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The Worse The Better Finally Pays Off For Hillary

By Al Schumann on Wednesday August 15, 2007 11:40 PM

Now there is no need to get freaky about the DLC, except when they peddle bogus accusations of anti-semitism. (For that, Ford deserves to get slapped upside the head with a wet mackerel.) They are an indispensable part of the party. They are big generators of ideas (I started to write generators of big ideas). They bring resources to the table. I am happy to work and commune with them, where possible. I happen to think that in terms of basic principles of policy, they are pointing in the wrong direction.

In a nutshell, we need social-democracy at home and non-interventionism in foreign policy. The public isn't ready for that yet, but it can be led in that direction. The idea should be to unify the country around something worth following.


Why not unite behind Hillary? Granted she's not ready to lead us into social democracy or follow a non-interventionist foreign policy, but surely we could lead her. As Howard Dean famously said, we have the power, except to the extent incumbent advantage, ballot shenanigans, gerrymandering, voter roll purges, money, more money and assorted dirty tricks kind of short circuit the power.

Says her deputy campaign manager Bob Nash, "She'll be as tough as any Republican on our enemies." And on our friends, he might have added, if they don't shape up. At the Take Back America conference in June the candidate drew boos when she declared that "the American military has done its job. … They gave the Iraqi government the chance to begin to demonstrate that it understood its responsibilities. … It is the Iraqi government which has failed."


Well, maybe not right away on foreign policy, and given her voting record, maybe not ever at all. So okay, she might have the juice on social democracy.

As she runs for re-election to the Senate from New York this year and lays the groundwork for a possible presidential bid in 2008, Mrs. Clinton is receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from doctors, hospitals, drug manufacturers and insurers. Nationwide, she is the No. 2 recipient of donations from the industry, trailing only Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a member of the Republican leadership.


That's one dubious disctinction, taking second to (former senator) Rick Santorum. The main problem with her from any "progressive" policy perspective is that she doesn't support single payer health care.

Public opinion is well ahead of Senator Clinton on health care and Iraq. I really don't think it's a question of leading them. For all the love heaped on Edwards and Obama, it's higly likely Senator Clinton is going to be the Democratic Party candidate -- and the DLC shows no signs of attempting to moderate her positions. So maybe getting a little 'freaky' about their influence is a good idea. And far from being indispensable, there's no way to get rid of them (short of turfing many Democrats out of office). There's no one in Democratic establishment who can seriously put a check on her or sway her if she decides to pursue a militarized intervention policy and cater to the health care profiteers. The Democrats and their voters are stuck with that. Pelosi and Reid aren't going to get all radical. Sweet reason and hard facts mean very little to them to begin with and once they lock in the votes, they mean nothing at all. I do understand that many Democrats do "believe in science", i.e. evolution is not evilution, global warming is not a hoax, vaccines work and so forth. But when push comes to shove. . .

"Raising retirement age or reducing benefits can't be ruled out if the Social Security system is to be saved from going bust, Rep. Charles Rangel said yesterday. 'All of these things are on the table to find some way to make certain that Social Security is solvent,' said Rangel, who is poised to take control of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee."


In a narrow sense, the Bushists's seven steps forward makes a Democratic potential one step back look good. Senator Clinton's votes in support of the Bushist agenda, already awful on their own, can seem pretty sinister in that light.

Too much pragmatism will keep the country stuck where it is now -- prone to precipitous military adventures, diddling with the health insurance industry, upholding homilies about personal responsibility in a labor market where work doesn't pay and individual financial risk worsens.

This is certainly true. But neither idealism nor constructive contributions to a policy debate, nor any effort to help with a platform has worked. Some of very best have tried that. It has repeatedly proved useless. The Democrats who might wish to consider something besides a capitulationist "go along to get along" strategy are at the mercy of aisle crossers, dive artists and right wing thugs within their own ranks. The Republicans have had plenty of help. Building a credible threat is a better option, which for politicians means threatening their ability to get themselves elected.

Comments (5)


Mea culpa! I can't believe I forgot those. I did my best to make up for it.


Brilliant, JAS. Just effing brilliant.


i reveived this hint from space
thru my fillings last nite:

people of amerika

build your view
not from the top down
or even the inside out
but from
back to front

guardian Zeetor (the magnificent)


I do not know anyone who has gotten to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but it will get you pretty near. ~
Margaret Thatcher
Hard work quotes

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