Saturday, April 19, 2008

It's her foreign policy, stupid

By Creature

Like Pam, I've consciously stayed aways from commenting on the Clinton campaign for the last few days. I was way too overheated after the debate to say anything constructive. While most people were justifiably upset at ABC, I couldn't get past Clinton's gratuitous piling on. Did she really need, on her own, to bring up Louis Farrakhan? Hamas? I didn't think so.

And, it wasn't just the piling on. Her foreign policy hawkishness also shone through during the debate and this is my main objection to a Hillary Clinton presidency. She's never repudiated her Iraq vote (and only reluctantly backtracked since her presidential campaign began). Not to mention she embraced the right-wing frame on Iran.

This brings us to today and to why I'm pissed off all over again. Here's Hillary, caught on tape speaking at a private donor function soon after Super Tuesday, trashing and the Democratic activist base.

“ endorsed [Sen. Barack Obama] — which is like a gusher of money that never seems to slow down,” Clinton said to a meeting of donors. “We have been less successful in caucuses because it brings out the activist base of the Democratic Party. MoveOn didn’t even want us to go into Afghanistan. I mean, that’s what we’re dealing with. And you know they turn out in great numbers. And they are very driven by their view of our positions, and it’s primarily national security and foreign policy that drives them. I don’t agree with them. They know I don’t agree with them. So they flood into these caucuses and dominate them and really intimidate people who actually show up to support me.”

There is so much excuse-making, blame-shifting, and outright lying here that I don't even know where to begin. So, I'll leave aside the bit about the "gusher of money" (Obama's money is not solely MoveOn money). Also, I will put aside the ridiculousness of the idea that the activist base--a base Hillary should respect, if not embrace--"dominates" and "intimidates" her supporters at caucuses (this is more sour grapes and excuse-making for poor organizing and campaigning). Finally, as hard as it may be, I'll ignore the outright lie that "MoveOn didn’t even want us to go into Afghanistan." (This has been debunked across the Internets today and is just not true. What's worse, this is a Karl Rove-invented lie. Yes, Karl Rove. Enough said.)

What I do want to focus on is this: "[T]hey are very driven by their view of our positions, and it’s primarily national security and foreign policy that drives them. I don’t agree with them. They know I don’t agree with them." What specifically are the "national security and foreign policy" views that Clinton does not agree with? I suspect they are the same issues with which I started this post: Iraq and Iran; war and peace; belligerence and saber rattling versus rational, progressive diplomacy.

Hillary Clinton has always put herself in the "serious" camp. She's a Joe Lieberman Democrat. Her contempt for those who were right all along about the war, and who dare to question her on it, has been simmering under the surface for most of the last few years. Here we finally see what she says in private, as opposed to her scripted message.

I've been done with the Senator from New York pretty much since South Carolina, so words like these being revealed won't sway me. I do hope, however, that Hillary's words will sway some of her supporters who have overlooked her Iraq vote, who have given her the benefit of the doubt, who refuse to hold her accountable, to maybe take another look at the candidate they so vociferously support.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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