Monday, May 26, 2008

TNR Editors Slam Hillary, Compare Her to Bush

The editors of The New Republic published a scathing editorial, Recount II: Return to the Swamp on Hillary's speech in FL last week (I summarized that here.)

TNR addresses her fallacious arguments and her questionable character:

It is usually a mistake to read too deeply into the character of a presidential candidate on the basis of some tactical maneuver or grubby compromise. Anybody who was a saint wouldn't be in the position of running for the White House. And yet, Hillary Clinton's speech last week in Florida was so audacious, so divorced from reality, that it begs characterological questions.

In the speech, Clinton--summoning as much passion and moral fervor as she has mustered at any point in the campaign--demanded that the Florida and Michigan delegations be seated at the Democratic National Convention. She compared her cause to abolition and women's suffrage. And--perhaps even more outrageous to those of us who have lived through the last eight years but weren't around for Seneca Falls--she said the Democratic Party and Barack Obama were reenacting the Republican effort to prevent the Florida recount in 2000.

It is a repellent comparison.
The editors go on to point out the fallacy in her analysis and then acknowledge that

her comparison to the 2000 election does resonate in one crucial respect. In 2000, George W. Bush's campaign and its allies invented and discarded principles whenever it suited them. They called hand counts of ballots inherently unreliable. They insisted on following the letter of the law except in cases, like military ballots, where it benefited them. This proved to be a foreboding premonition of how Bush would use power as president.

Then they compare her failures to the 1992 health care debacle (I've disliked her for that long, for these reasons).
Clinton's behavior in this case offers a window into her temperament. She appears to have retreated into a cocoon of self-righteousness and unreality. Her management of this issue--and, in some ways, the whole campaign--echoes her management of health care reform back in her husband's first term.
Specifically they cite
  • her reliance on incompetent advisers
  • an inability to grasp the process,
  • confusing dissent with disloyalty
  • out of touch with political reality.
Then comes the climax, which echoes something I wrote in one of my very first blog Why Obama Must Beat Hillary back last September 2007. There, I outlined all the ways that Hillary Clinton resembled George Bush. I did a follow up Hillary to Promote Bush-isn Fear.

TNR opines here:
When Clinton came to the Senate, she made every effort to show that she had learned from her mistakes. But, in her capacity as candidate, she is an executive again, and it's clear that little has changed. The one positive quality that even her critics concede she has demonstrated is that she's a "fighter." There was a candidate like that during the 2000 Florida recount, too--a fighter who considered victory his birthright and who, unlike his opponent, would not let ethical reservations hold him back. That was George W. Bush.

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