Richard Scaife, Another Conservative Hillary Fan?

Hillary Clinton is sure getting along better with the “vast right wing conspiracy.” Despite all the conflict she has had with them, she is not above working with Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, and more recently Richard Mellon Scaife. It isn’t necessarily bad to mend fences with one’s political enemies and find ways to work together. The problem in Hillary’s case is that her views are far closer to theirs than many realize. I was not at all surprised to see today’s columnfrom Richard Scaife in which he reassesses Clinton and found many more areas of agreement than anticipated.

In some cases this is because Scaife agrees with virtually everyone but the extreme right that remaining in Iraq is contrary to our national interests, as well as the interests of the Iraqis. In other cases this may because of how conservative Clinton is on social issues (with the exception of abortion). I’ve noted her association with social conservatives in recent posts (here and here) and how this can be seen in many of her political positions.

It is not surprising that Scaife still finds areas of disagreement with Clinton on domestic issues. Her economic populism, along with her views on abortion, will prevent most conservatives from realizing how close she actually is to their views. From my perspective, while her populist economic views might be labeled as “liberal”I do not support such views any more than many conservatives do.

Someone like Clinton who is conservative on social issues, civil liberties, church/state issues, reversing the flow of power to the Executive Branch, and foreign policy, while populist on economic issues, is in many ways the worst of all possible choices in American politics and why, while I still have far too many areas of disagreement to vote for him, I’m not so sure that John McCain would be any worse (or more conservative) than Hillary Clinton as president.

Both Hillary Clinton and John McCain are similar in that they demonstrate the limits of our political labels which divide up most people as liberals or conservatives. Both Clinton and McCain actually support a set of positions which are contrary to the views of large numbers of both liberals and conservatives. I would classify both Clinton and McCain as conservatives, but in doing so also understand that neither fit in with the views of the bulk of conservative writers and bloggers. There are also many conservatives who would label both Clinton and McCain as liberals. That is fine with me in light of the limitations of political labels, as long as they also understand that this does not mean their views coincide with my views or the views of a number of other liberals.

More importantly, I hope that during this primary campaign more liberals are realizing that Hillary Clinton is not a liberal. While some still accept the incorrect conventional wisdom that Obama and Clinton are similar on the issues, a growing number of those in the liberal blogosphere are finding reason to oppose Clinton.

As I said at the beginning, if this was a case of Clinton making conservatives more willing to listen to liberal views, as Barack Obama has accomplished, then this would be a favorable thing. The problem remains that Clinton is promoting an essentially conservative agenda and continuation of Bush style politics and government. Instead of getting conservatives to consider liberal ideas, all Clinton is accomplishing is getting conservatives to realize to what degree she is really one of them.

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  1. 1
    Mark says:

    When Richard Mellon Scaife and Hillary Clinton both put aside their principals and embrace each other, I don’t know who to respect less.

  2. 2
    Lex says:

    Well said!

    I won’t vote for John McCain come hell or high water. However, i think that i would be more comfortable with him than with Clinton.

    I could at least hope that, without the pressure of pandering to the base, he might actually return to his maverick roots…the “I almost went Democratic, once.” John McCain.

    Clinton will almost assuredly govern from the right on social issues and write government checks that her economic populism can’t cash.

    Never mind having to deal with, “Well, I misspoke when i said that withdrawal from Iraq was definite and regardless of the current situation.”

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:


    My bet is that John McCain will be less conservative in office than he is when campaigning, when he needs the far right to turn out for him. He has to pander to the religious right now, but I’m hoping that should he be elected he will really tell them where to go. We know he has no real love for them.

    I also suspect Obama will be less “liberal” on economic policy than he is when campaigning against Clinton–but in this case I by “liberal” I mean supporting a government command economy, and not being this type of liberal would be a good thing. Obama has already shown himself to be less of a fan of a command economy, and he will be more free to express such views when not engaged in a Democratic primary campaign.

    I don’t take seriously the exact statements of any candidate with regards to what they will do in Iraq as the situation on the ground will change everything. Diplomacy, both within Iraq and with neighbors, will also play a big part and a candidate cannot say for certain what the outcome of such diplomacy will be until initiated. Surrogates for both Clinton and Obama have basically admitted that they may wind up changing their plans once in office.

    What is important with regards to Iraq is that the candidate understand why going into Iraq was a mistake and understand the harm which comes from remaining there. I would only trust such a candidate to get us out–although I have no idea as to how many months this will take. Of the three, Obama is the only one who has shown sufficient understanding of the problem to give me any confidence they will come up with a solution once in office that will get us out of there.

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