Sunday, February 11, 2007

Pillorying Hillary

This weekend in New Hampshire, Senator Clinton again evades a yes or no answer to whether her 2002 vote to go to war was a mistake.

As a constituent then, I wrote, begging her: “Don’t give President Bush a blank check to invade Iraq.” I got back a canned letter, with a tortured rationale for the vote she eventually cast.

But enough is enough. Whatever her reasons to avoid the word “mistake,” the spectacle of her now being pilloried by John Edwards et al, who voted the same way, is disgusting.

As the first woman with a real chance to occupy the Oval Office, she is under pressure to seem as resolute as, say, George Bush. She is making a tactical mistake in not uttering mistake, but her reasons are understandable. What matters now is how forceful she will be in ending all this needless bloodshed.

Her detractors seem to be in the same league as those who wanted John F. Kennedy to assure them he wouldn’t be taking orders from the Pope. They should find subtler ways to express their prejudice.

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