The Third Estate
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A Hypothetical

Monday, February 12, 2007
It is at least possible (if not probable) that Hillary Clinton will be the 2008 Democratic Presidential nominee. Tell me, Mr. Stoller, who do you think will be best served by your development of an anti-Hillary narrative? What happens when your least favorite Democrat is your only hope against 4-8 more years of Republicans? Why make the enemy's job that much easier?

Why is it so difficult to highlight the good things about your candidate, rather than bashing the others? Have we forgotten that every Democrat running for President is a liberal? The fact that someone is not as lefty as you might like or who disagrees with you on a salient issue is no reason to facilitate the success of a party that agrees with you on precisely nothing.

A little restraint please.
Posted by Arbitrista @ 8:03 PM
  • I do have to take issue with one thing: not all Democrats are necessarily liberals, at least if you draw a line beyond which a "liberal" would not cross.

    As for the attacks on Hillary for being insufficiently liberal? That's not gonna sway Republican voters much, and liberal voters are already going to be well aware of all of this.

    In the meantime, this whole exercise is useful in showing precisely where that line is.

    By Blogger Demosthenes, at 9:00 PM  
  • Thanks for the comment. I know that not all Democrats are liberals, although the party is far more homogenously liberal than it was a generation ago. The divide is now between the center-left and the left, rather than every possible permutation. Hillary is certainly on the right of the party, but she is still on the left of the country.

    There are 2 basic criticisms of Hillary from the left - that she is a hawk, and that she is an incrementalist. While you can disagree with either of these, neither makes one simply not a liberal. One tactical difference and one policy distinction does not a conservative make.

    I'm not so sure liberals know that Hillary is not liberal. It's easy to assume that everyone reads blogs and follows the news, but they don't.

    My real difficulty is that Stoller is suggesting an anti-Hillary narrative based on her ambiguity on the war that is very similar to the one that the Republicans hung on Kerry. I'm not going to say whether this attack is fair or not, only that I am not going to spend my time and energy developing lines of attack on candidates that I could very well end up supporting.

    By Blogger Arbitrista (formerly Publius), at 9:16 PM  
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