Thursday, July 26, 2007

Slowing the Hillary pillory

Despite Fox News' best efforts, the Republican field is looking rather sad. McCain's campaign is practically dead, Giuliani's in sad shape, and Thompson is something of a joke. This is not meaning to sound complacent (if I hadn't learned that lesson already, I'm a grade A moron) but there is a distinct possibility that Hillary Clinton may enter history as the first female president of the United States.

Hillary doesn't get a lot of love on the left; her war vote and centrist civil rights platform tends to raise our hackles quite a bit. She also has the typical hard time with admitting mistakes, instead choosing to convolutedly rationalize past problems, which is a politician's shield against criticism of weakness. (Not that Ahnold's hangdog apologies harmed him any.)

But a review of her voting record reveals something less odious than what she's painted to be. She may be on our side only 85% of the time, but that's 85% more than the current administration. If she ends up as the Democratic candidate for 2008, we could indeed do a lot worse, such as Mike Gravel, for instance. In fact, upon reflection, everyone running in the Democratic race is infinitely better than whoever's running under the GOP banner at this time, which at this stage, I shouldn't need to say.

At this stage, most people are focused on getting this worthless war ended, which is fair enough. If this is indeed Bush's war, then the troops come out, and she and/or her Secretary of State can assist in smoothing out the peace process. There's also no doubt that we'll have to rebuild our credibility in the Middle East more than ever. As far as they're concerned, we are a rogue state. So Hillary is faced with the unenviable position of repairing our image abroad while looking tough "as a man" at home.

And that's going to be used against her, constantly. She is going to be called so many names by the press. Late night comedians will make untoward jokes about her sexuality (NTTAWWT blah blah blah). It's my feeling that the left will have to work against some of their own biases in rewarding her good behavior over constantly punishing her for occasional (and bound to be over-publicized) bad behavior on single issues. The right will already be lashing out with their most vile invective ever. If progressives try to compete with their shouting matches, issues will once again be obfuscated in personality prattle, and 2012 will be end up being 2000 all over again. Time to throw away the proverbial gallon of vinegar and get out the drop of honey.

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