Wednesday, February 07, 2007


I am going to point to todays article over at the Daily Howler, with slight disagreement. His first article criticizes AMERICAblog and Atrios for misreading an AP report in order to make Hillary Clinton look bad. So far so good, he makes a convincing case. And there has always been the danger that in battling monsters we could become monsters.

But then he says this which I find a bit more difficult to swallow.
As we said a few days ago, we want to see Clinton, Edwards or Obama elected. (Or Gore, if he enters the race. Or Richardson, Biden, Kucinich or some other, if a miracle occurs.) Without intending any disrespect, none of the Big Three is the candidate we would design in a lab. But you go to election with the hopefuls you have, not the ones you can dream or imagine. Franklin D. Roosevelt won’t be running this year. We need to win with the hopefuls we’re given.

And frames will be built around these candidates—frames which can later be used to defeat them.
I agree with him on this point - it's self evident - but I disagree with the obvious conclusion. The obvious conclusion is that we should take it easy on Clinton (and Obama and Edwards) because any mud we sling at them will still be there for Republicans to use in the general election. That's true, for what it's worth. But that's what a primary season is all about. What kind of Democratic Party do we want to be? If Hillary Clinton represents your idea of what this party needs to be, than fight for her. But there are obviously plenty (particularly among the grassroots political active left) who don't see her as an ideal candidate. They are going to continue pointing out what they see as her deficiencies because they don't want her to be our standard bearer - you might disagree with them, but that's what a primary fight is all about.

And I don't think we should hold back because our labels might be used later in ways we don't like.

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