Hillary’s Move To The Right

If Hillary Clinton’s pandering and lies should allow her to win the Democratic nomination we could wind up in the unusual situation by modern standards that the Democrats have the more socially conservative candidate, as well as the candidate who comes closes to carrying on the Bush legacy. Michael Tomaskyhas also noticed the transformation of Hillary Clinton to the right wing:

Twice this week now, Hillary Clinton has stood there smiling like the Cheshire Cat as the governor of North Carolina used the word “pansy” and then as a union leader in the same state, who more famously referred to her “testicular fortitude”, went on to inveigh that Hillary was the only thing that stood between the good and God-fearing people of North Carolina and the “Gucci-wearing, latte-drinking, self-centred, egotistical people that have damaged our lifestyle.” Clinton, according to the report linked to here, “smiled sheepishly before breaking into a nervous laugh.”

As campaign moments go, these may not be up there with the Iraq-withdrawal debate or, Lord knows, truly important things like Barack Obama’s failure to wear a flag lapel pin. But they’re worth marking all the same.

These are explicitly right-wing tactics and talking points. Those of you across the pond may be unfamiliar with a very famous soundbite from the 2004 presidential campaign, which featured in a commercial that ran early that year in Iowa and was produced by the anti-tax group Club for Growth.

In the ad, a husband and wife discuss Howard Dean’s plan to repeal the Bush tax cuts. The happy couple join forces to say the following: ”Howard Dean should take his tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading, body-piercing, Hollywood-loving, left-wing freak show back to Vermont, where it belongs.”

It was garbage, but at least it stood to reason, under the logic of this country’s political climate, that a ferociously right-wing group (Club for Growth is known for finding even many Republicans to be “soft” on the tax question, backing right-wing anti-tax acolytes against a few Republican congressional incumbents) would employ such rhetoric against a liberal, Democratic candidate.

And now we are greeted by the spectacle of one Democratic campaign – no, not directly using, but getting a nice little happy kick out of seeing almost exactly the same rhetoric, right down to the choice of beverage, used against a fellow Democrat.

Clinton has had the opportunity to bring the campaign to a higher level, as Obama has done, but clearly chooses not to:

Clinton had the opportunity to say, during that ABC debate, something like: “You know, I don’t think the fact that Senator Obama served on a board will Bill Ayers some 25 years after the Weather Underground ceased to exist is relevant. Right-wing websites can traffic in that, and the mainstream media can if you want to. We Democrats don’t do that sort of thing.” But she piled on, even disingenuously implying that Ayers made comments “about” September 11 just because some remarks he’d made about his past happened to appear in the New York Times on September 11, 2001.

So, let Clinton revel in her incarnation as the sworn enemy of latte drinkers and Gucci wearers. If she somehow wins the nomination, it won’t last long. I expect the American people will be reminded of various episodes from her past that I won’t catalogue here because to do so would be to engage in the very kind of mud-slinging I’m rebuking.

And when they come up, those Gucci wearers and latte sippers will start looking better and better to Clinton and her backers. But don’t come crying to me.

Don’t come crying to me either. I won’t be voting for her.

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  1. 1
    Bart Stewart says:

    The Jekyll-and-Hyde transformation of Hillary Clinton has been the most striking part of this campaign season. As she began losing ground to Barack Obama all trace of ethics and honor went out the window and she became a barracuda. Is Karl Rove working for her now? Nothing she does will surprise me anymore. I have to wonder what is driving it? Ego-mania? Lobbyist money? Clearly her sense of entitlement to the presidency is palpable. That became clear with the explosive reaction of both Clintons to Bill Richardson’s decision to support Obama, as if they owned the man. I guess the big tip-off should have come with her announcement in ’92 that she and her husband would be having a “co-presidency.”   

  2. 2
    MsJoanne says:

    While I am a staunch dem, I am struggling with the my own ability to vote for her if it comes to that.  While I can’t picture McCain winning under any circumstances, I can’t see her being the representative for this country.  Her behavior and actions of late, are nothing short of appalling.

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    I place principles over allegiance to any political party. Hillary Clinton shares the same traits which cause me to oppose Bush and the current Republicans. Having a D rather than an R after name does not make her any more acceptable.

    On the contrary, given a choice of two conservatives such as Clinton and McCain, it might be better to have a Republican facing what should remain a Democratic Congress. We would also have the opportunity to seek change in four years. However if Hillary Clinton was in control of the Democratic Party we would have no real alternative to the Republicans for at least eight years, and possibly longer as the Clintons might succeed in permanently reshaping the party in their image.

    One way or another the Bush/Clinton dynasty should end this year. Hopefully it will be with Obama and not McCain being elected.

  4. 4
    Mike Butcher says:

    Jekyll and Hide?  There is nothing Jekyll and Hide about Sen. Clinton’s behavior.  Her biggest Jekyll and HIde move occurred after winning her first term as a Senator when she moved away from a “more liberal” position on political issues to a more centrist position.  For those of us who have loved to loath the Clintons for far longer than you who are distressed by her campaign against Sen. Obama, her move to the center was taken as politically expedient move to appeal to the broader electorate so she could run for President.  
    Her tenacity and hard ball tactics are no different than what she and Bill used during his campaigns of 1992 and 1996.   The shift in perspective is not on Sen. Clinton’s part, but on the part of those former supporters who now find themselves in opposition.  

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:


    There are definitely some people who backed Clinton and finally realized her true character by seeing her conduct during this election. Many others were opposed to Clinton from the start, with the majority of liberals (at least in the blogosphere ) disagreeing on favorite candidate when there were more choices but generally wanting Anyone But Clinton.

    It has been quite clear for a long time that Clinton would say or do anything, and ignore principles, when politically expedient.

    Even worse, when she did act based upon her principles at the time it was a disaster (HillaryCare).


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