Hillary Clinton: A Candidate for the 1990s and Before
According to NBC News, after a moment of contention, Senator Hillary Clinton offered some assistance to Randall Rolph, an Iowa resident who questioned her vote in favor of labeling Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps a terrorist organization…
Clinton accused the man of being a plant who had been sent to ask the question, to which he took exception, saying the question was a result of his own research.What kind of lousy offer was that? Hasn’t Senator Clinton heard about this Internet thing that her fellow Democrat Al Gore invented? As long as Mr. Rolph has access into the Internet either at his home or at a local public library, he can already see the full-text of the legislation, by following the links available here.
“I apologize,” Clinton said, explaining that she had been asked the very same question in three other places.
The crowd applauded when the senator ended the back and forth by saying the two had a disagreement and offering to put Rolph in touch with her staff, who could provide him with the text of the legislation, which she suggested he had misunderstood.
Senator Clinton either has not kept pace with how Internet-based communications are being used to update the public about Congress’ daily activity, or she’s just not interested in using the Internet to its fullest potential for keeping the public informed. Perhaps the Senator prefers the old system, where the ability to see legislation under debate, before it acquired the force of law, was a privilege reserved for a few politically connected officials, staffers and lobbyists. That would be consistent with her approach to healthcare in the 1990s, where the specifics of her plan were hidden from the general public (and even members of Congress not in her favor) for as long as was possible.
If this is still Senator Clinton’s ideal method of advancing her agenda, the Senator is in for a bit of a surprise if elected in 2008. Saying “trust me, I’m the leader, and I know best, so support what I tell you to support” is no longer a viable option for politicians who fail to use every available option to inform the public of their plans. George W. Bush learned this lesson the hard way, via the failure of his comprehensive immigration proposal.
I wonder if Senator Clinton — or if any of the Presidential candidate of either party — would be willing to make a simple pledge to the American public: she (or he) will not sign any legislation unless Congress places it into the public domain for at least one month, free for examination by the general public, before sending a final version onto the President.