Would A Hillary Clinton Presidency Be Tough On The Gop?

by Isaac Chotiner | January 15, 2008

Matt Yglesias writes:

I won't even pretend to be appalled by Clinton's cynicism -- the disenfranchisement gambit and all the rest -- because, frankly, the idea that Clinton would use dishonest political tactics to beat the GOP is, in my view, probably the most appealing thing about her.

I assume this is meant partially in jest, so there's no need to get all high-minded, but I still think there is an important point here that Matt analyzes incorrectly. If Clinton is indeed cynical, and has no qualms about depressing caucus turnout and using other unsavory means to beat Obama, the rational assumption to make is that Clinton will do almost anything to get elected. Since, I would assume, one of Matt's main hopes for a Democratic administration is that it will be tough and ruthless with Republicans on policy, surely this sort of cravenness is exactly what he does not want. People who blow with the political wind are much more likely to compromise and find a perfect "middle-ground" on every issue. If he thinks that the Clinton campaign's "toughness" with Obama is a sign that it will be tough on ideological or policy matters, he has things completely backward.

P.S. On the other hand, maybe he just wants to run a tough campaign and attack the GOP constantly until November, which admittedly has a certain appeal.

--Isaac Chotiner 

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/the-plank/would-hillary-clinton-presidency-be-tough-the-gop