Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hillary's Florida gambit demonstrates just how unfit she is to be President

The only thing Hillary Clinton has to offer the Democratic Party and our nation is dishonesty and divisiveness.

One of the most common criticisms leveled at Hillary Rodham Clinton is her fundamental dishonesty. At the same time, her defenders call accusations about Clinton's dishonest behavior "right-wing talking points" and they routinely dismiss any criticism of her on that score.

For Democrats, taken in the context of her many battles with the Right Wing, it has been all too easy to overlook Clinton's transgressions on this point.

But if you take an example of her behavior outside of the context of the partisan conflict, if you look at her recent behavior towards her fellow Democrats, then an objective observer is likely to arrive at some troubling conclusions. There is no need to plumb the depths of Clinton's long history of political conflict. Recent events provide ample examples of just how ruthless and irresponsible Hillary Clinton can be when it suits her purposes.

When the leaders of Florida's Democratic Party considered moving the date of their primary forward, to a date before February 5th, they were warned that they would be sanctioned if they did. They did move the date forward, and they were sanctioned. All of the Democratic candidates agreed to refrain from campaigning in Florida and signed a pledge to that effect, including Hillary Clinton. A signed pledge: a written promise. The Florida Democratic Party was stripped of its delegates; again, all the candidates agreed to this in writing, including Hillary Clinton. A promise, in writing.

Hillary Clinton went back on her written promise not to campaign and began releasing statements saying she thought that Michigan and Florida's delegates should be reinstated. While the other Democratic front runners honored their pledge to remove their names from the Michigan primary: Hillary Clinton left her name in, violating her written promise. Clinton then told the people of Florida that she would have their delegates reinstated: another lie.

Heaped upon the issue of Clinton's dishonesty in connection with the Michigan and Florida primaries, is her disloyalty to the Democratic Party and the divisiveness she brings in the single-minded pursuit of her ambition. All of the other Democratic front runners relied upon the ruling of the National Democratic Party and acted in good faith. Now that Hillary has "won" these states where the other candidates were barred from competing, Clinton wants to have their delegates count towards her total.

The consequences of seating the Florida and Michigan dlegates would be dire. It would be to, in effect, steal the election from the other Democratic candidates. If Clinton persists in her attempts to have the Florida and Michigan delegations seated it will literally break the Democratic Party.

A person capable of this much dishonesty is simply unfit for the Presidency. Anyone willing to utterly wreck the Democratic Party in pursuit of their own ambitions is unfit to serve as the leader of the Democratic Party. Having wrecked the Democratic Party, Clinton would then have no hope of winning the general election against a Republican Party unified by its hatred of Hillary Clinton.

Barack Obama, in contrast, has the potential to attract an incredibly diverse base of support. It's an open question as to whether Obama might possibly get the endorsement of Al Gore, but it's something Hillary Clinton is unlikely to get. Obama attracts new voters. Obama even attracts crossover from the Republican Party--not by compromising his Progressive ideals--just by demonstrating personal integrity. This is critical in a year when so many Republicans are disaffected with their own party. Where will the disaffected supporters of Ron Paul go once Paul is denied the Republican nomination? Obama can unite a new majority without compromising his integrity.

Hillary Clinton's Florida gambit, and the dishonesty and divisiveness it exposes, shows just how unfit Hillary Clinton is for the Presidency.

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