/* Am I A Pundit Now?: The Hillary Wedge.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Hillary Wedge.

I am surprised that the republicans have not made more of the fact that Hillary is positioning herself well to the right of the rest of the democratic party (excepting perhaps Joe Lieberman). At some point, Hillary's center-right proclamations, such as a retreat from absolute pro-choice orthodoxy, tightening up immigration, and support for developments in Iraq, are going to cause cognitive dissonance in the democratic party. The democratic base will be forced to react at some point - Hillary is the most popular democrat contender for president right now (and make no mistake, she is a contender), and her apostasy will run smack-dab into Deanism during the primaries. Will the democratic party, as a whole, accept or reject republican-lite? What do democrats care more about: principles, or winning? Heh, democrats cannot have both in this day and age, they must choose between the two. It will most likely be like the '04 democratic convention all over again, where the democratic base sucked it up and accepted the faux militarism of Kerry with puckered lemon faces. The democrats will choose winning over principles because, well, since their principles have not fared well in elections the last 20 years or so, winning is all they have left. This is what the republicans need to exploit. Why have republican-lite when you can have . . . a real republican? This is the wedge that will split the democratic party into the Hillary and Dean wings. The dems will not have the Bush-hate glue that bound them into a squirming unity last time, Bush won't be around to kick anymore. Hillary could get savaged by the 'principled' Dean wing of the party, before the republicans even get to her. Somehow, I don't think that the '08 democratic primaries are going to merely be a long coronation ceremory for Hillary. So, let her build her center-right credentials. Let her flip flop on every issue possible, let her build a record that can be assailed by contrast to her previous life as first lady, Hill the Shrill.

2:33 AM | | |