A Reminder of Why I Hate Hillary Clinton

|

Hillary Clinton is worried about sex and violence in popular entertainment. "It is a little frustrating when we have this data that demonstrates there is a clear public health connection between exposure to [fictional] violence and increased aggression that we have been as a society unable to come up with any adequate public health response," the junior senator from New York said at a Kaiser Family Foundation forum this week.

Leaving aside the fact that the link to which Clinton alludes is anything but clear, the quote illustrates how meaningless the phrase public health has become. Why would a connection between, say, watching The Sopranos and whacking people in real life be a "public health connection" requiring a "public health response"? (Isn't violent crime a public safety issue?) In this context, the phrase gives Clinton's dislike for certain forms of entertainment a scientific veneer and obscures the government remedy she has in mind (some form of censorship, presumably).

It is a little frustrating when we have these data that demonstrate a clear public health connection between fuzzy collectivist thinking and bad policy that we have been as a society unable to come up with any adequate public health response. Maybe we could quarantine Clinton.

NEXT: Is Reason Becoming the Susan Lucci of the Western Publications Association "Maggie" Awards?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Settle down Sullum… Hil is just paying lip service to the “won’t someone think of the kids” crowd… gezz… you’d think you’ve never a pol pander before.

  2. “some form of censorship, presumably”

    You presume quite a bit. During Bill’s tenure, the most important development in the field of public “indecency” regulation was a considerable loosening of the FCC’s standards. Pictures of butts, the word “ass,” and realistic depictions of violence that would have formerly been suppressed became common fare on broadcast TV and radio. And Clinton’s FCC didn’t say boo.

    You’re on much stronger footing arguing the validity of the media/violence link, than trying to squelch discussion of the issue on the grounds that someone might draw some conclusions that are politically undesireable for you.

  3. Well, one could always argue that victims of violence need medical attention, and sometimes the injuries are permanent, so that’s a long term medical condition.

    I’m just surprised that “public health” is currently the popular rationale for regulating things. Everything is in some way related to everything else if you look hard enough. Why not frame media-inspired violence as a Homeland Security issue?

  4. Will:

    We’re talking about “It takes a Village” girl here, who attempted to mastermind a massive socialized healthcare system.

    Hillary is not here to serve, she is here to instruct and guide us towards her collectivist utopia.

  5. She is turning into a Republican. That’s her strategy for winning in 2008. She will succeed Bush.

  6. Sadly, these 2 statements by different posters are not inconsistent:

    1) “Hillary is not here to serve, she is here to instruct and guide us towards her collectivist utopia.”

    2) “She is turning into a Republican. That’s her strategy for winning in 2008.”

  7. i really do have my doubts about a celery run in 2008. she’s just so hated beyond normal means, much like bush is hated now. they share more than a few traits, really…

    –> both get compared to hitler
    –> both are connected to deep conspiracy theories
    –> both have bad hair

    seriously though, does anyone honestly think the dems are so desperate that they’d run a woman for president?

  8. I have several coworkers ready to vote for the Hildabeast in ’08.

  9. Its too bad Penn & Teller haven’t devoted an entire episode of Bullshit to Hillary Clinton. Of course then they would be morally obliged to devote an entire episode to Bush as well. 🙂


  10. She is turning into a Republican. That’s her strategy for winning in 2008. She will succeed Bush.

    Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner folks.

    For some reason, the idea of Hillary as a Republican meshes rather well with the idea of a Republican Bush has lived upto.

  11. “Hildabeast”?? Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha

    I’m as ignorant as your typical pundit, but there is NO WAY this country will elect a big-city, female, liberal elitist. Those “red state” folk have their drawbacks, but at least we can count on them for that.

    No, the first female president will be an iron lady Thatcher type.. Condolezza perhaps?

  12. Isn’t violent crime a public safety issue?

    Some of think it’s a law enforcement issue.

  13. If Condi runs against Hildabeast, will the red-staters vote for a dark-skinned candidate? Will they vote for a third party and give the election to Clinton?

  14. The liberal crusade against rap lyrics, rock music, “violent” video games. (Tipper Gore, Joe Lieberman)
    The conservative crusade against rap lyrics, rock music, porn.

    No damn difference.

  15. I think Hilary could win. Lots of people enjoy “Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS”.

  16. one could always argue that victims of violence need medical attention

    The argument is about the victims of representations of violence. Their injuries (a psychological disposition toward unacceptable behavior) are permanent and (since an external cause can be linked) not their fault. Or so the theory goes.

