Mike the Mad Biologist

I ask this seriously. Among rank and file Democrats, there is a common belief that Democratic politicians are being dragged to right by the need for compromise. But I don’t think that’s the case with Clinton: she is a conservative Southern Democrat without the regional accent. And the southern blue dogs have been pretty weak on the Iraq Occupation. From Matt Stoller (italics mine):

There is just no way that she can say that she will end the war and that she will continue a military mission in Iraq to contain extremists and ward off Iran. Those are mutually exclusive. As Matthew Yglesias continually points out, she simply believes in a more militaristic approach to foreign policy than Barack Obama. She’s not calculating about it. She voted for the war, she’s not sorry for her vote, and she will sustain a military mission in Iraq if she’s elected President to protect ‘vital national security interests’. She also holds the Iraqis responsible for not ‘getting their act together’ and says that those who don’t agree with this approach don’t agree that it matters if Iraq becomes a failed state or a ‘petri dish’ for Al Qaeda.

Hillary Clinton, while no George Bush, cannot by any measure be considered an anti-war candidate. So I’m wondering, and this is the big danger to our party, why there isn’t more of a profound concern about how dangerous she really is. Why aren’t there PACs lined up against her stance on the war? Why are donors rushing in to support her? Why are her supporters going along with the fiction that opposition to her candidacy comes from some blind hatred of Clinton instead of a real disagreement with her policy choices and her judgment, both of which are demonstrably bad for America and the Democratic Party? Why aren’t local bloggers demanding she answer questions at events?

…The amount of heat generated [by the supplemental defense bill] is high relative to concern about what happens in Iraq after 2009. That does seem to be where we actually have leverage. Whatever you think about the supplemental fight, our party’s standard-bearer at this moment does not represent the party or the country.

As far as I can tell, Clinton wants ‘occupation-lite’, not a complete withdrawal (regardless of the particular timeframe). Here’s the irony: if Clinton had a southern accent, people would see that she is a stereotypical conservative Democrat:

*doesn’t feel uncomfortable around black people (sadly, I’m not sure the same can be said regarding gays and lesbians)

*is moderate on social issues

*on economics, votes like a moderate-to-liberal Republican (i.e., neo-liberal)

*is hawkish in foreign policy

*loves military spending.

Yes, she is concerned about the subprime loan issue, but she hasn’t proposed any serious legislation to make sure it doesn’t happen again because that would require confronting the lending corporations. And don’t forget her vote on the bankruptcy bill–not exactly a shining moment for the good Senator, although if you were a Republican, she did just fine.

If you like Clinton’s policies, fine. But don’t delude yourself into believing that she’s anything other than a conservative Democrat. A conservative Democrat won’t end the war, bust her tail to deal with global warming, or deal with income inequality in any meaningful way.

One Lieberman ‘Democrat’ is enough; it’s time for a change.

Comments

  1. #1 Joshua
    March 27, 2007

    Yup. Queen of the DINOs.

  2. #2 Mark
    March 27, 2007

    I’m convinced that Hillary Clinton cannot win the general election. It’s almost impossible to overestimate the fear and hatred of Hillary Clinton among many southerners, not to mention most of the extremists in the Republican Party.

  3. #3 Julie Stahlhut
    March 27, 2007

    The really strange thing is that most of the people who hate her seem to have mistaken her for a leftist.

  4. #4 Badger3k
    March 28, 2007

    Lieberman democrat now. Still waiting for her to morph into a Zell Miller democrat (as Lieberman seems closer to being). If people elect her, expect more of the same.

  5. #5 Tex
    March 28, 2007

    Lieberman is a Jew.

  6. #6 Mark
    March 28, 2007

    Not just left, Julie, but a raging anti-American ready to lead a UN army, complete with black helicopters, to take over the US and merge it with Canada and Mexico. The fear and loathing borders on pathological.

  7. #7 stogoe
    March 28, 2007

    Very good, Tex. You have excellent deductive capacity. Now, set your sights on our most difficult problem of the last thousand years – Is Water Wet?

  8. #8 SLC
    March 28, 2007

    The fact of the matter is that Hilary has always been of a conservative bent. Let’s not forget that her father was a Goldwater conservative and she was a Goldwater girl at the 1964 Republican convention. Her migration to the Democratic party seems to have occurred after her engagement to Bill Clinton (who himself was no far out raving liberal).

  9. #9 cephyn
    March 28, 2007

    The right sees her as a baby-killing liberal. They cannot be convinced that she might have a)complex views on issues and b)those views might agree more with them than the liberals.

    She doesn’t have the progressive left fooled – see her absolute unpopularity among the DailyKos and MyDD crowds.

    All that said, I think she can win a general election.

    As for the Real Question – Water Is Wet. However, this leads to an even more profound question – If something is wet, must it be water that did it? Or can other things wet…?

  10. #10 Edward
    March 28, 2007

    It’s been noted that Hillary was active in the “Young Republicans” group when she was in college, but SLC didn’t bother checking any facts before sluring Hillary Clinton: Her switch to the Democratic party was complete when she was still an undergraduate, and several years before she met Bill. Also, remember that back in the 1960′s there was still a progressive wing of the Republican party.

