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If Hillary’s Not Able, There’s Always Kaine

If internet speculation is to be believed, Hillary Clinton is suffering from everything from epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease to adverse reactions to chemotherapy and Zika-West Nile-SARS-swine flu. The problem is that, like bellybuttons, everyone’s got a theory; and, again like bellybuttons, most theories are useless. Whatever the case may be with Hillary’s health, the fact is that she remains the likely winner of the presidential election, which means that a potentially sick woman will become the Commander-in-Chief.

So that raises an obvious question: what next? Put another way, the American people deserve to know who the hell Tim Kaine is, and what he would do as president. Because, after the initial “Tim who?” round of questions, citizens will want to understand who this underwhelming ex-Governor and Democratic Party hack is, and what sort of policies he’d pursue.

So boys and girls, break out the crystal balls and glimpse a future with President Kaine. It may seem like some Quaalude-induced waking nightmare to envision this scenario – Clinton and Trump presidencies are, of course, already the ultimate bad acid trips – but this bitter reality must at least be considered, if not prepared for.

President Kaine: Chronicle of Many Deaths Foretold

Despite the Madison Avenue fustian about Hillary’s running mate being a “capable” and “adequate” future vice president – anyone who has ever been called “adequate” knows the implication of that back-handed insult – Kaine is, in fact, a typical Democratic Party apparatchik: self-serving, corrupt, and a liberal imperialist with all the humanitarian trimmings. And the question before millions of Americans is whether or not the country, and indeed the world, can survive another imperial presidency fronted by leaders for whom mass killing is a matter of focus groups and electoral demographic research.

History has shown the danger of mush-headed vice presidents serving under ailing presidents. When Franklin Roosevelt died and the racist mass murderer Harry Truman inherited the presidency, the door was permanently shut to peaceful cooperation with the Soviet Union and the expansion of New Deal-era economic rights, to say nothing of the death sentence for millions of innocent Japanese annihilated by atomic bombs solely to send a message to Moscow. In other words, Roosevelt’s death put in power a man who had no business running a dirt farm, let alone the most powerful country in the world. Similarly, Americans must consider just what President Kaine would do.

On the question of foreign policy – a focal point for Kaine who has served on the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees – Kaine aligns perfectly with the war hawk Clinton and her neoconservative imperialist brethren. In Syria, Kaine has advocated forcefully for No Fly Zones and “safe zones” (as if there’s a difference) which would signify a de facto declaration of war by the US in Syria. He has cheered for regime change against the Assad government, and pressed for a full declaration of war against the Islamic State. One shudders to think of the staggering level of pompous ignorance required to advocate for what would amount to the rekindling of Bush’s disastrous and criminal open-ended “War on Terror.”

In what amounts to a running theme with the Clinton-Kaine campaign, the Democratic ticket has essentially embraced every single foreign policy position of the neocon movement. As I noted previously, this Clinton-Kaine administration would be the imperial frankenstein, Obama’s head on Bush’s body. No HopeTM. No ChangeTM. But more and bigger wars.

Of course, Kaine doesn’t limit himself to warmongering on Syria alone. In Ukraine, Kaine has come out as a vocal supporter of the Kiev Government and the fascist death squads and paramilitaries under its control. He was rather hawkish on the issue in 2014 when the Senate approved a massive aid package to Ukraine. He was also rather blunt in his condemnation of Russia as an aggressor in Ukraine, despite a massive outpouring of support for Russia and anti-Kiev activism that took place in Eastern Ukraine after the coup in February 2014. He also made no mention of how he would react if he were president and half his navy were under threat from a hostile putsch government backed by a superpower.

But the critical, and very worrying, fact is that a President Kaine would have to deal with a Kremlin that may forgive but certainly never forgets. And, considering the danger of the moment, with a potential world war looming on the horizon, the danger of escalating a crisis due to pig-headed political point scoring is very real. Never underestimate the power of a Clintonista to make a bad situation disastrous.

But perhaps nothing illustrates Kaine’s neocolonial mentality in all its blood-soaked glory better than his position, or lack thereof, on Honduras. Considering the fact that he spent an extended period of time as a Jesuit missionary in Honduras in the midst of US-sponsored death squad wars in Central America, and has never bothered to comment about it, is certainly suspicious. Moreover, he now is the wing-man for the woman directly responsible for the bloodshed and political repression now a daily norm in Honduras after the Clinton-managed coup in 2009 removed the Chavista former president Manuel Zelaya. As President, Kaine would need to account for his actions in Honduras, and apologize on behalf of himself, his colleagues, and the rest of the Democratic Party for backing a right wing dictatorship committing war crimes every single day. I won’t be holding my breath for that.

Crooked Clinton, Krooked Kaine

Aside from the apocalyptic vision of a foreign policy that speaks like an asshole and carries a big stick of dynamite, Americans should also consider the fact that Kaine has a long track record of Washington corruption: yet another subject of comradeship with Saint Hillary that likely makes for fascinating dinner conversation.

Kaine and Clinton might laugh over dinner and drinks when discussing the fact that, as Governor, Kaine accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts from high-powered lobbyists. You can almost see Hillary, shrimp cocktail dangling from her mouth, as she cackles at the paltry sum that Kaine could be bought for. “Timmy my boy,” she might say, “It’s time for you to step up to the big leagues…maybe you should consider giving some Wall Street pep talks…or starting a foundation.”

And the retort would undoubtedly please the Goldman-Sachs girl as Timmy Two-Face would remind Hillary that he’s a banker’s boy through and through. He might recall how, as noted by The Intercept, in 2016 he:

“Signed onto two letters, one to federal banking regulators and the other to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, urging them to loosen regulations on certain financial players…In the letters, Kaine is offering to support community banks, credit unions, and even large regional banks. While separate from the Wall Street mega-banks like JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, these financial institutions often partner with the larger industry to fight regulations and can be hostile to government efforts to safeguard the public, especially if it crimps their profits. They also represent a key source of donor funds, one that has trended away from Democrats.”

And just in case any liberal navel-gazers care to pretend that Kaine was simply defending the “little guy” banks, consider the fact that the second of the two letters was aimed at helping, “major firms including Capital One, PNC Bank and U.S. Bank, all of which control hundreds of billions of dollars in assets,” as noted by Huffington Post and Common Dreams. In other words, Kaine swore his oath of fealty to Wall Street and its junior partners in order to show his allegiance to Hillary and Bill, the svengalis of finance capital’s political vaudeville act.

Many Americans undoubtedly feel that Clinton’s health issues might just mean that the country could dodge a bullet for the next four or eight years. And while that sentiment is understandable given her track record of coming, seeing, and murdering, it is a false hope – a mirage distorting the vision of anti-war, anti-Wall Street crusaders.

Because, right behind Hillary is Tim Kaine, the man whose politics and ethics were made in Her image.

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Eric Draitser is an independent political analyst and host of CounterPunch Radio. You can find his exclusive content including articles, podcasts, audio commentaries, poetry and more at patreon.com/ericdraitser. He can be reached at ericdraitser@gmail.com.

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