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.