I've always expected to be lied to by Hillary Clinton while she runs for President. I thought while campaigning she'd tack toward an apparently restrained stance in foreign policy. She'd show a decent respect for avoiding dumb wars that accords with the weariness of the electorate she needs to elect her.
And then she'd revert to her naturally bellicose -- yes, imperial -- instincts. But apparently she is so tone deaf, she just doesn't care. In her recent Atlantic interview with Jeffrey Goldberg she advertises her absolute fealty to Israeli brutality in Gaza:
How's that for a heaping serving of Israeli talking points? No major U.S. political figure treats U.S. interests as more important than those of that brutish little apartheid state, but at least they should pretend to while running for office in their own country, don't you think?
Clinton seems to want a new cold (or hot?) war posture toward many adherents of Islam, the religion of two billion people around the world.
Apparently the experience of the last 13 years hasn't quite come through to her: propping up dictatorial kleptocracies and sending the Marines to clomp around in other people's countries makes jihadis instead of subduing them.
The bits of this interview I've pulled out are the same sensational ones that all the pundits are commenting on. There are other bits that seem much more grounded in good sense. You can read them yourself. But there's a reason for the prominence given to the bits many are reacting to -- presumptive Democratic president Hillary Clinton is scaring the hell out of a lot of people. Josh Marshall, no lefty, opines that the interview seems
For the last six years, those of us who oppose military adventures have enjoyed the comfort of knowing we had a president who understood that there were limits to the power of the U.S. empire. Despite some adventurism, this one was at least marginally responsive to the people's overwhelming desire to avoid more dumb wars. In this, Obama has been in tune with a majority of us. Clinton doesn't seem to understand she has to at least pretend to respect majority preferences. And I certainly don't hear in her the mature acquiescence to the realities of the world that is Obama's best feature on his better days. Clinton seems firmly in the "we make our own reality" camp.
I hope progressives can get ourselves geared up to take an active, critical stance toward a president our own constituencies will have a large role in electing. That takes some political sophistication. With Obama, too many advocacy groups held back; the miracle of electing an African-American president meant that the guy got a lot of slack from his own side that any other Democrat would not have enjoyed. Hillary isn't bothering to give us the expected false promises; reciprocally, we don't have to give her any particular deference.
It's good to see MoveOn has responded to the Clinton interview: