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February 29, 2008

The Harry and Louise of Foreign Policy
Posted by Ilan Goldenberg

I actually don’t think Hillary’s new ad is very effective.  It isn’t all that scary and I think that Democrats generally aren’t as susceptible to the fear card as the general electorate.  But still there is something infuriating about this.  I have spent a good deal of time over the past three years talking to gun shy Democratic candidates and members of Congress who are afraid to stand up on national security precisely because of the fear card.   Now, that started to change in the run up to the 2006 election and Democrats are gaining more and more confidence on this issue (See the recent FISA debate).

But let’s face it the fear card is the tactic that George Bush has used to push through just about every single horrible foreign policy decision of the past 8 years.   In 2002 it was the Cleeland-Osama ads.  In 2004 we had wolves.  In 2006 there were the scary 24 like ads with calls being made from Pakistan to NY, just to name a few. 

Now, the tool is less effective then it used to be.  But in the same way that progressive healthcare wonks hate “Harry and Louise”, and progressive social security wonks hate the word “crisis”, progressive national security wonks despise the fear card.  It undermines everything we do.  It just infuriates me when Democrats start using it against Democrats.

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Now, the tool is less effective then it used to be. But in the same way that progressive healthcare wonks hate “Harry and Louise”, and progressive social security wonks hate the word “crisis”, progressive national security wonks despise the fear card.

Nothing has hurt progressives worse over the years, when the fear card is played, to start whining and complaining and calling "foul" about the playing of the fear card rather than eagerly, confidently and pro-actively seizing the opportunity to make the case that they are in fact the best ones to defend us against the scary things. You don't get to pick and choose what cards your political opponents play. When they play them, you have to respond with a winning play, not start bitching to the dealer. That looks week.

Personally, I would prefer Obama to be the one to get that "3 am call". From what I can tell of Clinton based on her record and campaign performance, she is erratic, a slave of special interest groups, a holder of neocon-lite views of the world, and much too prone to reckless, impetuous and aggressive statements and responses due to her insecurity about the need to project "toughness". Obama seems much more balanced, firm, constant, rational and confident.

She makes herself look like a goddamn secretary in this ad. What president answers the phone him/herself at 3 am or any other minute of the day? Lame.

She makes herself look like a goddamn secretary in this ad.

She makes herself look like a goddamn secretary in this ad.

She makes herself look like a goddamn secretary in this ad.

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This is the information which I was wondering.I would say I liked Obama from the beginning. Then, the Presidential Campaigning began and he came out dirty politicking and slamming fellow Democrats. I decided that that is not the kind of Presidential material I want. I also liked Hillary since the early 1990’s, so I’m voting for her. Obama’s body language during the debate and at the SOU Address shows he is a mean-spirited, spiteful, individual under that pasted on smile. His body language says much more than his mouth, and it is not pleasing. I think she is more honest and open and doesn’t slant something until it is no longer the truth, as does Obama.

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