By now, you might have read this NY Times article about Senator Clinton’s difficulties in dealing with her vote to go to war. While others have commented on her disturbing belief in executive authority–which gets awful close to the ‘unitary executive’ concept espoused by the Bush administration, a loyal reader pointed out a very interesting part of the article that I had overlooked:
Mrs. Clinton’s belief in executive power and authority is another factor weighing against an apology, advisers said. As a candidate, Mrs. Clinton likes to think and formulate ideas as if she were president — her “responsibility gene,” she has called it. In that vein, she believes that a president usually deserves the benefit of the doubt from Congress on matters of executive authority.
Senator Clinton “likes to think and formulate ideas as if she were president?” Well, I like to think and formulate ideas as if I were the Dear Pangalactic Leader, but that’s not the reality in which we live either. Seriously, we’re not talking about “a” president: the failures in Iraq are due to a specific president, George W. Bush. The only way his disastrous policies will be stopped is if Congress–that includes you, Senator–reigns in the president.
That Clinton does not comprehend this speaks to her competency.
What’s more disturbing is the abdication of responsibility she advocates by granting the president of the benefit of the doubt. Let’s see if I understand this: Congress can go to the mat over something not that important (e.g., a highway bill), but in the matter of declaring war–perhaps the most important decision Congress makes–they’re supposed to grant the president the benefit of the doubt. That’s really backwards.
One self-deluded egomaniac president per decade is one too many. We certainly don’t need a second. God, I hope she doesn’t win the Democratic nomination.
This is not a turning point for Clinton. It is a failure to turn point. To win, Clinton must change course, and state that she was wrong to vote in favor abandoning Congress’s constitutional duty of deciding whether America should go to war.
There is no reason to believe the Iraq mess will not get worse between now and November 2008. The millstone of having once supported the Iraq war will prove to be much larger than it presently appears.
As with the Kerry joke, Clinton once again, in a complex move, finesses herself into an uncomfortable corner.
Pardon me for being cynical but I see Senator Clinton’s statement as just a way to get around voting for the war. Not that I blame her for that. Given the political situation at the time, there was really no way for a junior Senator to vote against it.
She’s just being true to her own self.
Unfortunately that self is gutless, unprincipled, self-seeking, time-serving, triangulating, climbing crawling aging yuppie scum.