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Hillary Clinton: Too much of a Clinton Democrat?

By Joel Peskoff, NY activist  Posted by Joan Brunwasser (about the submitter)     Permalink
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Markos Moulitsas is right on target with his analysis of Hillary. Even though she represents the second most liberal state in the union, she 's a particularly uncourageous candidate. Although New Yorkers are overwhelmingly against the Iraq War, Hillary has yet to hear her speak forcefully against the war or defend the war against critics. That 's what spirited politicians do, either side with critics or explain why critics are wrong. The war is an issue that she completely ducks, which repeats the proven losing strategy of the past that has relegated the Democrats to minority status. The theory that a winning strategy requires avoiding controversy that might offend potential voters has been completely discredited at the polls. Yet, many Democrats cling to that failed strategy. Democrats and the country long for candidates with backbone. That was why Howard Dean excited so many that he was able to stage a high funded grassroots campaign without a dime or a nod from the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC).

Hillary is the 2008 frontrunner because she merely name recognition. The day is young and Washington insiders are a poor proxy for regular Democrats. As 2008 approaches, the electorate will learn new (or recall old) names. Primaries will test whether she 'll excite. I don 't think she will. She and Bill have always been cautious politicians in fact, nauseatingly cautious. If GW Bush is stubbornly uncompromising, Bill Clinton was renowned for compromising the heart of his policies in order to assure acceptance. Hillary shares her husband 's characteristic.

Hillary is shell-shocked from the 1990 's when the landscape was different. George W. Bush has given the Democrats a great gift the living failure of right-wing extremism. Democratic no longer must shy away from their principals out of fear of be branded 'liberal. ' The Bush years have done wonders to discredit the myth that Republicans represent the conservative values of small government; a government that must not interfere with personal liberties; and must resist foreign intervention. The Bush years have proven that Republicans in control of the entire government leads to nothing nobler than a corrupt power-grab that formulates policies that over 75% polled think go in the wrong direction. This is a time for Democratic candidates to shamelessly champion core principals not hide from them. For me, Hillary isn 't the candidate to do that. Al Gore has shed his 2000 blandness for eloquent passion. Will he run in 2008? That 's left for another day.


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