Thursday, April 21, 2016

"How Hillary Clinton Became a Hawk": Why I hope Bernie stays in the race a little longer.

The decision between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in next week's Pennsylvania primary has been a tough one for me — though my heart says "Bernie," my head says "Clinton," largely because I believe he can't deliver on his vision but that she can, at the very least, defend and cement Democratic gains of the last eight years.

But NYT Mag's story, "How Hillary Clinton Became a Hawk" reminds me that I think she's shown some awful judgment on the foreign policy front, and it includes this — to me — chilling sentence:

Well then.

Here's my problem: That awful summation doesn't change my earlier assessment. But I'm not interested in supporting her hawkishness. What's a dovish lefty to do?

Root for Bernie to hang around a little longer, I think.

There's been some talk this week, after Clinton's win in the New York primaries, that Bernie should bow out for the greater good of the Democratic Party. I don't think that's true: Hillary stuck around in 2008 long past the point it seemed clear that Barack Obama would win the nomination, and he did fine in the general election.

The dynamics aren't quite the same this year, but: The longer Bernie sticks in the race and continues to attract significant support, the more Clinton gets the message — not all of us are on board with your entire agenda. It's something she needs to hear, I think.

In 2008, she lost the nomination when Obama ran to her left. Bernie's done the same thing this year and made securing the top spot more difficult than she imagined. Will that make a difference if she gets to the White House? I don't know. But it can't hurt.

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