Last month on Sunday Kos, I noticed an interesting juxtaposition of front page diaries.
Ian Reifowitz began a diary by stating:
Barack Obama—and not Hillary Clinton—is the 44th president of the United States for one reason above all others: He was against the Iraq war, and she was for it. That's it. In 2008, the American people knew where he stood because he had said so in 2002. He called it a "dumb war," and a "rash war," and predicted that invading Iraq would "only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and would strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaida."That was followed by Meteor Blades holding that labeling it a "mistake" minimizes the wrongness that was war in Iraq.
There was a time when I thought that any Democrat with any degree of complicity in that crime would be tarred and feathered by the hard left, but then John Kerry happened. Still, I thought there would be more public hang-wringing about Hillary Clinton's foreign policy and how having her as the Democratic standard-bearer in 2016 diminishes the argument that you should vote for Democrats because they are less likely to drag us into stupid wars. This is, after all, a politician who wanted to arm Syrian rebels (just like John McCain) but was overruled by President Obama.
Has the initial invasion of Iraq faded far enough into the past that Hillary Clinton's Iraq vote no longer matters? Is it less of a priority? Is it more of a forgivable sin than it seemed back then? Or does it seem like less of a sin?
Has she rehabilitated herself? Do you think she has changed? If so, why? If you believed she voted for the AUMF out of political expediency with an eye towards 2008, why do you think she wouldn't support military action as president if she thought it would help her re-election in 2020?
Does the narrative of inevitability make you resigned to her candidacy? Are you reluctant to see heavy criticism over this point in the absence of a credible primary opponent because you are worried about costing her votes and losing the presidency to the Republicans?
What if the only way to create space for a primary opponent with a better record on this issue is to criticize her enough to harm her public perception and make her seem less inevitable? If you wait until primary season to ask these questions, it will be too late to affect anything.