I heard Markos Moulitsas, founder of the Daily Kos blog, interviewed on the SiriusXM station on Saturday night. Towards the end of the interview, he noted that Hillary had equivocated on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement for a such long time, that by the time she finally came out against it, she could not benefit from her position. Why not? Because when she finally declared against the TPP, it came across as -- in Markos' words -- "political expediency." Yes. Markos nailed it. Because it appeared to be political expediency, she could not benefit from her opposition to the trade policy.
And, as they say, "Where else does this show up?"
Much has been made of Hillary's vote on the Iraq War. First President Obama, and now Senator Sanders, made and make political capital questioning Secretary Clinton's judgment in casting that vote in the Senate. As a resident of New York at the time, I saw that vote for what it was: Political Expediency. I do not, and did not at the time, think that Hillary voted for the war because she believed in it. Rather, I have felt for a long time that she voted for the war because she didn't want a vote against the war to come back to haunt her . It was a calculated move, like most of her decisions. If we were to question her judgment, it would be about whether the vote was, actually, politically expedient.
During the Univision debate in Florida, the moderator asked her about a recent Washington Post poll that showed that "only 37 percent of Americans consider you honest and trustworthy." Why? The answer, when you think about it, comes down to the same two words: "Political Expediency."
Hillary's campaign premise is two-fold:
1. We must elect a Democrat president, because we cannot afford a Republican president for so many reasons. And....
2. She will do everything she can to become the nominee so that Democrats will have no choice but to vote for her in November.
If that means pretending that Bernie did not work for health care reform in 1993 and 1994, so be it.
If it means posturing as a moderate, so be it.
If it means posturing for political revolution, so be it. If it means posturing against trade agreements, or in favor of them, so be it.
Unfortunately, we hear that from her time and time again. "We MUST elect a Democrat to the White House!" And, she is right, of course. But that's as much as she can say on the subject, without morphing into Bernie.
Which brings us to SNL.
Political satire can cut through BS like a hot knife through butter, and this past weekend, Saturday Night Live had Hillary literally morphing into Bernie. SNL did a tremendous job pointing out the same Political Expediency that Markos noted. They had Hillary morphing into Bernie. Because that is what she does. She becomes her opponent to steal his thunder. Will she morph into Trump, or Cruz? Probably not. But she will likely move right to steal some of their thunder. That's what she does.
As the host who was interviewing Markos noted, we need to elect a Democratic president, even if it means to hold our nose to vote "Blue." And Democrats will, regardless of the candidate.
And Democrats do. I mean, did anyone really vote for Mondale? Or vote for Dukakus? No. Democrats voted against Reagan and against George H.W. Bush. We held our nose and voted. I know I did. We may have to do the same, again, this year. I am hoping that is not the case.
Hillary is counting on two things:
First, she is counting on her name-recognition and the party establishment to get her nominated as the Democratic candidate for President.
Second, since she knows that we know that we can't afford a Republican President -- which would be a disaster in so many ways -- she is counting on us to vote for her as the only alternative to Trump or Cruz.
And, sadly, she will likely take our support for granted while she veers rightward during the general election -- you know, to be Politically Expedient. As Kate McKinnon, playing Hillary becoming Bernie, stated, in the spoof of an ad,
"I'm whoever you want me to be."
Both Markos and SNL nailed it.