“We’re better than that!” Thank you Rep. Elijah Cummings

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There are many moments that will stand out for me, from the 10 hour abusive bullying “Benghazi hearing” circus conducted by Republicans which attempted to break former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and failed.

Of course there is Mrs. Clinton herself.

Brava Hillary!

I will never forget Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), who came powerfully to her defense, and to the defense of what democracy is supposed to look like, and not the 10 hour travesty we witnessed.

“We’re better than that!”

Elijah Cummings Offers Passionate Defense of Hillary Clinton

Representative Elijah E. Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the Benghazi committee, offered a full-throated defense of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s honor, apologizing to her for his colleagues who suggested that she did not care for the people who died on her watch.

“I don’t know what we want from you,” Mr. Cummings said, accusing Republicans of using taxpayer dollars to try to destroy Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign. “Do we want to badger you over and over again until you do get so tired so we get the gotcha moment?”

Clearly touched by his words, Mrs. Clinton thanked Mr. Cummings and said that she had done all that she could to answer more than ten hours of questions. She then expressed hope that, somehow, statesmanship could overcome partisanship.

“It is deeply unfortunate that something as serious as what happened in Benghazi could ever be used for partisan political purposes,” she said. “I’m hoping that we can move forward together.”

Here is his powerful opening statement:

Ranking Member Cummings Opening Statement at Hearing 4
Oct 22, 2015
Press Release

As Prepared for Delivery

Secretary Clinton, thank you very much for being here today to testify before Congress on this issue—now for the third time.

This week, our Chairman, Mr. Gowdy, was interviewed for a lengthy media profile. During this interview, he complained that he has “an impossible job.” He said it is impossible to conduct a serious, fact-centric investigation in such a “political environment.”

I have great respect for the Chairman, but on this score, he is wrong. In fact, it has been done by his own Republican colleagues in the House on this very issue—Benghazi.

The Republican Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee conducted an extensive, bipartisan, two-year investigation and issued a detailed report. The Senate Intelligence Committee and the Senate Homeland Security Committee also conducted bipartisan investigations.

Those bipartisan efforts respected and honored the memories of the four brave Americans who were killed in Benghazi: Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty.

The problem is that Speaker Boehner did not like the answers he got from those investigations. So he set up this new Select Committee—with no rules, no deadline, and an unlimited budget—and he set it loose on Secretary Clinton because she is running for president.

Clearly, it is possible to conduct a serious, bipartisan investigation. What is impossible is for any reasonable person to continue denying that Republicans are squandering millions of taxpayer dollars on this abusive effort to derail Secretary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

In the Chairman’s interview, he tried to defend against this criticism by attempting to cast himself as the victim, and he complained about attacks on the credibility of the Select Committee. His argument would be more compelling if Republicans weren’t leading the charge.

As we all know, Rep. Kevin McCarthy—Speaker Boehner’s second-in-command and the Chairman’s close friend—admitted that they established the Select Committee to drive down Secretary Clinton’s poll numbers.

Republican Congressman Richard Hanna said the Select Committee was “designed” to go after Secretary Clinton.

And one of the Chairman’s own investigators—a conservative Republican—charged that he was fired in part for not going along with these plans to “hyper focus on Hillary Clinton.”

These stark admissions reflect exactly what we have seen inside the Select Committee for the past year. Just look at the facts.

Since January, Republicans have canceled every single hearing on our schedule for the entire year—except for this one with Secretary Clinton.

They also canceled numerous interviews that they had planned with Defense Department and CIA officials.

Instead of doing what they said they were going to do, Republicans zeroed in on Secretary Clinton, her speechwriters, her IT staffers, and her campaign officials. This is what Republicans did—not Democrats.

When Speaker Boehner established this Select Committee, he justified it by arguing that it would be “cross-jurisdictional.” I assumed he meant we would focus on more than just Secretary Clinton and the State Department.

But Madam Secretary, you are sitting here by yourself. The Secretary of Defense is not on your left, and the Director of the CIA is not on your right. That’s because Republicans abandoned their own plans to question those top officials. So instead of being “cross-jurisdictional,” Republicans just crossed them off the list.

Last weekend, the Chairman told his Republican colleagues to “shut up” and stop talking about the Select Committee.

