In humble attempt at casting this in the tradition of Socrates, a (slightly altered) quote:

"The unexamined vote is not worth casting."

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Hillary: Democratic Devolutionist

Yes, the above is about what I think Sen. Hillary Clinton would do for the Democratic Party if she were to be elected President. But believe me, I have no interest in simply flashing inflammatory images across the screen; rather, I have found that this point is supported by some simple facts that I, and numerous others, have observed. In my following post I'll note some reasons why I find that this polarizing quality is earned, not simple a fabled story of the political right.

As for this post though, I would like to point out the consequences of Mrs. Clinton's polarization. It is such that she would be voted out of the White House as quickly as she was voted in, in my view. (A serious qualification has to be added here to say that her ascendency into the White House is far from a given. The seemingly venomous opposition to her from various corners of politics simply makes her too risky to be the Democratic candidate for President in my judgment). But, if somehow she was able to get into the White House, I believe her polarizing nature would do a significant disservice to the Democratic Party (albeit somewhat unintended). The risk is simply too great that this polarization would impassion the political right to mobilize their base and once again flip the White House back into Republican control, thus cutting short the Democratic Party's opportunity to make any solid headway with a progressive agenda.

I'll make a quick point here for those who are uncertain of the degree of her polarization, although I would be surprised if any readers have not witnessed (or expressed) such polarization themselves. Note exhibit A, to the left. I first saw such a doll, alongside a Bush voodoo doll, at the popular bookstore chain, Borders. Plainly speaking, I think it's tasteless. But it is, nevertheless, representative of some of the strong feelings against her; and, it is worth stating, that there is no such Obama doll (or for that matter, McCain or Romney doll). Feel free to look for yourself, but on the Borders website here, and another site here, there were only Bush and Hillary dolls. The latter site even has toilet paper that can come with the image of Hillary, Bush or Cheney. The fact that Hillary uniquely falls into a similar category of the now infamous Bush and Cheney-opposition highlights the extreme nature of her divisiveness. I don't think it's entirely merited, as noted in a recent Washington Post article: "the same irrational Clinton hatred is alive and well in certain parts of the media." However, I would insert the word "somewhat" before "irrational," because I believe Hillary and her husband have earned this opposition of recent. As I have mentioned, I'll note in the following post some of why I believe this is so.

Update: To further emphasize an above point I made, the general election in November will undoubtedly be decided by middle voters. There's a block to the left and to the right that we can safely predict will vote their party, thus the moderates and independents will determine the election. Hillary's divisiveness, and the earned and unearned opposition to her and her husband, would entirely weaken her ability to garner those middle voters; conversely, Obama has consistently shown himself as stronger with independents than Clinton.

Update 2: Two new polls, one from Gallup and one from AP, place Obama as the most likely to win the general election race against McCain. Details here.

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