Saturday, October 20, 2007


Is Hillary Clinton The Least-Bad Of The Democrats?


Tigerhawk writes:
The idea that Hillary may be the least-bad Democrat for Republicans who care most about foreign policy has widespread currency on the right, even if it is painful to acknowledge.
He cites Reason Magazine's Randy Balko:
Cato Institute President Ed Crane recently wrote a piece for the Financial Times pointing out that when you strip away the partisan coating, Mrs. Clinton's grandiose, big-government vision is really no different than that envisioned by the neoconservatives so loathed by the left. Clinton, remember, not only voted for the Iraq war, she still hasn't conceded she was wrong to do so, and has made no promise to end it any time soon.

In fact, the L.A. Times reported last week that Clinton has refused to commit even to pulling U.S. troops from Iraq by 2013, which, if elected, would be the end of her first term. TV journalist Ted Koppel recently told NPR that Clinton has admitted the U.S. would still have troops in Iraq at the end of her second term.

The 1990s, remember, weren't exactly a decade of peace. Bill Clinton ordered more U.S. military interventions than any other post-WWII administration, and there's no reason to think any of them were over Hillary's protestations. She supported the U.S. military campaigns in Haiti, Kosovo, and Bosnia. She once boasted that as the tension in Kosovo mounted, she called her husband from her trip to Africa and, "I urged him to bomb."

Hillary Clinton voted for both the Patriot Act and its reauthorization. She voted for building a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border. She voted to loosen restrictions limiting the federal government's ability to wiretap cell phones.
Regarding foreign policy, Hillary is definitely the furthest to the right among the Democratic contenders. As President, I'm sure Hillary would pursue foreign policy goals similar to those of her husband.

The problem with a Hillary Presidency lies in the future. As with all the Democratic contenders, she has a long term agenda with grave ramifications for future presidents and the long term interests of America. As I see it, she is among the group of Americans Gerard Baker refers to here:
There’s another, more important aspect to the world’s affection for those in America who are most critical of it. The Americans who win global approbation in Oslo or at the UN are not simply critics of current American policy. They want to construct an international system that will for ever prevent the US from pursuing its own objectives, a system designed to dilute, counterbalance and constrain America’s ability to govern itself. They prefer a world in which American democracy is subordinated to a kind of global government, rule by a global elite, tasked to make decisions on everyone’s behalf in the name of multilateralism.

Al Gore wants the US to give up its economic autonomy and submit to rule by binding international obligations to curb its carbon emissions. Some of the Democratic candidates for the presidency want to tie down the American Gulliver under a web of global treaties. The British Government, if recent speeches by ministers are to be believed, is now apparently seriously committed to the idea that only the UN has the legitimacy to determine how nations should behave. In other words, that a system that gives vetoes to China and Russia and honours the human rights contributions of countries such as Syria or North Korea should be accorded a full role in the promotion of the dignity of mankind.

There’s a larger irony in all this. Even as the US demonstrates the openness of its own society, its unrivaled capacity for self-examination and self-correction, a free system based on the absolute authority of the rule of law, it is told it must submit itself to the views of Moscow, Beijing, and Brussels.

Fortunately, while the American system may be forgivingly tolerant of people with wild and dangerous ideas, it doesn’t generally let them run the country.
But on January 20, 2009, we may very well have a Democratic President. And the reason I think Hillary is the worst of the Democratic contenders is that she'd be the most effective in accomplishing her goals. She would cede as much American power and freedom of action as possible to international institutions, particularly the UN her husband aspires (perhaps with her help?) one day to lead. (Just imagine the nightmare our country would face if her successor was confronted with Bill Clinton as Secretary-General of a newly empowered UN, especially if he/she was a Republican.) One way or another Hillary's legacy will be the diminished ability of future Presidents to protect American interests and the ever greater intrusion of foreign institutions into American life.


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