Tomorrow’s Neocon Today

Hillary Clinton 2

In March of 2005, I wrote a post at the Centrist Coalition, in which I predicted that Hillary Clinton would be the frontrunner for the 2008 Democratic Presidential Nomination. In that post, I criticized her both for her support for the Iraq War and her pandering to social conservatives.

Six months later, I wrote a follow-up post in which I lamented that anti-war Democrats who have relentlessly criticized Bush for invading Iraq would nonetheless rally around the candidacy of Hillary Clinton who voted in favor of the 2002 resolution that gave Bush the authority to invade Iraq:

And here’s the sad part. All of the Democrats who have been denouncing the Iraq War for the last two and a half years will flock to Hillary Clinton and proclaim her the savior of the Democratic Party, seemingly oblivious to the fact that she, like Bush, was responsible for a war that sent a couple thousand American soldiers to their deaths and claimed the lives of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians. We can expect Clinton and the DLC to advertise the fact that the Bush administration STILL has not apprended Osama Bin Laden, and instead of arguing for a more humble and realistic foreign policy that rejects the naive notions of the current administration’s War on Terrorism, Clinton and the DLC will argue that the War on Terrorism was not fought HARD ENOUGH and that it would had succeeded had Bush not bungled it all up.

Sure enough, Senator Clinton announced her candidacy in December 2006, and she’s been leading in the polls ever since.

Senator Clinton’s candidacy was initially met by fierce criticism from anti-war activists within the party–many of whom thought her sudden conversion from war-supporter to war-opponent less than 14 months before the 2008 primaries smacked of political opportunism and were further angered when she refused to apologize for voting for the 2002 resolution that sent our country on the path to war with Iraq.

Yet Senator Clinton was not about to be denied her party’s nomination. Just as President Bush has employed revisionist history to explain why we went to war with Iraq, so to has Senator Clinton in order to justify her support for the 2002 resolution. Last February, I wrote a post at the Coming Realignment in which I argued that Senator Clinton was retroactively attempting to alter her justification for supported the war in the first place. Senator Clinton argued that she only supported the 2002 resolution in order to put pressure on Saddam Hussein to allow weapons inspections and that she did not support the invasion itself. However, as I pointed out then, a March 2003 video depicting a meeting between Hillary Clinton and members of Code Pink (a group of left-wing activists) shows that this was not the case at all. As the video clearly shows, Hillary Clinton supported the invasion of Iraq (with or without international support) less than two weeks before our government’s “shock and awe” campaign in Baghdad commenced.

As Hillary Clinton’s lead over her Democratic rivals increases, I continue to be astounded by how easily Democrats are willing to support a Senator who for four years, supported this misguided war in Iraq. This is the same Hillary Clinton who criticized Russ Feingold for daring to suggest that we withdraw from Iraq back in 2005.

A hawk…A panderer…A political opportunist…

But a neocon?

That’s what libertarian Radley Balko argues in an article over at Reason. As he sees it, a Hillary Clinton presidency wouldn’t be all that different from a George W. Bush presidency, and he provides an account of some of the political positions taken by Senator Clinton that suggests a strong neoconservative streak in her:

Then there is Hillary Clinton on the issues. Cato Institute President Ed Crane recently wrote a piece for the Financial Times pointing out that when you strip away the partisan coating, Mrs. Clinton’s grandiose, big-government vision is really no different than that envisioned by the neoconservatives so loathed by the left. Clinton, remember, not only voted for the Iraq war, she still hasn’t conceded she was wrong to do so, and has made no promise to end it any time soon.

In fact, the L.A. Times reported last week that Clinton has refused to commit even to pulling U.S. troops from Iraq by 2013, which, if elected, would be the end of her first term. TV journalist Ted Koppel recently told NPR that Clinton has admitted the U.S. would still have troops in Iraq at the end of her second term.

The 1990s, remember, weren’t exactly a decade of peace. Bill Clinton ordered more U.S. military interventions than any other post-WWII administration, and there’s no reason to think any of them were over Hillary’s protestations. She supported the U.S. military campaigns in Haiti, Kosovo, and Bosnia. She once boasted that as the tension in Kosovo mounted, she called her husband from her trip to Africa and, “I urged him to bomb.”