    You’re on much stronger footing arguing the validity of the media/violence link, than trying to squelch discussion of the issue

    The link, to the extent that it’s real, is largely irrelevant. Even if one could show a near linear correlation between violence and its portrayal, you’d have to throw it on top of a grossly simplistic model of human behavior to draw any sort of regulatory conclusions.

    The frightening thing isn’t that there might be a link between media violence and real violence. There probably is one. What’s scary is how these things are interpreted by academic utopianists who still think Walden II was a good idea.

  17. Let’s go over this again. Condi can’t be president because she’s black, a chick, and, most importantly, single. I mean come on, the family value types are going to vote for someone who’s single in their 50s? A little too “alternative lifestyle” even if she’s straight as can be. Plus, I guess, since she’s unmarried, the fundies would insist she be celibate whatever way she swings. And a virgin since premarital sex is a no-no. Just too much weird baggage.

    All Hillary is doing here is getting in on some of that Moral Values crap that got Bush elected. When democrats do this, it tends to look a little hamfisted, but they’ll get smoother at it.

  18. Anybody who watches Dave Chapelle knows that Condi is no longer black. She and Colin Powell were traded to white people in exchange for Eminem. As part of the same deal, the Asians relinquished all claims to Tiger Woods, Wu Tang Clan were ceded to the Asians, and the blacks allowed the Jews to lay claim to 100% of Lenny Kravitz rather than just 50%.

    I’d say we white folks got the short end of the stick on that deal.

  19. I’ve never heard anyone say the President has bad hair before. Am I reading the wrong anti-Bush screeds?

  20. Condi could easily win in the red states. Brian raises a good point about marriage – presumably she should get hitched before 2008. But as someone who occasionally descends into the world of right-wing talk radio, I can tell you that conservatives love Condi, and would probably overlook the not-being-married thing. The thing is, I’ve never heard a single conservative say they had a problem with it. Condi has a reputation of being something of a workaholic to the exclusion of much of a social life, which could appeal to the old Puritan ethic. So… not a slam dunk, but she’d make a formitable opponent for Hillary.

  21. Can we go through one day without an elected US official referencing faith and prayer in a speech? I guess faith and prayer lend themselves toward using only those statistics that support your opinion while ignoring the rest. Since you’re appealing to the sort who will accept things without empirical data because someone more important said them, you might as well go all the way and say things are bad because God fucking said so.

    Anything can be prohibited by using public health as a reason. That’s the beauty of the argument. The people who will nod along with that have the mindset that if banning, censoring, or criminalizing something prevents one death, it’s worth it. Why wouldn’t you prevent a death? What if it’s you, or your children?

    Everything that I do every day carries some chance that I could be killed, or at least badly hurt. From showering, to driving to work, to going to gym, I could die at any second.

  22. If you consider the number of Council of Constervative Citizens-types who would stay home on “priciple,” the blue state liberal hawks who would consider crossing the aisle for such a Medal of Freedom-winning Great Liberator, and the African Americans (and maybe a few women) who would vote for her just to make a demographic point (maybe a lot of people of who don’t normally vote), a Rice campaign could flip a lot of blue and red states.

    But she’d probably run into the same problems as Wesley Clark in the primaries – what does Rice know about Social Security, abstainance eduction, and other domestic issues? Or maybe a Joe Lieberman problem, if she comes out for non-right wing positions on some issues.

  23. Yeah, I totally spaced out on Rice not being married. That’s enough to make the “family values” folks’ heads explode.

    So, agreed, she needs a sham marriage, probably some fellow workaholic who can hook up with her for the required photo-ops. Hey, maybe even an established lefty, so he can say “aw, she ain’t that bad..”

    Hildabeast V.S. Condi.. that would be the mother of all battles since King Kong v.s. Godzilla. Epic.

  24. [i]During Bill’s tenure, the most important development in the field of public “indecency” regulation was a considerable loosening of the FCC’s standards.[/i]

    I disagree. Clinton’s Communications Decency Act (and the Supreme Court thankfully finding it unconstitutional) was more important, IMHO. There was a bit of a kerfuffle over his V-Chip as well. If there’s one thing the Clintons have shown, it’s a fondness to cater to the censors if there’s some political reward to be gained.

  25. Mr. Nice Guy,

    ‘Hey, maybe even an established lefty, so he can say “aw, she ain’t that bad..”‘

    A Kennedy cousin, like Arnold.

  26. I hadn’t thought about that – a sham marriage. That might work. Any single black conservatives out there?

    I think the Condi thing is a fantasy of conservative bloggers and pundits safely ensconced in coastal enclaves and universities who have’t really interacted with the Republican Base all that much.

