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The Mrs. Thatcher of the Democrats

Hillary Clinton: Outflanking Bush from the Right

by JOSHUA FRANK

Senator Hillary Clinton, a likely 2008 presidential candidate, called for a "cease fire" within the Democratic Party as she accepted a leadership post with the Democratic Leadership Council on July 25.

The DLC was greatly responsible for her husband’s rise to power in the early 1990s, and Hillary’s new position within the right-wing organization is a sure sign the New York Senator wants to see the Democrats move further right. Hillary is apparently attempting to build a conservative base for a potential presidential bid in 2008.

During the Senator’s speech at the annual DLC convention in Columbus, Ohio, she promised to help resurrect the non-existent Democratic dexterity of the 1990s. "[The Republicans] turned our bridge to the 21st century into a tunnel back to the 19th century," said Clinton. "The clear mission of a unified Democratic Party is to back us out of that Republican tunnel, fill it in, go back across the bridge, and get America back in the business of building dreams again."

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Sen. Clinton is attempting to shed her centrist cloak – as she still believes a right-wing Democratic Party is a winning Democratic Party. In the last few months, Hilary has teamed up with notorious right-wingers such as former House speaker Newt Gingrich and Senate majority leader Bill Frist to push faux health-related legislation, as well as condemn the marketing of violent and sex filled video games to American children. But bombing kids in Iraq and elsewhere doesn’t seem to bother her much. She’s also called for more troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Now, I know the DLC has taken some shots from some within our party and that it has returned fire too," Clinton told the convention’s attendees. "Well, I think it’s high time for a cease-fire, time for all Democrats to work together based on the fundamental values we all share."

Give me a break. The DLC has been the crusher of progressive politics for years. They labeled Dennis Kucinich’s campaign unworthy of recognition, and derailed Howard Dean’s "anti-war" campaign by consistently attacking his band of followers – calling instead for a robust foreign policy akin to the neo-con’s vision of Empire.

Hillary’s ascendance into the DLC leadership position is a obvious sign of the Democrat’s inability to learn from their mistakes. As if John Kerry lost in 2004 because he was too far to the left. Right. Kerry attempted to out-hawk Bush on Iraq, and failed. He could not oppose Bush’s assault on civil liberties, the economy – and only rhetorically opposed Bush’s assault on the environment (remember how he met with labor leader Hoffa to chat about a oil conduit from Alaska to the continental US … oh yeah, he failed to vote against Bush’s forest plan and opposed Kyoto too).

The Democrats, by and large, just don’t get it. They think their party can be reformed from within. They contend that the victories of Barak Obama and Howard Dean are signs of change, when in fact they are nothing more than signs of weakness.

Hillary Clinton has already intimated through her top aides that she will be supporting Bush’s pro-corporate anti-choice justice to the Supreme Court, John Roberts.

"In my dream, our faith in God and our shared values give us the strength to conquer our fears of one another and the unknown," exclaimed Sen. Clinton to the DLC. President Bush would be proud.

At least there is one Democrat out there worth listening to, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer. And although he is no progressive, Schweitzer’s take on Washington politics is spot-on, "If I stay in Washington for more than 72 hours I have to bathe myself in the same stuff I use when my dog gets into a fight with a skunk."

JOSHUA FRANK is the author of the brand new book, Left Out!: How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, which has just been published by Common Courage Press. You can order a copy at a discounted rate at www.brickburner.org. Joshua can be reached at Joshua@brickburner.org.