Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hillary oh Hillary, Why Do We Hate Thee So?

My good friend Eric wanted to post the following on his decidedly non-political blog, but chose not to (because politics, like religion, doesn’t play well with others). He agreed to let me post it here though, because it makes for an easy response post of my own:

Title: Advice from a Republican to the Democrats

Dear Democrats,

Every time I see a poll in the news, Hillary Clinton is leading. This tells me that you people are terribly confused about how to win the 2008 election.

You see, over here on the right, we are not at all happy with our current crop of candidates. But I promise you, we /will/ vote for one of them in November 2008 if Hillary wins the Democratic nomination. We /hate/ her.

In this primary, don’t vote for the candidate you like the most. Vote for the one that we Republicans hate the least. Give us Barack Obama or John Edwards and you’ll get lots of us voting for a Democrat for the first time in our lives.

Thanks for listening,

Eric Sink

PS. Don't ask us why we hate Hillary, and don't try to change our mind. Either one would be a waste of time.

The Hillary phenomenon has always fascinated me, and it is the same with all Republicans I know – a seething hatred of her that goes beyond all normal logic. Kind of like how I felt about W before I really had a right to (circa Aug 2001). Sure, he was a war deserter, had a history of shady business dealings, executed people giddily, and had failed at just about everything he did, but that didn’t really explain the depth of my dislike for him. It might have had something to do with the frat-boy smirk. But I didn’t really understand the illogical hatred of the Clintons until W came along. After W, we now all get to wallow in the same emotional sinkhole.

The irony of Hilary is that while conservatives hate her for being so leftist (or whatever it is they hate about her), she’s managed to alienate much of the left as well with her hawkish pandering to the right in the last 5 years. She has been a big war supporter, hasn’t stood up against torture, didn’t fight very hard against arch-conservative supreme court judges and even tried to introduce some legislation about flag burning. The right isn’t buying any of this, but many on the left are now convinced that either she’s serious, or will at least continue to pander to the right if elected, which is effectively the same thing. She is the only Democratic candidate that I would consider voting against in a general election (with a 3rd party vote) simply because she’s turned up missing on so many important issues.

So how can she be ahead in the polls? It is a mystery to me. Maybe people are just nostalgic for that innocent era in American life when a Clinton was running the country, prosperity abounded, and all we had to worry about was the president’s sex life. Maybe people are pulling for the first legitimate woman candidate. Maybe all the other Democratic candidates are splitting the informed, reasoned vote, and she will have a huge surprise ahead of her when some of them start dropping out.

But I do agree with my Republican friend. If Hillary is nominated, she will get clobbered in the general election (assuming the Republicans put up someone to the left of Attila the Hun, which isn’t a given). Too many people just can’t stand her. While Democrats don’t want to repeat the mistake of nominating someone based solely on whether Republicans might like him or her, it would still be foolish to nominate someone who is right of center in practice AND widely vilified by the right.

Besides, if we want to be historic, Chris Rock points out that a black man would win a suffering contest against a white woman any day of the week.


brownie said...

You say Hillary would "continue to pander to the right if elected."

Tell me, what is the real and effective difference between "pandering" to the opposition and trying to be a centrist? After all, the President of the US works (in theory at least) for ALL the people in the country, not just for those of his/her party.

I think that in this point in our history, the majority of people in this country WANT a centrist, who is not an idealogue that sways too far to either edge of the political spectrum. And that means that person must make comprimises. If going along with things that don't always fit her party's platform or personal viewpoints means she is a traitor (to her party), then the same can be said for just about every president who ever took the oath. No politician will get their way all the time (except of course W, who flaunts the rule of law openly and yet goes unpunished by the Dems who were elected to put an end to his BS).

And because the Dems took over in the last elections, and because W's popularity is so low, and because of the war, and because I think the electorate really want a change of...I don't know...let's call it...responsibility and integrity.. in their Commander in Chief...it is my prediction that Hillary WILL be the next president.

Of course, I can't see the future, but that's what the mood of the country feels like to me. Certainly things could change drastically in the next year and four months, but unless they do, they may have to dump that silly theme song she chose for a new one: "Hail to the Chief"

Eric Sink said...

I wish I had written my rant to be less about Hillary and more about the election.

Take a look at the viable republican candidates. Do you really want one of these nitwits as our president? Neither do I.

We (the right) just don't have a viable candidate that anybody is going to want to vote FOR. You (the left) have two, maybe three if Gore enters the race. Please, please put one of them on the ballot.

If we end up with Hillary vs. Rudy, the election is gonna be just ugly.

Lots of democrats will go to the polls and vote for Hillary. They'll end up unhappy in the morning when they realize they're facing 4 more years of the republican regime.

Lots of republicans will go to the polls and vote against Hillary. They won't even know who her opponent is. They'll end up unhappy in the morning when they realize that Rudy won. It never occurred to them that voting against Hillary is the same thing as voting for Rudy.

You (the left) can fix this problem. Put Obama, Edwards or Gore on the ticket. It really doesn't matter which one.

Dan S said...

Brownie defending Hillary? The apoclypse must be drawing nigh... :)

I guess I'm saying I don't see Hillary as much of a centrist. She's been very much a war hawk, until it was a political liability, and is now trying to claim she wasn't. There's a difference between centrism (say, Obama), and simple political expediency.

Eric, sorry to get lost in the muck of Hillary. The Republicans do seem to have mostly dud candidates, but that actually scares me, because it is possible that one of them could get elected. We'd be looking at 4 more years of W-like governance.

My dream ticket would Obama/Gore, with Gore acting as a kind of Environment Czar. I think Obama and Edwards might need someone with more experience on the ticket to be more attractive, and Gore would surely provide that.

brownie said...

I wasn't defending Hillary, just calling like I see it, as is my wont.

But I do believe the Apocalypse draws nigh.