Sunday, May 4, 2008

Bad Policy

The astute Hilzoy penned an excellent piece on Clinton's unsuitability as President based on her combativeness and willingness to pursue any policy--regardless of its implications--for political expediency.

Based on this episode, how much confidence can we have that she'll really be wiling to go to the mat to combat global warming? None at all. Based on her vote for the Iraq War Resolution -- a vote that was, at the time, seen (wrongly) as one that Democrats had to cast if they wanted to secure their own political viability -- how much confidence can we have that she'll be willing to go to the mat to protect our national interests or to prevent a pointless, stupid, destructive war? Likewise, none at all.

If there's anything we should have learned from George W. Bush, it's that generalized combativeness is not a good thing in a President. We need not just someone who's willing to fight in general, but someone who's willing to fight for the right things. If you think that the right things just are the things that advance Hillary Clinton's political interests, then there's no problem. But if you want someone who is willing to fight for good policies that are in our national interest, that actually address serious problems, then it's worth recognizing that while she is more than willing to fight, she is not willing to fight for that.
A fair assessment of Senator Clinton's history as a legislator is indeed one of pure and simple political expediency. She's never gone to the mat for the correct policy issue if that policy could remotely injure her future prospects. With that said, how effective a legislator; much less President would Clinton make? Not very. She's not a leader. She's an expectations manager looking for the next opportunity to further her own political ambition.

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