Hillary's Maggie Thatcher Imperative

i'm a single-issue voter (right now).  to some extent, it's the war, but what it really is about is reversing the immoral bush doctrine that encourages pre-emptive strikes on those countries with whom we disagree.

so you can understand my concern about hillary's defense of the presidential prerogative and her unwillingness to reverse the bush doctrine.  after all, it's not that different from the policy of her husband's administration -- although the united states was held in much higher esteem than it is today.  but for me, it's not just about (dis)trusting the person, it's about distrusting the policy.

hillary's fear is that, as a woman in a man's world, she will be perceived as weak.  hillary's fear of being seen as weak is the reason that she refuses to apologize for voting to invade iraq without just cause.  her fear of being seen as weak is probably one reason why she voted to invade iraq in the first place.  she has, and undoubtedly will continue to, overcompensate because she doesn't want anyone thinking that she is (or will be) weak.

hillary's fear is dangerous.  but the biggest implication here is that her fear will prevent her from overturning the bush doctrine of pre-emption.  doing so would inevitably get her labeled as weak.

hillary clinton needs to be perceived as having the iron will of maggie thatcher, and the only way that she can do that is by showing success at war.  not ending war.  waging war. like george bush, hillary is more likely to get us involved in an unnecessary war -- just so that she will be seen as strong.

this is hillary clinton's war as much as it is george bush's.  she was among its staunchest advocates among democrats in the senate (with joe lieberman).  she assured democrats that the (bill) clinton administration had the same intelligence that bush was using to justify going to war.  she gave cover to those democrats who needed it.  

in the rush to war, hillary clinton was an enabler.  her attempt to revise her part in this may be good politics but it is bad history.  and it seeks to hide the lessons that we should derive from that history -- that hillary's fear of being seen as weak makes her reach bad decisions, to exercise poor judgment.  she simply does not have the temperment that one would hope for at the helm of the greatest power on earth.

this also means, no matter what she says now, that hillary cannot take our troops out of iraq unless national security voters were satisfied.  hillary's need to be perceived as a woman of strength means that our occupation of iraq will not only be prolonged, it will be institutionalized.  hillary won't be able to stand up to the military -- just as her husband failed to.  while they may respect civilian control the military knows how to hint at executive weakness when they want to undermine a president.  hillary can't afford that.  so the military will do very well in the next clinton administration.

the potential of hillary clinton as president will also focus the minds of national security voters who may have been unhappy with george bush.  just as hillary firms up the opposition of evangelicals and right wing extremists, she will do the same to national security voters.  her service on the armed services committee has done little to assauge the goc or the military industrial complex.  that's absurd, but it's a fact.  the military and the military-supported corporations stand to benefit from hillary's election because her fear of being perceived as weak means that she will bend over backwards for them.

in the end, hillary will be a war president.  unfortunately, she will not end the war on iraq, but will expand it in order to achieve the far-off victory that the national security complex seeks.  i know that she says otherwise, but she really voted for the war before she voted against it...

Tags: bush doctrine, Hillary Clinton, Iraq, war (all tags)



Re: Hillary's Maggie Thatcher Imperative


by rakk12 2007-06-18 04:24AM | 0 recs

i realize i am only restating the painfully obvious...

by bored now 2007-06-18 04:47AM | 0 recs
Re: yeah....

There are two problems with your diary, but they are monumental.

Edwards was more "complicit" with the war than Clinton due to the fact that he actually co-sponsored the AUMF.  Co-sponsoring gives a much greater personal involvement, an actual rubberstamping and goading of fellow Democratic Senators to follow suit.  "Look, fellow Democrats, I am staking my name and reputation on this measure.  By putting my name right on this document for all to see as a cosponsor I tell you, my fellow Democrats, that if you have any apprehensions signing this bill, shed them now.  I am putting my entire reputation and good name behind this bill, so it is safe for all of you to follow suit and sign this."