Hillary Clinton voted for both the Patriot Act and its reauthorization. She voted for building a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border. She voted to loosen restrictions limiting the federal government’s ability to wiretap cell phones. In the past, she has supported a robust role for the federal government in enforcing “decency” standards in television and music. She teamed up with former Sen. Rick Santorum on a bill calling for the federal government to restrict the sale of violent video games.

Hillary Clinton may be loathed by leading neoconservatives and may loathe them in return. Yet they have more in common with each other than either of them would care to admit. As a U.S. Senator, Hillary Clinton has had seven years to lay out her political positions, and she hasn’t shied away from making speeches or meeting with constituents. But in the end, a politician is judged by how he/she exercises that unique power that distinguishes him/her from the rest of us–the power to vote for or against legislation. And on many of the most controversial and far-reaching pieces of legislation that have been passed these last seven years, Senator Clinton has voted the de-facto neoconservative position.

After 7 years of Bush and Cheney controlling the Executive Branch, I can see why Democrats would want to see change come to the White House.

Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton isn’t that change.

Note: This post was cross-posted at The Coming Realignment.

UPDATE: I want to remind regulars and visitors at TMV to read Radley Balko’s piece over at Reason. It was his article that inspired my post and whose title I surreptitiously stole. Obviously I couldn’t quote his entire article, and there is much that he writes about in terms of Hillary Cllinton and neoconservatism–particularly with regards to executive power–that I didn’t cover in my post.

Author: NICK RIVERA

Birthplace: San Diego, CA Birthdate: That's for me to know Political Party: Independent Political Philosophy: Libertarian-liberal

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42 Comments

  1. This is a terrifically important post and with Hillary pulling away from the pack, the timing could not be better.

    My biggest problem with Democrats since 9/11 is that they have not just appeared weak when it comes to confronting the Islamic jihad, they have been weak. They have not had the courage of conviction to harshly condemn the wrong war — the war in Iraq — while vigorously supporting the right war — the War on Terror.

    Hillary, of course, is all over the map on Iraq. Leave it to Balko to present an offbeat analysis and his scholarship – and yours – is impressive. But I’m not buying Hillary as neocon.

    I am buying her as a shameless panderer and opportunist and while it’s hard to get ahead in Washington without being some of both, contemplating her as president is genuinely frightening.

  2. Being a liberal Democrat I forgave Hillary her 2002 vote for the Iraq war. And while I understand the criticism from liberal dems over her 2002 Iraq vote, I did not share that criticism and believed she voted for what she thought was right for the country at that time. Now I see that the vote really was a political move. Until recently I would have considered voting for her for Prez. (My first choice is Obama.)

    However with her Iran vote (and her past record, too) I will no longer vote for Hillary, even if she does receive the Dem. nomination.

    I don’t consider her a leader at all- or at least she’s not a leader who shares my values and goals-

    That’s one thing I like about Obama- even though he was not in teh US Senate for the 2002 Iraq war vote, he was in office and stood up for what he believed in. He didn’t cave to pressure and support the Iraq war.

    Hillary votes all the “right” ways to get as much support as possible to become Prez (and it may work). Because she votes for political reasons I don’t know if I trust her stands on the various issues- I feel that she’s just like Bush and says (and votes) what she feels is necessary to win.

    Obama- and I’m not saying he’s perfect because there are some votes he cast which I don’t like- I trust more simply because I feel that most of the time he says (and votes) what he truly believes, rather than for political gain.

  3. The Dems seem to be doing it again- like in 2000 and 2004, picking the worst poss candidate for substance.

    If you’ve watched the debates, Clinton echoes ideas the others put out. She has no real ideas herself.

    While not a neocon, she will continue the war, as Nixon did, and many more people will die needlessly.

  4. Naturally, people who see no difference between Republicans and Democrats will argue there is no difference between George W. Bush and Hilary Clinton.

    So, as a practical measure, there is no difference between blinkered idealism, polymorphous hostility, or truculent contrarianism.

    Personally, I’m not convinced we should elect somebody who’ll appoint Supreme Court Justices ready to reverse Brown v Board of Education.

    I don’t think our next President should have a “philosophical” opposition to health-care for children.

    I don’t think we need a Constitutional amendment to protect marriage.

    I could go on, but I guess I’ve made my point. Oh, wait. I don’t think our next President should want to double Gitmo!!

