixed. It’s going to be painful but I can’t get around central NJ without a car, so there’s that.

There’s so much worth commenting on that I’m not quite sure where to start. Let’s start with an answer to Violet Socks’ question, “Why are we hearing so much about Hillary 2016?“. This is related to the question, “Why are we hearing so much about welfare reform?”, although at first, you might have missed the connection. In case you missed it, the NYTimes had a big piece on its frontpage yesterday about how welfare reform has left so many people without any visible means of support. It quotes some former Clinton officials who actually *resigned* over welfare reform. {{rolling eyes}} And while the abandonment of so many families during this little Depression is indeed disgraceful and horrifying, the NYTimes is most definitely slanting this story. Here’s why:

1.) Welfare Reform, or Clinton’s promise to “end welfare as we know it” was about putting people to work. I think I’ve mentioned this before but if you’re a liberal, the last thing you want is to create a permanent underclass of people whose lives are tied up in generational poverty. What the vast majority of welfare recipients really want is a job. Yes, there are people who will never be ready for the workplace. Yes, there will be people who have problems with substance abuse or criminal behavior. We need different solutions for those people and while a job is better for people who have run afoul of the criminal justice system, there are just some poor people who shouldn’t have to work in the same way that some middle class stay at home mothers and rich heiresses don’t have to work. Some poor people may not have the emotional wherewithal to go to work each day. We need to do something about that and help them. But the vast majority of people on welfare want to work. It’s not easy to survive on a measly check each month and it’s no way to raise your kids. Putting people on the road to work is a good thing and if that’s what Clinton meant (and I’m pretty sure that it was) then a liberal should be for it.

2.) Clinton’s plan included housing vouchers, healthcare, childcare, training, all the support mechanisms you needed to put people back to work. The Republicans shot that down. Repeatedly. There are votes on the issue and you can go back and look them up. The Clinton reform bill was generous. The Republican bills were much less so. MUCH less so. Eventually, Clinton signed a bill and it was awful but he was able to soften it in his next term. But liberals seem determined to whack Clinton over this for even bringing the subject up. That’s called denial, my friends. They want to deny that welfare had a problem by trapping people in poverty. If you’re a lefty and you’re still pissed over this, get over it. Being poor forever, even if the government is giving you a check is not a life and expecting people to be grateful to you for that is delusional. In fact, you could have seen Clinton’s Welfare Reform bill as a way to strengthen the social safety net for all of us. I know I would have been delighted if after my severance bennies had run out I would have been able to sign onto a government healthcare program while I worked my way back into the middle class. Yeah, that would have been great. No wonder the Republicans were so agin’ it.

3.) In the present, there’s nothing stopping the federal and state Congresses all around the country from approving a second stimulus package for a giant jobs bill or extending welfare benefits. You could call it “emergency TANF extension” or something suitably mellifluous. We do it for unemployed people all the damn time. I am a lucky recipient of such an extension and I am extremely grateful that it has allowed me to pay my insurance bills, my heating bills, food for my adolescent eating machine. I also paid a shitload of taxes from my severance benefits so, youknow, I don’t feel the least bit guilty about this. Last year after I was laid off I still managed to support a family of four on the taxes I paid. The thing is, Republicans would like it if I wasn’t so calm right now. They would prefer it if I and my other unemployed colleagues were desperate and completely broke. Why? So I would turn on Obama and the Democrats. That’s part of their plan. The only thing that is standing between frantic welfare recipients and stability for them and their children is the fact that Republicans want us to get to the point where we are so angry we will turn on the politicians who may still have a conscience (the jury is stil out on that one.)

I’m no fan of Obama and I have plenty of reasons to vote for someone to the left of the Democratic party so what the Republicans are doing has absolutely no impact on me. I wasn’t going to vote for him under any circumstances and I sure as hell won’t vote for a Republican, whose current behavior is rapidly changing my mind about the existence of supernatural forces of evil. But what would make me change my mind about electing a Democrat to the White House? Well, it would matter a great deal to me if Obama bowed out and Hillary threw her hat in the ring. Yep. I’d vote for that ticket.

