A Hillary Critique

I've been somewhat busy lately, so I haven't been following the MyDD discussion much at all. In response to Chris's diary complaining about Hillary bashing I would like to offer my two primary reasons for not supporting or voting for Hillary in either the primary or the general election, if she wins the Democratic primary.

First, Hillary Clinton is either a Robust Liberal Hawk or a Stay The Course Democrat on Bush's Iraq war. I think it is legitimate to criticize the position of any and all Democratic Presidential contenders on Bush's war.

Second, I do not believe that the American people will elect a woman to be Commander-in-Chief during a time of war. Regardless of what the polls say now or at a later date, and in spite of a prime time television show, when push comes to shove the American people will not vote for a woman to be Commander-in-Chief during a war.

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A Rant

This has been building up for a long time, and is directed a wide number of people online, rather than anyone in particular.

Just looking at the comments to a post of mine from earlier today reminds me just how ugly a place the blogosphere might be during the Presidential primary season. I am generally an optimist who believes that you can engage just about anyone online in a reasonable discussion. However, whenever I bring up Hillary, I honestly can't believe how many idiotic progressives there are who will clearly stop at nothing in order to assist the long-term Republican goal of making sure that no potential Democratic leader has a favorable image nationwide. I am absolutely flabbergasted by the level of stupidity and denial of reality who many progressive who trash Hillary Clinton in particular. As much as many people on the left would like to believe, the right does not have a monopoly on idiocy. I honestly think I am reading FreeRepublic sometimes when she comes up. There is absolutely no way I am voting for her in the primary, but I simply can't believe the number of patently false, easily disprovable arguments many "progressives" use against her no matter what evidence is shown to contradict said arguments. I have written about this before, but I am now of the opinion that there is simply no evidence that will ever convince a small but vocal and anti-social chunk of the netroots that she is anything short of the AntiChrist. Even if she is the nominee, these people are going to close the triangle on Clinton in exactly the manner Republicans desire, and Tom Tancredo, or Bill Frist, or Condi Rice, or whoever will be the next President. As long as there is no shortage of Democrats who are willing to say the same things about Clinton as Republicans do, anything Republicans say about her will be reified in the established news media, and the narrative against her will be forged in steel (this is exactly how the Lieberman wing of the Democratic party destroyed the left in the 1990's, by the way). For the love of crap, if you are going to write against Clinton, do so in a way that Republicans never would. Good arguments would include her being too hawkish, too insider, too centrist. Bad arguments would include her being too ambitious, having too much baggage, being unelectable, and being too insincere, since that is the narrative Republicans have long sought to tie her with. Then again, I don't even know why I am bothering to say this, because the people who froth at the mouth against Hillary in our comments probably honestly believe that there is no difference between Hillary and Tom Tancredo.

Absolute fucking morons. I am not going to come within several miles of working or supporting Hillary Clinton in the primaries, but I will not, ever, repeat Republican arguments about a fellow Democrat, especially when such talking points are designed to tear down Democratic leaders. We might as well just start saying that Howard Dean is an incredibly angry member of the far left who will say anything that comes to his mind, or that Al Gore is a pathological liar with no personality and nearly insane. If you say that Hillary Clinton an insincere, overly ambitious, scandal-ridden woman who can't get elected but will say or do anything in order to get elected, you are exactly the same as DLC losers like From or Reed who happily repeat Republican lies about Howard Dean. If you can't recognize that, then you will do nothing but drag the progressive movement further down the festering rat-hole that we seem to perpetually find our electoral fortunes mired in. If you can't recognize that, I will also tell you, now that we are only eight months out from the start of the primary season, that I don't want you coming within several miles of making a comment or writing a diary on MyDD. This is one blog where Republican narratives will never be reified.

Why your vote counts -- John Conyers as House Judiciary Chair.

This is directed at anybody who thinks that their vote will not be important in the next election for whatever reason. It doesn't matter whether you are a Green disgusted at what you see as a lack of spine by the Democrats or a former Hackett supporter disgusted at what you see as an insular establishment who determines the candidates for Senate in smoke-filled backrooms. You are missing the key point as to why it is so important that you go to the polls and vote for a Democrat. You forget that a vote for a Democrat for Senate or the House is a vote for John Conyers as chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

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The New Gay Anger

Ben Smith at the Politicker in NYC has an important post on the new politics of the gay community.

In response to the suggestion here about a gay revolt against Hillary, Hotline on Call wonders who gay voters and activists will turn to, and suggests ... Tom Vilsack.

Because "he's not afraid to touch gay issues," which is to say he's against beating up gay kids.

I love Hotline's newish blog, which regularly breaks news, but I think this mis-reads the situation. What's changed is that marriage is starting to become a litmus test for mainstream gay groups and -- of more importance to Democrats -- donors. It's hard to imagine that some new form of nod-and-wink to gay rights, while opposing a central issue of interest to ordinary gays and lesbians, is going to persuade anyone.

The question for 2008, to the extent that this matters, is whether a longshot from the left will come out strong in favor of same-sex marriage, and raise a pile of early money from deep-pocketed gay donors (who were important to Howard Dean's early surge back when civil unions were big). Russ Feingold seems the only one with a shot at doing this: So far, he's fought the Defense of Marriage Act and the Federal Marriage Amendment, and taken the stance that marriage is an issue to be decided at the state level. He seems to duck the issue of whether he actually supports same-sex marriage, though he seems to hint at supporting, saying:

"I generally think a society where people who are monogamous, where people who love each other come together and form stable families is better than the opposite."

This is interesting because it means that our constituency groups are getting smarter and are not willing to trust the Democratic politicians who sell them out on important issues.  This is one place John Kerry's actually been very good - he voted against DOMA.  

Joe Lieberman, of course, voted for the Defense of Marriage Act.  That's just one more place he's going to find trouble.

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Don't Assume That Bill and Hillary Are The Same

As 2008 approaches, the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton will become a greater topic of discussion.  Yes, I know that she has her Senate re-election campaign in 2006.  But her victory in 2006 is a given.  

In 2008, an inevitable topic of discussion will be Bill Clinton and his role and impact on Hillary's campaign.  Inevitably, comparisons will be made between the two.  People may try to say that they are the one and the same.  They may say that this is "Clinton, Part III", with the same cast of characters involved in the campaign and the same philosophy.

Well, Bill will support his wife in 2008, for sure.  But here's the truth:  Bill and Hillary aren't the same person.  I'm not saying that they are polar opposites.  But neither are they carbon copies of each other by a long shot.

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