Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hillary Hates You.

David Mizner, Huffington Post

She thinks you're weak. She has no respect for you, and her lack of respect amounts to loathing--the kind of loathing that the powerful feel for the powerless. She's confident that progressives are too impotent, divided, and disorganized to deny her the nomination.

How else to explain her vote for the Lieberman-Kyl Amendment, which designates "Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps as a foreign terrorist organization"? Do the math, people: the Revolution Guards are terrorists + Bush launched a global war on terror = _____. Jim Webb called the bill "Cheney's fondest pipe dream." Recall that "real men want to go to Tehran." Her vote tells you that she's cocikly crusing toward the nomination that the press has already awarded her. Her chief advisor, Mark "union buster" Penn has crunched the numbers and told her that she can defy the core beliefs of the party's core with impunity. She can prepare for the general election and focus on money and do AIPAC's bidding and still win the nomination.

John Edwards is betting she's wrong. Edwards is running a more progressive and populist campaign than Hillary, but the Clinton Machine, ever savvy, has convinced the MSM and even a few progressive bloggers that the differences between the two candidates are negligible. But Hillary's prowar vote on Thursday opened the door for Edwards and that night, at the debate in New Hampshire, he surged through.

"I voted for this war in Iraq, and I was wrong to vote for this war. And I accept responsibility for that. Senator Clinton also voted for this war.

"We learned a very different lesson from that. I have no intention of giving George Bush the authority to take the first step on a road to war with Iran.

"And I think that vote today, which Senator Biden and Senator Dodd voted against, and they were correct to vote against it, is a clear indication of the approach that all of us would take with the situation in Iran because what I learned in my vote on Iraq was you cannot give this president the authority and you can't even give him the first step in that authority because he cannot be trusted."

In a better, more logical world--one in which the war in Iraq had transformed the politics of national security--Edwards would have said that the lesson he learned from his vote on Iraq is not just that you can't trust George Bush but also that warmongering leads to war, which leads to occupation, which leads to disaster, or that change must come from within countries, that it cannot be imposed.

Nonetheless, the point was made. Edwards articulated an important difference between him and Clinton, and it's a difference that all Democrats, not just progressives, will grasp. With his commanding debate performance and that answer in particular, Edwards solidified his status as Clinton's main challenger.

We can argue till the troops come home about who, Obama or Edwards, is the superior progressive--indeed, in a subsequent post, I'll make the case for Edwards--but one thing is clear: only Edwards has been willing to challenge Clinton on ideological grounds. He has blasted her relentless corporatism and now, with this statement, her militarism as well.

This is not the first instance in the race that Edwards has carved out an important difference on national security. Unlike Clinton, he opposes the very concept of a global war against terrorism. And unlike Clinton, he backed the Webb Amendment, which would have made it a crime for Bush to attack Iran without Congressional authorization--a position that won Edwards no friends at AIPAC, which killed a similar measure in the House. And unlike Clinton, who would give Bush the 92,000 new troops he wants, Edwards isn't committed to making our monstrous military more monstrous. Huge issues, real differences.

Hillary thinks you won't pay attention to the differences, just as she thinks she can get away with casting a prowar vote in the middle of the race for the Democratic nominaton. John Edwards hope she's wrong.

So do I.

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