Bipartisan Imperialism

After Carly Fiorino took a swipe at Hillary Clinton’s record in a debate last fall–osama-death-super-169“if you want to stump a Democrat, ask them [sic] to name an accomplishment of Hillary Clinton”–Politico asked about 20 well-known Democrats to give their opinions on what Clinton’s most notable achievements had been.  There were comments about her role in health care, her commitment to women in the 1995 Beijing speech, and helping the victims of 911.

But as persistent as any theme to the responses was that Hillary was tough and U.S. foreign policy was strong.

Some of the responses:

Bill Burton, head of a Democratic Super PAC: “Her role in killing Osama bin Laden.”

Howard Dean, presidential candidate 2004 and head of DNC: “The sanction on Iran that brought them to the table.”

Paul Begala, Clinton crony and CNN analyst: “crippling sanctions against Iran.”

Donna Brazile, Democratic strategist: “As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was instrumental in building an international coalition around the toughest regime of sanctions against Iran in history.”

Harry Reid, Senate Democratic leader: “American foreign policy was stronger when Hillary Clinton left the State Department than when she arrived.”

Chuck Schumer, NY Senator and Israel BFF: “She negotiated the cease-fire in Gaza that stopped the Hamas from firing rocket after rocket into Israel.”

Bill Scher, Campaign for America’s Future: winning the UN resolution supporting military intervention in Libya.”  “And she cajoled Russia to abstain on the Libyan resolution, which was critical to securing its passage in the UN Security Council.”

In an earlier day, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and the rest of the PNAC gang would have surely boasted of similar accomplishments . . . and liberals would have howled in disgust and called for impeachment.   But now, destroying Libya, holding the victims of Israeli aggression responsible for slaughter, trying to crush Iran, provoking crises in the Ukraine, increasing the military budget, and simply making America “strong” qualify as admirable traits.
In a 1976 Vice-Presidential debate, Bob Dole caught hell when he said Watergate and the Nixon pardon could be discussed in the campaign, “but it’s not a very good issue any more than the war in Vietnam would be or World War II, or World War I, or the war in Korea, all Democrat wars, all in this century. I figured up the other day, if we added up the killed and wounded in Democrat wars in this century, it’d be about one point six million Americans – enough to fill the city of Detroit.”
Despite the incomprehensible idea that the Democrats are the weaker party and imperil America that became popular after Vietnam, Dole was right–for the most part, Democratic presidents are more likely to use the U.S. military abroad, and Hillary Clinton did not take a detour from that historical path.  When it comes to protecting the empire, Democrats and Republicans alike share the same mission, and they both brag about it.
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About buzzanco

Historian, Agitator, Sicilian
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