Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bad Rachel Calls Hillary's Bluff

We all do it. We spin out visions of the future. At times, knowing what might happen is just as important as knowing what is happening. Besides you cannot prepare for something that has already happened. And if you want to know the truth of today's experience, that will more likely be decided by what happens tomorrow than by what happened yesterday.

It seems clearer and clearer by the day that the President Obama is leading his party to a catastrophic mid-term election. The savior is fast becoming an albatross; hope is morphing into anger; nuanced thinking is looking like ineptitude.

The American people are waking up to the error of their ways. Many of them cannot wait to have the opportunity to express themselves at the ballot box. Some, like Evan Bayh, did not want to wait for November.

Evan Bayh's withdrawal from the Indiana senate race should not just be read as a condemnation of an overly partisan Congress. If you call Congress hyper-partisan you also need to ask who is in charge . At the least, Bayh wants to distance himself from the Obama administration and the approaching electoral calamity.

Why would he do so, if not to leave the door open to a primary challenge? Trying to dethrone a sitting president in a primary is not very easy, but it has been done. It looks today as though the left wing of the Democratic party will never accept a moderate like Evan Bayh, but this same wing has been empowered for the past year, and what has it accomplished. Will a humbling defeat cause the Democratic party to trade in some of its zeal for a possible victory?

Now, we hear Lanny Davis, a notable Clintonista, call Obama: "an ineffectual president." To which he added: "... the absence of effectiveness combined with the cynicism of government because of that absence of effectiveness ... is toxic."

When Lanny Davis starts speaking out against Obama, you know that something is afoot.

After all, if Obama fails, and especially if he fails to help Democrats hold on to Congressional power, who would be better placed to replace him in the hearts and minds of Democrats than the I-told-you-so candidate, Hillary Clinton.

We all know that Hillary will present herself as the most qualified and competent candidate, with a wealth of executive and legislative experience... what better antidote could there be for the ineptitude of the current administration.

Among Democrats Hillary Clinton has an aura. For having suffered the slings and arrows of political martyrdom she wears a halo that makes it nearly impossible for people to question her qualifications or abilities.

Everyone thought that Hillary was an inspired choice for Secretary of State. Even conservatives jumped on her bandwagon, because she had presented herself as a foreign policy hawk in the midst of a bunch of weak-kneed liberals.

And yet, did anyone ask whether she was qualified for the job? Did anyone ask how well-versed she was in foreign policy issues? To my recollection, no one even raised the issue.

Foreign policy is an enormously complicated and difficult field. Most effective Secretaries of State-- think of Henry Kissinger-- have spent most of their lives grappling with the complexities of foreign policy. They are specialists; they have an exceptional grasp of the field. We may not all agree with their policies, but they are not babes in the woods when it comes to foreign policy.

We cannot say the same about Hillary Clinton. She has no background in foreign policy and no real experience in the field. While in the Senate Hillary was not on the Foreign Affairs committee.

We are indebted to Rachel Abrams, of the new and excellent blog "Bad Rachel," for having reminded us of this truth. According to Bad Rachel, Secretary Clinton simply does not know what she is doing. Link here.

For example, yesterday in Doha, Qatar Hillary announced that today's Iran is: "a far cry from the Islamic Republic that had elections and different points of view within the leadership." See Abe Greenwald's commentary here.

Greenwald was properly horrified to hear an American Secretary of State "praise the freedom and pluralism of Iran's Khomeinist revolution." This same Islamic Republic held American diplomats hostage for over a year in 1979, has always supported Hamas and Hezbollah, and has been a major state sponsor of terrorism.

The points are so obvious that they are painful. I imagine that by now most of the world probably does not take what Hillary says very seriously. They know she is in over her head, does not know what she is talking about, and is just rambling on.

We, however, must keep this all in mind. The time might soon be on us when the Democratic party will try to rally the nation around the executive leadership of Hillary Clinton, citing among her qualifications her amazing grasp of foreign policy.

Thanks to Bad Rachel, we can hope that the free ride is over.

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