Monday, January 29, 2007

Hallmarks of a Democrat

Hillary Clinton visited Iowa this weekend, causing a big stink in her wake. Video of the most talked about portion of her town-hall style meeting can be seen at HotAir. Yahoo also reports:

Clinton held a town hall-style forum attended by about 300 activists, giving a brief speech before taking questions for nearly an hour. Pressed to defend her vote to authorize force in Iraq before the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, Clinton responded by stepping up her criticism of Bush.

"I am going to level with you, the president has said this is going to be left to his successor," Clinton said. "I think it is the height of irresponsibility and I really resent it."


One questioner asked Clinton if her track record showed she could stand up to "evil men" around the world.

"The question is, we face a lot of dangers in the world and, in the gentleman's words, we face a lot of evil men and what in my background equips me to deal with evil and bad men," Clinton said. She paused to gaze while the audience interrupted with about 30 seconds of laughter and applause.

Meeting later with reporters, she was pressed repeatedly to explain what she meant. She insisted it was a simple joke.

"I thought I was funny," Clinton said. "You guys keep telling me to lighten up, be funny. I get a little funny and now I'm being psychoanalyzed."

She told reporters that evil men included al-Qaida leader

Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden, who remains at large. "Isn't it about time we get serious about that?" she said.


"The height of irresponsibility," spokesman Rob Saliterman said, "would be to cap our troop numbers at an arbitrary figure and to cut off their funding."

Clinton does not support cutting funding for American troops, but does favor that step for Iraqi forces if the Baghdad government fails to meet certain conditions.

Clinton defended the role that Congress has played, saying newly empowered Democrats are beginning to build pressure on Bush to act, but the public needs to be patient.

"We are at the beginning of a process," Clinton said. "It's a frustrating process, our system is sometimes frustrating."

My, oh my. Hillary hit all the major hallmarks of what it takes (at least since the '04 General Election) to be a presidential candidate for the Democrat Party, didn't she?

  • Emulating her favorite fellow senator John Kerr, she botched a bad joke (or, if she didn't botch a bad joke, she was read as having attempted a bad joke).
  • She turned a very serious--in my opinion the single most serious and important--issue into a laughing matter. After all, it is the President's single most awesome responsibility to protect the United States from "evil and bad men" and Clinton turned it into a joke--whether about Republicans, Ken Starr or her husband. This sort of joking is something we should have gotten used to by now, though.
  • Flip-flopper. "I was being serious." "I thought I was funny..." Can she have it both ways? Can she be serious and be funny? No. I don't think so.
Beyond the above outline idiocy, Clinton illustrated yet another contradiction in her views on the war. Consider this: Senator Clinton does not support Bush's troop increase. She does not support a new strategy in Iraq. She wants to "cap" troop numbers and funding at their current levels (thus maintaining the status quo), yet she has the audacity to say this:

"We are at the beginning of a process [...] It's a frustrating process, our system is sometimes frustrating"

Clinton defended the role that Congress has played, saying newly empowered Democrats are beginning to build pressure on Bush to act, but the public needs to be patient.

Certain members of the Congress need to heed this advice: be patient. Bush has acted. That's the reality. He has changed leaders and strategy and initial reports seem to suggest some measure of success.

Hillary says, "Isn't it about time we get serious about [the War on Terror]?"

Yes, it is. It is time that you--Democrats--get serious about the War on Terror. You don't like the Bush policy. Fine. I myself am not convinced it will work. But at the moment it's the best we've got. So either get serious and provide an alternate plan, or shut the hell up.

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