Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Clinton and McCain

Tim Burke makes a point about Hillary Clinton:
"It is incredibly important to me that we have an Administration in 2009 that will bring back a sense of playing by the rules, respecting procedures, and caring about process as much as results. I’m already skeptical about Hillary Clinton in that respect given the kind of campaign she’s run, but if the Clinton campaign continues to maneuver to claim delegates from Michigan and Florida in her column, that would be a final deal-breaker for me, in the sense of my being unable to tolerate her as the eventual nominee at all. I understand that little back-room deals are already being made for superdelegates, as well as various other shenangians. That’s one thing, it happens, that’s politics. This is something else: going back on a very clear agreement about rules in unscrupulous pursuit of personal political advantage, very much to the detriment of the system as a whole."

This is something that's been on my mind for a long time now. It actually goes beyond just following rules, though, to the power of the presidency itself. Through President Bush's arguments for the unitary executive and signing statements, we've come dangerously close to strongman rule at the federal level. Hillary Clinton has been behind too much of that for me to feel comfortable that she wouldn't just take us further down that path, whereas John McCain has quietly been saying that the presidency should be more restrained.

This isn't a small issue, and when you put it together with the fact that I suspect Clinton and McCain would run similar foreign policies, that McCain would give us the better immigration reform and move the GOP off climate change denialism, and that Clinton has, quite frankly, quietly run a campaign aiming to label Barack Obama as "the Black candidate" and thus reinforce the stereotypes that hinder African-Americans in state and national politics across the country, then it's not at all clear that Hillary Clinton is the candidate I would vote for this November. This is especially true if he chooses Sarah Palin as his running mate.

On the other hand, I'd really not have Antonin Scalia become the new centrist on the Supreme Court, and Clinton does probably get us further on health care. Is that enough?



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