It's axiomatic in politics that the presidential primaries force candidates to kowtow to the extremes of their parties. So far in this very early campaign season, anti-war fury on the left is causing more trouble for the leading Democratic moderate than social conservatives are for Republican front-runners.A poll conducted in the first week of February indicates that only 26% of Americans -- of both parties -- approve of Bush's war. The "anti-war fury" the Bush's war no longer has anything to do with "left v. right" -- if it ever did (scroll down to question 19)
Among the Democratic Party presidential hopefuls, Sen. Hillary Clinton has been the focus of anti-war rage, even being heckled at a recent party meeting. Yet by any fair standard, her position on the war is reasonable. In essence, she says that if she had known then what we know today she would have voted differently.So Hillary's position -- "if she had known then what we know today" -- is "reasonable" under "any fair standard."
Therefore, other reasonable positions under the Steve Huntley "fair standard" include:
- If I had known then what I know today, I would not have finished that bottle of tequila.
- If I had known then what I know today, I would not have bet the mortgage money on red.
- If I had know then what I know today, I would never have let my son join the Army Reserve.
Clinton's problem is that she doesn't have a challenger from the right. Former Sen. John Edwards jumped into the race and shoved the debate to the left by making forceful rejection of the war an issue. He challenged Democrats in the Senate, i.e. Clinton, to do more than pass symbolic resolutions against the war. Then came Sen. Barack Obama, who wasn't in Washington when the original vote was taken but was an early opponent against using force in Iraq.Huntley claims that Clinton's position on the war is "centrist" -- but he's already told us there are no challengers to her right.
After years of maintaining a centrist posture on Iraq, Clinton has moved, in response to Obama and Edwards, toward the strident anti-war position of the party's left.
Note to Huntley: When one has persons to one's left but none to one's right, by definition, one is not in the center.
Huntley then applies his limited skills to mocking Obama's presidential campaign.
It would be interesting to see a campaign based on "hope." What does it mean? Is that a way of saying, Trust me to do the right thing? I guess you could call that, well, a faith-based campaign.A faith-based campaign?
Yes, Huntley, let's talk about faith-based campaigns -- but let's start with the faith-based campaign that our fighting men and women are conducting in Iraq. Let's talk about the faith-based troop surge that was opposed by everyone from the Pentagon's generals to the Iraq Study Group to Iraq's political leaders. The one where the Bush administration, which has been dead wrong at every turn, says "Trust us to do the right thing."
But, no doubt, such an honest and open discussion about our nation's blood and treasure would be mere "anti-war rage" -- by Huntley's fair standard.