Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Conservatives for Hillary?

Here's the Bruce Bartlett column that created quite a stir on my show this morning.

As each day passes, it becomes increasingly clear that the Democrats will win the White House next year. It's not quite 1932, but it's getting close to a sure thing. All the energy is on their side, they are raising more money from more contributors, and there is little if any enthusiasm for the Republican candidates -- even among Republicans.

If I am right, conservatives are going to have to make an important decision at some point. Do they go down with the sinking Republican ship, or do they try to have some meaningful influence on the next president by becoming involved in the Democratic race?

Here's why. Although all the Democratic candidates are more liberal than all of the Republicans, they are not all equally liberal. Among the Democrats, some are more to the right and others more to the left. It is a grave mistake to assume, as most conservatives do, that they are all equally bad and that it makes no difference whatsoever which one is elected.

To right-wingers willing to look beneath what probably sounds to them like the same identical views of the Democratic candidates, it is pretty clear that Hillary Clinton is the most conservative. John Edwards is the most liberal, and Barack Obama is somewhere in between.

The hard-core right-wingers who kept reading past the point I told them to stop probably think I've lost my mind by now. But remember, I am talking about the politics within the Democratic Party, not the nation as a whole. Moreover, at this stage of the nominating process, all of the candidates in both parties are appealing mainly to their bases. These are well to the left of the country among Democrats and well to the right among Republicans.

It is in this context that one must evaluate Sen. Clinton's position. Given the views of the Democratic base and the enormous unpopularity of the Iraq War, it is a real act of courage for her to steadfastly refuse to say her vote for the war was wrong. Of course, like all Democrats and most Americans, she opposes the war today and favors a rapid pullout.

That is why the easy thing for Sen. Clinton to do would be to just thrown in the towel, admit her vote was wrong and move on. And that's why it is an act of courage for her to refuse to do so. If conservatives weren't so blinded by their hatred for her, this would be obvious.

On economics, it is reasonable to assume that Sen. Clinton's policies would not be altogether different from Bill Clinton's. This is not a bad thing. On trade, his record was outstanding, and on the budget was far better than George W. Bush's. While Clinton raised taxes in 1993, it should be remembered that he cut them in 1997, including a cut in the capital gains tax. On regulatory policy, Clinton was no worse than the current administration and probably better on net.

Democrats know all this, which is why our most liberal pundits, like Bob Kuttner, are attacking Sen. Clinton for being a clone of her husband on economics and criticizing her support for "Rubinomics," named after former Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin. Its essential elements are a commitment to deficit reduction and globalization -- which are both anathema to the Democratic Party's liberal base. It wants a hard line against imports to save jobs and an expansive fiscal policy to pay for a wide range of new social programs.

At some point, politically sophisticated conservatives will have to recognize that no Republican can win in 2008 and that their only choice is to support the most conservative Democrat for the nomination. Call me crazy, but I think that person is Hillary Clinton.


At 8:47 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

At the end of the day, it's still the lesser of two evils. This is what is frustrating for the average American. Hillary doesn't come to mind when that comes into play. It just might take Hillary to win before the Republicans finally clean up their act.

At 9:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Front runner Rudy seems to be little more than a Democrat in Republican clothes. So you can vote for a Democrat and get a Democrat, or vote for a Republican and also get a "Democrat." The Bush administration has totally given up on true conservative causes like immigation reform and government spending. I give up.

At 11:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we are going to have a record voter turnout in 2008, and it sure will not be for the Democrat's. None of the top 3 Republicans are my first choice, just like George Bush was not. I stood in line for 3 hours to keep nutso algore out of the Presidency, and will do it again, even if it is one of the top 3 Repub's, that I don't like. Only reason we ever had a Clinton in office was because of Ross Peerot. Ain't gonna happen again, let alone an Osammabma. It's the American people vs the trial lawyers; they tried to steal it in 2000, but the American people are smart to that game, and it ain't gonna happen. The media is 90% Democrat, so let them smoke their weed, and after the elections when the smoke settles, it'll be, where did we go wrong... The French elections is a prime example. They had an 85% voter turnout, which sets the bar for the American voters in 2008. I am still waiting for the Democrat House and Senate to tell me what they have done in their first 100 days they boasted they would do.... Whatever happened to the CNN countdown clock? I have not seen an update of what's been accomplished.. How about authorizing the building of a new refinery; drilling in Anwar Alaska. I thought it was Bush and Cheney's fault gas pries were so high, and when they took charge prices would drop. Who are you all kidding... The Republican's are the lesser of the two evil's..

At 11:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm, You know, it may be easier to take over the dumb dems and sneak a real conservative in (not Billary) rather then find another Bush who claims to be conservative and then turns out to be as bad as Clinton when it comes to being a conservative (McCain, Giuliani, Romney, etc.).

Jim in PA
(Mad as Hell)

At 12:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, the more I think about it, it's a great idea. If all the Republicans decided to move over to the Dem party and we then put up a conservative to run as a Dem, it would work. They would still be fighting between the left wing wackos, but, we could sneak in with a win because they would split their vote. Kind of like a general election with a spoiler. But I guess that would require us to get our act together. And that just doesn't look like it's going to happen. When it comes to the general election, most Dems would vote for anyone over a Republican. Even "The Magic Negro". Republicans are more principled then that, we won't vote for anyone just because the ballot says (R).

Jim in PA

At 9:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is the new guy in the picture on your blog site? It looks like Tiger Woods!


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