  5. George:

    The point is the same people who’ll elect Hillary will bemoan her ‘not doing enough’ on issue a or b, in a few years, then shrug their shoulders, and try to blame others, rather than looking into the mirror as to why nothing is getting done.

  6. Senator Clinton was retroactively attempting to alter her justification for supported the war in the first place. Senator Clinton argued that she only supported the 2002 resolution in order to put pressure on Saddam Hussein to allow weapons inspections

    The problem with this reading – that she invented an acceptable rationale after the fact – is that she clearly laid out her reason for the vote on the day that she voted. And that reason was precisely the one you claim she invented after the fact. So the quoted passage is just wrong; you’ll need to come up with some other after-the-fact rationale for attacking Clinton.

  7. To all those coming from the Right, notice the critisism even here from the “Libruls” at TMV. The Left will feel free to critisize Hillary, while most on the Right failed to call out Bush’s phony “Conservatism”. MSM will attack President Hillary’s flip flops. It wasn’t the Washington Times who broke Monicagate….

  8. Cosmoetica–

    I suppose your “point”, in spite of (because of?) its cynicism, is vague enough to be true enough. Being cynical and vague doesn’t make you a prophet.

    Sad to say, no one is perfect. No one can solve all the problems. And not everyone will agree about what the problems are.

    I am an adult. I recognize there are a limited number of choices. It may be that Hillary is the least bad choice. Maybe she’s a little better than that, maybe more. But maybe not.

    But I also recognize that our government is, to say the least, out of whack. To say the least. To say the least.

    If there’s some reason for me to do anything to help the party of doubling Gitmo hold the White House, I haven’t seen it so far.

    Oh, and about that “mirror” that people will need “in a few years”? Maybe to could show it to the people who voted for George W. Bush on the basis of his call for a humble foreign policy. They could use it today.

  9. Naturally, people who see no difference between Republicans and Democrats will argue there is no difference between George W. Bush and Hilary Clinton.

    And people who are emotionally invested in one of the two major parties will emphasize the differences between the two parties and downplay the similarities between the two.

    Also, I didn’t argue that there would be no between Bush to Clinton. I stated that Hillary Clinton is not that change, implying that those Democrats who want true change will likely by disappointed by Hillary Clinton.

  10. Being a liberal Democrat I forgave Hillary her 2002 vote for the Iraq war. And while I understand the criticism from liberal dems over her 2002 Iraq vote, I did not share that criticism and believed she voted for what she thought was right for the country at that time. Now I see that the vote really was a political move.

    Being a complete moderate, I see that… her vote in 2002 was entirely political, her slow walk back from it was entirely political, her total renunciation was entirely political, her hedging-of-bets to keep troops in Iraq to 2013 and beyond is entirely political. And if the war becomes popular again, she will find some way to support it. Hillary is a 100% political animal.

    And that’s why I’m completely unafraid of her and may actually vote for her. She’s actually a known quantity… a safe choice, in a way. In our heavily divided times, nobody is going to lead 100% of the nation so we might as well settle for 51%.

  11. The problem with this reading – that she invented an acceptable rationale after the fact – is that she clearly laid out her reason for the vote on the day that she voted. And that reason was precisely the one you claim she invented after the fact. So the quoted passage is just wrong; you’ll need to come up with some other after-the-fact rationale for attacking Clinton.

    jpe,

    I believe you have it wrong when you argue that Clinton clearly laid out her reason for the vote on the day that she voted, and I believe that the YouTube clip I linked to above validates my arguement. Since her “conversion” from war-supporter to war opponent, Senator Clinton has argued that she didn’t truly support an invasion of Iraq, she just wanted to put pressure on Saddam Hussein to allow weapons inspections. However, in the YouTube clip above, Hillary Clinton is shown to be very much in support of the war (even to the point of using Bush’s rhetoric about invading Iraq even without international support) less than 2 weeks before the war began.

    I believe Senator Obama has it right when he argues that Clinton is trying to blur the distinction between herself and the other Democratic presidential candidates with regards to Iraq. And it seems that Hillary’s supporters are all too eager to join in Hillary’s blurring of the lines.

  12. Senator Clinton argued that she only supported the 2002 resolution in order to put pressure on Saddam Hussein to allow weapons inspections and that she did not support the invasion itself.

