I’m finally beginning to understand this “change” business that is being bandied around by the two Democrats still in the hunt. (All the other campaigners have succumbed or are on life support, which despite evidence from the current administration to the contrary, renders them politically not viable.) Anyway, like McCain and everyone else, I’m in favor of change. While we’re all charging into the future under the same banner, it’s important to sort out who is the best standard bearer. That perhaps alone is fixed and ascertainable.
Can Obama really be a candidate for change when he repeats this theme like a mantra or some ritualized incantation? I say no. A trustworthy candidate for change would clearly and unequivocally demonstrate the championed quality. Constancy and predictability are of course our enemies here.
If you put all the posturing aside, everyone must agree that the true candidate of change is Clinton. Where to begin? On the Iraq War, perhaps. She of course voted to authorize the war but now says that she trusted Bush to exercise that authorization judiciously and was misled by a report summary when she did not have time to read the intelligence report that was available. She adds that there was some false intelligence coming out of England and that other very important people agreed with her. This is certainly an unassailable explanation, so why apologize when you have provided a perfectly rational basis the most critical decision a government official can make?
There were signs of a disconcerting resistance to change this summer when she told the V.F.W. that our Iran strategy was working. My concern deepened when she voted to categorize the Iran Revolutionary Army as a terrorist organization with the implied authorization to bomb the terrorists Iran as we are in neighboring countries. This aligned her with Lieberman which was bringing my concerns about the appearance of consistency to a critical level, particularly in light of her unwaivering trust in the judicious use of military power by Bush. Her web site suggested to me a brittle anachronistic adherence to agenda when it stated that any decision about Iraq had to consider its geo-political importance. No one has explained this last concept. Greenspan in his biography says that it means oil but you can’t give him much credence because he doesn’t think Bush is a real conservative. We should just understand that “geo-political considerations” are too complex to explain.
My eyes moistened though when Clinton was in Seattle and declared to a crowd on pier 31 (pier 31?) that we must get out of Iraq! The crowd cheered in celebration of this magnificent portrayal of change.
Criticizing Obama for saying he’d talk to other leaders then rebuking him for saying that she would not do that was a clever gambit demonstrating that change need not be gradual. Beginning the campaign as the heavily financed prohibitive favorite insider, then evolving into a populist urging more debates for the sake of the people shows that change need not just be topical.
Lastly, we must recognize her view of the campaign itself as perhaps the paradigm change. It began with the typical hoopla about the importance of the voters and all that seemingly unchanging stuff about democracy. But we soon learned about the critical nature of nailing down super delegates just in case. We recently learned that Wisconsin doesn’t really count what with all those independent voters and Hawaii doesn’t count because Obama lived there. Nebraska, Idaho and Utah don’t count because they are going Republican anyway. Florida and Michigan should count even though it was agreed they wouldn’t and there was that problem with Clinton being the only named candidate. South Carolina, Louisiana and Georgia shouldn’t count because there are so many blacks in those places. They of course did count for the same reason until Bill brought race into the campaign and blacks left Hillary. States with caucuses don’t count because those operate unfavorably. The Nevada primary was unfair until the votes were finalized. Obama’s home state victory in Illinois doesn’t count because after all it’s his home state but New York does count because its very important.
On the subject of change Clinton has a proven record and she can make it happen.