Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hillary Time, A Correction and More Debate Thoughts

It’s almost time Tuesday night for the beginning of two weeks worth of Hillary Time. Here’s what I’d like to see from Hillary Rodham Clinton during the first Democratic Party presidential debate and as the key witness in the interminable Select House Benghazi Investigation committee hearing next week.

During the debate, Hillary—by the way, I am as guilty as other sexist commentators who refer to her by first name instead of her surname as opposed to using her family name as is usually done for male candidates, except, of course, when referring to The Donald—anyway, Hillary needs to be assertive and engaging. She needs to clarify her differences with Bernie Sanders without antagonizing his supporters. She must explain how she would accomplish more than Barack Obama did when working (or should I say trying to work) with a Republican controlled Senate and House. 

I have nothing against Sanders except the belief that he is unelectable (as are the three other announced candidates: Lincoln Chafee, Martin O’Malley and Jim Webb—you’ll notice I did not provide any description of their past titles. If you don’t know what offices they held you can understand why I am skeptical about their chances. I’m not going to spend the time mulling over Joe Biden’s entry/non entry into the race. Back to Bernie—can you imagine what the Republicans would do with his self-confessed claim of being a Democratic Socialist? No amount of explaining the concept would mitigate the extreme slurs that would be imprinted on the electorate’s psyche. Shades of Willie Horton, for those old enough to know the reference.). 

That said, here are some questions I hope to see asked and answered during the debate: 

*Given the very real prospect that both houses of Congress will be controlled by Republicans in 2017-18, what specifically do you feel you can accomplish legislatively?

*How would you balance income inequality given the GOP congress?

*Will you run on the Obama record?

*What changes, if any, would you like to see in the Affordable Care Act?

*What specific piece of enacted legislation are you most proud of having been the primary sponsor?

*Specifically asked of Hillary—Given polling data, how will you build trust with the American people?

*Many of the questions I posed after the second Republican debate would be applicable, so here’s a link to that post: http://nosocksneededanymore.blogspot.com/2015/09/questions-for-next-debate.html

Time to Testify: Next week Hillary cannot allow the select committee to manhandle her. She must not equivocate and must not allow committee members to interrupt her testimony. 

Recent news events have made it obvious the committee is political hackery to the extreme. Hillary should take a page from history and vigorously defend herself the same way Joseph Welch, chief counsel for the U.S. Army, rebutted Senator Joseph McCarthy’s assault on the integrity of the Army and the suspicion it, and his law office, had been infiltrated by Communists.

“Have you no sense of decency,” Welch’s acerbic rebuke of McCarthy, entered the lexicon of American politics. 

If the committee hearing devolves into a one-sided inquisition, Hillary should sternly state her unwillingness to participate any further and walk out, even if the committee threatens to hold her in contempt.  

How ironic that the congressman who exposed the political intent of the select committee, to undermine Hillary’s candidacy, shares the Wisconsin senator’s last name—McCarthy!

Correction Time: I was tripped up in my religious reporting. Pope Francis gave Kim Davis a rosary, not simply a crucifix. A rosary encompasses a cross which dangles at the end of beads.

More Debate Thoughts: And now more words about The Great Debate—was Chase Utley guilty of an illegal slide that broke the leg of NY Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada? 

First, a confession: I’m a NY Yankees fan. I don’t like the Mets. My bias notwithstanding, I believe Utley played old fashioned hardball, the type played by Pete Rose, Frank Robinson, Ty Cobb, Jackie Robinson. 

They played to win, not injure. It’s unfortunate Tejada sustained a season-ending injury. Let’s keep the play in perspective. The most often printed baseball picture for many years was a shortstop or second baseman leaping to avoid a baserunner’s slide meant to plant him in the left field bleachers if a double play relay throw could be averted. 

Utley did his job. Major League Baseball should let the players police themselves. Utley plays second base. He will have to watch out every time he cover the base, especially when it’s a Met barreling down on him.