And, I suspect, there are a LOT of women who have finally woken up and smelled the coffee and realized that we need a champion for us in government. It sure as hell isn’t coming from NOW, NARAL or Planned Parenthood, who seem scared of their own shadows and afraid to rock Obama’s boat. But if they roll over for Obama and demand almost nothing from him, they’ll be completely useless to women going forward and the attacks on us will start to accelerate. So, really, women’s organizations are worse than useless. What we need is a big, dramatic thing to happen that would say loud and clear that things are about to change in a big way.

Why does it have to be Hillary? Because she is a legitimate player. If her own party hadn’t turned on her in 2008, she’d be president right now and running for her second turn. She’s been our “foreign president” and the world loves her and respects her. Even the State Department seems to be running smoothly and hers was the first department to give gay employees all the rights of their straight colleagues. AND she is unabashedly pro-female. She doesn’t shrink from this. No one has managed to shut her up about it and she’s not afraid to confront congressmen about reproductive rights in the strongest possible terms. I haven’t seen Obama even come *close* to confronting the Republicans on these issues in the way that Hillary has.

So, she’s very popular, capable, committed, competent and women are starting to see that we need her. THAT’S why Pelosi is trying to deflect pro-Hillary sentiment to 2016. You know, it’s utter bullshit to believe that Hillary will run in 2016. She’s not. By then, she really will need to dial it back and retire. And by 2016, the damage will be done to the economy, my generation and women. No matter who makes it to the White House, Obama or Romney, the result is going to be the same. On this reality, the lefties are also closing their eyes and wishing. I’m looking at reality straight in the face and you know, it’s not going to happen, guys. There is no 11 dimensional chess game. And if what I read in Karen Ho’s book is correct, we are teetering on the edge of a true catastrophe. In fact, this is not a game. To be perfectly honest, your best hope of turning things around in all respects, is Hillary.

Which is why the NYTimes rolled out that piece about Welfare Reform. The purpose was to taint the Clinton legacy. Just watch, every time people get a little wistful for the Clintons, welfare reform and banging the drums for war in Iran start to ramp up. It’s so damn predictable I rarely read the papers anymore. And you know WHY these two things keep coming up over and over again? It’s because just like right wingnuts, lefties have buttons that can be pushed and these are the two that the political operatives and wealthy know drive lefties absolutely crazy and cause them to vote against their best interests.

So, there you go, Violet. Pelosi is trying to make people wait for Hillary in a scenario she knows is never going to happen. It’s 2012 for Hillary or never. She’d prefer it was never, for reasons known only to Pelosi. I suspect that Pelosi has been in power for so long that she has lost perspective and doesn’t realize that it’s not all about her. Being a liberal doesn’t mean a damn thing if you can never vote liberal on anything. But it sounds like Pelosi is fighting a losing battle. People around her must be whispering about calling Hillary up from the bench. So, the NYTimes rolls out the welfare reform bill and makes it sound like it was all Bill’s fault. A few years ago they and the Washington Post engaged in a series of “The State Department is being run by HillaryLand” posts, remember those? Yep, we were supposed to overlook all the evidence that she was doing a great job and be suspicious of the fact that she manages the department in a different style than her predecessors.

Too late. She’s good. And she projects confidence and command everywhere she goes as the Hillary texting tumblr shows:

Now, I know that Obama doesn’t lay around on the couch texting. (*I* do that) He’s probably playing golf. But here’s the thing, lefties: there’s nothing you can do or say to make me prefer him to her. Nothing. You can call me a racist, Republican, stupid, uneducated, insane, It. Does. Not. Matter. I want HER and not him. He is not entitled to a second term. He’s a lousy president and under him, women’s rights are eroding at an alarming rate. He’s too close to Wall Street and the culture of “smartness”. I see the future, guys, and you do too. It’s not going to be good. And no matter how much Pelosi protests, I am not going to wait until 2016. What the hell does she think we are? Children? Does she think she can get all parental and say something that will make us wait and that will somehow satisfy us or make our concerns less urgent? Well, it won’t. Get Obama out and put him on some fricking speaking tour. Let *HIM* do fundraising and supporting the Democratic party loyally. Get him and Geithner and all of the rest of his Wall Street crowd out of there and give us a dramatic change. Make the Republicans cower in their holy skivvies. Give us Hillary.

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