    From the floor speech explaining her vote:

    If we get the resolution that President Bush seeks, and if Saddam complies, disarmament can proceed and the threat can be eliminated. Regime change will, of course, take longer but we must still work for it, nurturing all reasonable forces of opposition.

    If we get the resolution and Saddam does not comply, then we can attack him with far more support and legitimacy than we would have otherwise.

    So she was for using the AUMF as a means of pressuring Hussein into allowing inspectors. She did support invasion if Hussein continued to be recalcitrant. Now that I think about it, I think I misread you: were you criticizing Clinton for not opposing war even if Hussein refused inspections? That would be a correct reading (and my earlier comment would be wrong).

  13. NIck–

    I am not, as you put it,”emotionally invested in one of the two major parties”. I am, however, emotionally invested in throwing the bums out. I trust the distinction is clear, now that I’ve drawn it.

    By the way, do you think that you, personally, have no emotional investment when it comes to politics?

  14. nick rivera, you are a typical angry leftist loser. People like you are ignorant and dangerous because you never see any reason to use military force. Hillary is aware we have enemies that need to be fought and was correct in her vote. I’m beyond fed up with the vitriol towards Hillary by scum like you on both sides of the political spectrum. I hope Hillary wins, I hope we go to war against Iran. And finally, I hope both events cause you to have a nervous breakdown and wind up in the looney bin where you belong, slimeball.

  15. You would prefer that vile, phony loser with the hideous name, barak obama. I hope Hillary wins just to see scumbags like you seethe.

  16. I’m quite fed-up with the left wingers of this blog masquerading as centrists. Only Holly is the true moderate here as opposed to the other bloggers.

  17. Nick,

    Every single Republican candidate is swearing to appoint more judges like Roberts, Thomas and Scalia. Like Bush they say (Amusingly enough in the case of Romney.) that the market must be the method of fixing our health care dilemma, a task that it has so far proven miserably incapable of doing. Balko is a libertarian, a political philosophy of impossibilities. Reason is anything but reasonable as a general rule. So why should I consider this a valid argument?

  18. I am not, as you put it,”emotionally invested in one of the two major parties”. I am, however, emotionally invested in throwing the bums out. I trust the distinction is clear, now that I’ve drawn it.

    George,

    As Radley Balko makes abundantly clear through example after example, Senator Clinton has supported a number of policies enacted by this administration. Democrats have relentlessly criticized Bush for enacting many of the same policies that Hillary Clinton, herself, voted in favor of.

    The fact that so many Democratic voters are willing to give Hillary Clinton a pass on issues where they’ve criticized Bush demonstrates, to me, how emotionally invested these Democratic voters are to the Democratic Party. On one hand, they don’t like these policies. Yet, on the other hand, as it seems increasingly likely that Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic Nomination, Democratic voters have become increasingly muted in their criticism of Hillary Clinton’s support for these policies.

    This is what I call a double-standard.

    Hillary Clinton is not a leader. She’s a political opportunist, as her pandering to social conservatives and “conversion” from war-supporter to war-opponent less than fourteen months before the primaries clearly demonstrates.

    One of the main reasons that Democrats lead Republicans in the polls is due to the Iraq War. Hillary Clinton is riding the wave of anti-war sentiment. She is benefitting from the anti-war movement–a movement that she did nothing to contribute to back when it truly counted.

  19. Please somebody tell me LL is a parody. Because if not, that’s just scary!

  20. I’m quite serious, davebo.

  21. LL wrote:

    nick rivera, you are a typical angry leftist loser. People like you are ignorant and dangerous because you never see any reason to use military force. Hillary is aware we have enemies that need to be fought and was correct in her vote. I’m beyond fed up with the vitriol towards Hillary by scum like you on both sides of the political spectrum. I hope Hillary wins, I hope we go to war against Iran. And finally, I hope both events cause you to have a nervous breakdown and wind up in the looney bin where you belong, slimeball.

    LL,

    Angry leftist loser? Me?

    I voted Libertarian in the 2004 Presidential election. I also voted Libertarian in the 2004 and 2006 congressional elections.

    So your attempt to classify me as a leftist is laughable.

    LL,

    Where does all this seething rage come from?

    Why the ad-hominem attacks?

    Why do you so blithely hope for a war with Iran—a altercation that will likely to to hundreds—if not—thousands of deaths?