What I want to know is this—why tell Republicans to shut up when they are telling the truth, but not when they are attacking Secretary Clinton with reckless accusations that are demonstrably false?

Carly Fiorina has said that Secretary Clinton “has blood on her hands,” Mike Huckabee accused her of “ignoring the warning calls from dying Americans in Benghazi,” Senator Rand Paul said “Benghazi was a 3:00 a.m. phone call that she never picked up,” and Senator Lindsay Graham tweeted, “Where the hell were you on the night of the Benghazi attack?”

Everyone on this panel knows these accusations are baseless—from our own investigation and all those before it. Yet Republican Members of this Select Committee remain silent.

On Monday, the Democrats issued a report showing that none of the 54 witnesses the Committee interviewed substantiated these wild Republican claims. Secretary Clinton did not order the military to stand down, and she neither approved nor denied requests for additional security.

I ask that our report be included in the official record for today’s hearing.

What is so telling is that we issued virtually the same report a year ago. When we first joined the Select Committee, I asked my staff to put together a complete report and database setting forth the primary questions that have been asked about the attacks and all of the answers that were provided in the eight previous investigations.

I ask that this report also be included in today’s hearing record.

The problem is that rather than accepting these facts, Republicans continue to spin new conspiracy theories that are just as outlandish and inaccurate. For example, the Chairman recently tried to argue that Sidney Blumenthal was Secretary Clinton’s primary advisor on Libya, and this past Sunday, Rep. Pompeo claimed on national television that Secretary Clinton relied on Sidney Blumenthal for most of her intelligence on Libya.

Earlier this week, the Washington Post Fact Checker awarded this claim “four pinocchios”—its worst rating.

Here is the bottom-line. The Select Committee has spent 17 months and $4.7 million in taxpayer funds. We have held four hearings and conducted 54 interviews and depositions. Yes, we have received some new emails—from Secretary Clinton, Ambassador Stevens, and others. And yes, we have conducted some new interviews.

But these documents and interviews do not show any nefarious activity. In fact, it’s just the opposite. The new information we have obtained confirms and corroborates the core facts we already knew from the eight previous investigations. They provide more detail, but they do not change the basic conclusions.

It is time for Republicans to end this taxpayer-funded fishing expedition. We need to come together and shift from politics to policy. We need to finally make good on our promises to the families, and we need to start focusing on what we here in Congress can do to improve the safety and security of our diplomatic corps in the future.

Rep. Cummings is the ranking member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Select Committee on Benghazi, serves on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Joint Economic Committee. He is also a member of both the Congressional Black Caucus and The Progressive Caucus.

You can join me in thanking him for his service:

Contact:

Washington, DC Office
2230 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4741
Fax: (202) 225-3178
Hours: M-F 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM EST

Email

I’d also like to add my thanks to the people of the 7th District of Maryland who have voted to keep him in office since 1996.

  26 comments for ““We’re better than that!” Thank you Rep. Elijah Cummings

  1. Denise Velez
    October 23, 2015 at 5:36 am

    Tired from staying up late watching the farce of the hearings, and then the news wrap up.

    I was thinking of the power of Rep. Barbara Jordan (D-TX) back in the day, when she also took the national spotlight in a very different set of hearings.

  2. JanF
    October 23, 2015 at 5:47 am

    Thank you for finding this clip, Dee! His opening statement was exactly what was needed to set the narrative. I remember watching it (I stayed up too late also!) and thinking how proud I am to be a Democrat.

    • Denise Velez
      October 23, 2015 at 5:51 am

      I join you in that pride. I don’t care which Democrat we support in the primaries – we can all come together to fight back against the Republican travesty.

  3. October 23, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Thanks, Dee! I went over and rec’d your diary at the Other Place as well. Yes, Elijah Cummings and Secretary Clinton make me proud to be a member of the human race!

    They were marvelous yesterday in an atmosphere of unbridled misogyny and viciousness.

    • Denise Velez
      October 23, 2015 at 9:56 am

      Thanks Diana – I think he would make a great Veep pick for Hillary.

      • bfitzinAR
        October 23, 2015 at 12:00 pm

        I rec’d the diary at GOS, too. I don’t want Elijah Cummings for veep though – I want him as Majority Leader under Pelosi and Speaker of the House after her. As long we we’re the minority I especially want him right where he is pointing out the evils of the Rs in language so clear even the TPs can understand it.