    Right now, Hillary Clinton isn’t my first choice for President, but I’ll take her over any of the Republicans. She may be a politician, but she seems willing to listen to scientists.

  11. #11 SLC
    March 28, 2007

    Re Edward

    Apparently, despite the fact that Hilary was a Goldwater girl at the 1964 Rethuglican convention, Mr. Edward is somehow convinced that she was a progressive Rethuglican. As I recall, the late former Senator Goldwater was not considered a progressive Rethuglican at the time, although, by the standards of todays Rethuglicans, he looks pretty progressive, at least relative to social issues.

  12. #12 Edward
    March 28, 2007

    SLC – I didn’t say that. But given how willing you are to play fast and loose with the facts, it shouldn’t surprise me that you want to put words into my mouth. Politics is a lot more complicated than simple party affiliations, and that was what I was getting at. Just because Hillary worked for Goldwater as a teenager (she was 17, still in high school), I’m not going to hold it against her. I agree with what Mike says about Hillary – I think she is center-right. I’m planning to vote for someone else in the primary. However, if she does get the nomination, I’m voting for her rather than any of the republicans.

  13. #13 SLC
    March 28, 2007

    Re Edward

    The issue isn’t whether to hold Hilarys’ working for Goldwater against her. The point I was trying to make was that her instincts tend to be conservative and her affiliation with the Goldwater campaign is evidence of that. That doesn’t mean that she is currently an insincere Democrat. It’s just that she is a centrist Democrat, somewhat to the right of the other Democratic presidential candidates. By the way, Joe Lieberman is basically also a centrist Democrat and always has been. He is still considerably to the left of virtually all the current Rethuglican Party.

  14. #14 crf
    March 28, 2007

    I think she is being honest, saying she would have the US stay in Iraq. Point Blank.

    Briefly, she is saying she would respect Congress’s wish, and basically the populace’s wish, to get most American soldiers out of Iraq, and most American soldiers out of their combat roles in that country, focussing their efforts in clear missions.

    The details of a policy on a complete withdrawal would depend on whether, at that future time, there is actually a political goal that Iraq wishes to achieve. In the case that there is one, you can say that American is no longer occupying, and change your military role to peacekeeping, sending most American combatants home. Contrast this to Bush though: he has had no political plan for Iraq since Rumsfeld’s fictional one inevitably failed. And, therefore, for some time now, no overall policy for the military occupation, other than sending soldiers out on minor missions every so often, to achieve nothing important, compared to their losses. What REAL goal American is working for in Iraq now is unknown. In the real likelihood that there is no bare-consensus among the Iraq government and at least most other political elements in Iraq and most important other regional countries, for an Iraq “plan” by the time Bush leaves (a real likelihood), then, as president, she, and the army she would command there, may have to play some part in coming up with one.

    ===

    About her war vote comment: If all the information about Iraq were available before the Iraq war, the entire excercise would have likely been different. But the question can be taken to presume all other things would be equal, including having a debate on exactly the same question of going to war, except for having this perfect information. How likely is that? If the question allows one to assume such an unbelievable proposition, then I don’t think anyone should consider an answer, one way or the other, as truly politically revealing, or worthy of criticism. Ask a Stupid Question, Get a Stupid Answer.

  15. #15 Left_Wing_Fox
    March 29, 2007

    Julie: Yeah, it’s fascinating. Hilary Clinton is whacked by both sides for something she didn’t do.

    On the Right, she’s feared for being a far-left lunatic, DESPITE the fact that she’s never led the way on liberal issues while a senator. Meanwhile, the folks on the left see her as a Center-right politico BECAUSE she’s never led the way on liberal issues while a senator.

    I think she might possibly win based solely on “brand-name” recognition and fundraising power. But I also see her as being especially vulnerable to a Green party candidate siphoning off disgusted progressives, and it’s an open question in my mind as to whether disgruntled Republicans are angry enough at the GOP to reject their incessant demonization of her.

  16. #16 Nathan
    March 30, 2007

    Hillary’s problem isn’t that she’s a political opportunist, but rather that she can’t even do a decent job of appearing not to be one. You might say that Obama’s inexperience caused his tardy renunciation of Gen. Pace’s gay remark but what’s her excuse for “that’s for others to decide?” It seems that her only firm position is on the war and that comes off as a poor imitation of Bushs’ stubborn determination. With her, it seems more like stubborn petulance. Maybe she really does believe what she says but Democrats can’t believe that their putative candidate really has that position and so they see it as a ploy.

    We need a woman candidate who has enough self confidence not to get caught up in trying to look tough. Of course, maybe this is the real Hillary but I don’t think people Dem or GOP will really want her. Imagine Hillary vs. Fred Thompson – Reagan vs. Carter all over again. As moribund as the GOP looks right now, I still think they will win in ’08 unless we get something like a Gore/Obama ticket.

  17. #17 bitkisel ürünler
    May 12, 2009

    Not just left, Julie, but a raging anti-American ready to lead a UN army, complete with black helicopters, to take over the US and merge it with Canada and Mexico. The fear and loathing borders on pathological

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