HRC: Hillary’s Recent Centrism – promising a seat at the table but forgetting the chair

Gay Pride Donkey

Several days after speaking with the Human Rights Campaign and pledging a partnership, HRC took a no comment approach to an ABCNews’ question about General Peter Pace’s comments about gays in the military and his statement that homosexuality was immoral.

HRC said: “That is for others to decide.”

Partnership or exploitation? A subsequent press release isn’t quite going to do it for me.

For some reason HRC’s campaign believes she can conduct a 50 state strategy (ala Arnold Vinick’s campaign in West Wing). I hope a staffer reads this post because she can’t win that way. She won’t even get the nomination.

It is remarkable that Democrats still feel that they have to play the left and then move to the center to win. In a field that is still shaping up, the right wing of the Republican party that put W. in the White House twice, is not excited about any candidate wearing a red state badge. It would be prudent for a Democratic candidate (especially one like HRC who has been anything but a lefty) to move toward our base. Talk about universal healthcare, environmental responsibility, and most of all privacy rights. Sound familiar?

It should, because right now its only John Edwards.


3 Responses to HRC: Hillary’s Recent Centrism – promising a seat at the table but forgetting the chair

  1. anoodle says:

    It would be an interesting exercise to argue the other side of this. I’m not a huge HRC fan, and personally I would probably rank the candidates Gore (I still have hope), Obama, and then I would be torn between Edwards and Hillary.

    I agree with where Edwards is now on virtually every issue, but do you worry a little bit that he’s positioning just as much as HRC is, but for a different strategy? In other words, when it was politically expedient to vote for the Iraq war, Edwards did it. He showed no strength or leadership at all during that debate– people like Gore and Obama and Feingold were out in front of the nation on this, for the most part, all alone. As was Dean. Yet Edwards, who was on the Intelligence committee, voted for the war, and continued to defend that vote up until the election, and even afterwards. Only after the rest of the country moved hard towards the anti-war position did he publish his famous Op-Ed mea culpa, “I was wrong.”

    Where were these positions during his last run? Yes, the man can grown and change, but I worry about a guy who’s first instinct was to be timid. Now he figures he has nothing to lose, and he is trying to tap into the blogosphere’s energy, which is admirable, but I don’t see them/us moving towards him in droves.

    Just like the Republicans who are not enamored with their candidates, I get the sense that the left isn’t in love either.

    One last point about Edwards, his inability to show how he will pay for all of his plans is going to be problematic in a general, should he ever get there. General election voters are more fiscally conservative than dem primary voters, and the last thing they want is someone espousing huge programs (translation, tax increase) at a time of economic uncertainty and huge deficits. Edwards knows this, and it makes me question further his true commitment to these ideas– I feel like he’s throwing red meat to whom he thinks is his base, and then he’ll swipe it away in a general campaign…..

  2. johncos says:

    I’m not sure why you think a 50 state strategy is a terirble thing. Are we really advocating shrinking the “tent” size of our party to those that are 100% ideologically with us? How many lithmus tests do you propose?

    The reason we won by such a margin in the 2006 midterm elections is the fact that, far different from the last 8 years, we actually ran candidates in Montana, Texas, part of Florida, South Carolina et al and we WON. A national party cannot be a national party if it runs competitve races in 14 states.

    I understand and echo your disdain at HRC’s comments, however i don’t see them as being out of character. I think Hillary has a real conflict about homosexual issues (she is by far the most conservatively religious [Methodist] candidate running for the Dems, and may not be personally comfortable with homosexuality (though i don’t consider her a bigot and believe her to be supportive of homosexual rights). My point is that HRC is struggling to pin herself (a fairly conservative voice) with a progressive base. But that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be allowed to run, nor should pro-life or pro-gun Dem’s be kicked out of the party and i worry that this is what you’re arguing. It’s not pandering, it’s being realistic to others viewpoints and the belief that some issues of the common good are more important than insignificant divisive issues.

  3. comm5ttee says:

    I think its clearly pandering when one goes to an event and claims to be “partners” with the group in advocating its position, then turns around and doesn’t effectuate that partnership by not commenting when someone says that your partner is immoral, and then when there is outcry release a press statement re-committing your partnership and detailing the “what-I-should-have-saids.”

    I hate to say this (again) but its the old finger in the wind HRC. Dems deserve more than a centrist candidate to lead our party and we can get some great folks.

    On your other point, while I’m happy to have a majority, I’m definitely sure I’m not willing to give up human rights to attain it or the Presidency. No new gun control laws fine, but regulation on who can marry and who can have an abortion – sorry, those folks who advocate that aren’t in my party and there is no tent you can make big enough to bring us together.

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