Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Who Are You Gonna Believe?

Byron York of the conservative National Review says that the "Take Back America" conference booed Hillary Clinton when she praised the American military:

"We're going to end the war in Iraq and finally bring home the troops," she said as a number of Code Pink protesters stood up in the audience. When she declared, "The American military has done its job," boos began to be heard around the room. As the boos increased, Sen. Clinton raised her voice. "The American military has succeeded," she said, to more boos. "It is the Iraqi government that has failed to make the tough decisions." Still more boos.

Bill Scher posted what actually happened here.

Now, the funny thing is that I was there, sitting among the journalists, pretending to be one hot babee journalist and stuff. And so I was actually present when the boos started and know what they were about. As Scher states, York is mistaken:

That's flat wrong. The Politics on the Hudson blog gets it right: "They jeered the Democratic presidential hopeful when she blamed the Iraqi government for the continued violence that has bogged down U.S. troops."

Indeed. Clinton used the moderate Republican argument that what has caused the war to bog down is the inability of the Iraqi government to take charge. There was nothing at all wrong with the planning of the invasion (assuming that it was planned at all), there was nothing wrong with dismantling whatever civil society Iraq used to have, and the new Iraq government is somehow supposed to be in control of a civil war which includes among the fighters many members of its own military and police forces.

The argument is weak as lukewarm water and really beneath Hillary Clinton's intelligence. That's why there was booing. I didn't boo, by the way, as I was just then devouring a cold bagel.

It's interesting to ponder why Clinton is so adamant about her pro-war stance and about the way she voted for the war to begin with. Everybody knows that not supporting Bush was political suicide in those days of solemn patriotism, and her vote is fully explained by that. Most people don't say it, but the reason lots of politicians voted to hand over the warkeys to Bush was because that's what the Americans, on average, wanted at that point of time. I remember.

Now, it's one of those slimy politician things to vote a certain way just because that might get you elected, and you might decide not to support politicians who do this in the future. Still, we mostly tend to forgive them for their inconstancy. Take Mitt Romney, for instance. His beliefs are swiveling around faster than a Utah weather vane, but mostly people don't seem to mind very much.

This brings me to the question why Hillary Clinton refuses to change her explanation about why she voted for the war to begin with. Perhaps she plans to continue the heroic effort George Bush began. Or perhaps she does not plan to do so, but believes that a woman can't change her mind. La donna e mobile, you know. My personal pet theory is that she thinks the danger from the latter option is greater than the danger of looking like a warmonger. I may be wrong.