Friday, May 09, 2008

File Under "Great Minds Think Alike"

Clinton lost the nomination because of Iraq. Period.

-- Publius

The biggest factor that doomed Clinton, from day one, was Iraq.

-- Ari Berman

Admittedly, this is the kind of counterfactual that's impossible to prove, but my guess is that if she had voted against the war Clinton would be the Democratic candidate.

-- Scott Lemieux

I agree. Barack Obama is highly likely to be the next president of the United States because he opposed a dumb war.

-- Kevin Drum

I think the reason that all these writers hit upon the same idea is not because they read each other -- only Kevin Drum linked to any of the others (he was seconding Scott Lemieux), but for another, far simpler reason: because it's correct. (Incidentally, if you're going to read one of those posts, read Publius's; he goes into a lot of very interesting (& hence arguable) detail about the mechanisms by which this worked.)

It's also good that she lost for this reason. As Scott Lemieux goes on to add, "sometimes getting big policies wrong really is politically damaging.... This is evidently a good thing." The best way to get politicians not to support stupid (and immoral) wars is for there to be negative political consequences for doing so. (Also, as Matt Yglesias says in the post that sparked Lemieux's, "...most of all we need to ditch the mindset that says "cred" on national security is composed of being hawkish even when that means being wrong").

As I said a few months ago, back when it was closer to being prescriptive than descriptive: it's the war, stupid.

Update - More Great Minds: Booman Tribune -- via Atrios, who agrees too.

Still Further Great Minds: M. J. Rosenberg. Matt Yglesias. Yglesias again. Matt Stoller. Kos.

And they keep coming in: Neil Sinhababu. Atrios again.

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