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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...

A Republican.

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.

Originally posted to Its All So Goofy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:53 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Many people on this site, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, peraspera, majcmb1, pico

    not me - I proudly have never voted rethug for anything in my lengthy voting career, including the founder were once proud rethugs and reaganoids.

    So people can and do change.

    Having said that I do kind of agree with your last points particularly. What worries me the most about her is the way she is acting right now.

    "The fact which the politician faces is merely that there is less honor among thieves than was supposed, and not the fact that they are thieves." Thoreau

    by shigeru on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:58:49 PM PST

  •  If nothing else her campaign is Republican! NT (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  They both tilt to the 'right' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A lot more than many are willing to see here.
    We'll find out, soon enough.  

  •  Once a republican ... has Kos heard about this? (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JR, pb, peraspera, pico, bythesea, USArmyParatrooper

    Markos Moulitsas Zúniga
    Founder, Daily Kos

    While he entered the Army as a Republican, he abandoned the GOP soon after his enlistment.

  •  Goldwater himself (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    probably would not be a Repubican today.  And don't forget she was raised as a Republican from childhood and only made her political journey once she was on her own and out in the world.

    But you are right, Clinton is not a lefty.  She is and has always been a centrist, traditional Midwest lady.  

    Of course she would not be accepted as a Republican.  According to the GOP elite she is a Marxist/Leninist Commie Bitch.

    Obama is as much a Republican as Clinton is.  That is, both have been known to see some good in Republican ideas and Republican pols.  I actually think that Obama might be more likely to weave some Republican positions into his agenda than Clinton would because he seems to be more of a synthesizer than she.

    You can posit any argument and make it sound reasonable and plausible but that doesn't mean it is true.  By your argument I could just as easily make the false claim that Obama, born a Muslim, is now an unconscious Muslim.

    •  Do you know ANYTHING about Obama's role in the (0+ / 0-)

      Illinois Senate?  He had a ridiculously Progressive position and STILL got a ton of Progressive legislation passed in a Republican legislature.

      The idea that Obama is conservative is based on ignorance and his claims for a unified political landscape beyond partisanship.  The reality is that the country is Liberal, the center is Liberal, he wants to reorient it by disarming the rhetoric.

      And this pisses Fox News right the fuck off.

      •  The country is liberal? (0+ / 0-)

        I don't think so although I think the country is ambivalent about government, they distrust it, especially when it comes to spending their money, and yet they turn to government for solutions to their problems.

        But compared to cultures like the European mileau this country is so rightwing as to be considered nuts.

        I think Obama has been liberal in his youth but I don't know anymore.  He has some very market oriented advisors, chiefly Goolsbee.  I read an article in The Guardian that suggests that Obama is a new kind of Liberal, one that replaces government mandates and programs with market inducements to serve society's needs.  He calls this philosophy Left-Libertarianism.

        If this is not a synthesis of Conservative and Liberal ideas, I don't know what is.

  •  And then there's this guy... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Magenta, pico

    Winning Back America
    Howard Dean

    Summary of Chapter 6: Dean Enters Politics

    Is Dean a moderate Republican in disguise? He compares himself to his Republican father, a "fiscal conservative" who was "not particularly liberal on social issues, but he wasn't particularly conservative either. Today he would be considered a moderate, business-oriented Republican; he wanted the budget run properly. In that way, I am very much my father's son."

    Dean on why he's a "pragmatic Democrat": "I was friendly with the younger, more liberal Democrats because they were my age, but I didn't vote with them. I didn't relate to their political sensibilities."

    Sometimes I think it's a sin, when I feel like I'm winning when I'm losing again.
    -Gordon Lightfoot, 'Sundown'

    by Free Spirit on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 11:41:32 PM PST

  •  As an ex-Republican, I reject your premise. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pb, Spoc42, pico, Pandoras Box, cynndara, bythesea

    I'm a complicated guy. For a long time, I had two warring themes in my political philosophy: a desire for social justice, and a desire for universal truth.

    Like many Catholics, I was seduced by the elegance (#8) of the conservative memes. However, a few years ago, the rampant CYA deception by the leaders of the Republican party and the Catholic church made it clear that they didn't actually believe their own bullshit about morality being objective.

    That created intolerable cognitive dissonance in me, and I so left both. I read over a shelf worth of books related to emotional intelligence, such as Flawless! by Tartaglia, Nonviolent Communication by Rosenberg, and Influence by Cialdini, among many others.

    I learned how to defuse my defensive emotional reactions to threatening statements by identifying and empathizing with my own human needs. That allows me to then move on to identifying and empathizing with others' human needs, even when I disagree with their goals and beliefs.

    The resulting changes in my mind are not only deeply pervasive, but also the result of a one-way maturation process. I am now and will always be a liberal.

    •  wow (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pandoras Box

      Cult leaders mis-inform and isolate their followers. Real leaders do the opposite. Get it straight!

      by Christian Coulon on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 12:33:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I too was a Republican at one time (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the road to my recovery was not as intellectual as yours - and I didn't have to overcome my religion at the same time - but nonetheless ... I got better.  I also expect to NEVER return to that compassionless land.

      "Stupidity is the great equalizer!" - NonnyO

      by Pandoras Box on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 04:20:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't see (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      how a desire for social justice is ultimately incompatible with a commitment to Truth.  Except that in the mortal sphere, people whose primary commitment is to one or the other can tangle terribly: Truth is not always pretty, or nice, or equalitarian, because the fact is that diversities are never equal.

      That said, having chosen Truth first, I don't see that larger and more perfect Truth isn't compatible with a larger and more perfect Justice.  I suppose that follows pretty routinely from my own beginnings as a GDI baby of Goldwater Republicans. Real truth often requires dealing with unpleasant realities.  Real justice often requires making unpleasant and unsatisfying compromises.  But I suspect it helps to have been born pagan rather than Catholic <grin>.

  •  Both Goldwater and Nixon (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico, Pandoras Box, bythesea

    would be considered positively "librul" by today's Post Reagan republicans.

    I don't hold it against HRC that she was a republican forty-plus years ago. It's all the other stuff that bothers me.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 12:04:02 AM PST

  •  Quite a stretch ... (0+ / 0-)

    Kerry, Edwards, Biden all voted for the AUMF. Are none of them Democrats?

    Are we kicking Ted Kennedy out of the party since he was a huge supporter of NCLB? And Biden, well, I will say a lot of people here did think he should get the boot for backing the bankruptcy bill.

  •  Harummmph. (0+ / 0-)

    As other posters have made clear, not only is it natural for an individual to grow and mature in their political sensibilities over time, but at the same time, our society has taken a giant step backwards.

    I like the Goldwater quote above: "Free people have a right to do as they damn well please."   (Well, naturally, having been raised in a Goldwater Republican household.)  But consider that at the time, Goldwater was stunningly far to the RIGHT of the general political spectrum.  John McCain today is a direct heir of Goldwater, and he's being run by the Republicans because they had to pick a candidate who was as far removed from their recent (tarnished) policies as they could find.

    Clinton probably has lost the nomination.  You don't have to keep beating on her.  Recognize that she has a lot of good qualities and has had to build a political nest in some very difficult terrain -- a past that she has to live with under a rapidly changing political climate.  I'm interested in seeing what Obama does with the country moving forward.  But remember that as a Senator in a "safe" state, Clinton can be a powerful ally in that progress if we don't completely alienate her.  Stop thinking about how to make your "opposition" look bad, and start thinking about how to make that opposition a valuable friend.

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