  4. JanF
    October 23, 2015 at 8:10 am

    ThinkProgress helpfully put together a video of mansplainin’ moments.

    One of my offline friends who worked at the State Department pointed out that it was nonsensical to expect the Secretary of State to be emailing and communicating with the folks that this ill-informed panel suggested she should be.

    This panel was filled with people who did not know a damn thing about the State Department or the foreign service. The leadership simply dipped into the membership and found people who excelled at assholishness. THAT was their only obvious expertise. I have no idea how Secretary Clinton kept her composure.

    • JanF
      October 23, 2015 at 9:18 am

      Speaking of aholes, this was by far my FAVORITE Tweet of the night, tweeted out during one of Jim Jordan’s irate-tions:

      Lisa Rowe ‏@txvoodoo
      Oh goodie, another whiney manchild bitching at Hillary. P.S. your combover isn’t hiding the scalp shine, Jim Jordan.

      • Denise Velez
        October 23, 2015 at 9:57 am

        hah! That sleaze was oozing sweat and oil.

  5. Geordie
    October 23, 2015 at 10:20 am

    That wasn’t a hearing, that was an inquisition. I watched pretty much the whole thing, albeit with the Republicans muted whenever they asked a question because I couldn’t stand it, and my support for Hillary grew with every hour. I’m also glad to see that over at GOS, where I checked in on the live blogging, the support for her, even from strong Bernie Sanders supporters, was pretty much universal. It was good to read.

    Cummings hit it out of the park every time he talked, as did Schiff, Sanchez, Duckworth and Smith, the other Dems on the committee.

    • JanF
      October 23, 2015 at 10:37 am

      Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) was the only member interested in finding out How to Make Embassies Safer, the purported reason for the committee’s creation. Maybe because she is ex-military, these things are important to her. Her questions gave Hillary a chance to take a breather from the attacks and posturing of the petulant putzes on the other side.

      Duckworth is running for Illinois Senate against Mark Kirk and has a very good chance of winning, especially in a presidential election year when turnout will be high.

      Now that that is done, the Democrats need to resign from the committee. They needed to be there so that there was some balance but now that The Hearing is over, there is no one in America that thinks that committee has any useful purpose. When reporters interviewed Trey Gowdy after the hearing, he said, candidly, “we didn’t learn anything new”. Well of course you didn’t!!! No one expected you to!!! The purpose was to find a gotcha moment.

      The New York Times: Hillary Clinton and the Benghazi Gang

      Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former secretary of state, spent hours on Thursday facing down a gang of spiteful Republican lawmakers who once saw great promise in hauling her before a congressional committee to hold her responsible for the deadly attack that killed the American ambassador and three colleagues in Libya in Sept. 2012.

      Unsurprisingly, the hearing yielded no new information about the attacks. It quickly and predictably devolved into a partisan battle between Republicans intent on hurting Mrs. Clinton’s bid for the White House and Democrats who sought to make her look presidential.[…]

      If there was any notion that the Select Committee on Benghazi might be on to something, it was quickly dispelled. In a flailing performance, the committee’s chairman, Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, made it evident that he and his colleagues have squandered more than $4.6 million and countless hours poring over State Department records and Mrs. Clinton’s email. They produced no damning evidence, elicited no confessions and didn’t succeed in getting an angry reaction from Mrs. Clinton.[…]

      Now that the hearing, which was intended to be the climactic point of the Benghazi committee inquiry, is over, the Democrats who reluctantly agreed to join the panel when it was established in May 2014 should walk away. The Republicans are expected to issue a report. May it be the final chapter of a wasteful and counterproductive exercise that accomplished nothing.

      Yes, they should.

      • JanF
        October 23, 2015 at 1:04 pm

        Here is the Gowdy quote:

        Gowdy, chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, was asked by reporters what new details came from his panel’s 11 hours of grilling the former secretary of state over her response to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi.

        “Uh,” Gowdy said, pausing for several seconds.

        “I think some of Jimmy Jordan’s questioning — well, when you say new today, we knew some of that already. We knew about the emails,” he said. “In terms of her testimony? I don’t know that she testified that much differently today than she has the previous time she testified.”

