Hillary’s War

May 7, 2007

One of my favorite law school professors was Mr. William Fratcher, a nationally recognized expert in property law, trusts and future interests, and an exceedingly eccentric man with odd speech patterns (picture an erudite Elmer Fudd) and a dry wit. One day in Property class he posed the question, “If you are the owner of a worthless tract of real estate but have to pay taxes on it each year, how do you get rid of it?”

His answer? “Convey it to a gutter rat.”

I was reminded of that as I watched Hillary’s latest gyration on the war in Iraq. In a recent interview she said, “This is Bush’s war.” Nice try, Hillary, but the inescapable truth is that it is also your war. As much as you’d like to divest yourself of ownership in it, as much as you’d like to convey your interest in it to a gutter rat, like, say, George W. Bush, this is your war, too.

Poor Hillary. Those of us with a speck of discernment always knew she was just pretending to be hawkish to make herself appear more presidential back before the war’s popularity went in the gutter along with our proverbial rat. We also knew that eventually she would have to account to the antiwar Democratic base for her apostasy.

Hillary didn’t merely vote for the Iraq war resolution; for quite some time she took great pains to deliberately distinguish herself from the war’s fiercest critics, which invited condemnation from such leftist luminaries as Cindy Sheehan and Arianna Huffington.

Fellow presidential candidate John “Two Americas — I Live in One While Identifying With the Other” Edwards showed Hillary the way out of this quagmire early on. Just follow the party line that Bush lied us into war, then apologize for having voted for the resolution. Never mind that Edwards’ apology didn’t even brush up against authenticity — he never actually ‘fessed up to making a mistake in judgment, only in falling prey to the “misrepresentations” of that brilliant dunce, President Bush.

But Hillary, not being real conversant with personal mea culpas, wouldn’t even offer an insincere — or, out of respect, should I say “Clintonesque”? — apology to pacify the base. She would only say, “If I had know at the time of the vote on the Iraq war resolution what I know today, I wouldn’t have supported it.” That ranks with her husband’s “I’m sorry for the pain I caused in my marriage,” when the stained dress emerged.

But Hillary doesn’t quite possess her husband’s ability to survive — even prosper from — “Sister Souljah moments.” She fell way short of appeasing the loons. That’s why she’s been steadily intensifying her efforts to win them back.

She didn’t stop at calling it Bush’s war. Along with the KKKonscience of the Senate, Sen. Robert Byrd, she is promoting a pathetically unserious and enormously cynical proposal that Congress repeal the authority it gave President Bush in 2002 to invade Iraq.

It’s unserious because it will never happen — and she knows it. It’s cynical because it is designed not to work but to earn her redemption for her otherwise unforgivable sin of supporting the resolution. And, it is carefully calculated to avoid the charge — that a resolution to cut the funding would certainly bring — that she is not supporting the troops.

As usual, it’s all about Hillary and her political aspirations — the troops and the national interest be damned. It’s too bad Hillary can’t follow her own admonition when she said some time ago, “The exercise of playing politics with war … carries with it a very high cost, and those who choose to play that game are squarely in the wrong.” Indeed. Get this woman a mirror.

In a more perfect world it would take a lot more than what Hillary is doing to win back her base. They would require her to explain her prewar statements, like, “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program … It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capability to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.”

Even if Hillary is able to fool her base into believing the fantastic, self-serving canard that George Bush made her believe this, surely the majority of voters won’t be that willingly gullible.

This may be “Bush’s war,” Hillary, but it’s also yours. How about being presidential and admitting that?