Thursday, July 26, 2007

Clinton Shouldn't Be Our Candidate

Yet another reason from Matt Yglesias. In regards to Clinton's campaign tactics in the Obama-Clinton debate, he writes:
[Her campaign tactics] reflect a certain set of beliefs about politics -- specifically that more militarism is always better -- which happen to be the exact same set of beliefs that helped drive so many Democratic elected officials to duck and cover during the initial drive for war. To get the foreign policy right, you need on some level to have someone willing to challenge the hawkish political box. Clinton isn't just failing to do that, she's going way out of her way to re-enforce it.
Clinton's a long-time hawk. She's dangerous both to the larger political debate (empowering militarism), but also in that, if elected, she's more likely to engage in immoral, unwise wars. We need someone else. (Update: Yglesias has another post on this topic here.)

Update: Another blog post from Ygelsias worthy of note here, where he focuses on the far-too-little noted tendency of many centrist Democrats to favor the indefinite occupation of Iraq:
An awful lot of liberals I know seem unduly confident that when their favored candidate is elected President of the United States, he or she will withdraw American troops from Iraq. I think people should pay attention to Progressive Policy Institute chief Will Marshall when he notes that the major candidates at least sometimes seem to more-or-less agree with his case for indefinitely extending the US military occupation of Iraq... Marshall/CNAS seem to me to be broadly reflective of the Democratic foreign policy establishment types who continue to be very influential, especially with Clinton.
Read the rest. It's an important issue. All of the major Democratic candidates here are lacking; but the one most likely to be bad on this is the most hawkish one, the one who sees hawkishness as essential politics.

We need someone else.

Second Update: More on this latter topic at TomDispatch. This is a crucial issue: the major Democratic candidates are not planning a full withdrawal from Iraq. Bad as Clinton is, Obama and Edwards aren't much better. The few candidates who support a genuine end to the war -- Kucinich and Richardson -- aren't gaining any traction in the polls.

I think Chernus is right in saying that the issue here is that the major Dems are fudging the issue to appeal to a strongly anti-war base (and country) while still reassuring the foreign policy/DC establishment that thinks that of course we need to maintain some control in Iraq. But how can we possibly get them to support what the overwhelming majority of the country supports -- a full, genuine end to the war?

I don't know. I really don't.

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