July 10, 2008

How About It, Barack?

A letter to The New York Times:
To the Editor:

The analogy between Senator Barack Obama’s yea vote on Wednesday for the FISA amendment act and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s yea vote in October 2002 for the Iraq resolution is not to be missed or understated.

Mr. Obama did not want to hand John McCain a cudgel with which he could be attacked as soft on terrorism during the presidential campaign. But is that not precisely the reason Mrs. Clinton, who at the time still had not decided whether to run against the incumbent George W. Bush in 2004, voted for the authorization of military force in Iraq?

In each case, passage of the bill was a foregone conclusion, so the only effect of a negative vote would have been potential harm to an imminent presidential bid.

Is Mr. Obama now ready to concede that Mrs. Clinton, rather than showing poor foresight, was just exercising good political judgment?

James Tocco
Cincinnati, July 10, 2008
Mr. Tocco is just mean. As we all know, being mean is the cardinal sin of political commentary.

Never mind.

(As explained in many essays here, I emphasize that while the crudest of political calculations was involved in both instances, calculations which are almost invariably in error, it is also the case that Obama and Clinton positively believed in their votes. As is true of Democrats generally, they both support an authoritarian-corporatist state at home and aggressive interventionism abroad. It is a matter of considerable astonishment to me that, even at this late date and as even a brief survey of leading "progressive" blogs reveals, most Democratic partisans are incapable of grasping the glaringly obvious: the Democrats act as they do because they want to. If these self-blinded Democratic supporters ever wish to regain a tenuous foothold in reality, they would be well advised to give up their desperate grasping at straws and face the truth. It doesn't hurt all that badly, and only for a few years.

Of course, they may have to question some of their most deeply held and comforting beliefs and give up many of their allegiances -- but then, those don't seem to be working out so well for them, do they? They certainly aren't working out at all well for those principles they claim to be so concerned about. Yes, the emphasis is decidedly on "claim.")