Drop the debate-gloves with Hillary

Drop the debate-gloves with Hillary

The collusion between large corporations and the actions taken with our government have become the area of inquiry most important to American democracy. 

By RA Monaco

The political table is slanted just enough toward Hillary Clinton’s corner so that most people won’t easily see how the debate process has been constructed to give her a clear advantage in the 2016 presidential primary.  Taken together, circumstantial observations illustrate the many ways Clinton is beholden to the corporate policy makers on Wall Street.

At the outset, the six primetime debate schedule was criticized for favoring Hillary.  Assuming you’ve accepted that she’s the frontrunner, the lesser known candidates— Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders—are at a decided disadvantage to become more recognized through these debates.  Keeping these audiences small is strategic—advantage Hillary.

The timing of Saturday night’s prime time debate was a clear calculation that anticipated a relatively low viewer rating, since many people are just not watching television on a Saturday night—advantage Hillary.

Recent viewership numbers validate the original complaints of these candidates—Saturday night viewership was cut to approximately half the 15.5 million viewers watching the first debate in October.

The next scheduled debate, December 19th, will be the Saturday evening before Christmas.  How many Americans won’t attend a holiday gathering to watch that debate—someone take a poll, please.  Again, the clear calculation in the schedule was that people will actually be visiting friends during the holidays, particularly that evening—advantage Hillary.

In contrast to the nine planned Republican presidential debates featuring 17 candidates, the democratic debate process is more than just suspect—it’s a clear effort to keep the better known former Secretary of State on top.

There’s even more Hillary favoring sleight-of-hand at work here though.  At the last minute, foreign policy was suddenly inserted into Saturday night’s debate topics.  Is it too cynical to suggest that the real purpose was blatant opportunism, designed to highlight the depth of Hillary’s national security experience on the heels of the Friday night terrorist atrocities in Paris?

There was nothing wrong with a moment of silent acknowledgement or even a sympathetic statement from each candidate about the tragedy in Paris—but a last minute foreign policy debate?

The decision to revise the format is revealing and decidedly wrong, particularly since we knew very little about the events in Paris that were still unfolding.  The impromptu format change allowed the former Secretary of State to score points over the other candidates.  It kept them from making substantive challenges and raising issues that would carve into Hillary’s articulate nuances about Middle East alliances.  Most importantly, there was simply no time for these candidates to prepare, let me explain.

If either Martin O’Malley or the Bernie Sanders campaign had had a few minutes to research some of the concerns Americans might have they would have been able to confront Hillary, in detail, about why Clinton Foundation Donors got big weapons deals while she was Secretary of State.

They could have confronted Hillary about the specific countries who had failed to marshal serious campaigns to confront and counter terrorism and the exact reasons why they got weapons—Qatar, UAE and Kuwait are just three examples.  This area seems particularly important to our understanding foreign policy decisions, evaluating strategies to deal with ISIS and concerns about Hillary Clinton’s conflicting interests.  It’s a subject that goes hand-in-hand with Bernie Sanders attempting to draw public attention to Wall Street’s financial support of Hillary throughout her career.

Wouldn’t preparation and research have also allowed O’Malley and Sanders to confront Hillary about Clinton Foundation donations from arms export companies like Boeing, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin and United Technologies?

Surely, we’d want to hear Hillary specifically explain how campaign contributions from each of these companies haven’t given them the expectation of some later preference—particularly if she were to become president.  Then, we could have heard her response to the rise of ISIS, the unfolding Syrian refuges crisis and how the decision to invade Iraq and the intervention in Libya fueled these events—they are substantive concerns not last minute gotcha topics.

Caught flat footed, neither O’Malley nor Sanders had time to expose Hillary’s conflicting record of receiving Wall Street money, her record of supporting interventionism and all the details of her decisions that have come to roost in the almost complete unraveling of the Middle East region.  Isn’t this what we need to understand or is this what we are being kept from understanding?

Referring to a Bernie Sanders response Hillary complained, “He has basically used his answer to impugn my integrity.”  Really, if the shoe fits shouldn’t Hillary wear it?  It would have been an interesting social media polling question—don’t you think?

Only Hillary thought she should get the help of John Dickerson, the CBS debate moderator.   Hillary’s protestation seems, in a way, revealing—does anyone recall either Sanders or O’Malley voicing a similar complaint to the moderator?  How was confronting Hillary about her ties to Wall Street impugning her integrity if she, herself, wasn’t feelin’-the-Bern?

Governments and corporations involved in the arms deals approved by Clinton’s State Department delivered between $54 million and $141 million to the Clinton Foundation which also included hundreds of thousands of dollars in payment to the Clinton family, according to foundation and State Department records.  Moreover, 17 out of 20 countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation saw increases in arms exports authorized by Hillary Clinton’s State Department.

If not already disturbing, the almost complete corporatization of our public government has become too obvious—even to the least politically savvy Americans—which is why understanding how the debate is being tilted toward Hillary is so important.

When the grand stage of our democratic debates blindside Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders and at the same time aid Hillary, the collusion between large corporations and the actions taken with our government become the area of inquiry most important to American democracy.

We’re at war with jihadism, political fear mongering and establishment opportunism.  It’s time to drop the debate-gloves with Hillary and connect those dots so that Americans understand just how our energy policy, foreign policy and economic policy is being made by finance corporations—the one’s that Hillary seems to think impugn her integrity.

 

 

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