Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Memo To Hillary Clinton: The Truth Shall Set You Free

Richard Cohen published an incisive column in today’s Washington Post entitled, “The Explanation Hillary Owes.” Cohen himself supported the Iraq war and acknowledges his own flawed judgment. His column also critiques the credibility of other Democratic presidential contenders who voted for the war such as Joe Biden, Chris Dodd and John Edwards. Cohen especially summarized my feelings in his final paragraph:

“Too often when a candidate throws his hat into the ring, he tosses principle out the window. Yet this is precisely what we want in a president -- principles and the courage to stick to them. Instead of Clinton saying she had been misled by Bush and his merry band of fibbers, exaggerators and hallucinators, I'd like to hear an explanation of how she thinks she went wrong and what she learned from it. I don't want to know how Bush failed her. I want to know how she failed her country.”
Give it a read (click here).

1 comment:

Nelson said...

Um, I'm a little confused.

Cohen in his article says that he doesn't blame Clinton, Dodd, Edwards, and Biden for voting for the war, but rather for blaming Bush. Cohen admits that he supported the war. He can't run away from that, certainly, as he stated in 2003:

"The evidence [Colin Powell] presented to the United Nations -- some of it circumstantial, some of it absolutely bone-chilling in its detail -- had to prove to anyone that Iraq not only hasn't accounted for its weapons of mass destruction but without a doubt still retains them. Only a fool -- or possibly a Frenchman -- could conclude otherwise."

If Cohen is saying that they should all admit they were little nodding toy dogs as he describes himself, I can buy that. But that would mean destroying their own candidacies. Cohen seems to believe they can admit it and move on in their races.

Cohen's lapse of judgment was shared by the people he's criticizing. His 'analysis' may have even helped solidify support among those very Senators. He's attributing blame, when he is guilty of the same: "If I were running for the presidency, I might call my position "a mistake" and bray about being misled."

So what's your point, Richard? That their vote for the war isn't a big deal, but they should be more straightforward than you would be?

An aside...Cohen also takes a shot at Obama, suggesting he would have voted differently if he were in the Senate. I'm not so sure about that, considering that Obama knew he would pursue office at a later date.