Hillary, Oh Hillary, Oh Have You Seen Hillary, Hillary The Right Wing’s Lady?
I've been getting the feeling lately that Slate has joined the “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” what with the neo-con Christopher Hitchens (who since 9/11 seems to have taken to downing his booze with a Kool-Aid chaser) propping up the Bush administration on the pages of Slate every chance he gets. And now, the VRWC seem to be wooing the very woman that coined the phrase, Ms. Hillary Clinton herself.
Let me start by saying that I like Hillary Clinton and I think she would make a fine President. Not because Bush has lowered the bar, but because she is incredibly smart, a shrewd politician, a skilled legislator, has a deep understanding of world affairs and a firm grasp on policy. If we weren’t mired in a war that she supports, hated around the world due to that war and on the brink of becoming a full fledged Corportacracy, I’d vote for her in a heartbeat.
A friend sent me this article from Slate, titled “Republicans For Hillary.” Reading this, on the heels of news that Rupert Murdoch will be hosting a fundraiser for Hillary in June, I instantly went into campaign strategy mode trying to figure out why the Republicans would be talking Hillary up now.
I do think that the Republicans are dying to run against her, for them she's the perfect candidate. If she gets the nomination, no one evokes more hatred from the Republican base than Hillary and her husband, virtually guaranteeing a great turnout for their side. And if she wins, well, she's a war hawk, she's pro-globalization and she's making overtures to the anti-choice crowd so really, Republicans hardly lose if Hillary wins.
Republican strategists are not unaware of the debate going on within the Democratic Party. They have spent the last several decades smearing liberal ideology and re-branding the Democrats as weak and out of touch with mainstream American values. Of course the opposite is true (or at least it used to be), but the Democrats have fallen for the myth and have acted accordingly, leading to loss after loss and a more divided electorate. When the Democrats failed to be the party of the people, they lost the people, and until they become the party of the people again, they may still win elections, but they will win them by the slimmest of margins. Republicans know this and are fearful of a unified Democratic Party that returns to its principles and pushes a progressive agenda that the people so desperately need.
So where does Hillary Clinton fit into all of this? If I were a Republican strategist, I would be chomping at the bit to run against her. She has a liberal background that she has run away from, making it far too easy to scare her into claiming the middle ground that will inspire no one, and lead to a race that will come down to authenticity, character and how comfortable the American voter feels with each candidate (expect to hear the “do you really want a girl in the White House with a war on?” meme). Republicans cannot win on the strength of their ideas, but they can win a popularity contest and that is exactly why we must put up candidates that are strong on progressive ideas, have strength of character and most importantly, buck the corporate establishment and reclaim government for the people. Hillary just won’t do because “fine” is not enough to get elected, and it certainly is not enough to lead us out of the deep dark hole we currently find ourselves in.