Yes, you heard me. Clinton has a very liberal voting record. Her voting record in the Senate had a 75% rating from the ACLU, a 90% rating from the Sierra Club, a 94% rating from the AFL-CIO, a 95% rating from the HRC, a 96% rating from the NAACP, a 100% rating from the National Organization for Women, a 100% rating from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and NARAL.* As Senator, she voted with Bernie Sanders 93% of the time. She was rated the 11th most liberal member of the Senate; Roll Call described her as “center-left,” while On The Issues rates her as a hard-core liberal.
A few examples. During her time as Senator, she co-sponsored the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; voted for the 2006 Immigration Reform Bill and the Dream Act; introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act; supported retaining and improving health benefits for veterans; voted against a ban on late-term abortions; voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment that sought to prohibit same-sex marriage; voted to ban oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; voted against the confirmation of John Roberts as Chief Justice of the United States. (Citation, citation, citation.)
And that’s not even getting into her current campaign platform, much of which is liberal as fuck. Increasing voting access including automatic voter registration, restoration of voting rights for felons who have served their sentences, setting a national standard for early voting, and restoration of the Voting Rights Act. Serious action on climate change, including increased pollution and efficiency standards and investment in clean energy. Criminal justice reform, including legislation to end racial profiling, national guidelines on the use of force by police officers, and federal matching funds for police body cameras. Strong support for K-12 public education, including rebuilding and modernizing schools, funding for computer science instruction, and dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline. A stronger pro-choice platform than any major-party presidential candidate in history. A fair tax system, including increased taxes on the rich. Lots, lots more.
No, her voting record isn’t 100% liberal. And yes, she takes money from corporations — just like almost everyone elected to national office, and just like every major-party Presidential nominee for decades. It sucks, but it’s hard not to notice the double standard, the amped-up venom Clinton gets for positions and actions that are entirely commonplace in national politics. If you’re outraged at her candidacy, I would ask you to think about Democratic presidential candidates in the past, look at whether they took similar positions or actions, and consider whether you aimed anywhere near the level of venom at them that you’re aiming at her.
Yes, there needs to be campaign finance reform. The system needs to be changed. And you know who’s pushing to change it? Hillary Clinton. She’s pushing for an overturn of Citizens United, as well as for more transparency in campaign donations and a donor matching system for small donations that would amplify their impact.
If Clinton is elected, I’m sure there will be times in her presidency when I’m disappointed, even enraged. That’s been true of literally every president I’ve voted for. Hell, I don’t think I’ve voted for any candidate for any office who hasn’t disappointed me at some point. But on the whole, on most issues, she’ll push the country in a more progressive direction. She may even do better than Obama in that regard, since she’ll be building on his legacy, and won’t be working to undo eight years of the George W. Bush presidency.
If you’re liberal or progressive on most issues, you probably agree with Clinton much of the time. I do. She has my hearty support.
*Most recent ratings: some of these were higher or lower over the course of her Senate career.
(Comment policy: In addition to my regular comment policy, I’m going to ask people to keep comments narrowly focused on this issue. This is not a platform to discuss everything else you do or don’t like about Clinton or Trump. Thanks.)