Hillary Pre-empts Petraeus
by Jeff Dinelli
Last night in Florida, during the first presidential debate ever broadcast in Spanish, Senator Clinton essentially said it doesn't matter what U.S. commanding Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker say in their report to Washington, because there is no military solution in Iraq, only political ones, and what needs to be done right now is to start a carefully planned, safe withdrawal. "I believe we should start bringing our troops home," she said. "We need to quit refereeing their civil war."
Tomorrow, as Steve notes below, Hillary will have a chance to question Gen. Petraeus as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Though a lot of eyes will be on her as a presidential candidate, as a junior senator on the committee, any fantasies that she will jump up and down and call the general a liar are just that: fantasy. Her position on Iraq is already crystal-clear, and as a senator she will work within the body to try and forge a political solution to this thing. To overreach in this situation, like moveon.org did with their full page ad in the NY Times today, would be ultimately counter-productive for the senator. The right wing, starting with Duncan Hunter and his ilk today, is looking for that kind of thing so the Republican candidates for president and their water carriers at Fox News can try and divide the Democratic Party between progressives and centrists. They won't succeed because it doesn't matter. The Democratic Party will be the anti-war party in 2008 no matter what. Despite what Petraeus says during this testimony, basically consisting of lies serving as a sales job, Bush is not going to budge, because he knows the Democrats don't have enough votes to block a filibuster or to override a presidential veto. There is no room for one senator to be a maverick, a hero in this grotesque situation. This is extremely sad, as our men and women will continue to die over there every day in a hopeless cause. Our only hope for a quicker exit, almost criminally, pathetically, lies in Republican members of Congress somehow finding a conscience, and joining the Democrats in forcing a withdrawal.
On a lighter note, the race to the Democratic nomination continues, with almost daily attacks on Clinton coming from Barack Obama and John Edwards, mainly because she continues to dominate the polls, leading Obama 63% to 32% head-to-head, while the questions of Hillary's electibility seem to be questions no more. Her favorable numbers are going up, while Obama's are going down, despite what we are led to believe, that to know Obama is to love him, and despite his placing his salvation in the hands of a certain talk show host, who may soon realize he is not simply another book to sell.
Finally, a very interesting and balanced look at Obama's and Edwards' pleas for Hillary to stop taking lobbyist money. It seems the two guys are giving a false impression on this issue, if not being downright hypocritical. Apparently it's not ok to take a lobbyist's money, but it's ok to take money from the people who hire the lobbyist. I'm really not trying to rip on these two guys, but for those interested, please read the article, because the issue is not as clear-cut as they'd make it out to be. They're taking money from lobbyists just like everyone else is. So let's put that baby to bed and get on with the issues at hand.