Many of Obama's supporters have stated that as a black man Obama must tread very carefully, that he can't rock the boat too much as a president, because he would be judged by his skin color (unfairly) and if because of his policies the country would be thrown into a recession or a major crisis it would be put right as his door, it would make it almost impossible for future black candidates to come forwards and run for president.  

Clinton is, if anything, a believer in "Realpolitik" to a fault.  It is actually much less likely that we would engage in pre-emptive wars with her in command than with, say, someone like Obama.   That is so because the dirty aspect of Realpolitik has always been to simply buy off countries.   A Billion here, a Billion there, keeps despots happy and largely out of our hair.  It is money wisely spent, because it costs infinitely more to actually wage a war (not to speak of the human cost involved.)

by georgep 2007-06-18 05:14AM | 0 recs
Re: yeah....

engaging in a little faulty logic here?  just because edwards also voted for the war, he brought absolutely no cred to the vote.  hillary staked the reputation of her husband's administration on it.  edwards gave no one cover; hillary did.

but this isn't about edwards because edwards has no hope of becoming president.  (you have, of course, given me the next diary, though!)

i'm not familiar with your bullshit theory that obama has to tread carefully.  hoping to unite the nation in the midst of a bitterly partisan struggle is not exactly reiterating the status quo.

the monumental flaws you promised to uncover fall apart because they were based on flawed reasoning on your part.  your wishful thinking (that hillary actually understands realpolitik, let alone practices it) does nothing to refute my points.  she's obsessed with being perceived as weak.  otherwise she would have apologized to the electorate (the realpolitik choice) given the high demand that she do so!

this is hillary's war, and we have no hope that she will bring an end to it.  she can't.  she doesn't have the moral fiber or the internal strength of her own convictions...

by bored now 2007-06-18 05:30AM | 0 recs
Re: yeah....

Whoa Whoa Whoat - when did this become Hillary's war?  When did she stand before Congress and country and declare Sadaam Hussein had bought nuclear material from Africa?  When did she proclaim links between Sadaam and al Qaeda?  When did she say we had to throw the bum out immediately?  She didn't do any of that - she urged Bush to send in the weapons inspectors - which he never did - and then and only then if they proved Iraq had nuclear weapons should we go to war.

This is not the war of any Democrat - it's Bush and the Republicans war, and that's that.

by Conquest 2007-06-18 06:12AM | 0 recs
Re: yeah....

Hillary has conflated 9-11 with her decision to vote for the war at some point in recent years. Is that much different from Bush conflating Al Quaeda and Saddam? Hillary has mentioned women's rights as one concern in Saddam's Iraq during her meeting with CodePink. Hillary was told to read the NIE and she didn't. If she did, she would have known then what she claims to know now.

by Pravin 2007-06-18 06:25AM | 0 recs
Re: yeah....

So under that logic it's Edwards war as well - he didn't read the NIE and in fact co-sponsored the AUMF.  You let him off the hook because he apologized - are you going to let him apologize when he attacks Iran as president?  He gave a pretty nice speech in Israel on this fact.

This whole apology hangup is probably the most absurd thing I've ever heard - it weakens the Democratic Pary's brand in the general and needs to be dropped as asinine by the supposedly extreme left wing of the party.  An apology doesn't matter at this point - the whole goddamn Democratic party was for war in Iraq at the time - including all of our presidential candidates save one who has the convenient position of not being in power.  But I don't see Obama leading on the issue now, and I don't expect to.

You should start accepting the fact that we aren't leaving Iraq for a pretty long time - no matter who gets elected.  Each of the candidates knows that in the back of their mind, no matter what is coming out of their mouth.

by Conquest 2007-06-18 06:50AM | 0 recs
Re: yeah....

"...the whole goddamn Democratic party was for war in Iraq at the time...

WRONG -- go read the floor speeches.

by SandThroughTheEyeGlass 2007-06-18 06:55AM | 0 recs
Re: yeah....