  27. “I hadn’t thought about that – a sham marriage. That might work. Any single black conservatives out there?”

    Alan Keyes’ daughter? Oh, wait, she’s not conservative.

  28. it’s crazier than running hillary.

  29. “Its too bad Penn & Teller haven’t devoted an entire episode of Bullshit to Hillary Clinton. Of course then they would be morally obliged to devote an entire episode to Bush as well. :)”

    Not to derail the thread, but “Bullshit” mentioned Hillary in the “End Of The World” episode when rolled out “christian researcher” (yeah, I couldn’t keep a straight face when he called himself that either) Texe Marrs who claims that she was a candidate for the office of Antichirst for two reasons: She allegedly said that her favorite book was “1984” which Marrs claims is a playbook for the satanic dictatorship to come, and because “lesbians” seem to like her.

    Of course, Marrs admitted that the Bible referred to a “beast” and not a “beastess” so the that might let her off the hook. Then he went on to tell us that the popularity in tattos and body art is indicitive of the whole “mark of the beast” thing, thus proving that the Armagedon is a comin’.

    Riiiiiight.

  30. Akira MacKenzie,

    That was the same episode that featured Hal Lindsey, right?

    Krybo Amgine,

    Remember the “clipper” chip?

  31. I don’t like her.

  32. thoreau:

    I think the black delegation forced the white delegation to take Rice after the whites announced they were taking Powell.

    In exchange the black delegation asked for Eminem but got OJ Simpson back, so it wasn’t too lopsided.

    http://www.comedycentral.com/tv_shows/chappellesshow/index.jhtml

  33. During Bill’s tenure, the most important development in the field of public “indecency” regulation was a considerable loosening of the FCC’s standards.

    Well, there was the CDA, that attempt to apply indecency standards to the Internet.

  34. “some form of censorship, presumably”

    You presume quite a bit.

    So what, then, is the “public health response” to violence in entertainment?

  35. Maya Keyes and Condi Rice…brilliant!

    I forgot about the black delegation getting OJ back. But I thought they also got Eminem. I thought it was an elaborate deal that involved several people, and when all was said and done we had Condi and Colin, and they had Eminem and OJ.

    Then the blacks lost Lenny Kravitz to the Jews, and lost the Wu Tang Clan to the Asians but gained Tiger Woods.

    I’m still trying to figure out how Eminem makes up for all those losses. I know they wanted to get rid of Condi, but they still lost some pretty good people (Wu Tang, Kravitz, Tiger Woods, Powell).

  36. Eric .5b,

    True, there was the CDA, but Clinton himself didn’t push for it, signed it as an act of cowardice when it was thrust on him by Congress, with the understanding that it was unenforceable, and would be struck down. Not going to win him a Profile in Courage Award, but not exactly evidence of an enthusiastic censor. CDA was McCain’s baby.

    “So what, then, is the “public health response” to violence in entertainment?” If you’re asking what I think it should be, I’d say bully pulpit work to get broadcasters to show the nasty stuff after 10:00, and to reach out to parents. I don’t know what Clinton has in mind, but recall that “Hildebeast” gave a speech mourning abortion a few weeks ago, yet opposes restrictions on reproductive rights.

  37. Joe,

    On a side note, something I never understood, the only way to support abortion rights is to believe that the fetus is not an actual human, ie deserving of rights. If that is the case, what about an abortion is there to mourn? Isn’t like removing a wart?

  38. wellfellow-

    Some on this forum would probably argue that even if the fetus is a human it cannot justifiably obligate another person to provide it with food and lodging for 9 months.

    Out, out damned parasite!

    Not my stance, but undoubtedly you’ll hear somebody advocate it.

  39. Wellfellow,

    1) It is possible to recognize that an embryo has some moral standing, without asserting that it is a person. See animal cruelty laws.

    2) Abortion is tough on the pregnant woman, as well.

    3) You can recognize an interest in the life of a fetus, and still believe that the liberty interest of the pregnant woman outweighs it. Consider a hypothetical: I drive through a red light and wipe you out. You are going to die without a kidney transplant. I’m the only matching donor. Obviously, there is an interest in your well being. My behavior was the reason why your well being is endangered. Does this give the state the power to require me to donate my organs to be used to keep you alive?

  40. Well, even if you think a fetus isn’t a person, or one isn’t a person before it starts doing things like having brain activity, an abortion still prevents a person – one’s chld – from coming into being. So, there are often mixed feelings involved.

  41. Thanks, just wanted some input. Joe, the animal cruelty law is a good example. I’ll mull it over.

  42. I think Eric hit it best. Whatever one may think of the issue, it’s safe to assume that many (most?) of the people who have abortions have mixed feelings on the matter.

