To an increasing extent, Barack Obama is not a viable Democratic candidate in 2012. The right loathes him, as expected. The left now understands what folks like moi
understood early on: That Obama was and is a corporate sell-out, a pseudo-progressive. This piece by Robert Reich
does an excellent job of explaining Obama's epic miscalculation.
Gitmo is still holding people without charge. Iraq remains a mess. A losing effort in Afghanistan has been escalated. There was no HOLC-style rescue for homeowners. The "too big to fail" banks were not nationalized. The bankers were given tons of cash instead of jail sentences. The miscreants of Wall Street continue to go unregulated. The Bush tax cuts were extended. Unemployment remains high, and the only new jobs are crappy. There has been no appreciable investment in alternative energy. Obama lied about single-payer, about NAFTA, about everything.
Yes, Hillary would have been better. Yes, McCain would have been preferable -- if only because a McCain failure would not have tarnished the Democratic brand.
Has Hillary's alliance with this failed administration damaged her chances of gaining the nomination in 2012? Perhaps. Probably. But if she is to have any chance at all, she must quit her job as Secretary of State now
Not only that: She must quit not "to spend more time with her family." She must stomp away from this administration over a matter of principle. I'm talking about a loud and angry parting of the ways -- the kind that would force lazy journalists to write about those proverbial "shockwaves through Washington."
The administration's treatment of Bradley Manning may provide the proximate cause.
Manning, as you know, is the private undergoing extraordinarily harsh treatment in order to force him to provide false testimony against Julian Assange. No-one in the major media would dare to state the matter in those exact words, but everyone with any sense knows full well what is going on.
A recent pronouncement by a Hillary spokesperson is construable as a shot across the bow
(forgive the cliche) against the administration:
Hillary Clinton's spokesman has launched a public attack on the Pentagon for the way it is treating military prisoner Bradley Manning, the US soldier suspected of handing the US embassy cables to WikiLeaks. PJ Crowley, the assistant secretary of state for public affairs at the US state department, has said Manning is being "mistreated" in the military brig at Quantico, Virginia. "What is being done to Bradley Manning is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid on the part of the department of defence."
When was the last time a Secretary of State (who serves at the pleasure of the President) said similarly harsh words against the administration? I can't think of a precedent, at least not a recent one.
The spokesperson's damning commentary forced Obama to offer a rejoinder. He flimmed his usual flam. No-one bought it.
In my view, Hillary's underlying message to Obama came to this: "Go ahead, Barack -- fire me. Old Secretaries of State don't just fade away -- they mount challenges in 2012."
If he fires her the way Truman fired MacArthur, then Obama would undo his gambit of hiring Clinton to forestall an intra-party challenge.
She stands zero chance of retaining her job in a second Obama administration, should one come to pass, which it probably won't. Thus, the question comes down to whether she will leave her current gig in mid-2011 or (at the latest) early 2013. Does her unemployment start now or (roughly) a year later? If it starts now, she gains certain advantages.
So far, her service has been admirable -- for the most part. She can blame the non-admirable bits on Obama. This places her in a good position to become the Democratic candidate in 2012 -- and even if she doesn't win, she will let the public know what a compromised tool Obama really is.
Have you noticed that right-wing propagandists no longer go into hate-gasm at the mention of Hillary's name? With a nearly audible click of the dial, they've turned off the attacks against her. They assail Obama on every possible front, but they don't (usually) go after him by way of Hillary.
Why? It's obvious. For strategic reasons, they want Democrats to fight amongst themselves.
For different reasons, so do I. I want Hillary Clinton to rejoin the Democratic wing of the Democratic party.