Sunday :: Aug 7, 2005

Out of Touch

by eriposte

UPDATE: A quick response to some of the commenters. Senator Clinton has a solid ADA score of 95 for the past three years. As Ruy Teixeira has pointed out, former Vice Presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards scored a 60 in his last ADA rating. So, while it is important to critique to Sen. Clinton where necessary (also see this link which Mary pointed out), we should not be sweepingly dismissive of what Sen. Clinton has done for the progressive cause.

This past week my wife received one of these mailers that we keep getting deluged with from various interest groups. This particular one was from Friends for Hillary - which redirects to Senator Hillary Clinton's re-election campaign website.

Now I admire Senator Clinton and support her re-election, but one look at the mailer tells me that her campaign is clearly out of touch with the current pulse of the electorate. Granted, the letter came with a specific questionnaire asking my wife to state the issues that matter most to her, but, it does not mention Iraq at all.

Part I of the questionnaire ("Ranking the Issues") does not mention the war or Iraq. Even the mention of homeland security is solely in the context of how the Bush administration is underfunding homeland security needs and in the context of the administration's unilateral policies and how that has reduced the number of allies and endangered our national security. The campaign may argue that the latter refers to Iraq (indirectly) but this is simply not enough. You have to take on the Iraq issue directly, not with weak, weasel words. I'm just stunned that the Bush administration's countless misdeeds on Iraq and how that has dramatically reduced our national security is largely ignored both in her letter and her questionnaire and at best relegated to some weak catch phrases about allies or whatnot.

Part II ("Rating the Political Parties") is much worse. There is NOT a single question in it about rating the political parties on how they (would) conduct the campaign against terrorism and against Iraq. Just utterly mind-boggling.

Part III ("Expressing Opinions") likewise has zero, zilch on terrorism, war or Iraq.

Part IV ("General") is optional and has to do with personal information on the person filling out the form.

Part V ("Additional Comments") is empty and is provided for people who want to add more comments.

If anyone of you gets a copy of this weird questionnaire, please take the time to let Senator Clinton know that 2006 and 2008 will not just be about Social Security, the environment, and all the other issues of the day that the overpaid millionaire consultants of the Democratic party keep whispering in the ears of the Democrats to make them feel "confident". It will be about Iraq, the war, and terrorism in particular, just as 2002 and 2004 were. To not recognize this even now and not use every opportunity to actively educate and influence supporters on these topics ahead of the election(s) is nothing short of continued political incompetence. To spend contributors' funds mailing out perhaps millions of letters with no mention of Iraq is nothing short of asking for another Democratic defeat in 2006.

P.S. It is ironical that Senator Clinton's letter has this to say:

If there is one thing that I have learned in my years in politics, it's that you can't let the opposition set the terms of the debate.
Senator Clinton, if you have really learnt this, you should be doing better on your setting the terms of the debate on terrorism and Iraq because you have indeed been giving the GOP too much leeway in setting the terms of the debate.
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