  43. True, there was the CDA, but Clinton himself didn’t push for it, signed it as an act of cowardice when it was thrust on him by Congress, with the understanding that it was unenforceable, and would be struck down. Not going to win him a Profile in Courage Award, but not exactly evidence of an enthusiastic censor. CDA was McCain’s baby.

    Agreed (except the sponsor was Jim Exon, D-Nebraska), but the point is that Bill Clinton, at least, was entirely comfortable molesting free speech when convenient. To the extent that Hillary is politically like-minded, that doesn’t appear to argue against concerns that she means some form of censorship.

    “So what, then, is the “public health response” to violence in entertainment?” If you’re asking what I think it should be, I’d say bully pulpit work to get broadcasters to show the nasty stuff after 10:00, and to reach out to parents.

    Bully pulpit work on an issue is utterly unobjectionable to me…but I can’t imagine it employed by anyone in politics.

    I don’t know what Clinton has in mind

    Which makes objecting to the idea that she’d ever be implying censorship an overreaction. Would you really give that sort of credit to any of the theocons if they used virtually the same language?

  44. “Would you really give that sort of credit to any of the theocons if they used virtually the same language?”

    Most theocons have a record of enthusiastically endorsing censorship. I don’t see such a record behind Hillary – but as the abortion speech demonstrates, she does have a record of bully-pulpitting in opposition to behaviors that she does not want the government to mess around in.

  45. As for getting Condi hitched, is Supreme Court Justice Souter still a bachelor?

  46. “That was the same episode that featured Hal Lindsey, right?”

    The very one. Along with Lindsey, Marrs, the authors of the “Left Behind” rags, and bunch of paranoid survivalists, they also dragged out Nostradamus-groupie John Hogue telling us that Ayatollah Khomeini… oops, he meant Saddam Hussein… whoops, make that George W. Bush (“with a silent Latin H”) is the Antichrist.

  47. It doesn’t really surprise me that Hillary is getting on the censorship bandwagon. A little over a month ago, at a NARAL confernence she said that it was time for the Dems to start couching their platform in religious rehtoric to compete with the Republican Bible-Beaters.

    Of course, no one has yet explained to me how a Religious Left would be any better than the Religious Right. However, christian liberalism might click a little better with the message of the proto-hippie Jesus than the Old Testement driven fire-and-brimestone rantings of conservative fundies.

  48. Joe:

    I’ll have to track down the “mourning abortion” speech to get a sense of what she was saying, but if Hillary, while remaining pro-choice, was saying that women should not have abortions (as opposed to acknowledging the emotional downsides of a woman having one), that would be incredibly unusual.

    Barring that, it just strikes me as naive to view a politican’s expressed “concern” as anything but laying groundwork for either passing a law or being able to go to supporters and gripe that the Other Party wouldn’t allow such a law to be passed.

  49. “Brimestone”? Is that what the caves in Hell are made of? 🙂

  50. Akira-

    Here’s how a religious left would compare with a religious right:

    1) Social issues: Probably as bad in some ways, but probably more tolerant in many other ways. Probably still pro-life, but not as adamant. Still in favor of censoring entertainment. More tolerant of gays. Probably anti-gun. Not interested in warning labels on biology books.

    2) Economic issues: Much worse than the religious right. No doubt about it. (Although let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that religious conservatives are exactly libertarian on economic issues.)

    3) Foreign policy: Obviously your appraisal on the merits here depends on how hawkish or dovish you are, but definitely the religious left would be much less hawkish than a lot of elements in the religious right are. Where the religious right thinks of God and Country and our Righteous Cause, the religious left would be pacifist. However, the religious left would probably be big on foreign aid.

    I guess that, on balance, the religious left would be slightly (just slightly) better than the religious right on social issues, significantly worse on economic issues, and, depending on your perspective, either significantly better or significantly worse on foreign policy.

    If we leave out foreign policy (valid when talking about state and local issues) I think the religious left would be considerably worse than the religious right. On the federal level, well, at best they’d break even with the religious right (if you’re a dove), at worst they’d be much, much, much worse.

  51. 3) You can recognize an interest in the life of a fetus, and still believe that the liberty interest of the pregnant woman outweighs it. Consider a hypothetical: I drive through a red light and wipe you out. You are going to die without a kidney transplant. I’m the only matching donor. Obviously, there is an interest in your well being. My behavior was the reason why your well being is endangered. Does this give the state the power to require me to donate my organs to be used to keep you alive?

