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« Random Thursday Lyrics | Main | First they came for the steelworkers... »

So whatchoo gonna do about it, huuuuuuuh?

David Atkins at Digby's place writes something that sounds familiar to me:

I was late to make a choice between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Presidential campaign. I liked Dodd's stance on the FISA court, but I knew he couldn't win and that he was corruptible in other ways. Kucinich was a hopeless lightweight with serious problems on women's issues. I never trusted John Edwards or his newfound conversion to progressivism after he left office. Barack Obama had dissed the netroots and was far too interested in compromise to be the fighter we needed in the White House.

But Hillary Clinton? Not a chance. Hillary Clinton had been at Bill Clinton's side during all the deregulatory and free trade policies of the 1990s. She was forceful in the ludicrous attempt to regulate video games with no evidence whatsoever. Her handling of healthcare reform was politically hamhanded. One could say that she was only serving as Bill Clinton wished. But then as a Senator from New York she only continued to serve the interests of neoliberals on Wall Street. Then came the Presidential campaign, in which she hired the worst possible consultants and advisers, then ran a campaign of arrogant inevitability as a moderate who would attempt to bring back the 90s magic. She refused to apologize for her vote for the Iraq War. All her economic advisers reeked of the Rubin and Summers clan.

When I finally settled on Barack Obama, it was a gamble. He had opposed the Iraq War from the beginning. He had spoken highly of single-payer healthcare, and railed against economic inequality. I was hoping that he would be at least the shadow of a transformational figure, someone who could achieve massive popularity and then scare legislators into bowing to his personal popularity and charisma to pass legislation. I was hoping that he would be the progressive-in-disguise that the right so feared he would be, and that his campaign painted him as more moderate than he really was in order to make white America comfortable with voting for a black man with an unfortunate middle name.

Above all, I figured that whoever President Obama brought in as economic advisers would have to be different from the old Clinton crew. I knew that Hillary Clinton would certainly bring in the same people. I didn't know what Obama would do, but I knew it couldn't be worse.

Ha, ha! Then Obama appointed every former Clintonite possible (except Robert Reich, of course), including Hillary!

Atkins goes on from there to talk about the Summers/Yellen debate. A little impotently (understandably). If you appoint Summres over Yellen, why then we'll be really upset!

But the longer term issue is around 2016. Hillary Clinton is already presumed to be in the running and the inevitable winner of the Dem primary. The good news is that i think she might be more of a fighter and less of a pre-emptive compromiser than Obama. But i agree with all the reasons Atkins used to choose Obama over Clinton in the 2008 primaries and i think at best her policies would be more of the same compared to Obama's (note that "more of the same" plus "fights better" might result in better policy outcomes). So the question is, is there anyone that the left wing of the Democratic party wants to get behind? Feingold? Wyden? Udall? They/we should be recruiting, organizing, and raising money for it now.

By fnord12 | August 15, 2013, 12:33 PM | Liberal Outrage