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.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Over the line!

As I said below the Clinton's have made it increasingly difficult for me to defend them. I have been sympathetic in part because of the misogynistic attacks by the bobble head DC pundits. My support for Hillary has been the result of my belief that it is essential that a Democrat be elected in November not because I like her (or Bill). John Edwards would have been my first choice but he never seemed to be in the race. I still see Obama as an empty suit who will not be able to withstand the Republican assault he will receive in the general election. While I don't really have a problem with the confrontations that have been part of the campaign I do have a problem with Bill Clinton's role as hit man. So does Josh Marshall and he explains why in The Problem With Bill 2.0.
And yet I cannot deny that I've felt a mounting sense of unease verging into disgust with Bill Clinton's increasingly aggressive role in the campaign over the last couple of weeks. So I've tried to figure out just what it is that's gotten to me. To give you some perspective, I don't think there are many people who are bigger fans of Bill Clinton than I am or who've expended more ink defending him and his presidency. Nor am I particularly sold on Obama's candidacy. Transcendence isn't usually a big sell for me in politics. And I continue to have my doubts about whether Obama is tough enough or savvy enough to withstand the avalanche the Republicans will throw against the Democratic nominee this fall.
Josh goes on to explain the ex President Bill Clinton is the unofficial head of the Democratic Party. Now we would expect him to support and even campaign for his wife but he should not be the front man in what amounts to Rovian style politics. And Josh makes another excellent point:
But before I finish there's another part of this that is I think even more important. With the exception of a few days in early January I've gone on the assumption for many months that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee. But I think Bill's actions have greatly diminished her. He has put her back under his shadow where she hasn't been for years.

For the moment, I doubt either of them is losing much sleep over that. Get through today and then worry about tomorrow. But I think she looks much smaller now. He's dominating the race. And that makes her look like a weaker figure -- something that will not wear well in the general election. And this campaign really suggests this is going to be some sort of co-presidency. When Hillary's getting knocked around by the folks on the Hill is Bill going to go Larry King to knock her enemies around? Will he be going off to foreign countries on his own little diplomatic missions?

I had assumed he'd remain a step in the background as he has through through most of this decade. But that doesn't seem to be the case. If the constitution allowed it, I'd happily have Clinton back. I'd happily have Hillary in his place. But I don't want them both.

The presidency is a singular job. It should stay that way. And it's precisely because I'm looking forward to supporting her if she is the nominee that I hate seeing her being overshadowed by her spouse and having her husband bigfoot the process which diminishes her and makes me think her presidency could be a 4 year soap opera where Bill won't shut up and let her have a shot at doing the job.
Now I still think it is essential that a Democrat get elected, I still don't see anyway Edwards will get the nomination and I still have serious doubts that Obama can win a general election against John McCain. But I'm about ready to take my chances anyway and hope that the Republicans nominate someone other than John McCain.