Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"You are lying" and "Clinton is too hawkish"...

This is merely my opinion regarding Clinton as SOS and therefore I cannot speak for everyone who did not support her in the primary (I did not support her, I was first an Edwards supporter then moved to Obama rather quickly despite some of my reservations). From some comments (by others) in various threads there are some very interesting themes emerging.

One... many at Kos hated Clinton, so that anyone that now supports her appointment as SOS was lying then or lying now.

Secondly... Clinton is so damn hawkish because of her support and vote for the war she is completely unfit to serve in Obama’s administration.

So, here I must refute these ideas...

Clinton fought hard during the primary and said some things that really pissed me off, just as many here were pissed. Some chose to express that anger in ways that might not seem as productive as other means but things were said during the primary, we all know that.

But when Clinton conceded and endorsed Obama, I was a bit shocked. I did believe she might keep fighting until the convention and even challenge his nomination at the roll call. But as history now shows us, Clinton not only endorsed Obama, she campaigned for him and urged her supporters to vote for him.

How much clearer could she have been, No McCain, no way, no how? She was very clear that McCain was not an alternative to Obama and by Republicans picking Sarah Palin as the VP choice (Sure, we all know McCain did not get his way) they gave Clinton an even bigger bat to hit that point home ; McCain/Palin were not an alternative to Clinton either.

I teared up when Clinton stopped the roll call and spoke those words that ended it as clearly as anyone could have, she will forever have a huge part in history for many different reasons and I think one of the most important was the grit and class she showed after she had lost the primary. It turned my head and it gave me the ability to forgive and forget. Yes, it can happen in politics as well, some things are just not worth hanging on to.

Is it possible that I might be the only one whose opinion of Clinton was drastically changed? I highly doubt it and I’m hoping that is the case, that many allowed themselves to be won over by her ardent support of Obama and her ability to be a “team player”.

Obama is also playing the game and he has given her a great opportunity to be a tremendous Secretary of State to put forth HIS agenda on Foreign Policy not her own. That’s where her perceived hawkishness is irrelevant to me, ultimately Clinton was chosen for her standing in the international community and relationships between world leaders that already exist. It is also a nod to her competency as a Senator and an opponent. It was a brilliant move by Obama in my opinion and a deserving position for Clinton as well, in my opinion.

But do you really think that Clinton would have enough sway over Obama to start another useless and illegal war? Really?

I know many here admired the fact that Obama stood up and spoke out against the Iraq war when it was not the politically expedient thing to do. I was also one of the many who never supported this war and I still feel betrayed by all that allowed themselves to be swayed by the bullshit meme put forth by the Bush Administration, either you are for us or against us. Clinton is not politically un-savvy, she knew she had to support the war, at least in her mind and at the time it was what she felt was necessary.

Clinton also knew (yes, all supposition on my part, I admit it) that she could not fully repudiate her stance on the war, it would mean admitting she did not do her homework and that she was possibly like every other Democrat (according to the right wing) soft on national security, etc. Clinton was in it to win and she made a calculated decision (just as John Edwards did, by the way, but he had nothing to lose in saying he was sorry, I wonder even now if he ever meant to see it through Super Tuesday).

Obama has proven that you can be for America and be against stupid wars. He’s held his own in showing that inexperience doesn’t mean dumb and that his intellect far outweighs the experience of the many people who supported this war in the first place. Clinton in his Cabinet will not overpower Obama nor will her “hawkishness”. Obama will not allow that to be the driving force of his Foreign Policy.

It is possible for former Clintons skeptics to support her appointment as Secretary of State without it meaning that we all lied just a few months ago. And by her full throated support of Obama during the general election she’s also proven that his agenda can be her agenda if it means improving our standing in the world and helping America be a better place for all of us.

Just call me a pragmatic optimist, I would much rather give people the benefit of the doubt and hope for the best once Obama is sworn in rather than mope about something that is completely out of my control in the first place. (Yes, the left has every right to speak out against the perceived move to the center, which is still more left than McCain would have ever been if he had won).


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