Sunday, January 21, 2007

On Hillary's announcement...

You may have read the transcript of a speech given by George McGovern in The Nation last week in which he rightly condemns the hubris, and inanity of those actions, by our president, that have cost the lives of more than the 3018 service members the former senator, and presidential candidate, cites. McGovern is right, too, to confirm what many of us already suspected which is that Bush pere was opposed to his son's preemptive manuevers in the Persian Gulf; right, too suggest that W. would have fared better had he listened to his "physical father" rather than the advice he claims came from a higher authority.

I confess, while I was a vocal, and persistent protestor against the war in Vietnam, and among the first on my block to speak out against that debacle, George McGovern wasn't at the top of my list for president the year he ran. He was too low on testasterone for me, at the time, though I now wonder if the warrior hormone, in the end, produces more worriers than peace.

After yesterday's announcement, we now have a candidate who has no shortage of testasterone, Hillary Clinton. What she lacks is credibility. Not only did Clinton vote in favor of the war, but she watered down her pro-choice statements, so they'd be more palatable to centrist Democrats and Republicans making one wonder just how far the Senator is prepared to bend with respect to Roe v. Wade, an important question in light of the current composition of the Supreme Court, and the tenuousness of a constitutional amendment that guarantees a woman's right to choose. One would also like to hear Clinton speak out against the Military Commissions Act, the USA Patriot Act, the NSA electronic surveillance program, and challenges to a free press instead of trying to look commander-in-chiefish during her Internet appearances.

We all remember what happened to the former Massachusetts governor, and Democratic presidential candidate in 1988, Michael Dukakis, when he tried to prove what a good cammender-in-chief he would make. We don't need more strength, and authoritarianism, or the illusion of responsibility. We need more responsiveness. Hillary, or anyone else who has designs on the Democratic Party nomination for president, will need to display a rare synthesis of humanity, gentility, integrity, as well as no-nonsense conviction. Personally, I don't question the senator's change of heart on Iraq. I would like to see higher octane on other matters like censorship, global warming, torture, and the illegal detention of "enemy combaants" at Guantanamo Bay, and elsewhere in the world. While we've had enough preemption to make it through this millenium, anyway, it would be refreshing to see a proactive, rather than a reactive, approach to both foreign and domestic policy. We need leaders who lead, not ones who wait for cues from public opinion polls.

Make no mistake, watching videos of Senator Clinton talking about setting up an "exploratory commission," coming across strong, and undeniably brilliant, makes me proud to be a woman, but we need a president who will make us proud to be an American.

This is one election the Democrats simply can't afford to lose. The candidate who takes his, or her party's nomination must be, in the best sense of the word, unimpeachable and, more importantly, one that can win.. This nation is in dire need of equal opportunity, and not political opportunism.