by CASEY LABRACK
Part two of “Your favorite candidate sucks,” which discusses how each candidate fails in his or her own special way. Starting with Mitt Romney, the columns alternate between Republicans and Democrats, turning now to Hillary Clinton.
Let the Conversation Begin.
I’ve got a game we can play. Name Orwellian things happening in our real life political system. I’ll start: after the Democratic takeover of 2006, the chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee became a guy named David Obey.
“That’s cute, but not nearly as frightening as the nepotistic trend in presidential politics; nearly 10 years after the first Bush presidency, Hillary Clinton is now running. Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton!”
Clinton hopes to be the next president.
You got me. See, that always ruins the game—I’m obviously not going to top Hillary running in terms of scary Owellian indicators. Although if Hillary serves eight years in office, the Bush daughters will be just old enough to run 2016.
“But Hillary’s not electable?”
Oh, hell no. Let’s put aside the novelty of the first woman president idea and just tackle policy. Hillary’s first brush with policy making was as first lady in 1993, when she spearheaded an initiative to reform health care that failed to come to a vote even in the Democrat dominated Congress.
“Why did it fail so horribly?”
The general consensus was that she was too devisive to make a broad scope, bipartisan project work.
“What’s happened since then?”
Health care reform has become even more urgent, and right wing tralk radio has slurred her every day for 10 years.
This brings me to the question of her negative ratings. Although she polls highest among likely Democrat primary voters, around 40 percent of the general populace has said they oppose her candidacy.
One of the Hillary campaign’s biggest supporters? Karl Rove. He foresees Hillary winning the primaries and losing the general election.
“She has at least one elder statesman in her corner.”
Yes, Bill is the real elephant in the room in a lot of the talk about a Hillary Clinton presidency. The first lady has always been the country’s official hostess, but somehow I can’t see the most experienced politician in the White House settling for that. I have a hard time seeing “Slick Willy” only appearing to dress up like Santa for the Washington tree lighting.
“You think he could try to get his own initiative going?”
It’s only fair, given Hillary’s health care dabbling in the early ’90s. So Bill is a huge unknown, and hence a huge liability against her. Everyone who wants “Bill 2” is already a Hillary Clinton supporter. But people who otherwise might consider voting for her could be deterred by the Bill variable, so Hillary is fighting a war on two fronts. Think about everything you could attack Hillary for. OK, now add to that everything you could attack Bill for. Well, except for that.
“Maybe especially that.”
Maybe, but let’s get back to Hillary. Without even reading the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, Sen. Clinton voted for the authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. This places her among Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and everyone else who naively thought at the time that we could tear down Iraqi society and reboot it as a democracy.
“A lot of people in Congress thought that would work.”
Yeah, and they were wrong. Just like the millions of yellow ribbon bumper stickers didn’t prevent Walter Reed Hospital neglect, no amount of wishful thinking was going to make democracy spontaneously spring up in Iraq after we destroyed their society and infrastructure. The fact that a majority in Congress voted for the Iraq war only proves that we need to get rid of this groupthink, even if that means tossing out this batch of politicians. Considering that Congress’ approval rating is even lower than the president’s, I think most people agree with me; Hillary is campaiging for the hearts and minds of the rest.
Then again, the status quo has supporters with pretty deep pockets. Maybe they’ll rally around the idea of Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton. It will truly make for an odd era in American politics. What will history say? “Americans liked the idea of democracy, but actually making choices was hard?”
“The Western world conquered much of the Middle East in wars that cost far more than they won—but the poor payed the price and the rich enjoyed the profits. All the while, dynastic clans clawed for dominance in the chambers of power. It was just another day in the Holy Roman Empire, and later— the United States.”