Clinton: Not Another Coward in 08

NYTimes (Patrick Healy):

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton left a couple of things behind in New Hampshire this morning when she left for Iowa: Her vocal support for abortion rights and gay civil unions, both of which she touted in the Granite State but left out of her stump speech here today.

With every day the endless drumbeat of inevitability gathers behind Mrs Clinton.  Its getting so thick that we can hardly see the other candidates, even when they lash out in an attempt to be relevant, to be heard in a media that just couldn’t give a shit.  Its not that they won’t make headlines.  But in the odd paragraph, in the smirking subtext there will be an unmistakable current: “Ignore this one.  He is not a serious candidate”.  In exchange for a primary where candidates are selected based on positions and skill, we have a drawn out pre-game where the public shotguns cheap opinion polls and staggers to the primaries with a victor already decided.

This is not a good path to follow.  Hillary Clinton will be 2008’s John Kerry.  And who knows, John would do well against the catastrophic Republican bumper crop ’08.  But she’ll also be a centrist in liberals clothing.  And there’s nothing wrong with a good centrist when the common notion of “right wing” isn’t the insane pendulum swinging between nativist theocracy and corporate oligarchy.  Thats not the mark of a centrist.  It is the unmistakable stink of good marketing, and the singular reason why charges of “Republican lite” hit meat and bone.

There’s a host of really good reasons(cjallen, dailykos) to swallow our principles and support Hillary if she does end up as the candidate.  The people in power now violent despots, and life under either Thompson or a Giuliani would be a hellish innovation on previous incarnations of empire and aristocracy.

But we can dig deeper than principles, down to the very core of who we are, where the survival instinct and the people and causes we would die for live, breath, and growl.  Where swallowed principles and rage form a political philosopher’s pill, starting a social alchemy that leads to the reality “freedom” and “liberty” originally pointed to.  It is not too late to matter, not until the last jaded delegate casts that deciding vote.

Dennis Perrin:

Even The Nation ran Digby’s text, and it has fast become a kind of manifesto for the ’08 election and the seemingly inevitable coronation of Hillary. None of this is surprising. Online libs routinely employ political fantasy in their efforts to elect more Dems, regardless of what those Dems actually stand for in the real world.

Max Sawicky, on the other hand, saw Digby with clear eyes, and he continually shows that there are liberals who understand that this is a radical time, and that mush-mouthed pieties about “the American experiment” are not only useless, they are dangerous.

We will never even begin to break free of this system if so-called ‘progressives’ insist on speaking a mystical language, one that can be and is regularly ignored by our rulers. By doing this, we are essentially policing ourselves for their benefit. We may not, in our lifetimes, seriously undermine, much less dismantle, the corporate stranglehold on the planet. But we sure as hell have no chance if we cannot even identify what it is that holds us down, and speeches like Digby’s, while all nice and good, helps to keep us obedient and docile to this system.

To be a liberal in this day and age is to know anger.  It is to know a deep and abiding hunger for the fight.  The political world is vicious, and every drop of blood spilled makes us cry out for those who fall.  But we need to be sharp.  That means keeping discipline and wits, and applying the most dangerous of medicines, hope, to temper our wills and our language.  We live in a world where corporations and corrupt politicians control most of the power, most of the wealth, most of our lives.  But we can and must fight back.  As hard as we can.

Even if it were completely hopeless, to continue to fight for the sake of others is an expression of who we are.  It is our nature made manifest in our actions.  When we talk about being liberal, really truly liberal, we are discussing more than political affiliation.  We are entering into a sacred bond on par with bodhisattvas and saints.  To be a liberal is to be a person who cares about others, and who acts to help them.  Liberalism is the political expression of love.  It is fierce, it is powerful, and it will not die leaving its charges unprotected.  This is who we are.  This is why we fight.

We could use someone who reflects this, a politician who is dogged, cagey, and above all compassionate (Auguste, Pandagon).  If we are going to defeat Hillary and the corporate wing of the Democratic party, we need to pull behind a single opposition candidate, unite, and utterly crush her support.  We need to do so position by position.  We must tread precisely but fearlessly, making sure each point and counterpoint strengthens the idea of a liberal America, and recognizes the current reality of corporate rule.

Whatever happens, we should put everything we have into preventing Hillary from becoming the candidate in 2008.  A Pyrrhic victory would be a shattering one for the Democratic wing of the Democratic party.  Fuck big tent party politics.  This is our party.  Its time to kick the corporate squatters the fuck out.

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3 Responses

  1. GORE/OBAMA 2008

  2. Why is Edwards being treated like some unwanted step-child. I like the guy and that he has much more charisma, appeal, and character than Hillary.

    Having said that, if she gets the nomination, I’ll back her. She’d do a better job than a Retardican.

  3. Chris, that’s a very odd fantasy ticket.
    Obama still has that new democrat feel to him, even if it isn’t as bad as Clinton. Still, he’d make a much, much better candidate.
    Gore, at this point, is a fantasy. I don’t see him entering the race.

    Brian,
    He’s a good guy. The only thing I don’t like about him is his posturing on Iran. He’d make a great candidate.

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