By Joel S. Hirschhorn
Published December 01, 2007
(Editor's note: this article is about US politics, a matter of interest for some, but not all, RTH readers. If you are not interested in US politics, the previous fifteen or so hammerblog entries focus on local issues.)
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has disappointed millions of liberals, progressives and environmentalists by endorsing Hillary Clinton.
He once said: "the Republicans are 95 percent corrupt and the Democrats are 75 percent corrupt." This has been widely quoted because of its honest assessment of the corrupt two-party system.
He has also pointed out:
While communism is the control of business by government, fascism is the control of government by business. ...The biggest threat to American democracy is corporate power. ...our most visionary political leaders have warned the American public against the domination of government by corporate power. That warning is missing in the national debate right now. Because so much corporate money is going into politics, the Democratic Party itself has dropped the ball. They just quash discussion about the corrosive impact of excessive corporate power on American democracy.
Though these statements were made some time ago, a few days ago on November 28 he talked about the impact of industry on environmental agencies: "It's been a revolving door of plunder."
Kennedy saved special scorn for "the negative and indolent press of this country," which he said has become controlled by corporate interests in the last 20 years. "Americans have become the best-entertained, least-informed people on earth," Kennedy said.
He also said five companies control 80 percent of newspapers and almost all radio, and those corporations are not in business to tell news thoroughly or fairly. "The only ideology they represent is their own pockets," Kennedy said. So his criticism of the corporate plutocracy seems as strong as ever.
Such honest views of the sad state of America have made Kennedy the darling of many people – independents, liberals, progressives and environmentalists.
But the news that this esteemed honest liberal has endorsed the candidacy of Hillary Clinton was startling. Now he says: "Hillary Clinton has the strength and experience to bring the war in Iraq to an end and reverse the potentially devastating effects of global warming. ...Hillary will inspire the real change America needs."
That Kennedy can see Hillary as an agent of change is a betrayal of all the good will that Kennedy has built up over many years.
Kennedy said he feels "very uncomfortable" about the amount of corporate money flowing into Clinton's campaign, "But I also think you can't come into this race with one arm tied behind your back."
How's that for convenient rationalization? There is no reason why any sane American should be very comfortable about the poisonous and corrupting amount of corporate money dumped into Clinton's campaign.
In examining media coverage of Kennedy's endorsement of Clinton, I could find no references to his earlier critical remarks of Democrats and the corporatist plutocracy. However, people commenting on the New York Times article often were aghast at his endorsement, noting that it would have made much more sense for him to endorse Obama or Edwards.
Bloggers, so far, have also not been critical of the Kennedy endorsement. The progressive community seems frozen by self-delusion and unwilling to criticize their adored Kennedy.
Here is my take: Hillary Clinton represents the worst of the Democratic contenders. She is totally committed to take all the corporate money she can get and pay whatever that eventually costs, should she become president. She really is a hawk when it comes to the Iraq war and even voted the wrong way recently when it comes to Iran.
She is incredibly dishonest and phony. The reason why there are millions of Hillary haters is that she inspires distrust.
A Hillary presidency would pursue corporate globalization and the terrible trade policies of her husband that has done so much to destroy America's middle class. Similarly, her views on universal health coverage do not seem focused on getting rid of all the insurance industry involvement.
Kennedy's endorsement of Hillary just shows how the status quo political establishment can rig the system to get what it wants. What has Bobby been promised? Head of the US EPA? Support for replacing Hillary in the Senate? Who knows? But his endorsement stinks and puts a big blemish on his credibility and reputation.
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