        He said the committee will continue until they interview all the witnesses. I hope that the Democrats do not choose to be part of that.

  6. JanF
    October 23, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Here is another Rep. Cummings clip getting into it with Sweatboy. The Sid Blumenthal thing sounds like the fishiest of all fishing expeditions and Gowdy was called out. Later in the hearing, Rep. Cummings mentioned that they won’t release the transcripts, not because they are worried about the answers, but because they are embarrassed about the questions the Republicans asked … all intended to go after Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation.

    “You’ve made several inaccurate statements over the past months as you’ve tried to defend against multiple Republican admissions that the select committee has been wasting millions of tax dollars to damage Secretary Clinton’s bid for president,” Cummings said, growing angry during his exchange with Gowdy.

    “Mr. Chairman you personally attended Mr. Blumenthal’s deposition,” Cummings later continued. “You personally asked him about the Clinton Foundation. And you personally directed your staff to ask questions about Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, which they did more than 50 times. Now, these facts directly contradict the statements you made on national television.”

    Cummings requested that Gowdy release the full transcript of the Blumenthal deposition, to approving nods from Clinton. “We’re not going to take that up at a hearing,” Gowdy responded.

    Cummings again insisted the Committee members have a right to vote on the motion to release the transcript, but Gowdy refused to hold a vote Thursday.

    I had not seen this because I didn’t start watching again until after the lunch break.

    • Denise Velez
      October 23, 2015 at 2:01 pm

      heh – “Sweatboy” – love it.

  7. JanF
    October 23, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    NPR has some analysis: Clinton Endures An 11-Hour Grilling Before Benghazi Committee

    Hillary Clinton faced 11 hours of questioning before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Thursday, and when it was over, it was hard to say how much new light was shed on the 2012 terrorist attack that killed four Americans while she was secretary of state.

    For many, there was just one question when the hearing began at 10 a.m. ET: Was it a genuine effort to discover new information about the Benghazi attack, or was it a partisan effort designed to rough up the leading Democratic candidate for president?

    I think that was pretty much answered: designed to rough her up.

    They presented two sets of sound clips, one with political moments and one with substantive moments.

    Political: (selections are mine)

    2. “An obsession with email”

    Democratic Rep. Adam Smith jumped to Clinton’s defense as he did several times during the hearing, cheekily asking, “You were also aware of those two attacks on our compounds even though you didn’t email about it?”

    Substantive:

    5. Clinton: “The terrorists only have to be right once.”

    In answering a friendlier line of questioning from Democratic Rep. Adam Smith of Washington, Clinton was asked about the proper balance the U.S. must strike in the future to protect personnel overseas and still allow them to fulfill their mission. Clinton praised diplomatic security professionals, saying they get it right “999 times out of a thousand.”

  8. JanF
    October 23, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Some Vox-nalysis:

    Hillary Clinton’s 11-hour Benghazi testimony was her best campaign ad yet

    Republicans will kick themselves for dragging Hillary Clinton before the House Benghazi committee Thursday.

    It was a defining moment for Clinton’s presidential aspirations. She handled the GOP’s questions with aplomb and without the patina of partisanship that has characterized the committee since its conception. That would have been bad enough for the Republicans’ hopes of seizing the White House in 2017. But she did much more than that. She answered questions that Republicans have been hanging out there in hopes of sowing doubts among voters.

    Does she believe in American exceptionalism? Yes.

    Can she be non-partisan, serious, and policy-minded? Yes.

    Is her mental acuity superior to pretty much anyone you know? Yes.

    Is she human? Yes.

    Does she have the energy to be president? Yes.

    Well, I am still not convinced she is human … that was superhuman, in my mind. :)

    ~

    Conservative pundits were not impressed with the GOP’s disastrous Benghazi hearing

    Hillary Clinton is a top-tier politician who’s been the subject of nearly constant national media scrutiny for more than 20 years. She also happens to have worked at the House Judiciary Committee during the most famous and most influential congressional investigation into executive branch misconduct of all time. The Benghazi committee, by contrast, is led by a guy who can’t get a proper haircut and composed largely of random backbench Republicans, most of whom run in districts that aren’t remotely competitive.

