Hillary Clinton was the focus of the Democratic National Convention coverage today.
Fox News had a clip of Hillary Clinton telling her supporters to throw their support behind Barack Obama. Unfortunately, the camera is cruel, and it caught her grimacing over the words. Sort of like the face the news commentators made when trying to swallow Rocky Mountain oysters. Just couldn’t quite get that down with a smile. As much as I don’t like her views, she would’ve been a better candidate.
As a concession, “please support my former opponent” speech, it was pretty good. In spite of the groups of Hillary supporters outside shouting for McCain, or the groups inside still waving “Hillary for President” signs, the convention hall was ready to cheer.
Thoughts on bits and pieces from the speech:
Hillary trotted out a story of the single mom who adopted two kids with autism, and then was diagnosed with brain cancer, and pleaded for Hillary to get her health care. 1. What on earth was she doing adopting kids with special needs with no health insurance? What adoption agency allowed this? 2. Do you know how awful universal health care is in practice? I have friends who lived most of their lives in Britain; she was diagnosed with cancer and said that, if she’d still been in the British health care system, she would’ve died before she even got to the diagnosis appointment.
Hillary has been “helping parents balance work and family…” Really? How? I wasn’t aware that that was a function of government listed in the Constitution. Maybe it’s in one of those “penumbras” of meaning the Supreme Court cited…
Hillary listed off all the usual feel-good groups: firefighters, teachers, union workers (apparently, non-union workers don’t count), the military. Even Harriet Tubman got a (completely irrelevant) mention for a rhetorical flourish. America, Mom, and apple pie stuff. In short, rah-rah fluff.
Echoing Obama’s theme, she exhorted for change. I’m sorry, but I do not assume that “change” is synonymous with “progress.”
Yes, energy independence would be great. Only a few very tiny countries have managed to acheive it. Windpower? Great… but the environmentalists blocked the latest proposal off the Virginia coast because of the possibility of migratory bird deaths. Solar power? Also great, but not very efficient. A million new plug-in cars? How? Are we going to nationalize the car companies or something?
After some nice, lofty rhetoric, Hillary went into the mandatory McCain bashing section of the speech. It was typical. We’ll skip that.
Hillary called “47 million families without health insurance” a “crisis.” I don’t remember anything in the Constitution guaranteeing a right to health care. (The label “rights” is being thrown around more and more… the “right to privacy” or the “right to choose” (aka abortion), the “right” to health care, etc. We are watering the concept of “rights” down to something merely legislatable. Rights are supposed to be givens, untouchable by the government; they’re generally not a program you can throw money at.)
Towards the closing, Hillary exhorted her listeners to think about the choices their grandparents had made and how those choices had affected their lives.
Hmmm… let’s see…
My great-grandparents immigrated to this country. They left everything behind. They came here legally. They didn’t wait for anyone to hand them anything. My grandparents worked grindingly boring, low paying, and dangerous jobs to pay for their home and keep their kids in parochial schools. When the Slovak immigrants couldn’t get insurance, they created their own company. They pushed their children to succeed and to work their way through college.
They didn’t expect a government bailout when it got difficult to pay the mortgage.
They didn’t wait for the government to provide health care.
They didn’t demand that the government force people to speak Slovak to accomodate their culture.
When money was tight, they found another job, scrimped, and made do.
They didn’t call legalized murder of unborn children a “women’s rights” issue.
The convention continues tomorrow. We’ll see if it breaks out of fluff-as-usual into some actual issues.