    That is a very interesting and thought- provoking question. I do not think the answer is necessarily obvious. Socratically, I’d like to ponder a couple other questions.

    A) I drive through a red light and wipe you out. You are going to die without a kidney transplant. If you die, am I responsible for your death? If I am, what am I charged with, and what is the proper penalty or restitution? If the legal system requires restitution or imposes a penalty, is that an infringement on your right to liberty?

    B) I drive through a red light and wipe the hell out of your car. Does this give the state the power to require me to pay for repairs to your car? Is that an infringement on your right to liberty?

    C) I drive through a red light and run over your dog. Does this give the state the power to require me to pay for a replacement for your dog? Is that an infringement on your right to liberty?

    D) Would the question be fundamentally different if there were a robust free market in organs, and rather than requiring me to donate one of my own kidneys, I could buy a replacement for you? Does this give the state the power to require me to pay for a replacement for your kidney? Is that an infringement on your right to liberty?

    E) You can live with one kidney. What if I ran over you and your resulting injuries meant you will die without a heart transplant. I am the only matching donor. Obviously, there is an interest in your well being. My behavior was the reason why your well being is endangered. Does this give the state the power to require me to donate my heart to keep you alive? Is that an infringement on your right to liberty?

    F) I deliberately shoot you in the chest. You survive, but your heart is damaged. You will soon die without a heart transplant. I am the only matching donor. Obviously, there is an interest in your well being. My behavior was the reason why your well being is endangered. Does this give the state the power to require me to donate my heart to keep you alive? Is that an infringement on your right to liberty? Or is it just restitution?

    I wish this question had come up late at night, over a table laden with beers, rather than in a Friday H&R post that’s getting a bit long in the tooth.

  52. Stevo, Ruthless would point out that the real problem in your example is the existence of the red light. Traffic lights are an infringement of liberty, as Ruthless has explained to us before 😉

  53. The CDA was pre-(re)election, no? There’s your answer, fishbulb!

  54. 3) You can recognize an interest in the life of a fetus, and still believe that the liberty interest of the pregnant woman outweighs it. Consider a hypothetical: I drive through a red light and wipe you out. You are going to die without a kidney transplant. I’m the only matching donor. Obviously, there is an interest in your well being. My behavior was the reason why your well being is endangered. Does this give the state the power to require me to donate my organs to be used to keep you alive?

    A false analogy, since you’re equating the state forcing you to do something to preserve his life, with forbidding one from doing something to destroy it.

    A better analogy would be, while driving I hit you and your body winds up stuck to my radiator grille. You’ve survived but suffered possible head and spinal injuries; moving the vehicle, and thus moving your body, could easily result in your death.

    Would the state be justified in violating my right to free movement, by forbidding me from backing my vehicle up a few feet?

  55. The comments go on forever – which is just to show you that Hillary is way to a polarizing figure to ever get elected.

    I particular liked her comment during the HillaryCare project when discussing HillaryCare effect on small business, it went something like “I don’t care if a few small mom and pop business go under” its for the greater good.

  56. I particular liked her comment during the HillaryCare project when discussing HillaryCare effect on small business, it went something like “I don’t care if a few small mom and pop business go under” its for the greater good.

    I think that’s very telling. People associate her with the far left because of her health care proposal, but it’s very telling that she was utterly unconcerned with the plight of small business. Meanwhile, she’s married to a guy who expanded the Democratic party’s appeal among the business elite. Notice I didn’t say entrepreneurs and small business owners, I said the business elite.

  57. “Brimestone”? Is that what the caves in Hell are made of? 🙂 – Eric the .5b

    I think it’s what they make their pickle barrels out of. `Course you don’t want to know what Ol’ Scratch is pickling…

    Are people under the impression that there isn’t a religious left? Just off the top of my head I can think of The American Friends Service Committee, the Sojourners magazine crowd, the Tikkun crew, whose honcho, Michael Lerner, was even HRC’s guru for a while there, the political types in the National Council of Churches bureaucracy, and most of the U.S. Catholic hierarchy (on economics, anyway).

    Religious lefties have been around since at least since the early days of the anti-slavery movement. Progressivism has some religious roots, too. The states’ mandating, funding and running schools charged with the goal of universal education owed a bunch to ardent Protestants wanting to save the Republic from the pernicious influence of the Whore of Babylon, aka, The Pope of Rome. Then there was alcohol Prohibition, just as popular among northeastern Congregationalist bluestockings as with Holy Rollers in the Bible Belt.

    My Jebby professors would expound, in my college days, that “atheist” totalitarians had just made a god out of the state.

    Kevin

  58. I’m a brimestone cowboyyyyy….

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.