Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hillary's first national TV ad and her dodging tactics

Hillary Clinton has her first national TV campaign out in Iowa, and for me it simply reinforces my view of her--and that view ain't good.

The theme of the ad is fine, namely that Hillary is compassionate and wants to make life better for people who have been marginalized. However, the main catchphrase is something with which I have several problems.

Throughout the ad, Hillary says "If you are a __________, you are invisible to this President." She's talking about George W. Bush. And while the groups she mentions have been invisible to some degree to Bush, what the hell does that have to do with the 2008 campaign? News flash, Hillary: George Bush ain't running for President in 2008. You are not running against George Bush. None of the Republican candidates are named "George Bush." To me, her constant references to Bush are similar to wingers always invoking 9-11. It is an emotional ploy to take away focus from relevant matters. So Hillary says she will be better than George Bush. Whoop-dee-damn-doo! My dog would better than George Bush. So Hillary now wants to run against George Bush? If she really thought Bush has been so bad, and if she thought she would be so much better than him, why didn't she try running against him in 2004? Only now that Bush cannot run and will soon be out of office does she try to run against George Bush. Wow, how courageous. Did it take her this long to figure out that Bush has been a bad President? If so, she's not nearly as smart as she claims to be.

This ad's invocation of Bush also shows a real arrogance to me because Hillary is acting like she has already won the nomination. It gives the appearance that she has already ordained herself to be the nominee. She can smile and wave and say "I know I have to earn votes" all she wants, but ads like this reveal her true nature. She thinks she has already won, and I don't like that.

Hillary has shown that she will do or say anything to further her political career and win elections (read this post for a few details). And her responses in the debates to hypothetical questions provide more proof. In a debate in early June, Joe Biden said he was in favor of using military force to stop the genocide in Sudan's Dafur region. The moderator then asked if the other candidates agreed, and here's what Hillary said:
Well we're not going to engage in these hypotheticals. I mean one of the jobs of a president is being very reasoned in approaching these issues. And I don't think it's useful to be talking in these kinds of abstract hypothetical terms.
Excuse me? Not useful to know where a candidate stands on a major world event that is actually taking place right now? Not useful to know how a candidate might choose to use the military? Give me a break. Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune addressed these questions in an August 8, 2007, blog entry:
Only cowards duck them, I say. The hypothetical question--"What if ...?" -- remains one of the great tools of ethical exploration and argumentation.

As I wrote in a column [in 1998], answering hypothetical questions can push a person toward moral clarity, promote intellectual rigor and self-understanding, and build guideposts into the metaphorical road ahead.

What do you value and why? How do you rank your values when they seem to conflict? Which principles do you apply when confronting a dilemma?

Deft hypothetical questions zero in on the inconsistencies in our thinking, expose ambiguities, reveal where emotion, hypocrisy and shoddy thinking have overtaken logic and rip us from comfortable moorings.
Maybe I'm crazy, but I want some guideposts to what a candidate for President thinks and believes--especially now. Apparently Hillary does not want anyone to know these things. She is dodging hard questions and issues, and she will continue to do so, for, as noted by Zorn at the top of his post, Hillary stated at the August 7 debate/forum in Chicago that "I do not believe people running for president should engage in hypotheticals..."

What galls me about Hillary's dodge tactic on hypotheticals is that it is precisely what Bush and everyone in his administration have been using for years. As George his ownself said at a press conference on July 8, 2002, "They (the American people) can expect me not to answer hypothetical questions." And he has stuck steadfastly to that statement ever since. Hillary pillories George Bush, and yet she is now doing exactly what he has done over and over and over. That's hypocrisy, folks. She is doing it to avoid giving tough, genuine answers on substantive, relevant issues, and she has indicated that she is going to keep doing that. That is not what I want in a President.

And many Democrats have applauded her refusal to answer hypotheticals, calling her strong and courageous. Those people have their heads buried somewhere that ain't right. Wake up, people.

Hillary Clinton's ambition is not to lead, but to win. I don't know about the rest of you, but I have already had enough of that sort of Presidency. I don't want another one.


Anonymous Ray said...

If Hillary were to give straight answers to important questions, she would not be able to be all things to all people. If she reveals too much of her agenda, she will lose support.

8/16/2007 6:40 AM  

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