Kaine is another bad calculation by the Clinton campaign
Hillary Clinton slapped progressives in the face by choosing Tim Kaine as her Vice Presidential Nominee. By choosing Kaine, Hillary may have just made one of the biggest mistakes of her political career. The full effect of her choice isn’t entirely clear yet, however the signs are not promising. For progressives, this is yet another disappointment in a growing long list.
Whether you liked his DNC speech last night or not, Tim Kaine is a standard centrist New Democrat in the exact mold that progressives despise. Tim Kaine is no Elizabeth Warren, and a far cry from Bernie Sanders. Tim Kaine has recently said that the banks and financial institutions should be deregulated further. Kaine was also in favor of the TPP (as recently as last Thursday), and has been a supporter of Virginia’s right-to-work law. Kaine also does not have a strong environmental record, and has a pro-gun record as well.
Worse still, Tim Kaine has described himself as a “Devout Catholic” and while his views are kept mainly to himself, he does have an anti-choice record on abortion in the state he governed. He also has a shaky record in the Israel/Palestine issue (in favor of Israel of course). Tim Kaine has bragged about being a centrist, and like many Democrats of his ilk, is obviously favored by Wall Street.
It is clear by Hillary choosing Kaine as VP that she has decided to play it safe in this election. It is also clear that she made this choice based on immense pressure by Wall Street. Hillary’s Wall Street donors threatened to uniformly abandon her campaign if she picked someone like Elizabeth Warren as her VP. Hillary played it safe for her donors, and chose a VP that is appealing to them. Tim Kaine isn’t out to rock the boat, and isn’t an inspiring visionary.
Hillary is rather foolish in her calculation. Part of her decision to choose Kaine was the pressure from the donors, but it also speaks to her personal arrogance toward this election. She thinks she has this election wrapped up. Hillary and her campaign are convinced that there is no way she could lose to Donald Trump.
Because she is so certain, she feels no need to appeal to progressives. She is convinced that progressives will have no choice but to vote for her, as the choice has come down between her and a potential fascist. Hillary, much like the rest of the DC establishment, is making a dangerous miscalculation that could cost her the election. They are dangerously underestimating their position, and it could cost them and the country dearly.
Progressives are already widely un-enthused by Hillary’s candidacy. There was a vain hope that Hillary might have gone bold and choose a staunch progressive like Elizabeth Warren, as a way to excite the liberal base. It is clear now Hillary does not intend to go that route, and this is already causing much resentment within progressive circles.
While Hillary’s rhetoric seems progressive, her decisions speak more of her vision then words. Hillary had a chance here to make a bold statement and actually try and incorporate the progressives into her campaign. She has squandered this now, and her arrogance will only cost her come election day.
This is not a snub to be ignored, progressives should be affronted by this. Hillary needed a source of inspiring excitement to her campaign, and Tim Kaine does not deliver that. We are seeing many progressives flock to independent parties, many shifting over to Jill Stein or Gary Johnson. Johnson is in the ball park of 10 percent in some polls, and Stein is over 7 percent. This recent snub by Hillary will certainly drive more progressives away from her, costing her enthusiasm and votes. We could very well see Gary Johnson and Jill Stein’s numbers average 15 percent by this fact, potentially leading to them on the debate stage.
If Hillary continues to snub progressives, it will cause a massive backlash among voters that she will depend on come November. Trump is a monster, but progressives are not robots, they will not yield to scare tactics and fall in line. Progressives are expecting things from Hillary for their support, and Hillary has clearly shown she has no interest in listening to them. If Hillary loses support over the Kaine pick, then it will be squarely the fault of her flawed arrogance.
It should also be added that this pick of Tim Kaine came with some very bad timing. WikiLeaks released 20,000 emails by the DNC, showing that the body had a clear anti-Bernie Sanders bias during the course of the primary. The aftermath of this scandal has seen DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz resign. Hillary announcing Kaine as her VP may have even larger blow back because of the scandal.
Trump can win the election, not by a wide margin, but he can still win. Polls right now are tight between Hillary and Trump, and Hillary’s continued disappointments to progressives could make the numbers even tighter. If Hillary loses these crucial votes, then it will be because she didn’t do enough to convince those voters to vote for her. Anyone pressuring you to vote for anyone out of fear (like Donald Trump) is not worth listening to.
Hillary needed to go bold this election, and instead she is playing it safe by establishment standards. She is running a campaign the way you would in the 1980s or 1990s. It’s 2016, and the political winds are shifting away from establishment wisdom. Hillary needed an edge in this race, and so far the only edge she has is that her name isn’t Trump.
Granted, Tim Kaine is not an apocalyptic pick. The progressive case against Tim Kaine is not that he’s monstrous, but the fact is he isn’t anything at all. He’s another boring Clintonite Democrat who is only interested in maintaining the corrupt system that takes care of him. Progressives, and Americans in general, are hungry for an establishment upset. We are tired of the same old establishment game, and if Hillary and the Democrats don’t wake up to this fast, then we will all pay the price come November.