I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Gordon and Hillary

Oregon's Senator Gordon Smith and New York's Senator Hillary Clinton may belong to different parties and live on different oceans but they do have something in common - they are both politicians above all else. Four years out of every six Gordon Smith is the ultimate wingnut. He has been a good Bush sycophant rarely failing his fearless leader. But Gordon has a problem. He is a wingnut Senator from a blue state so a couple of years before his next election he gives the appearance that he is drifting to the middle. We saw this most recently after the Rethuglicans lost control of both the House and the Senate and many of his fellow wingers were sent packing. Just a few short weeks after that election Gordon became a born again war critic. Of course Gordon is still a wingnut and if he wins reelection in 2008 he will quickly return to his wingnutty ways for another four years.

This brings us to Hillary Clinton. This from Krugman's column this morning.
And there’s another reason the admission by Mr. Edwards that he was wrong is important. If we want to avoid future quagmires, we need a president who is willing to fight the inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom on foreign policy, which still — in spite of all that has happened — equates hawkishness with seriousness about national security, and treats those who got Iraq right as somehow unsound. By admitting his own error, Mr. Edwards makes it more credible that he would listen to a wider range of views.

In truth, it’s the second issue, not the first, that worries me about Mrs. Clinton. Although she’s smart and sensible, she’s very much the candidate of the Beltway establishment — an establishment that has yet to come to terms with its own failure of nerve and judgment over Iraq. Still, she’s at worst a triangulator, not a megalomaniac; she’s not another Dick Cheney.
Hillary is in fact a DLC corporatist and neocon who wants the Democratic presidential nomination. This is not unlike being a wingnut senator from a blue state. Yes she is turning against the war but she is probably just a few weeks or months ahead of most of the Republican party. The fact remains she is a DLCer, Marshall Wittmann was recently singing her praises. About a year ago in The American Conservative Justin Raimondo reminded us that Hillary is Hawk
Eager to overcome her reputation as the leader of the party’s left wing, Hillary is “repositioning” herself, in modern parlance, as a “centrist,” i.e. a complete opportunist. She could have no better teacher than Wittmann, who from the pulpit of his “Moose-blog,” advises her to “seize the issue of Iranian nukes to draw a line in the sand.” While paying lip service to multilateralism, she should “make it clear that while force is the last resort, she would never take it off the table in dealing with the madmen mullahs and the psychotic leader of Iran.”

This advice was proffered on the morning of Jan. 18. By that evening, when Hillary gave her scheduled speech at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, it had clearly been taken to heart: “I believe that we lost critical time in dealing with Iran,” she averred. Accusing the White House of choosing to “downplay the threats and to outsource the negotiations,” she disdained Team Bush for “standing on the sidelines.”

“Let’s be clear about the threat we face now,” she thundered. “A nuclear Iran is a danger to Israel, to its neighbors and beyond. The regime’s pro-terrorist, anti-American and anti-Israel rhetoric only underscores the urgency of the threat it poses. U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal. We cannot and should not—must not—permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons.” To be sure, we need to cajole China and Russia into going along with diplomatic and economic sanctions, but “we cannot take any option off the table in sending a clear message to the current leadership of Iran—that they will not be permitted to acquire nuclear weapons.”


Hillary’s newfound centrism isn’t completely insincere. Her bellicose interventionism has a history: it was Hillary, you’ll recall, who berated her husband for not bombing Belgrade soon enough and hard enough. As Gail Sheehy relates in Hillary’s Choice:

Hillary expressed her views by phone to the President: ‘I urged him to bomb.’ The Clintons argued the issue over the next few days. [The president expressed] what-ifs: What if bombing promoted more executions? What if it took apart the NATO alliance? Hillary responded, ‘You cannot let this go on at the end of a century that has seen the major holocaust of our time. What do we have NATO for if not to defend our way of life?’ The next day the President declared that force was necessary.

Together with Madeleine Albright—who famously complained to Colin Powell, “What good is it having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?”—Hillary constituted the Amazonian wing of the Democratic Party during the years of her husband’s presidency. Her effort to outflank the Republicans on the right when it comes to the Iran issue is a logical extension of her natural bellicosity.
So is this the kind of person we want to get us out of the hell that Bush, Cheney and the neocons have created the last six years? And make no mistake just like Gordon Smith will revert back to his wingnuttery if reelected Hillary will once again become the Goddess of War once she gets the nomination.

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