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More About Hillary Clinton's 'Deafening Silence'

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Lots of people are asking where Hillary Clinton stands on the issues. The reason is that, unless she's pushed, she says little except platitudes, and she does all she can to be unclear on any controversial issue where special interests would be affected. However, her actual record speaks volumes, and it's far more trustworthy than mere words anyway.

For example, on March 4th, Guy Saperstein headlined at Alternet, "The Deafening Silence of Hillary Clinton," and he noted that, "Clinton is mum on the issues that matter," such as Wall Street, international trade treaties, Iran, energy, and global warming. He also noted that she's raking in $200,000 speaking-fees at Goldman Sachs and many other large corporations that fund presidential campaigns and that are regulated by the Federal Government and derive income from the Government. They're sizing her up, and they like what they see - but the press aren't invited to those "speeches."

However, for the public to ask her to say where she stands on the issues is for us to be looking in the wrong place to find out. We should instead be looking for investigative journalists and the press to document (as will be done here) what her actual record shows to be her real positions, because she has a long record, and it speaks much more clearly and convincingly than any public words from her possibly could, regarding what type of president she would make.

In fact, as between trusting her words, and trusting her record, there's no contest, because her record clearly shows that she stands with the mega-corporations, against the public.

Here, then, is her record:

Hillary Clinton likes Obamacare, and opposes single-payer health insurance. Back in 2008 she said regarding both her own 1993 Hillarycare proposal, and her then-current 2008 campaign proposal: "I never seriously considered a single payer system. ... I think that, you know, there's too many bells and whistles that Americans want that would not be available." Besides, "Talking about single payer really is a conversation ender for most Americans, because then they become very nervous about socialized medicine and all the rest of this." However, that was a lie. She reads polls. Just months earlier, on 14-20 December 2007, an Associated Press/Yahoo poll of 1,523 registered voters, including 847 Democrats and 655 Republicans -- about the same proportions Democratic and Republican as the U.S. population generally, at that time -- asked respondents whether "the United States should adopt a universal health insurance program in which everyone is covered under a program like Medicare that is run by the government and financed by taxpayers," and also asked them "Do you consider yourself a supporter of a single-payer health care system, that is a national health plan financed by taxpayers in which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan"; and 65 percent said yes to the first, and 54 percent said yes to the second. The public wanted single-payer. Hillary had designed her 1993 Hillarycare proposal for the Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) industry; and she designed her 2008 position for the drug companies and the private insurance companies. Single-payer would replace those big political contributors, which she doesn't want to do; she wants their money.

Furthermore, she implicitly has condemned the Canadian and other nations' single-payer healthcare systems by saying, "We don't have one size fits all; our country is quite diverse. What works in New York City won't work in Albuquerque." Her presumption was that what works in Canada or some other large single-payer country cannot work here -- that local control must trump everything in order to fix what's wrong with American health care. She was implying that our healthcare system delivers superior healthcare at a lower cost than those single-payer countries'. However, that view too is actually false; we pay more, and get less.

On the environment: A document dump from environmental organizations about the record of Secretary of State Clinton's State Department, regarding her State Department's two Environmental Impact Statements on the Keystone XL Pipeline, shows that she let the company that would own that Pipeline choose and oversee the two oil industry contracting firms that actually did those environmental impact statements for the State Department. Her State Department was riddled with oil industry lobbyists, and she cooperated entirely with them.

Hillary Clinton has also been a big booster for the gas industry and fracking.

On banking: When the U.S. Senate voted, 10 March 2005, on the entirely Republican-written and George Bush signed bankruptcy bill, which changed the rules to make things much tougher for non-rich debtors, and to make student-loan debts totally non-cancellable even in a bankruptcy, 57% of the Senate's Democrats voted against that Republican bill, but Senator Hillary Clinton wasn't one of them. 100% of the Senate's Republicans voted for it. But Senator Clinton decided that the matter was simply too controversial for her, and so she abstained from voting on it at all. She didn't want to be on the record as supporting a 100% Republican-written bill; so, she abstained.

On openness in government, and honest government: Hillary Clinton is considered to be, if anything, even more hostile toward government whistleblowers than Barack Obama has been; and, on 28 August 2006, the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition headlined "Senator Hillary Clinton: All Show and No Substance."

If you look at her record of financial backing, it's virtually all Wall Street. Not every politician is like that; for example, Senator Elizabeth Warren's financial backers are the opposite.

On invading foreign countries, Senator Clinton voted for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. 28 Democrats did, and she was one; 21 Democrats voted against. All but one Republican voted for the invasion.

On supporting fascist regimes, she has been extremely effective for them, working behind the scenes.

So: when liberals say that they need to hear more of her words in order to know whether to support her, they're just inviting her to lie to them; they want her to fool them. Because her record shows that she's just about as conservative as a "Democrat" gets -- even more so than Barack Obama is.

In 2008, at least Barack Obama didn't already have a clearly conservative record. Hillary Clinton does; and nothing that she says now will change it.

A Democrat who wants a president even more conservative than Obama can either support Hillary Clinton, or support the Republican.

But any other Democrat will prefer the 2016 contest to be between a Republican and a Democratic progressive -- a real choice.

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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.