    Why do you wish ill will upon me when I have never wished ill-will upon you?

    LL,

    Your remarks are extremely childish. Rather than editing them out (as other TMV posters have elected to do with childish or inflammatory comments) I intend to save yours as a reminder to just how easily some people choose to lower the level discourse here at TMV.

    I hope that TMV administrators will honor my request and preserve your comments exactly as they are written.

  22. That’s fine with me.

  23. BTW, libertarians are worst of all. No moral compass whatsoever. Their primary concern is monetary above all else. As far as they are concerned let sick children die rather than have government pay for their health care. Let our enemies acquire WMD’s rather than go to war. The fact that you voted libertarian makes me feel even more contemptous of you than I did before.

  24. Nick–

    I already understand that Hillary Clinton is a somewhat conservative Democrat. I don’t need Radley Balko to cherry-pick examples in support of that argument.

    As a matter of fact, since I already know that, I find the Balko article–which seeks to reveal this obviously apparent information as if it were the long-sought location of the Ark of the Covanent–kind of bogus.

    You’re not blowing my mind.

    I think the current administration have done untold damage. I think the damage is obvious. Yet I also think whoever tries to undo that damage will be met with howls of outrage. Howls of outrage. I think that because I look at the candidates of the currently incumbent party–they seem to think they can get elected by promising to “double Gitmo”.

    I understand that no Democrat has a magic wand. I–maybe I’m alone in this–do not expect any Democrat to have a magic wand.

    You don’t like Hillary. I get it. But you don’t seem to have anything beyond that.

  25. Jim,

    Last time I checked, it wasn’t free market policies that caused us to invade Iraq. It wasn’t free market policies that put the Patriot Act or the NSA’s warrantless electronic program in place. It wasn’t the free market that led to the federal government’s prosecution of medical marijuana users in states in which medical marijuana is legal.

    We can agree to disagree on fiscal policy. But on the issue of foreign policy and civil liberties, surely you would agree that Hillary Clinton has repeatedly voted the wrong way.

    Why so defensive about Hillary Clinton? There are other Democratic presidential candidates out there that share you views on health care without selling out on the war and civil liberties.

  26. If I can jump in (again) late in the thread, I believe Hillary is a catagory buster.

    By that I mean that she:

    * Provokes a visceral reaction in some people because she is (a.) a woman and (b.) the wife of Bill Clinton that other candidates do not.

    * Is extremely adept at blurring what she stands for and opposes.

    * Leaves in some of us the sinking feeling articulated by Balko and Rivera that she will not be the breath of fresh air that people in this country long for after the charnel house policies of the Bush administration.

    I have had the pleasure to be in the same room with Hillary on several occasions, including sitting immediately across from her at a newspaper editorial board meeting.

    She is a force to be reckoned with and perhaps even the prohibitive favorite for the nomination nine months from the convention.

    She also scares the sh*t out of me.

  27. She also scares the sh*t out of me.

    That’s because you are a pathetic loser.

  28. Umm..

    Pathetic loser is as pathetic does.

    Ya know?

  29. NOT a surprise discovery: Hillary is a political animal and will vote for potilical reasons.

    While I also am apalled at some of the votes she has cast, choosing a president is much different than choosing a senator, and demanding an ideologically pure candidate for the presidency is exactly what has ground our national morale and politics into the mud.

    When you are the leader of the entire country, not just your party, paying attention to those who disagree with your party (call it pandeting, if you want) can be a good thing. As negative evidence, I cite the experience of the Bush era, when this was not done, and we see now the extreme and over-the-top anger of those left out of the discussion and demonoized.

    Unless you believe in tit-for-tat, choosing a president has to be viewed in a special light of its own. Even libertarians should face up to that reality.

    Speaking of libertarians, they are not as uniform in their positions as Nick presents. Among them, there is wide divergence concerning religion, for example. There are also the neo-libertarians with a robust taste for war to assert national interests abroad, and their libertarianism covers only domestic issues.

    Everyone gives lip service to the need for unity in the coutnry, but whan it comes to politics, we all say: my way or the highway. Confine your blame to Washington only if you don’t want to face up to your own role in the divisiceness.

    In many ways, I think Hillary could lead a nation, instead of just her party, but whether she will be allowed to do it is another question. Her political history will haunt the presidency, and Republicans are looking for the longest and sharpest knives to do her in.

