For some (many?) Democratic voters and activists, one of their reasons to support Barack Obama (or John Edwards or Bill Richardson or …) in the Democratic Party primaries in 2007/2008 was a visceral fear of the RWSM (Right-Wing Sound Machine) and how it how it had built up (irrational) hatred of Hillary Clinton in a substantial (minority) segment of Americans (overlapping heavily, one might suspect, with Tea Party ranks) while fostering doubts and uncertainties and questioning among many others. Considering that Senator Hillary Clinton showed herself, writ large, to be anything but some radical politician and demonstrated, on many issues, an ability to sit down and work with some who had been her (and her husband’s) harshest critics, the absurdity of most of these attacks and ill-informed anger against Hillary Clinton are clear for anyone able to step back to look dispassionately at these attacks.
With such a dispassionate step back, one would also come to the conclusion that — with the eased shift to hatred-filled attacks on President Obama — any hint of ethical scandal associated with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that suggested the potential of supporting foreign interests over American interests in assistance to a former political aide would serve as rich fodder for the RWSM. One would expect Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and the Republican National Committee and Minority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell and others would be screaming for Speaker of the House John Boehner to start impeachment hearings at the first inkling of the potential that Secretary Hillary Clinton’s State Department had possibly favored a former Clinton political adviser who was lobbying the State Department (and entire U.S. government) in support of foreign business interests without, it seems, ever registering as a lobbyist — let alone a lobbyist for foreign interests. And, imagine the screams for her head when the Clinton State Department allowed a foreign business interest to run public hearings in a way that favored the foreign interests and shunted aside American citizens’ perspectives.
You would expect those impeachment calls, wouldn’t you …
However, now that there is that ‘hint’ of scandal (with emails from the State Department serving as the basis for New York Times articles, legal complaints to the government, and otherwise), are you hearing those RWSM screeching calls for impeachment hearings and independent investigation?
Why that silence?
There really only seems one relevant issue: the controversy relates to the State Department’s overly cozy relationship with a highly-polluting fossil fuel energy project. The TransCanada Keystone XL project is designed to deliver carbon liquids derived from Canadian Tar Sands to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries to be refined for, mainly, export to Chinese and other markets. Note that this would be some of the dirtiest oil, in life-cycle terms, available for purchase on the planet if this deal goes through. Project supporters are pushing a false ‘economy vs environment’ angle, with highly exaggerated claims re job creation while some analysis suggests that (along with the environment risks (not least of all related to climate change, but also the potential of oil spills and the damage created by building a very long pipeline) this project might actually lead to reduced employment. Friends of the Earth has secured, via Freedom of Information Act requests, a series of emails that show quite favorable relations between State Department officials and a former Clinton campaign staff member now working as a lobbyist for TransCanada (without, it seems, properly registering as a lobbyist for foreign business interests).
The RWSM reaction (or not) has answered, it seems, the question this post’s title presents:
The RWSM loves polluting energy interests far more than it loathes Hillary Clinton.
NOTE: A video animation created by artist Mark Fiore, depicting the not-so-far-fetched “State Department Oil Services” led by Hillary Clinton: