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.

February 08, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts – Michael Hudson
Privatization: the Atlanticist Tactic to Attack Russia
Mumia Abu-Jamal
Water War Against the Poor: Flint and the Crimes of Capital
John V. Walsh
Did Hillary’s Machine Rig Iowa? The Highly Improbable Iowa Coin Tosses
Eliza A. Webb
Hillary Clinton’s Populist Charade
Uri Avnery
Optimism of the Will
Roy Eidelson Trudy Bond, Stephen Soldz, Steven Reisner, Jean Maria Arrigo, Brad Olson, and Bryant Welch
Preserve Do-No-Harm for Military Psychologists: Coalition Responds to Department of Defense Letter to the APA
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, the UN and Meanings of Arbitrary Detention
Shamus Cooke
The Labor Movement’s Pearl Harbor Moment
W. T. Whitney
Cuba, War and Ana Belen Montes
Vincent Emanuele
The Curse and Failure of Identity Politics
Jim Goodman
Congress Must Kill the Trans Pacific Partnership
Peter White
Meeting John Ross
Colin Todhunter
Organic Agriculture, Capitalism and the Parallel World of the Pro-GMO Evangelist
Ralph Nader
They’re Just Not Answering!
Cesar Chelala
Beware of the Harm on Eyes Digital Devices Can Cause
Weekend Edition
February 5-7, 2016
Jeffrey St. Clair
When Chivalry Fails: St. Bernard and the Machine
Leonard Peltier
My 40 Years in Prison
John Pilger
Freeing Julian Assange: the Final Chapter
Garry Leech
Terrifying Ted and His Ultra-Conservative Vision for America
Andrew Levine
Smash Clintonism: Why Democrats, Not Republicans, are the Problem
William Blum
Is Bernie Sanders a “Socialist”?
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
We Can’t Afford These Billionaires
Enrique C. Ochoa
Super Bowl 50: American Inequality on Display
Jonathan Cook
The Liberal Hounding of Julian Assange: From Alex Gibney to The Guardian
George Wuerthner
How the Bundy Gang Won
Mike Whitney
Peace Talks “Paused” After Putin’s Triumph in Aleppo 
Ted Rall
Hillary Clinton: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Gary Leupp
Is a “Socialist” Really Unelectable? The Potential Significance of the Sanders Campaign
Vijay Prashad
The Fault Line of Race in America
Eoin Higgins
Please Clap: the Jeb Bush Campaign Pre-Mortem
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
The Invisible Epidemic: Radiation and Rising Rates of Thyroid Cancer
Andre Vltchek
Europe is Built on Corpses and Plunder
Jack Smith
Obama Readies to Fight in Libya, Again
Robert Fantina
As Goes Iowa, So Goes the Nation?
Dean Baker
Market Turmoil, the Fed and the Presidential Election
John Grant
Israel Moves to Check Its Artists
John Wight
Who Was Cecil Rhodes?
David Macaray
Will There Ever Be Anyone Better Than Bernie Sanders?
Christopher Brauchli
Suffer Little Children: From Brazil to Flint
JP Sottile
Did Fox News Help the GOP Establishment Get Its Groove Back?
Binoy Kampmark
Legalizing Cruelties: the Australian High Court and Indefinite Offshore Detention
John Feffer
Wrestling With Iran
Rob Prince – Ibrahim Kazerooni
Syria Again
Louisa Willcox
Park Service Finally Stands Up for Grizzlies and Us
Farzana Versey
Of Beyoncé, Trudeau and Culture Predators
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail