Hillary Clinton’s stand on issues makes her a centrist looking left

As I mentioned yesterday, the progressive website Vox Populi has published four articles about Hillary Clinton’s campaign, including my analysis of her position on issues.

In this excerpt from my Vox Populi article, I dig into her recent statements to erect what her platform will look like. I based most of this analysis on comments she has made since 2014 or comments she has made so many times that she would be hard-pressed to move very far from her past position. I depended to a large degree but not entirely on the very thorough and accurate nonpartisan website, ontheissues.org, which breaks down how all the potential candidates for either major party’s nomination stand on a large number of issues.

Before presenting the detail, let me sum up what we can say about Hillary Clinton’s probable platform: on social and domestic issues not involving unions, she will follow Elizabeth Warren’s lead, which should make progressives happy. On homeland security, foreign policy, military policy and trade policy, she will continue Obama’s initiatives in virtually every way, which is not such good news for the left.

Now for the detail:

Economic Issues

  • Income/wealth inequality: She has commented numerous times on the need to recut the wealth and income pies so that less goes to the ultra-wealthy and more goes to everyone else, but she has suggested little that specifically addresses that issue.
  • Minimum Wage: Through the years, she has consistently been vociferous in her support of raising the minimum wage, but how high remains unclear since her last comment was in 2007.
  • Labor unions: She has no recent comments on whether she supports unions, but her stands on charter schools and trade agreements suggest she’s no lover of labor.
  • Taxation: She is on record many times of saying she believes that the wealthy are not paying their fair share in taxes.
  • Trade: Hillary is one of the most aggressive advocates for TPP and for lowering barriers for corporations to do business abroad.

Education

Hillary is a long-time supporter of charter schools and has said she wants to link teachers’ pay to performance, but do it by school and not by individual teacher. These sound like anti-union moves that do nothing to address the real problems facing public education: resource shortages and large class sizes.

Environmental

She is both for limiting emissions worldwide and for investment by wealthier nations to mitigate the effects of global warming on the most vulnerable nations.

Foreign Policy

Hillary will probably be a little quicker to send in troops and bombs than Obama was, but will have essentially the same policy. She tends to be hawkish on specific issues:

  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict: She is very concerned about the security of Israel, and doesn’t seem to put any priority on addressing the mistreatment of Palestinians or Palestinian rights.
  • Iran: Hillary was involved in arranging secret talks with Iran in 2012 and 2013, and has come out in favor of a negotiated agreement with Iran regarding its development of nuclear weapons.
  • Hillary pretty much agreed with the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the way the war was prosecuted thereafter, except for the torture, which she vehemently opposed.
  • Syria: She wanted to arm Syrian rebels.
  • Russia: One of her goals as Secretary of State was to achieve a permanent thaw in relations with Russia, but since the invasion of the Crimea, she has been as tough-talking as any mainstream American politician against Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin.
  • China: Hillary was influential in implementing the Obama Administration’s “pivot to Asia,” which has as its goals projection of American power in Asia and containment of China by the United States and its allies. Nothing that she has said or written lately suggests that she has changed her mind about continuing Obama’s hard line on China.
  • Military Technology: In her book, Hard Choices, Hillary defends the use of drones by the Obama Administration.

Gun Control

Hillary has been an outspoken supporter of expansion of the national firearms registry and on placing more controls on gun sales and who can buy and carry a gun.

Healthcare

We know she has long been in favor of universal coverage. We can expect that she will want to maintain and perhaps extend the Affordable Care Act.

Immigration

She supports immigration reform that helps immigrants, by which I think we can assume illegal immigrants, judging from her comments.

Safety Net

Hillary has always supported maintaining and extending aid to the poor and the elderly. Her stands are particularly significant in light of the frequent calls of all the potential Republican candidates for cutting benefits to the poor.

Security State

Her past positions do not bode well for civil libertarians. Hillary voted for the misbegotten Patriot Act and its renewal and disapproved of Edward Snowden’s actions.

Social Security

She opposes privatization and is in favor of raising the cap on how much earnings are taxed for Social Security purposes, which places her left of President Obama. She also stands in stark contrast to every Republican candidate, all of whom want to privatize Social Security and cut benefits.

Values Issues

She supports gay marriage and a woman’s right to control her own body, which again, contrasts with every Republican candidate. She wants to see how marijuana legalization works in Washington and Colorado and is skeptical of the relative lack of research on medical uses.

opedge

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