    Personally, I much prefer Obama. The question of electability across party lines does crop up, and I’m uncertain. It’s unfortuante, that both Hillary and Obama are being faulted by memebers of their own party for not being partisan enough, while being criticized by the opposition for being too partisan.

    At any rate, I think there needs to be a separation between pre-presidential advocay and the requirements for a good president for the nation as a whole.

  30. You don’t like Hillary. I get it. But you don’t seem to have anything beyond that.

    George,

    I believe that some amount of consistency is in order when it comes to politics. You don’t bash Bush for enacting horrible policies and then give Clinton a pass for having voted for some of those same policies. That’s called hypocrisy.

    Also, I’ve noted that liberals/progressives/Democrats have a tendency to lash out against neoconservatives and policies that they consider to be neoconservative. But as Radley Balko points out, Hillary Clinton’s voting record reflects past support for a number of policies that might be considered neoconservative (i.e. resorting to military force to implement the American government’s will throughout the world, and curtailing civil liberties for the sake of security). Liberals/progressives/Democrats ought to take this into account before backing her.

  31. If Hillary scares the s**t out of people like Shaun, then where does that leave us?
    Pleople can holler about throwing the bums out and needing a breath of fresh air all they wnat, but who is to provide that fresh air among the current candidates?

    The Republican candidates seem to be in a race of who can attack Iran first and who can skew Wahshington power more to the right. On domestic issues other than abortion, they have a uniform postiton of what not to do, instead of offering any solutions beyoind a hat tip to the ‘private sector’.

    The only one I see is Obama, and his electibility, at the moment, seems doubtful.

    It’s not enough to say this person is wrong and that person is wrong. Where is the right person?
    Being too choosy about food can leave one with an empty plate.

  32. Speaking of libertarians, they are not as uniform in their positions as Nick presents. Among them, there is wide divergence concerning religion, for example. There are also the neo-libertarians with a robust taste for war to assert national interests abroad, and their libertarianism covers only domestic issues.

    domajot,

    The “neolibertarians” who describe in the above scenario are not libertarians. Libertarianism is not like a Chinese Menu of political thought in which you and pick and choose where you’d like to be a libertarian. Someone who supports limited government at home but expansive government abroad is not a libertarian. Nor is someone who supports individual liberty but not economic liberty or vice versa.

    Libertarians do have differences of opinion on issues of abortion and intellectual property rights, in which both sides may argue that they are protecting liberty. This does not extend to positions that require that the government be allocated the power to achieve some ambitious utopian objective (i.e. using military force to Democratize the Middle East).

  33. It is almost like Bush Derangement Syndrome has infected people to the point that they believe that the President knows everything doing on in the government and nothing is done without the President’s personal approval.

    What do people believe that any future President Clinton will do that they do not want to really support.

    A future President Clinton would sing an S-CHIP bill contain more than 60 billion dollars. A future PResident Clinton will support open borders and unlimited immigration. She will support an end to NCLB and a return to social engineering in the schools. She will pass out billions in additional student aid to the point that everyone can attend some level of forth tier state university. She will try to nationalize health care in some fashion.

    Does anyone believe that she will veto a single bill passed by a Democratic controlled Congress? Does anyone believe that she will support cuts to any government programs other than defense? Does anyone believe that she will not support a new Fairness Doctrine, a second round of campaign finance reform, or new civil rights legislation that will eliminate any opposition to the Democratic Party?

    I just do not understand why the left is worried when in the end, they will get everything that they want.

  34. Nick,

    You have a position re libertrianism, and I acknowledge it.
    What I’m trying to say, on mnay threads, is that the ideology of a candidate, or a president, in and of itself is not enough to lead a nation where many different ideologies compete for attention.

    The art of consensus building has been scuttled in favor of all-or-nothing judgementalism. What anemic efforts at consensus building there are come in the form of sloganeering and ad campaigns instead of truly discussing the consequences, in addition to the promise, of any political ideological formula.

  35. Nick–

    I think everyone is a hypocrite.

    Some are worse than others. Some more oblivious to their own personal hypocrisy than others. Some more toxic in their obliviousness than others. So while I don’t want to give everyone a pass, I’m not generally moved by charges of hypocrisy.

