Monday, June 02, 2008

Did Clinton "Have" to Vote for the Iraq War Resolution?

One argument that women who support Hillary Clinton advance for why she voted the way she did on the Iraq War Resolution is that she "had" to vote that way in order to be a credible presidential candidate in 2008. The argument goes that since the public has questions over whether a woman can be "tough" enough to be president, she could not afford to vote against the Resolution because it would make her seem "weak." Thus, even though she might not have trusted what Bush would do with the power given to him by the Resolution, she had to vote "Yea" to maintain her political credibility.

Frankly, that argument makes Clinton look very calculating. Not only does it make her look calculating, it makes her look calculating with the lives of other people's children. What it basically says is that Clinton was willing to send other people's children off to die or be wounded so that she could be a valid presidential candidate in 2008.

There is only one reason to vote to send American troops into combat and that is because you believe that such action is absolutely vital to the security of the United States. You don't vote to send other people's children off to be killed because it helps improve your chances to become president.

It would be better to say that she believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and that removing them was absolutely essential to the security of the United States. Of course, that argument would be undercut by Clinton's own speech on the floor of the Senate when she claimed that she was voting for the resolution in order to strengthen Bush's hand diplomatically. The problem with that rationale is that it assumes that she was willing to give Bush the benefit of the doubt when there is absolutely no evidence he deserved it.

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