FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Premature Triangulation

by NORMAN SOLOMON

Two years from now, Hillary Clinton might be pleased to hear the kind of boos and antiwar chants that greeted her days ago when she spoke at the annual Take Back America conference of Democratic activists and argued against a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. But so much of politics is about timing. And right now, Clinton is facing a serious problem of premature triangulation.

As long as she needs support from Democratic primary voters, Hillary Clinton will want to defer the media rewards of an all-out “Sister Souljah moment.” Let’s recall that in 1992, when Bill Clinton went out of his way to denounce the then-little-known rap singer Sister Souljah at a Rainbow Coalition conference, he’d already clinched the Democratic presidential nomination and was looking toward the general election.

Bill Clinton’s triangulation gambit, using Sister Souljah as a prop for his calculated move to ingratiate himself with establishment pundits, had been foreshadowed by a Washington Post article that reported the day before: “Some top advisers to Clinton argue that … he must become involved in highly publicized confrontations with one or more Democratic constituencies.” The constituency that Clinton chose to polarize with was African-American activists.

These days, and from here to the horizon, there’s no larger or more adamant Democratic constituency than the antiwar voters who want the U.S. military out of Iraq pronto. At this point, Hillary Clinton’s pro-war position is far afield from the views of most grassroots Democrats.

Clinton’s foreseeable game plan is to eventually confront antiwar activists head-on as she portrays herself as a strong-on-defense Newer-Than-New Democrat. Two years from now, if she has the nomination cinched, she’ll be eager to ratchet up her strategy of playing to the gallery of corporate-media journalists by presenting herself as a centrist alternative to both the Republican Party’s right wing and the Democratic Party’s “special interests” (a.k.a., the party’s base).

But first Hillary Clinton would need to win enough delegates to become the party’s presidential nominee. To that end, she’ll try to finesse and blur the war issue in hopes that her hawkish position won’t rub too many Democratic primary voters the wrong way.

It’s not going to be easy. What happened at the Take Back America conference the other day was mild compared to what Hillary Clinton has coming in primary and caucus battleground states once the presidential campaign begins in earnest. And she may encounter unexpected difficulties as her pro-war reputation grows.

If Hillary Clinton thinks she can postpone an all-out confrontation with the antiwar movement until a time and place of her tactical choosing, she’s going to be very disappointed. And at the end of her 2008 quest, Clinton may discover that she has triangulated herself right out of the nomination.

NORMAN SOLOMON is the author of War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death. His e-mail is: mediabeat@igc.org.

 

 

Norman Solomon is executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, where he coordinates ExposeFacts. Solomon is a co-founder of RootsAction.org.

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
A Blow for Peace and Democracy: Why the British Said No to Europe
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
Jeffrey St. Clair
Lines Written on the Occasion of Bernie Sanders’ Announcement of His Intention to Vote for Hillary Clinton
Norman Pollack
Fissures in World Capitalism: the British Vote
Paul Bentley
Mercenary Logic: 12 Dead in Kabul
Binoy Kampmark
Parting Is Such Sweet Joy: Brexit Prevails!
Elliot Sperber
Show Me Your Papers: Supreme Court Legalizes Arbitrary Searches
Jan Oberg
The Brexit Shock: Now It’s All Up in the Air
Nauman Sadiq
Brexit: a Victory for Britain’s Working Class
Brian Cloughley
Murder by Drone: Killing Taxi Drivers in the Name of Freedom
Ramzy Baroud
How Israel Uses Water as a Weapon of War
Brad Evans – Henry Giroux
The Violence of Forgetting
Ben Debney
Homophobia and the Conservative Victim Complex
Margaret Kimberley
The Orlando Massacre and US Foreign Policy
David Rosen
Americans Work Too Long for Too Little
Murray Dobbin
Do We Really Want a War With Russia?
Kathy Kelly
What’s at Stake
Louis Yako
I Have Nothing “Newsworthy” to Report this Week
Pete Dolack
Killing Ourselves With Technology
David Krieger
The 10 Worst Acts of the Nuclear Age
Lamont Lilly
Movement for Black Lives Yields New Targets of the State
Martha Rosenberg
A Hated Industry Fights Back
Robert Fantina
Hillary, Gloria and Jill: a Brief Look at Alternatives
Chris Doyle
No Fireworks: Bicentennial Summer and the Decline of American Ideals
Michael Doliner
Beyond Dangerous: the Politics of Climate
Colin Todhunter
Modi, Monsanto, Bayer and Cargill: Doing Business or Corporate Imperialism?
Steve Church
Brexit: a Rush for the Exits!
Matthew Koehler
Mega Corporation Gobbles Up Slightly Less-Mega Corporation; Chops Jobs to Increase Profits; Blames Enviros. Film at 11.
David Green
Rape Culture, The Hunting Ground, and Amy Goodman: a Critical Perspective
Ed Kemmick
Truckin’: Pro Driver Dispenses Wisdom, Rules of the Road
Alessandro Bianchi
“China Will React if Provoked Again: You Risk the War”: Interview with Andre Vltchek
Christy Rodgers
Biophilia as Extreme Sport
Missy Comley Beattie
At Liberty
Ron Jacobs
Is Everything Permitted?
Cesar Chelala
The Sad Truth About Messi
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail