Thursday, March 22, 2007

Clinton spins the war vote

Oh, please...

From The Hill:

Former President Bill Clinton yesterday complained that “it’s just not fair” the way his wife, presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), is being depicted for her controversial Iraq war vote.

Speaking to hundreds of supporters on conference call, the former president said, “I don’t have a problem with anything Barack Obama [has] said on this,” but “to characterize Hillary and Obama’s positions on the war as polar opposites is ludicrous.

“This dichotomy that’s been set up to allow him to become the raging hero of the anti-war crowd on the Internet is just factually inaccurate.”

The ex-president’s aggressive defense of his wife’s position revealed frustration in the Clinton camp over how the issue is playing into the already-overheated presidential campaign.

On a conference call with Hillraisers, Sen. Clinton’s biggest donors, which The Hill listened to after being provided the call-in information, the former president said there was a stark difference between those who voted for the Iraq resolution and those who wanted to go to war.

In response to a question from one of the supporters on the phone about explaining Hillary Clinton’s Iraq vote to undecided voters, the former president jumped in front of former Democratic Party Chairman Terry McAuliffe, saying, “Let me answer this.”

He said he had re-read the Iraq resolution last week, and that his wife had voted only for “coercive inspections.” Clinton justified his wife’s refusal to apologize for her vote by explaining that she was acting out of concern that future presidents might need similar language authorizing “coercive inspections to avoid conflict.”

“It’s just not fair to say that people who voted for the resolution wanted war,” Clinton said.
Does he think anyone's going to buy that? Technically, he's right. Congress voted to authorize "coercive inspections," and for the President to return to the UN Security Council for approval before launching his invasion, and the President did neither. He pulled the inspectors out (and then claimed Hussein expelled them) and did not return to the UN until after he'd invaded to demand the UN retroactively give him authorization. Nobody would've expected the President to do that, right? Nobody except the millions of Americans who were sure he was going to war no matter the evidence or excuse. If the Democrats in Congress who voted for that resolution were among the segment of our population who didn't accurately assess Bush's intentions (which couldn't have been more obvious), that casts serious doubt on their judgement.

Either Bill Clinton is wrong and Senator Clinton did suspect this was a vote for war, or he's right and she was too naive to realize it was a vote for war. There's no way to put a good spin on this, so please, Mr. Clinton, stop trying.

2 comments:

Paul said...

There are legions of people out there who support anybody but Bush who've done a pretty good job of criticizing Administration "spin." I'd have expected them to have commented by now. Olbermann? Mathews? Hello?

Seems Senator Clinton's (excuse me, "Hillary's") in a bit of a bind. Lots of Dems voted for the authorization. Then they waged an effective PR campaign for "Bush lied" (spin?) to justify the war (were WMDs a valid basis for war? Debatable - but recently President Clinton's Secretary of Defense Perry said both he and Pres Clinton were convinced Hussein had WMDs) but they were hoodwinked, fooled, lied to. Saddam must have had a great program to destroy all his WMDs, get rid of all the evidence, remove all trace. I mean, they were really, really quick about it once Pres Clinton left office.

So they separated themselves from the Administration and sought to attract the antiwar voters (Democrats, Republicans, liberal, moderate, conservative - cuts across these categories). As the midterms show, they were effective.

Given the nature of the Democratic Party, the power brokers for nominees are rabidly antiIraq, so that's a big litmus test (Republican power brokers are really concerned with such vital questions as, "are you married? Once?" and "are you going to put reproduction and sex at the forefront of your agenda" or "should Ozzie and Harriet return to prime time?").

But pandering to either side is a good way to alienate about ten percent of the middle - enough to swing an election. But if you don't pander, or at least dance a pretty good jig, you may not get the nomination. If there's one thing Democrats are good at, it's fratricide.

Anonymous said...

Hillary Clinton is a liar and a power hungry idiot just like her husband...... they are the masters of lies...... and her husband left us with quite a legacy...... oral sex not sex at all.... PUHLEEEZE!!!! their very name disgusts me!!!!