    I imagine that a fine-tooth comb through the voting record of Ron Paul would find plenty of ammunition for charges of hypocrisy. As a matter of fact, I image a fine-tooth comb through your own archives would find enough ammunition.

    Surely, you concede the truth of this.

    Not that I’m going to do it. You seem reasonably consistent. Paul seems reasonably consistent. And in light of 15 years of being called a hypocrite by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Hillary also seems reasonably consistent. Your mileage may vary. You’re allowed to say it. And I’m allowed to scoff.

    Or maybe she just seems consistent compared to Rudy, Mitt, and Fred D…?

    Also, I do not get scared just by reading the word “neoconservative”. Calling Hillary a hypocritical neocon just seems desperate.

    Shaun–

    As for Hillary being a woman, I’m certain you’ve noticed that Obama is black, Richardson is Hispanic, Biden is Catholic, Kusinich is vegatarian, Gravel is elderly and Dodd is…I don’t know, he probably went to Yale or something.

    They won’t have any problems swift-boating something up. It’s what they do.

    After all, some of them are already calling Edwards a homosexual, aren’t they?

  36. Obama is a loser who is completely unqualified to be president.

  37. Do not feed the troll.

  38. Thanks, George, I feel like I’ve made a difference!

    Seriously, even in the post where everyone dog-piled on me for being to hard on Shaun, I was calling his arguments stupid, not him himself.

    Anyhoo… teh Hillster. See, I comment on this blog, since as the inheritor of a rich Talmudic tradition, I can see different sides of an issue, and while my politics are set, I feel a draw to other ideas.

    So here’s why my “dark side” wants to elect Hillary: she’ll be competent in administering the IraNian War, which BushCo will start in the not too distant future.

    So we’ll likely see a Rudy vs Hillary election as the Iranian troops pour into Iraq after we bomb them. It’ll be Rudy’s BS vs. Hill’s vagina dentata, with the election decided by how well the Dems push back against the right-wing media that has a hard-on for Repubs.

    Fortunately, I believe in Hillary’s hard-on destroying power, so I think she’ll pull it out in the end. And we’ll get 8 years of yet more middle-class evaporation, warmongering, globalization, and corporatism, with the addition of general competence, low levels of theocratic BS, and a modicum of concern for brown people and the environment.

    Let’s be clear: there was general agreement in the nation’s elite that we should expand the empire and attack Iraq. There’s more division now regarding Iran, but Bush and Cheney are hardcore intra-elite warriors who will fuck over everyone but their little club of oil-and-gun barons. We are going into Iran.

    And even if we don’t, we are staying in Iraq. That is what the highest levels of American foreign policy have decided. Between that pressure from the top, and an apathetic and disconnected base, the war(s) will not end.

    I can’t really see blaming Hillary for our being lazy. Candidates are just placeholders, anyway, especially in the TV era. The problem is the people.

    Oh, and let me reiterate, the war has had broad backing from the top levels of our system. Honestly, I think that blaming the neocons is just a manifestation of anti-Semitism. Crap, the neocons are not ExxonMobil, who this war has really been best for. Se let’s not call Hill a neocon just because she represented the consensus of the nation’s elites, okay?

  39. When you are the leader of the entire country, not just your party, paying attention to those who disagree with your party (call it pandeting, if you want) can be a good thing. As negative evidence, I cite the experience of the Bush era, when this was not done, and we see now the extreme and over-the-top anger of those left out of the discussion and demonoized.

    I agree with this, domajot, and similar to this is undertoad’s comment:

    In our heavily divided times, nobody is going to lead 100% of the nation so we might as well settle for 51%.

    I don’t want to get off-topic here… but the Bush (Rove) strategy was to divide the country (the protection of marriage, the “either you’re with us or against us” comments on the war) and gain just enough votes to win the Presidency in the 2004 election. But Bush doesn’t even govern for 51% of the country. Bush was elected because he made anough people doubt Kerry’s toughness on the fight on terrorism. Sure I understand it’s politics but the next day (figuratively speaking) the country woke up and realized that Bush did share their values.

