Saturday, February 10, 2007

No Hillary Dissing Here

It's all the rage -- diss Hillary and force her into public humiliation. She must confess her sin of voting for the Iraq War before a large segment of the blogosphere will consider her a worthy candidate, let alone vote for her. Kos attempts to put her in her place here. He compares her to Dick Cheney!

The problem is that Hillary refuses to grovel. In politics, groveling is a display of weakness. As a woman fighting to be the first of her gender to win the presidency, she is damned either way, but much more so if perceived to be "weak."

I am not happy that she voted to allow Bush to have his Iraq adventure (now disaster). It was a pragmatic political decision and it rubs my idealistic self the wrong way. However, she has responded to the changing situation and says she will end the war when elected. I rather like it that she's found a way of stating her case that doesn't involve a load of wallowing in humiliation. She put it this way in an AP interview:

"I have said clearly and consistently for quite some time that I regret the way the president misused the authority," said Clinton. "He misled Congress and the country on what he was seeking and what he intended to do."

The responsibility Clinton said she accepts was helping clear the way for Bush's path in Iraq. "I take responsibility for having voted to give him that authority," she said. "My focus is on what we do now. That is the proper debate."

This is not good enough for Kos and many other liberal pundits and bloggers. They want to bring this woman down. How many times am I going to hear from male voters, "I"m voting for the best candidate -- and gender will have nothing to do with it."

Gender has everything to do with it when it comes to Hillary. In order to compete in a male-dominated profession (politics), she has found it expedient to show toughness. She has also played up her centrist persona and tried to avoid the dreaded "lefty" label. Would she be in this strong position so early in the pre-primary race if she had taken the far left, anti-war stance?

She voted against making flag burning a constitutional amendment, but joined with a Republican to offer a bill to make it a federal crime. This absolutely outraged me when it went down. Now I'm seeing it as yet another one of Hillary's very clever moves to avoid the left-wing label. She is critiqued for too much nuancing, as opposed to George W Bush who wouldn't know a nuance if it hit him in the face:
"That careful, deliberate style impresses some Democrats but irritates and deflates many others: She tends to tweak her views and her rhetorical nuances to position herself in the center of most issues, leaving an uninspired impression for some."
Edwards, the darling of the netroots, is fading fast as Obama climbs the charts. Hillary is on top, much to the dismay of many. She's the top runner here in Ohio, according to this Quinnipiac poll. And here, in a collection of many polls, Hillary is seen to be running away from the pack.

We know the Right is going to send the attack dogs full force. I rather think Hillary will do better against them than Kerry did. She sticks to the issues and to proposed policies, which is going over very well with the voters.

Let me be clear here -- I could live happily with an Obama presidency, or Edwards, Gore, Kucinich and so on down the line. Anybody the Dems send up is better than the Bush mistake we've been living with for 6 years. However, I'm going to admit upfront to a secret thrill that Hillary is leading the pack. She's smart and she's determined, and I have no doubt she will actively run things, and run them well once elected president.

I just hope she takes one big risk and picks Obama for her running mate. I think it would be a heckuva ticket and would steamroll over any Republican opponent.


Jill said...

I like this post a lot - the way you review what's been said by Hillary and how it fits in. I'm not a Hillary fan but reading your post makes me just a slight bit less uncomfortable about her. My main discomfort with her is that I feel as though I don't know her and that after all these years, that shouldn't be the case. I feel like she's a superior job applicant who's got the skill set and the resemblance of someone who can do the job - but there's just something missing, amiss - I don't know what.

Clinton-Obama would be pretty wild - could it win? I have no idea.

But I also agree with you about the intense shouting her down. For goodness sakes - I agree with you. Supreme silliness.

Village Green said...

Thanks Jill. In all dealings with politicians, I think we must reserve the right to be disappointed with them sooner or later. It becomes a question of degree.

Hillary is practical, so I figure she will do as she says: end the war and work on health care and other important issues. And of course she could go down in a blaze of Republican thuggery, but somehow I'm doubting it...

Sam Pepys's Daughter said...

See my response at Cotswold Corner Diary blog to "No Hillary Dissing Here."

Village Green said...

SP's Daughter, I read your response and posted at your blog. I have one further thought, and that is while you and other bloggers keep whipping up Hillary disdain because of her initial vote on Iraq, the general public -- so far -- is supporting her in big numbers. Her "centrism" might be coming across as stability based upon pragmatism. It will be interesting to see how Obama does post-announcement.

Sam Pepys's Daughter said...

No distain. Hilary obviously think she's making the right decision. John Edwards admits he made a mistake, but he no longer sits in the Senate and has an enormous personal income. The list of Democratic senators in my earlier comment consists of men and women who do worry about being re-elected every six years. Byrd will be a senator until the day he dies, but Durbin of Illinois, second highest ranking Dem in the Senate I believe, does have to worry. Feingold decided not to run for president. Mikulsky and the other women and men have showed no sign of wanting to leave the Senate. If Hilary does win (and I hope she does, despite some of her tactics) she will be one of few senators who makes it to the Presidency. The last was LBJ who had been VP first.