If you read my other comments, I was against Edwards in 2004 for that reason. But I do believe in second chances, especially in a weak field like this. And Edwards earned it by making up partially for his blunder by supporting other Democrats or at least , through rhetoric, giving them moral support as another leading voice in their corner, in the fight against Bush's war. Hillary just sat idly by until it was time for her to campaign.Another thing: Hillary had more foreign experience than Edwards at the time. Edwards was more in tune with domestic issues in 2002-2004. He was really a foreign policy novice. Hillary traveled around the world as first lady. she HAD TO KNOW about PNAC's plans in the 90s considering she was married to bill.

No one is asking Hillary to apologize just to make ourselves feel better. Your whole bullshit point that she should not appear weak is the reason why our politicians are so selfish - putting their image over the country's needs.

We want her to acknowledge her mistakes and what she has learned from it because we need to know that she wont make mroe boneheaded decisions in the future for fear of looking weak. Edwards has shown that he is willing to make improvements(maybe because he is close to losing Elizabeth and she gives him better advice than Bill gives Hillary on progressive issues).

The fact that she keeps saying WHAT SHE KNOWS NOW IS WHAT SHE DIDN"T KNOW BACK THEN tells me that she simply doesn't get it. SHE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THEN CONSIDERING HOW WELL PREPARED SHE IS ON MANY ISSUES. BUt she just did NOT want to know then what she claims to know now. Do not insult my intelligence by trying to say she went by what agencies told her.

by Pravin 2007-06-18 08:32AM | 0 recs
Re: yeah....

it became hillary's war when she voted for it.  it became hillary's war when she became an enabler for bush to prosecute an immoral invasion without just cause.  she won't apologize for exercising poor judgment -- so she really can't distance herself from this war and her vote...

by bored now 2007-06-18 06:27AM | 0 recs
Re: yeah....

It became Hillary's war when it became a good stick to beat her with.

22 Democratic senators voted for the war. Yet it's hillary's war? I might be wrong but didn't every candidate that was a senator at that time vote for it? When did they get excused?

Not Dodd's war? Biden's war? or co-sponsor Edwards war? Or is an apology all that is needed to get an "get out of jail free" card?

And when did it start being the democrats war and stop being the republicans' war? Junior's war? You're point is tailored to your dislike, not your dislike tailored to your point.

by Ernst 2007-06-18 08:07AM | 0 recs
Re: yeah....

i apologize for being too subtle today.  the constitution gives congress authority to declare war.  i would have thought that a reasonable reader would have understood my point, that hillary, and every democratic senator that joined her, was just as responsible for this war.  edwards has tried to make amends.  hillary refuses, because it might make her look weak.  i agree with those who have acknowledged that hillary won't end the war, even if she made it to the white house.  it's pretty easy to see through her that way...

by bored now 2007-06-18 08:12AM | 0 recs
Re: yeah....

You are advancing a BS meme and it is sad to see that some posters have resorted to pushing crappy right-wing talking points.   This has never been "Hillary's war" and you are full of baloney for claiming this fallacy.

by georgep 2007-06-18 06:58AM | 0 recs
Re: sorry that you are oblivious to facts...

hillary had a vote, hillary had a voice, and hillary had a reason for supporting this war (much like bush did).  i don't doubt at all that she led democrats into supporting this invasion.  it is incredibly naive to think that the president alone could have taken us into iraq.  hillary helped build a national consensus for an immoral invasion -- and she absolutely refused to participate in her church's efforts to make the administration aware that this was an unjust cause and an immoral operation.  it was a monumental failure in leadership on her part, which i promised you i would write about next (thanks for the suggestion).

to your last point, i completely agree that the right will hang this (rightfully, in my pov) on hillary.  it is one of the many reasons why it is inevitable that hillary will lose the general election...

by bored now 2007-06-18 07:15AM | 0 recs
Re: yeah....