    Consequently, it’s not so surprising that she ended up mopping the floor with her antagonists — a group that went in with no clear plan of what they were hoping to accomplish and little substantive understanding of any of the relevant policy issues.

    And, indeed, the best some conservative pundits could say about it is that the hearing exceeding their low expectations.

    Permanent butthurt Erick Son of Erick weighed in on his eponymous blog:

    “The hearings are a waste of time because everything about it is politicized and nothing is going to happen. There will be no scalp collection,” Erickson wrote in a blog post. “In fact, it is clear from today’s hearing that Trey Gowdy and Peter Roskam seem to be the only two people on the committee of either party who are capable of asking exacting, precise questions. Most of the rest of the committee just wants to grandstand for the folks back home as either prosecutors of or defenders of Hillary Clinton.”

    If they had gotten her goat, I am sure he would have been spiking the football. It is only because of the failure to draw blood that the right-wing is so gloomy.

  9. JanF
    October 23, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Twitter favorites from the hearing (Part One):

    Nerdy Wonka ‏@NerdyWonka
    Hillary’s expression perfectly conveys the contempt any thinking person feels for Jim Jordan. #BenghaziCommittee

    sfpelosi ‏@sfpelosi
    Awkward and unseemly strategy of #GOP to blame Amb Stevens for not directly emailing the Secretary of State for #Benghazi security.

    Michael Cohen ‏@speechboy71
    Republican members of Benghazi committee seem unaware that people get lots of emails

    Sahil Kapur ‏@sahilkapur
    Clinton to Jim Jordan: “I’m sorry that it doesn’t fit your narrative, congressman. I can only tell you what the facts were.”

    Matthew Yglesias ‏@mattyglesias
    The whole idea of giving your opponent an opportunity to square off against House back-benchers on national TV is insane.

    Eric Boehlert ‏@EricBoehlert
    Gowdy for last 10 days: I’m not obsessed w/ HIllary

    agitated Gowdy now: forget Benghazi, i’m going to obsess over you

    Peter Daou ‏@peterdaou
    #BenghaziCommittee a quintessential example of the GOP’s decades-long underestimation of @HillaryClinton’s intelligence and indomitability.

    Kurt Eichenwald ‏@kurteichenwald
    Is GOP on Bengh committee seriously suggesting almost 200 ambassadors sould take security issues 2 Sec of State rather than security staff?

    Chris Cillizza ‏@TheFix
    Did Chris Stevens know your shoe size? Did he know your favorite color? SIDNEY BLUMENTHAL DID.

    Hunter ‏@HunterDK
    That Pompeo is so visibly stunned by the notion of someone having a “friend” is really pretty darn sad.

    Joshua Holland ‏@JoshuaHol
    HRC to Roskam: “That is clearly a political statement and I don’t see what it has to do with anything we’re discussing today.”

    Nerdy Wonka ‏@NerdyWonka
    Roksam (GOP) to Hillary: Why does the president deserve all the credit and not you?

    HRC: Nah, bro. You ain’t gon’ get me. Not today, satan.

    Kaili Joy Gray ‏@KailiJoy
    Why did Clinton ignore the August memo about bin Laden determined to strike in U.S.? #BenghaziCommittee

    Lawrence O’Donnell ‏@Lawrence
    Proof @HillaryClinton is winning the hearing: @FoxNews has cut away from live coverage.

    David Waldman ‏@KagroX
    That knowledge (such as it is), resides at the Foreign Affairs committee & State/Foreign Ops approps subcommittee.

    David Waldman added,

    Christopher Hayes @chrislhayes
    The members of Congress asking questions seem to have very very little understanding of how State Department bureaucracy actually works.

    The Rude Pundit ‏@rudepundit
    I don’t have Hillary Clinton’s private email address or cell number. Does that mean she wants me to die?

  10. JanF
    October 23, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Twitter Favorites from the hearing (Part Two):

    Lisa Rowe ‏@txvoodoo
    Oh goodie, another whiney manchild bitching at Hillary. P.S. your combover isn’t hiding the scalp shine, Jim Jordan.

    Paul Waldman ‏@paulwaldman1
    “We’re going to stay here all night if that’s what it takes to get you to make a gaffe. You can do it now and save us all some time.”

