Do You Want Excuses Or Results?

Did you ever notice that Hillary Clinton always has excuses for the failures of her best efforts? Wouldn’t it be better if we could choose a candidate that tried and succeeded instead of one who tried and failed? It’s not the trying that we need to reward, but it is the succeeding.

Bernie Sanders’ exhortation that millions of Americans need to stand up in a political revolution is not just idle rhetoric. It is an actual prescription of what has to happen for him to succeed as President. If he doesn’t help excite people to join the revolution, then he can have excuses like Hillary does, but we won’t be satisfied with those excuses either.

Here are some examples taken from Democratic debate transcript: Clinton, Sanders, O’Malley in Iowa.


Well, John I think that– we have to look at ISIS as the leading threat of an international terror network. It cannot be contained, it must be defeated. There is no question in my mind that if we summon our resources, both our leadership resources and all of the tools at our disposal, not just military force which should be used as a last resort, but our diplomacy, our development aid, law enforcement, sharing of intelligence in a much more– open and cooperative way– that we can bring people together.

But it cannot be an American fight. And I think what the president has consistently said– which I agree with– is that we will support those who take the fight to ISIS. That is why we have troops in Iraq that are helping to train and build back up the Iraqi military, why we have special operators in Syria working with the Kurds and Arabs so that we can be supportive. But this cannot be an American fight, although American leadership is essential.


But– Secretary Cli– Clinton, the question’s about what– was ISIS underestimated. And I’ll– I’ll just ask– the president referred to ISIS as the JVU in a speech, the council in foreign relations in June of 2014 said, “I could not have predicted the extent to which ISIS could be effective in seizing cities in Iraq.” So you’ve got prescriptions for the future. But how– how do we know if those prescriptions are any good if you missed it in the past?


Well, John, look, I think that what happened when we abided by the agreement that George W. Bush– made with the Iraqis to leave– by 2011 is that an Iraqi army was left that had been trained and that was prepared to defend Iraq. Unfortunately, Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, set about decimating it.

And then with the revolution against Assad– and I did early on say we needed to try to find a way to train and equip moderates very early so that we would have a better idea of how to deal with Assad because I thought there would be– extremist groups filling the vacuum.

So, yes, this has developed. I think that there are many other reasons why it has in addition– to what’s happened in the region. But I don’t think that the United States– has the bulk of the responsibility. I really put that on Assad and on the Iraqis and on the region itself.

If Hillary Clinton thought more deeply in advance of the inevitable consequences of the actions that she promoted, she might have better results and need fewer excuses. Bernie Sanders’ saw these inevitable consequences and tried to stop them. Unfortunately, Bernie didn’t have the power at the time that Hillary Clinton did. Imagine if he had been President at the time.

On health care


Secretary Clinton, back in– (CHEERING) Secretary Clinton, back in 1994, you said that momentum for a single-payer system would sweep the country. That sounds Sandersesque. But you don’t feel that way anymore. Why not–


Well, the revolution never came. (LAUGHTER) And I waited and I’ve got the scars to show for it. We now have this great accomplishment known as the Affordable Care Act. And– I don’t think we should have to be defending it amount Democrats. We ought to be working to improve it and prevent Republicans from both undermining it and even repealing it.

Hillary led the fight to reform health care, but she hid her negotiations from the public. She was attacked for this secrecy, and her proposal was defeated. Bernie Sanders knows and has spoken about the need to rally the people to stand in revolution to insist that Congress listen to the people, or else.

Imagine how much better Obamacare would have turned out if President Obama had led a political revolution in public on this issue. Instead he tried negotiating with the implacable Republicans. He let the Democrats in Congress write the bill. He did not publicly fight the Republicans’ propaganda on the bill until the public had fully digested the propaganda. Thinking one step ahead of your opposition (think about the consequences) is always better than coming up with excuses later.

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