Check out this recent newspaper subhead: "President Barack Obama is facing mounting doubts within his own party about his re-election prospects, with fellow Democrats beginning to ask if Hillary Clinton would have made a better president."
Well, with favorability numbers in the low 40s and 73 percent of Americans believing America is on the "wrong track," doubts do tend to sort of creep in. But Hillary?!
If you're a lefty, sure there's stuff to grumble about. But would the equally left-wing Hillary Clinton, likewise backed by supportive Democratic supermajorities in the House and Senate, have governed differently? Please.
On what political basis -- from the left's perspective -- would Hillary have done a better job in pushing the leftist agenda? During the '08 primaries, what were the differences between Obama and her? She wanted a health care "mandate." He did not. Then he did. OK.
In the eyes of the H2L2 (the hard-hard left-left -- not to be confused with an Obama-like regular old hard left), Obama "caved" to the tea party-led Republicans on the debt deal. The deal included no tax hikes, and "millionaires and billionaires" kept their "corporate jet" loopholes! Egads!
Now, most lefties still love Obama -- until and unless, to quote a former governor of Louisiana, he gets "caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy." The left loves "stimulus," new and proposed taxes on the rich (and many non-rich, too), the redistribution of wealth from unworthy rich to far nobler "working men and women," and rhetoric against Wall Street greed (on which Obama blames the housing crisis).
Lefties applaud the Justice Department lawsuits against the states of Arizona and Alabama over their immigration laws. And the two new female left-wing Supreme Court justices, one a Latina, please the left greatly.
Sure, Obama failed to close Gitmo, but then so did former President George W. Bush. So, gee, it might be harder than the left thought. Give him a mulligan on that one. As for Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama shed the gung-ho image of that warmonger George W. Bush and now undertakes a gradual withdrawal that is condition-based, except on a time certain. Sure, he's involved in three wars, with an incomprehensible involvement in Libya. But then we can always blame Bush ... well, except for the Libyan thing, but whatever.
They adore ObamaCare, an achievement worthy of chiseling Obama's face on Mount Rushmore -- or at least giving him a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. There's probably some stimulus money to get it jump-started. Some quibble that ObamaCare lacks a "public option," a defect so minor that even a collectivist/statist like Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, voted for it. Did Hillary disagree with any of Obama's left-wing, government-spending, money-printing, polar-bear-saving, climate-change-combating, increased-regulation policies/programs/agendas -- which have given us over 9 percent unemployment and tortoise-like growth?
Hillary would have governed differently, all right, but not in a way that pleases the left. After realizing that not one Republican vote supported ObamaCare -- and the public was against it -- Hillary, as she did with HillaryCare in the mid-'90s, would have pulled back and "reformed" heath care in small, less controversial steps. This would have made the left even angrier.
As for "stimulus," when GOP Senate votes seemed unlikely, Hillary -- as her husband did -- would have dropped in some catnip for the Republicans, gotten a handful to sign on, and proclaimed it "bipartisan." The H2L2 would not have liked that.
As for Libya, reports say that Obama at first rejected military involvement in Libya. Hillary pushed for it, arguing that it needed no congressional approval. How's that for a lefty's commander in chief?
Obama still sits on an 83 percent job approval rating among liberal Democrats. The rest won't be satisfied until Congress approves an annual Che Guevara federal holiday.
H2L2s think Hillary would have stood down the tea party/GOP and allowed the supposed default. She would have stood her ground and hoped that people would blame the GOP and she'd cruise to re-election. Really? What in Hillary's political career makes the H2L2 think she would have manned up and said, "Damn you tea partyers, bring on default!" Nothing.
A 1990s "government shutdown" that furloughed "nonessential personnel" is one thing. A default, however, is a different deal altogether. With unknowable financial and political consequences, including the possibility that folks' interest rates and payments go up, a default is uncharted territory, and there is no reason to believe Hillary would have been any more likely to go down that road than Obama.
And how would the black monolithic Democratic voters feel about a Hillary primary challenge to the real first black president?
Here's the question in the brain of the H2L2s: "Why aren't all the things I learned in freshman sociology working?" To which, of course, their brains respond: "It can't be the car. Must be the driver.
"Get me Hillary!"
Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2011 LAURENCE A. ELDER
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