    Frank Vdl ‏@fvdlfvdl
    And yes, as long as Republicans act like this, they *are* the damn enemy.

    Kaili Joy Gray ‏@KailiJoy
    Hillary, please come spend 9 hours making us look like idiots and assuring Democrats you’re right for the job. #BenghaziCommittee

    Jeff Gauvin ‏@JeffersonObama
    Martha Roby asking those pertinent questions all Americans are thinking about…Did you have Decaf or regular coffee on that day? #BENGHAZI

    Dana Houle ‏@DanaHoule
    Did you like eggs? Do you like green eggs? Do you like ham? Do you like eggs and ham? Do you like green eggs and ham together???

    David Atkins ‏@DavidOAtkins
    Hillary Clinton does not usually come off as a sympathetic, downtrodden underdog. The GOP has now made her one. Congrats!

    Stonekettle ‏@Stonekettle
    This whole thing would have been a lot easier if the Benghazi Committee just deposited that 4.7 million into Clinton’s SuperPAC

    GottaLaff ‏@GottaLaff
    Geez, how old is Rep. Jordan, 12?

    #GowdyDoodyShow

    Karen Tumulty ‏@ktumulty
    If your drinking game word was “Blumenthal,” you’ve been unconscious for five hours.

    Paul Waldman ‏@paulwaldman1
    I’m pretty sure Lynn Westmoreland is going to nod off during his own question. In other news, OH GOD WHY AM I STILL WATCHING THIS???

    Michael Cohen ‏@speechboy71
    Westmoreland: “Something doesn’t smell right” – well it’s been ten hours and you’re still wearing your suit jacket #justsaying

    LOLGOP ‏@LOLGOP
    Canada has held two more full election cycles since this hearing began.

    The Daily Edge ‏@TheDailyEdge
    Now let me ask you about one of your 62,000 emails that I have in front of me but you don’t. #benghazihearings

    Charles M. Blow ‏@CharlesMBlow
    I thought I heard a “bs” in one of those coughs…LOL

    Roger Simon ‏@politicoroger
    Trey Gowdy is sweating like a burglar.

    Jennifer Epstein ‏@jeneps
    “I’m gonna make two more observations and then we’re gonna call it a night,” Gowdy says to happy/confused/delirious room

    • Denise Velez
      October 24, 2015 at 3:46 am

      Amazing collection of tweets Jan – thank you!

  11. JanF
    October 23, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Wonkette:

    “Here’s the best indicator of how well Hillary did: Fox was the only one of the three 24-hour cable news outfits to actually stop broadcasting the hearings live, even though it has consistently been the Benghazi Network, running over 1,100 segments on Benghazi and what a horrible thing it was. Once Clinton was actually mopping the floor with the committee, Fox was out of there, going with its usual afternoon talker lineup, starting with “The Five Idiots”.

    http://wonkette.com/595268/wingnuts-so-sad-hillz-didnt-admit-she-ordered-the-code-red-in-benghazi

  12. JanF
    October 23, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    A preview of the Rachel Maddow interview with Hillary Clinton was released. This will be good news for worried Obama Coalition people:

    Hillary Clinton – “I want to build on the progress that they are leaving behind. I feel very strongly about that. I want to go further, but I think the real point of this election is whether or not the Republicans are going to be able to turn the clock back and rip away the progress that has been made. So I want to support what the president and the vice president have accomplished.”

    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/hillary-clinton-i-want-build-obama-era-progress

    • Denise Velez
      October 24, 2015 at 3:49 am

      Went upstairs to bed (where our tv is) to settle in to watch the Maddow interview. Fell asleep – hah.

      Am now watching the segments on her webpage.

      • JanF
        October 24, 2015 at 5:34 am

        I watched it “live” (obviously, the interview had been recorded earlier in the day.)

        First, it was amazing that Rachel Maddow had never met Hillary Clinton! They seemed pretty comfortable with each other and I hope they do this again.

        Second, I am going to have to revisit some of my assumptions about the awful legislation that came out of the Bill Clinton administration. It is easier to see it from the lens of 2015 and everything we know about the results of the legislature than to put oneself in the time and understand the political climate. I still don’t forgive Bill Clinton for his sleaziness … it was wrong in the 1990s and it will be wrong in the 2090s … but I am going to dig a little deeper into the policy choices available to try to understand better. By the way, Justice Ruth Bader Gingsberg, a Clinton appointment, covers a host of wrongs.