Edwards should have known better. But Edwards was a SC rube compared to hillary at the time(one of the reasons why I was strongly opposed to Edwards in 2004 was he seemed out of his league at the national stage and didnt seem to be very savvy when it came to foreign affairs). But Hillary had something Edwards didn't. Hillary met a lot more foreign leaders than Edwards did at the time thanks to her 8 years in the White House. Considering that she was grooming herself for the position of President since she learned to speak, you don't think she took advantage of 8 years in the White House? Also thanks to Bill, she had the counsel of a former President and his vast network of foreign affairs insiders. What good did that do for her judgement?

And Hillary also continued to provide indirect cover to Bush over the years by refusing to revisit her decision and the consequences by defending the vote until she gave us this lame (if i knew then what we know now) excuse. She knew about the NIE back then. SHe knew about Scott Ritter doing the rounds. Bill and she knew about how the neocons were obsessed with Iraq for most of the 90s. She had first hand knowledge of this because she was in that scene in the 90s. So what has Hillary learned since 2002 that she didn't learn until then?

by Pravin 2007-06-18 06:22AM | 0 recs
Hold on a minute

Edwards didn't give anyone cover. He was the new guy from SC trying to score political points. He basically had little reputation at the time. As much as I agree with you that his sponsorship of the authorization gives me pause, his coming out and saying that his vote was a mistake - long before it was popular to do so - makes great strides to undermine your assertion that he gave fellow democrats cover. "Gee, I can vote for the authorization now that the new guy for SC sponsored it!" His continual speaking out first and strongest of the candidate, especially his calling out the "WOT" catch phrase has shown he is not afraid (or at least has nothing to lose) by leading.

A new senator vs. the former first lady and high profile Senator. Ya, that's similar.

And as for Obama, many of his supporters tout him as a transformational candidate. "Treading lightly" and transformational seem to me to be at odds to me because if he treads lightly in the primary, he'll tread even lighter as the nominee, which means if he governs any differently he will viewed poorly. Leaders lead. They don't tred lightly watching the direction of the political winds.

by michael in chicago 2007-06-18 09:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Hold on a minute

Obama's statements and policy proposals so far have been very cautious, very middle of the road.   He has even moved away from the general Democratic consensus of offering true universal health insurance, his statements on the Iraq war are somewhat hawkish, etc.  

by georgep 2007-06-18 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary's Maggie Thatcher Imperative

by rakk12 2007-06-18 04:24AM | 0 recs
another yawn

second yawen here.

by lambiel 2007-06-18 05:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary's Maggie Thatcher Imperative

Also, Maggie Thatcher totally lost her marbles in the end trying to maintain her power against the big boys.

There's another problem with Hillary - she's shown she is NO leader -- she follows, constantly being advised -- so yes, I agree:

"...while they [the military] may respect civilian control the military knows how to hint at executive weakness when they want to undermine a president.  hillary can't afford that.  so the military will do very well in the next clinton administration...

They know she's weak -- they will walk all over her.

by SandThroughTheEyeGlass 2007-06-18 06:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary's Maggie Thatcher Imperative

To put it mildly, you deserve Atrios award of 'Wanker of the Day'.


by lambiel 2007-06-18 06:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary's Maggie Thatcher Imperative

Keep it classy, lambiel. Personal attacks are not O.k.

by Ernst 2007-06-18 10:10AM | 0 recs
I don't think so

Yeah, we see where apologizing for the war has gotten John Edwards.  He's trailing far behind Clinton in the polls, who didn't.  And maybe what she says is actually true, so why should she lie about it just because of some strategy of Edwards to try to force her to just because he has.  If Edwards wants to, that's fine but it doesn't mean she had the same thinking process that he did.  If you think she gets bashed for not apologizing, it would be much worse if she did.  As I've said before, people might admire someone for saying they were wrong, but they don't want to vote on them for President.  That's been a miscalculation on his part.

Hillary is not going to be some "war" President.  To me, that's ridiculous.  If she becomes President, that alone is enough to sustain her- she won't be waging wars just to prove she's not weak- she will do what is best for the country because she is smart enough to know it is better to be perceived as weak than incompetent .

by reasonwarrior 2007-06-18 03:04PM | 0 recs


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