My colleague Jacob Sullum notes that Republicans crossing over may have given Hillary her win in Texas last night. That would seem to jibe with the tacit support she seems to be garnering on right-wing blogs.
As I wrote several months ago, it would be really stupid for the Democrats to nominate her. Obama will whip McCain. Hillary may be the GOP’s last hope of retaining the White House.
The other reason I think the pro-war right is flocking to Hillary is that, like President Bush, they doubt she’ll pull us out of Iraq. She’s an unabashed warmonger. And don’t forget, she voted for the war in Iraq. If she gets the nomination, there will be no real anti-war candidate left. The pro-war crowd could then boast that neither major party primary produced a real anti-war candidate. They’ll try to spin this as validation of the war in Iraq. That’s an exaggeration, of course, given that two-thirds of the public still believes Iraq was a mistake. But it would seem to indicate that the war is quickly fading as a definitive issue for voters–even Democratic primary voters. And that can only help McCain.
I’d probably support Obama against McCain. I couldn’t vote for Hillary.
While I’d guess Obama would eventually disappoint once taking office, there is at least the chance that he’d take a more restrained approach to executive power, at least on issues like drug enforcement, civil liberties, transparency, and foreign policy. While I have fundamental disagreements with Obama on the proper role of government, he does at least seem to be untethered enough from ideology that he could be convinced in some areas with pragmatic arguments, if not philosophical ones. I also think there’s a good chance Obama would make some headway in criminal justice reform, and in stopping the mass federalization of crime. On the other hand, the NAFTA-Canada stuff was cynical and stupid, and exactly the kind of political maneuvering Obama’s campaign purports to be against.
Still, Clinton and McCain are known entities. And what we know is pretty unappealing. McCain’s marginally the better of the two, but only marginally. They’re actually remarkably similar on a wide array of issues. Beyond policy, though, they’re both unreservedly power hungry. I’m certain that both would continue to accumulate executive power, make government less transparent and accountable, and would extend our military presence overseas. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if McCain tried to bring back conscription. I don’t really see any other way we could continue the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, start a new war in Iran, keep up the bluster with Hugo Chavez, and still maintain any kind of readiness should something else break out in another part of the world. The military’s already spread perilously thin.
The Democrats would be really, really foolish to nominate Hillary Clinton, especially if Obama goes into the convention with more pledged delegates. Talk about alienating your base.
But then, this is the same party that gave us John Kerry. Hence, last night’s results.