Let me begin with that premise "Once a Republican, always a Republican."
Some say that some of Mrs. Clinton's votes in Congress were - like so many other Democrats - capitulations to the Republicans, and though I hate to think so, I'm inclined to agree that many did. Except in Hillary's I think they were exactly what she claims they were: intentional.<</p>
You've probably seen a variety of research that political leanings are somewhat hard-wired in us from the beginning and I know we'd like to think people can have those come-to-Jesus moments in politics. But I'm far too cynical for that.
Let us begin by reiterating that in her formative years, Hillary Clinton was a Goldwater Girl and elected president of the Young Republicans.
From Living History (Page 21):
My ninth-grade history teacher, Paul Carlson, was, and still is, a dedicated educator and very conservative Republican. Mr. Carlson encouraged me to read Senator Barry Goldwater's recently published book, The Conscience of a Conservative. That inspired me to write my term paper on the American conservative movement, which I dedicated "To my parents, who have always taught me to be an individual." I liked Senator Goldwater because he was a rugged individualist who swam against the political tide. Years later, I admired his outspoken support of individual rights, which he considered consistent with his old-fashioned conservative principles: "Don't raise hell about the gays, the blacks and the Mexicans. Free people have a right to do as they damn well please."
But, really, is going back to her teenage years any more fair than resurrecting Obama's kindergarten essay? Of course it isn't. Instead, let's look at some highlights of her recent past.
First, there's all those votes FOR Bush policies: * the war * No Child Left Behind * the bankruptcy bill
Then there's her public praise of NAFTA, her attempts to keep some Nevada unions from caucusing, and the fearmongering 3 A.M. ad. "If you vote for Obama, the terrorists win." A bit extreme, perhaps, but that is the implication of what any other choice would be. Then there's her veiled implication that McCain would be a better President than Obama.
Do any of these sound like a Democrat? They sound familiar, though, I bet. It's a head-scratcher. Now think. What do they sound like to you? Say it with me...
Do I mean to suggest that Mrs. Clinton is recently or at the present time a Republican? No, actually I don't. I think she's had her Democratic bona fides far too long for that. I am suggesting that in some visceral way, her votes imply a certain level of approval or acceptance of Republican policies. (Bad ones, at that.) While some people are wondering if Barack Obama, Man of Mystery, would tilt to the right once in office, given Hillary's track record, I'm more inclined to think it'd be her given her recent performance. And that's what would scare me at 3 a.m. Or 3 p.m. Or noon, for that matter.