Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Senator Clinton Tells It Like It Is

Speaking at a New York fundraiser yesterday, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton slapped the Bush administration, saying "There has never been an administration, I don't think in our history, more intent on consolidating and abusing power to further their own agenda,"

In a speech to 900 supporters, Clinton spelled out the case for the how wrong Bush has been in his leadership and whipped the crowd into a frenzy with the following truths:

  • "I know it's frustrating for many of you, it's frustrating for me. Why can't the Democrats do more to stop them? I can tell you this: It's very hard to stop people who have no shame about what they're doing. It is very hard to tell people that they are making decisions that will undermine our checks and balances and constitutional system of government who don't care. It is very hard to stop people who have never been acquainted with the truth."
  • "We can't ever, ever give in to the Republican agenda. It isn't good for New York and it isn't good for America."
  • She called the heavily-Republican House of House of Representatives "...a dictatorship of the Republican leadership."
  • Referring to the Congressional leadership, she said, "Some honestly believe they are motivated by the truth, they are motivated by a higher calling, they are motivated by, I guess, a direct line to the heavens."
  • Talking about a media totally compliant with the Bush White House: "It's shocking when you see how easily they fold in the media today. They don't stand their ground. If they're criticized by the White House, they just fall apart. I mean, c'mon, toughen up, guys, it's only our Constitution and country at stake."
Meanwhile, Republicans moved quickly to marginalize Senator Clinton.

"Maybe Hillary Clinton should focus a little more on being the junior senator for New York, and a little less on running for president," said Stephen J. Minarik III, chairman of the state Republican Party.

Gee, they don't like it when a Democrat calls them on who they are, do they?

Say what you want about Hillary Rodham Clinton, but she has truly come into her own as a United States Senator and has done a phenomenal job for the people of New York in her first term. There were times, from my work on the 1992 campaign through the end of President Clinton's administration, that I didn't honestly know, from day to day, whether I liked her or not. I chalk most of that up to not knowing enough about her as a person.

But I know I like her now.

I intend to work hard for her Senate reelection in 2006 because, no matter how much a slam-dunk she may seem in New York, conservative money is already flowing in by the truckloads to try to unseat her. (See Stop Her Now.)

The knock on her running for president in 2008 has always been that she's such a polarizing figure that we would never be able to attract that elusive swing vote that many think wins presidential elections these days.

I say, screw that.

Republicans don't respect compromise and they view any Democratic equivocation whatsoever as a weakness to be exploited. Let's keep our eyes on the 2006 ball right now but, if in 2008 Senator Clinton looks like the person best able to take on these creeps, let's nominate her -- and then work like hell to energize our base and finally wipe the smirks off the faces of the conservative movement and the Religious Right.