        Finally, Hillary Clinton is wicked smaht. I have no problem picturing her running the country.

        Here’s the YouTube:

        • JanF
          October 24, 2015 at 7:45 am

          Here is the link to the Rachel Maddow show blog with some snippets of transcript including her opinion about working with Republicans:

          Clinton spoke to Maddow fresh off her marathon testimony in front of the House panel investigating Benghazi during which, pundits say, she prevailed over 11 hours of pointed Republican questioning and attacks. Clinton blamed GOP partisans, saying the most conservative wing of the party forced many lawmakers to block needed legislation.

          “There is this ideological purity test that, I think, unfortunately too many Republicans who know better are being subjected to,” she said.

          To move past the gridlock in Washington, Clinton said, “we’ve gotta break the stranglehold that the extremist views in the Republican Party have on too many people who are otherwise sensible.” […]

          “I spent a lot of time with [President Obama] in the first four years and he was absolutely sincere [in trying to compromise], and he was often just bewildered that the evidence was clear, the results were going to flow, and the Republicans would privately say, ‘Yeah, you’re right, but I can’t, or I won’t.’”

          In contrast, Clinton pledged to “go anywhere, talk to anybody, any time to try to find common ground, to try to achieve our national objectives,” but she also said she’d “stand by my ground.”

          “I think it’s a constant balance about where one begins and the other one ends,” she said.

          I want her to stand her ground because it is my ground too.

  13. Denise Velez
    October 24, 2015 at 5:45 am

    Thank you – didn’t think to look for a YouTube – was trying to watch on the MSNBC site (between all the commercials)

    My husband just came downstairs – he apparently watched it, and said something similar to what you just said. “It was interesting looking back and remembering what was going on then, that caused Bill Clinton to institute certain policies…we forget what many folks in our community were pushing for.”

    • JanF
      October 24, 2015 at 6:09 am

      Actually, when I want YouTube of a Hillary Clinton event that I see in the news, I go to HillarySpeeches.com (which I have bookmarked). They often find the video, and sometimes transcripts, well before everyone else.

      Hillary’s comment about DOMA was particularly interesting, that it was essentially a measure to forestall the move afoot to make a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. I believe that could have passed which would have certainly delayed civil rights for LGBT folks. Here is Bill Clinton’s statement on DOMA when it was signed (found on the Internets):

      Statement by President Bill Clinton

      On Friday, September 20, prior to signing the Defense of Marriage Act, President Clinton released the following statement:

      Throughout my life I have strenuously opposed discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans. I am signing into law H.R. 3396, a bill relating to same-gender marriage, but it is important to note what this legislation does and does not do.

      I have long opposed governmental recognition of same-gender marriages and this legislation is consistent with that position. The Act confirms the right of each state to determine its own policy with respect to same gender marriage and clarifies for purposes of federal law the operative meaning of the terms “marriage” and “spouse”.

      This legislation does not reach beyond those two provisions. It has no effect on any current federal, state or local anti-discrimination law and does not constrain the right of Congress or any state or locality to enact anti-discrimination laws. I therefore would take this opportunity to urge Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, an act which would extend employment discrimination protections to gays and lesbians in the workplace. This year the Senate considered this legislation contemporaneously with the Act I sign today and failed to pass it by a single vote. I hope that in its next Session Congress will pass it expeditiously.

      I also want to make clear to all that the enactment of this legislation should not, despite the fierce and at times divisive rhetoric surrounding it, be understood to provide an excuse for discrimination, violence or intimidation against any person on the basis of sexual orientation. Discrimination, violence and intimidation for that reason, as well as others, violate the principle of equal protection under the law and have no place in American society.

      That doesn’t sound like an anti-LGBT person, does it?

      I am still not sure about NAFTA and Gramm-Bliley. I suspect that Gramm-Bliley won’t get mentioned much on MSNBC because Andrea Mitchell is married to one of the proponents of that awful piece of legislation that turned Wall Street into an unregulated casino. But it is interesting to note what you can learn about history when you are asked to re-assess your assumptions.

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