Hillary will do what it
By Alan Chartock
Special to The Eagle
Saturday, February 26,
2005 - It would appear that Hillary Clinton is taking a page
out of husband Bill's play book. She is turning into a middle-American
semiconservative before our very eyes. On issues like the war in Iraq,
abortion and many others, she is becoming a Democrat whom Republicans can
Bill Clinton did precisely the same thing
his first time out, embracing issues like welfare and education reform.
It worked like a charm. Of course, Bill Clinton had a way of communicating
that Hillary does not. But I have interviewed Mrs. Clinton and she is incredibly
smart and facile and can do what she needs to do. She was anything but
somber. I'm telling you that this election will be all about returning
Team Clinton to the White House.
Even though Hillary seems to be morphing
into a Republican, I believe that the Clintons have basic liberal instincts.
We saw that demonstrated by the Clinton administration in the White House.
Right now, Bill is traveling the globe
with his old nemesis Papa Bush. There have got to be a lot of conservative
Republicans who are furious about that. All it does is scream to the American
people that "Those Clintons are good people." There will, of course, be
those voters to the left of center who will want to punish Mrs. Clinton
for her political move to the right, but I am not among them. I know all
about Karl Rove and his manipulation of ideas. You really can't let one
side write the rules for the other, which is exactly what Rove has been
doing with all his little tricks. As a matter of faith, I believe that
Hillary will do for this country what Bill did. I believe that she will
balance the budget and bring some sanity back into our foreign policy.
So I'm all for her and will vote for her when I get the opportunity.
In the meantime, the national Democrats
have moved in the opposite direction by electing Howard Dean as the new
national chairman. While Hillary is becoming more conservative, Dean will
show both his conservative side and his anti-war side. Assuming that the
news from Iraq keeps getting worse, the two of them could be a formidable
team. Clinton remains the choice of most Democrats to be the candidate
in the next election and Dean is now known as the man who told the truth
the last time out. I like the combination.
We in Massachusetts have school choice,
meaning you can move from one district to another. Any decent parent wants
their kid to get the best education they can. If the Lee schools are better
than the Pittsfield schools, Mrs. Jones drives Sally to Lee. Pittsfield
loses the revenue and Lee gets it.
The latest theory in the politics of education
is that competition will force schools to get better. But whoa, it isn't
that easy. Some districts, like Pittsfield, have real inner-city educational
problems. By allowing the best and often the brightest to run to another
district, you create a self-fulfilling death spiral. It isn't only the
kids who run from a challenged district. It's also administrators, superintendents
and everyone else who would prefer to work in an easier, rather than a
harder, place. Is anyone really surprised to see Pittsfield Superintendent
William Travis leaving town to go to the Mount Greylock district?
Scott Ritter, the former Marine and United
Nations weapons inspector is flatly saying that the United States will
invade Iran in the near future. President Bush says that the idea is ridiculous,
but continues to say everything is on the table.
I recently spoke with a very influential
and bright congressman, John B. Larson from the 1st District of Connecticut.
Larson is sure that the Pentagon had prepared plans for an Iran invasion.
He also suggested that U.S. resources would be stretched very thin both
in terms of personnel and money if we were to attempt such an invasion.
He did say that no one should underestimate the power of the United States
to wage this kind of campaign. To me, it all seems pretty far-fetched.
We don't have enough soldiers for Iraq and Afghanistan and our European
allies would be all over us if we tried to take on Iran.
Judging from the way the Iranian regime
has behaved in the past toward the "Great Satan," I don't think that they'll
be in a terribly compliant mood toward this country. But do I think the
neocons have the stomach to kill more of our young people and more civilians?
We know they do.
Alan Chartock, a Great
Barrington resident, is president and CEO of WAMC Northeast Public Radio
and a professor of communications at SUNY-Albany. His web site is www.alanchartock.com