Second Thought: Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Shoulda Known Better

Who bought it because Hillary bought in?


Recently, I mistakenly received the Winter ’08 edition of Hooah!, the U.S. Army National Guard’s call to arms in teen-beat magazine form. It says its mission is to “celebrate and support America’s youth” and “recognize their many achievements and contributions to the American way of life.”
The cover featured Dale Earnhardt Jr. looking grim and determined. The subhead read “Your Life/No Limits.” It was a sentiment that begged for late-night, comedic talk-show host treatment. No limits on tours of duty. No limits on the strains on your marriage, your sanity, your integrity. No limits to the lengths that Uncle Sam will go to get you to sign on for the U.S. military’s bullshit details — anywhere there’s a resource to secure, a profit to ensure or a political party’s reputation to protect. Hooah!
As I watch the Democratic presidential campaign unfold, the Iraq war is never far from my mind. And U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton’s vote to support military intervention in Iraq is something I can’t overlook.
I was a big fan of Clinton when her husband Bill was president. I cheered her universal healthcare proposal; I was thrilled by her vision of an American “Eurorail” system. They were great ideas before their time. Ballsy, brainy — brilliant. Really. In my mind now even, there’s no question she would be a better president than Bill or Bush. She’s no dummy — and that’s the problem.
In the debate among the Dem candidates held at the Kodak Theatre in California in January, when CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer asked Clinton if her decision to support military intervention in Iraq was a mistake, she simply (and intentionally) tried to distance herself from the facts. She said there was some evidence Saddam Hussein was a threat. She said the United States had bombed Iraq over obstructed weapons inspections when her husband was in office. She said she studied the facts independently before she cast her vote.
Noting Clinton’s avoidance of a direct answer, Blitzer offered her an out, suggesting that, like many of us, perhaps she had simply been naïve. The comment garnered Blitzer several boos from the audience, and Clinton coolly replied “Good try, Wolf. Good try.”
Instead of owning up to and taking responsibility for her mistake, Clinton maintained a charade of innocence. She said the original legislation leading to the Iraq war was actually introduced to expand the number of weapons inspectors. She even suggested she hadn’t realized it authorized an invasion of Iraq. Barack Obama politely reminded us all that the bill in question was actually entitled “An Authorization to Use Military Force in Iraq.”
As I watched Clinton maneuver, it reminded me of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Instead of facing the truth, Hillary Clinton — like her husband — tried to spin her way around it. When presented with the facts, the senator — like her husband — retreated to ambiguity to avoid naked contradiction.
Claiming that a vote for military intervention is not a vote for war is like claiming fellatio isn’t sex. Senator Clinton wasn’t answering under oath or facing perjury charges, but she was given an opportunity to level with us and clean up her political legacy. Instead — like her husband — she opted for denial and rhetorical subterfuge.
The best line of the debate may have been when Clinton quipped that it “took a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush and I think it might take another one to clean up after the second Bush.” But Republicans might say it took a Bush to clean up the semen stains in the Oval Office after a Clinton, and an increasing number of folks believe it will take Obama to clean up the bloodstains — military and partisan — of President Bush and Sen. Clinton.
There may be several reasons why Hillary Clinton should be the next president of the United States. But the biggest reason she doesn’t deserve that office is that she won’t or can’t admit that she knowingly, willingly, and mistakenly got into bed with George W. on the war in Iraq. And instead of admitting her indiscretion, she’s lying about it repeatedly with no apparent qualms.
And while she lies, thousands of kids who have less resources, less education, and less choices are still caught up in hooah! — in the Iraq debacle, the lie she propped up with her vote, the lie she helped politically legitimize — the lie she embraced so she wouldn’t look soft.
They say politics makes for strange bedfellows. I say if you’re so desperate for political success that you feel compelled to hop in the sack with Bush, your politics are the same ol’ same old.
Nobody Died When Bill Lied. The bumper sticker was right. But thousands of folks died when Bush lied and Hillary bought into it. And if she can’t apologize for that, she doesn’t deserve to lead.
E. R. Bills is a local freelance writer.

Email this Article...

Back to Top

Copyright 2002 to 2022 FW Weekly.
3311 Hamilton Ave. Fort Worth, TX 76107
Phone: (817) 321-9700 - Fax: (817) 335-9575 - Email Contact
Archive System by PrimeSite Web Solutions