Obama vs. Hillary

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

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.

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55 Responses to “Obama vs. Hillary”

  1. #1 |  Mike | 

    Bill Clinton’s work doesn’t much matter to me (though at one point I idolized the guy). What matters to me here is the fact that Hillary now disgusts me. I was previously in favor of either of them, then as I listened to the two and saw Obama’s reserve and thoughtfulness, began to prefer him. Hillary continues to speak down to the electorate, to become falsely outraged, etc. It disgusts me. The presidency is not a game, and I prefer thought and reason to disingenuous soundbites.

    At this point I think I’d rather vote for McCain than Hillary. But it’s really all about the war for me. It’s not about just constitutional law, it’s about international law as well.

  2. #2 |  Bad | 

    Worth noting that Obama is a Constitutional Law scholar: that alone makes me think more of him in the realm of whether or not he’d have a more nuanced, rather than balls-to-the-wall, concept of executive power and citizens rights.

    Of course, Cindy McCain might be just as good, what with her own experience abusing prescription drugs, getting busted, and spending ten years in jail, after which she became a passionate advocate for the injustice of sentencing laws. Oh wait, no. Only the first thing happened.

  3. #3 |  Mike Schneider | 

    > Worth noting that Obama is a Constitutional Law scholar

    Oh, great….he’s a freakin’ college-graduate.

    He knows EVERYTHING now…..

  4. #4 |  Ginger | 

    I hope Obama finds his own voice in refuting Hillary Clinton’s slippery, insincere, negative and calculated form of campaigning. I dislike her more than I did to begin with due to her dirty tactics, lies and distortions of what her opponent’s point of view is. Hillary is a very polarizing figure; her nomination will make it harder for Democrats to win the Presidency and could impact Congressional seats as well. I hope we can elect a President whose word we can trust and whose character we can actually respect, for a change. Such a President would be Barak Obama.

  5. #5 |  Peggy McGilligan | 

    Hillary Clinton tries to deny the rotten job she’s done as a New York Senator, but Hillary defers to the voter on the topic of Reverend Wright. That’s because when Hillary & Bill Clinton founded their own college (in a sanctuary city, she calls an “empowerment zone”), they also combed through 40,000 résumés, all to the left of the Rev. Wright. The faculty sets the tone at any university, and the Clinton’s crème de la crème of the hard-left insured that theirs would be a blatant testimony to radical anti-Americanism and the politics of racial hatred. You say you’ve heard of tenured radicals – but never the University of Bill Clinton? Imagine what a couple of Clintons could do with a state university. Toss in a Vermont Lt. Governor and a few Middle Eastern flight students for good measure. Prepare to be amazed, your education is about to begin: http://theseedsof9-11.com