When You’re That High Up…

Before I begin this morning’s diatribe, I would like to, as clearly as possible, state my exact position on Hillary Clinton.

It should be understood that I do not hate the woman.  I never have.  I don’t like her either.  In fact, even through the scrutinous vigors of the campaign trail, I find myself wholely ambivalent to the former First Lady and current New York Senator.  This because it is difficult for me to attach any kind of emotional significance towards someone that I know very little about.

And yes, even someone who pays close attention will find it difficult to pinpoint exactly what Hillary Clinton is about, and where she stands on issues.  But that’s getting a little ahead of myself.

Long before the primary contest began, when not so subtle whispers were hitting the rumor mill that Hillary would be making a run for the White House, I hoped, futilely, that these rumors would not come to fruition.  The reasoning, from a pure party stance, would be that because of her connections to key power centers in the Democratic Party, she would have enough juice behind her campaign to win the nomination, but her high negatives would make it nearly impossible for her to win the General Election, even after a disastrous two term Republican president.

Along the way, she would knock out a roster of more qualified prospective presidents, and stronger candidates to win the General Election, and she would do it without any kind of thought for the party or the country.  To this extent, even before it was a candidacy, the Clinton campaign has always struck me as particularly selfish; her running would ruin the chances of her Democratic colleagues, and the fact that she is so polarizing would only result in more of the kind of bitter partisanship that has plagued us for years.

On the other hand, every Republican candidate in the field scares me to death.  The idea of Rudy Giuliani being president sends shivers down my spine.  The neoconservative ideology, the mere term having turned into an epithet in the political lexicon, courses through Giuliani’s veins perhaps strongerthan any other Republican candidate on stage.  Definitely more than Bush.  For Rudy, who has used the phrase “9/11” like a comma, it is clear that his dangerous views on how to combat global anti-terrorism would aggressively take center stage throughout his first term.  American Imperialism shrouded in a lowest common denominator of whole sale fear mongering would run rampant, which would also mean that we would have, at a bare minimum, of four more years of terror.  Four more years of every time the administration attempts something it knows the American people would not approve of, it would simply claim it is to make us safer.

And you’ll have to pardon me if I have grown a little weary of that.

So, it is clear to me, the only responsible course of action at this juncture is to oppose at all costs a Hillary Clinton nomination.  But should that fail, and it most likely will, then grudgingly I will support Clinton, if only to prevent Rudy Giuliani, or Fred Thompson, or Mitt Romney from gaining the White House.

My opposition of Hillary’s candidacy stems primarily from two basic ideas.  The first, outlined in part here, is that while she jumped into the race loudly touting how much she opposed the Iraq occupation, she has recently been quietly shifting her position to the right.  To the glee of the 30%ers, she has went from the loud rhetoric of promising to extricate the US from Iraq to the quieter assertions that the Surge was working, the artful dodging of questions on Iraq that send a subtle signal that her promises were all pipe dreams, and her recent vote to label the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization.

The second is because, as this LA Times article hints at, just like her foreign policy, the rest of her platform and public image is built on obfuscation, and misdirection.

She is seen as experienced, and yet, whether you count her time as First Lady or not, she does not hold a candle to Senators Biden, Gravel, Dodd, or Governor Richardson.  She is seen also as change, though she is a firm representative of the DLC/BD organizations, and fails to offer even the change to the national debate that Obama would.

Healthcare is seen as her “signature” issue, though John Edwards led the way on that one in this campaign, with Obama following close behind.  And likewise, she enjoys a large amount of blue collar and lower education support, though Edwards has made it a signature of his campaign to court the Labor bloc, and Chris Dodd received the coveted endorsement of the IAFF.

Hillary has been lucky thus far.  She entered the race as the inevitable front runner, and has therefore been able to shrug off or laugh of every attack aimed at her.  In debates she has consistantly won the day by not engaging in the back and forth, but instead standing as the representative of the group, waiting for the smoke to clear and then speaking for the field.  Thus, she has managed to last for months as the definitive frontrunner without the kind of scrutiny that typically is associated with that position.

But, there is hope.  As we grow nearer to the primaries, it can hardly be assumed that she will be able to escape this scrutiny from her own constituency for much longer, and Randall Rolph leads the way.

Rolph asked Clinton to explain her Senate vote Wednesday for a resolution urging the Bush administration to label the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization. Rolph interpreted that measure as giving Bush authority to use military action against the Iranians.

“Well, let me thank you for the question, but let me tell you that the premise of the question is wrong and I’ll be happy to explain that to you,” Clinton began.

She offered a detailed description of the resolution, which she said stressed robust diplomacy that could lead to imposing sanctions against Iran, and then pointedly said to Rolph that her view wasn’t in “what you read to me, that somebody obviously sent to you.”

“I take exception,” Rolph interjected. “This is my own research.”

I really like that last little bit there.  It’s almost as though Hillary is trashing the guy because he’s challenging her inevitability.

She needs to be challenged.  She needs to be tested.  The media needs to get off its lazy bottoms, quit reporting her like she is inevitable and actually get to digging on her platform. While virtually every other candidate in the Democratic field has had to hold their platform to the fire, Clinton has gone on unscathed, and the end result is that Democrats are going to nominate a candidate they know nothing about.

That simply can’t be allowed to fly.

3 Responses to “When You’re That High Up…”

  1. Donna says:

    Thank you for articulating so well. I have noticed, these past few years, that any statement contrary to
    GWB’s position had better be well couched in terms to preemptively head off the retort of ‘unpatriotic’. Now, I
    find that any statement contrary to Hillary’s candidancy had better be well couched in terms that preemptively
    head off the retort of ‘Hillary basher’. I am a little tired of emotional blackmail that works to stifles dissent, let
    alone that stifles full exploration of issues.

  2. Thank you Donna. You know, I hadn’t quite thought about it that way, but I suppose you are right. We’re seeing something of the same thing we saw with Bush in that with Bush, any criticism is pushed aside by his most ardent supporters by accusing his critics of just being “Bush haters” and I can see the same thing happening for Hillary.

    Interestingly enough, the people doing this are not a new and strong group of leftist Hillary supporters, but instead the same people who stood by Bush. Michael O’Hanlon, Charles Krauthammer, these arethe folks that are backing Hillary, and that should say something to those getting ready to vote for her hoping that she’ll be a solid Democratic president who will put an end to the war and reverse Bush’s policies that have done much to tear this country apart.

    thank you for the comment!

  3. Kyle, this was a very good post. Too many of my fellow Democrats are taking this electability approach. They are ignoring her hawkish positions and her association with Rupert Murdoch. They are crossing their fingers, hoping she won’t be like Bush. But she’s about winning. And she learned from her husband AND from Bush that “It’s better to be wrong and strong than weak and right”

    So I only take exception to what you said about begrudgingly supporting her if she wins the nomination.

    I will not vote for her is she wins the nomination and for two reasons: 1) my conscience, and 2) to send the message NOW, to all of my fellow Democrats blindly supporting her that she will lose votes on the Left. If you think she’s the most electable, you’re probably assuming people like me will go along on the bandwagon. Sorry, you’re sorely mistaken!

    What if Giuliani wins? Then maybe in 2012 we’ll nominate someone who will REALLY take us in a different direction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook