Home > 2008 elections, The Left > Democratic Candidates: Hillary Clinton

Democratic Candidates: Hillary Clinton

September 23, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

After writing a post on the least likely candidate to win the Democratic nomination, now I’m going to write one on the most likely, Hillary Clinton.

I’m thinking that as I run through the candidates, I’m going to probably write less on the things I like about them. Being Democrats, I tend to agree with them on most things. So the positives I’ll write about will be things that are very important to me or unique positions they’ve taken that I like.

Before I begin, I’ll point out that this article on Wikipedia was very helpful.

So, the positives. Let’s start with health care. Not long ago she unveiled her health care proposal, which you can read about here and here. It’s still a little vague, but I like what I’ve read so far. It’s not a complete overhaul of our current system, which would probably be best, but isn’t politically feasible. On the other hand, it does have public insurance available to everyone, which is a plus (the few conservatives/libertarians reading this are now shaking their heads in disgust). It’s not disruptive and it’s a feasible, positive step forward.

Clinton also voted against the Military Commissions Act, which isn’t unique, but important. She’s also criticized the NSA warrent-less wiretapping program.

That’s not a lot of positives, especially when you consider the list of negatives:

  • Support of the Iraq war and continued refusal to acknowledge her mistake
  • Supports making flag burning illegal
  • Gun control supporter
  • Supports the death penalty
  • Supports NCLB
  • Opposes same-sex marriage
  • Sees video games as a threat to morality
  • Supports the PATRIOT Act

Some of those are less important than others. Most importantly, I’m skeptical of her foreign policy views. They’re pretty hawkish and interventionist. On principal, I don’t have a problem with liberal interventionism. It’s just that I’m not sure she has the requisite skepticism and resistance towards military intervention that’s necessary to keep that position from being a disaster. A lot of moderate Democrats supported the war in Iraq partially for that reason and it hasn’t worked out very well. She certainly emphasizes diplomacy more than the Republicans, which is exactly correct, but most of the Democratic candidates do that. It’s hard to find information on, but from what I can glean Clinton takes the position that terrorism is the result of poverty and educational failings in the Middle East. As I point out fairly often, this isn’t the real problem, though addressing those issues would certainly have positive benefits.

In the end, Clinton is a moderate candidate (more grumbling from my conservative readers). She’s fairly hawkish and her social positions are conservative enough to be annoying. Her economic policy has her most liberal positions, but even it isn’t that far left. A quick review makes me think she’d be a decent president, but nothing special. Better than any Republican for sure, and she’d be competent.

Categories: 2008 elections, The Left
  1. Lina
    September 24, 2007 at 8:12 pm

    You’re against the enforcement of our gun control laws???

  2. September 24, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    I’m against gun control laws stronger than licensing, background checks, and waiting periods on the grounds that they are of dubious effectiveness and constitutionality. Where did you get the idea that I’m against enforcement? They’re laws and they should be enforced like any other. I just don’t think they’re good laws.

  3. Lina
    September 25, 2007 at 10:40 am

    I guess that was my snarky way of saying that I’ve never heard Hillary — or any serious Democratic contender — suggest any *radical* gun control laws beyond what are already on the books and just not enforced.

  4. September 25, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    Well, it didn’t sound snarky so much as…overwrought. :-P

    It’s simply a point of disagreement, even if she isn’t proposing any legislation. Similarly, I don’t think she’s going to do anything regarding video games, but I still dislike her position. Like I said, some of the negatives I listed are more important than others. That one isn’t an issue in this election and isn’t an important negative for me (though obviously you’re not psychic and I should have actually spelled out which ones were important to me).

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