    What truly boggles my mind is that the Bush administration – and Republicans – have trampled on our constitution rights (expansion of executive power, invasion of privacy, etc.) and the Democrats just let the Republicans get away with it. For some reason the Republicans have been able to portray the Dems as being weak on defense and the Dems just took the bait by supporting policies they do not necessarily agree with. But you know what? That’s sort of like a self-fullfillng prophecy: in order for the Dems to show they have the balls to be tough on terrorist (and they should be tough on terrorist) the Dems cave in and follow the Republicans. The reason that this is a self- fulfilling prophecy is that the Dems don’t stand up for what they believe in and so they ARE weak even when they support the same policies as the Republicans. I just want to be clear here… I’m not saying the Dems should NOT fight terrorists- America needs to be protected and fight its enemies. What I am saying is that there are other approaches, i.e. not invading countries (Iraq) that had nothing do do with the 9/11 terrorists’ attacks that would obviously be more effective than some (if not most) of the Bush admin’s policies…. The next President should do what’s best for the country and not follow what they feel is political necessity.

    I believe that we need to withdraw troops from Iraq sooner rather than later – but we also need to leave in a measured manner and not rush to pull out the troops. I do believe that Hillary will continue the war in Iraq and for that I fault her. Hillary probably feels she needs to prove her toughness in national security matters and show she is as tough on terrorism as Bush. One way to do that is by continuing Bush’s ill-conceived war in Iraq…

    I think if Hillary (or anyone who wins the WH next year) wants to show toughness then on her/his first day in office s/he should standup and say that the Iraq war is not gaining America anything. The true terrorists- and threats to our country- need to be fought on their ground. Given this reality s/he, as President, will begin withdrawing all troops from Iraq over a six month period. Some of those troops, most of whom have already had multiple tours will be returning home. Other troops will be deployed to Afganistan, Pakistan and other countries with known terrorists cells. We will work with the military in those countries to eradicate known terrorists cells and find and destroy new terrorists cells…. This is just an illustration of what I think could be said and done. And it’s a whole lot better than “stay the course” and hope for the best.

    Just like Bush was able to do after 9/11 (and sending troops to Afganistan) a leader needs to make the case for what they feel is necessary and then do it. Unfortunately Bush then failed to make the case for the Iraq war, there was no case to be made and tens of millions of people felt strongly enough to protest during the build-up. Bush invaded Iraq for his own reasons, creating the perfect environment for terrorists training camps, and now we’re bogged down there losing precious lives. Unfortunately when Bush turned his attention to Iraq he didn’t finish the great porgress being made in Afganistan so we now have a mess there that needs attention.

    For me Hillary does not meet this litmus test of being a leader, particularly if she feels she has to continue with others’ failed policies because it’s politically necessary. I think the American public was clear in last fall’s elections that they wanted a change in Iraq. Politicians of all stripes who feel it is politically necessary to stay in Iraq are deluded.

    I don’t expect to agree with any President on every decision that is made- but it’s important for a President to make decisions based on what they think is truly best for the country, and not based on how much money and power they can confer to their financial backers who got them elected….

  40. What I expect from Clinton (And BTW, I’m just looking at this from the viewpoint of Clinton versus any of the Republicans.) is more rational thought on the Iraq issue and a better ability to do diplomacy with our allies.

    The truth is that I prefer either Obama or Edwards to Clinton but will have absolutely no problem voting for her should she get the nomination over any of the Republicans.

  41. Stockboy

    Where I disagree with your reasoning re what the Dems should do about Iraq is that it doesn’t include an acknowledgement that we can’t have a do-over.
    We can;t uninvade.

    Getting out will need to be a very delicate dance, and if national unity is to be preserved as a goal at the same time, it will need to be doubly delicate dance.

    The best endorsement for the future of Democrats would be to pull it off. Insisting on absoloutes from the leadership is to guaratee failure in creating a consensus and reinstalling national unity to any meaningful degree.

    Look to the future, not the immediate, is my advice.

  42. George: ‘I suppose your “point”, in spite of (because of?) its cynicism, is vague enough to be true enough. Being cynical and vague doesn’t make you a prophet.’

    Cynicism? Perhaps, but seeing the last 40 years of the electorate pulling the same old BS makes one that way, esp. when many alternatives and parties exist, and we pretty much know, w 95% accuracy, what Hillary will do and not.

    Nic: ‘Hillary Clinton is not a leader. She’s a political opportunist, as her pandering to social conservatives and “conversion” from war-supporter to war-opponent less than fourteen months before the primaries clearly demonstrates.’

    Exactly- she is, as a supporter said- a known quantity, and that quantity is null.

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