Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It's the War, Stupid

The problem with Hillary Clinton's campaign -- at least for me -- is simple. It's the war.

It annihilates every argument she might possibly make for her candidacy -- at least in a campaign where a anti-war candidate is a possibility. (If Clinton wins the nomination, then it's a moot point in the general.) If she'd gotten this right, then she would deserve a close hearing despite her other problems (such as simply being a less talented and able politician than Obama, say). But as it is, any argument she made is poisoned from the start by the blood of many hundreds of thousands, if not a million or more, people.

The war vote turns her experience argument from a poor but genuine argument (experience just isn't that important when it comes to the Presidency) to a sick joke.

From today's New York Times:
“I’m convinced that when the going gets tough, Hillary Clinton will never let America down,” General [Wesley] Clark said.
But she did let America down: she voted for the war. She was not tough enough -- or smart enough, or wise enough, or whatever-the-fuck-it-required enough -- not to.
“We’ve seen the tragic result of having a president who had neither the experience nor the wisdom to manage our foreign policy and safeguard our national security,” Mrs. Clinton said in a speech on foreign policy at George Washington University. “We can’t let that happen again.”
Yes: the result was an immoral and disastrous war -- one which she supported. If Bush is the problem, then someone who supported his single worst policy cannot be the answer -- not while there's another choice.

I mean, the idiocy, the gall, to raise Bush's lack of wisdom... when she herself showed that very lack of wisdom when it mattered?

(And don't give me that "she voted for it as a threat, not for war" crap. If so, her lack of wisdom was just slightly different: she bought Bush's bullshit when anyone could see it was a vote for war. Either way, she failed.)
Electing a president should not be an either-or proposition when it comes to national security,” she said. “We need a president who knows how to deploy both the olive branch and the arrows, who will be ready to act swiftly and decisively in a crisis.
Yes: and she has demonstrated, conclusively demonstrated, that she is not that president. She chose wrong when it counted. Not when there was a swift crisis -- when there was time for reflection, she did the wrong thing, the immoral thing, the stupid thing, the criminal thing.

She voted for the war.

Experience isn't worth a damn unless you learn from it. Maybe -- maybe -- if she did the John Edwards thing and owned up to having gotten the single most important vote of her life wrong, her experience might count for something.

But as it is, her experience is that of either cowardice, criminality or idiocy, depending on whether she thought the war was wrong when she voted for it, thought it was right, or didn't think she was voting for the war.

Yes: we need a President who can be trusted to do the right thing. Obama may or may not be that President... but we know for certain that Clinton isn't.

It's the war, stupid.

It's really that simple.

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