... Clinton has established this lead by repudiating the netroots theory of politics. ... [T]he netroots emerged in part in rebellion against Clintonian politics. They wanted bold colors and slashing attacks. They didn’t want their politicians catering to what Markos Moulitsas Zúniga of the Daily Kos calls “the mythical middle.”...I'm ready to vote for her if she maintains that hawkish edge. That is, I think there's a hawkish edge in there somewhere, since she going to so much trouble to hide what must be it.
The fact is, many Democratic politicians privately detest the netroots’ self-righteousness and bullying. They also know their party has a historic opportunity to pick up disaffected Republicans and moderates, so long as they don’t blow it by drifting into cuckoo land. They also know that a Democratic president is going to face challenges from Iran and elsewhere that are going to require hard-line, hawkish responses.
Brooks ends by saying that the netroots' "influence is surprisingly marginal, even among candidates for whom you’d think it would be strong." Evidence? "Several weeks ago, I asked John Edwards what the YearlyKos event was like. He couldn’t remember which event I was talking about, and looked over to an aide for help."
Oh, come on now. He looked over at his aide because he couldn't remember it? I'm thinking he looked over at his aide because he knows it's a tricky matter -- it helps him and it threatens to hurt him -- so he's got to play it just right. Seeming not to be closely connected to them is crucial to getting the best leverage out of their support. Edwards isn't dumb and confused. He's smart and strategic.
AND: Matt Yglesias is right about this, I think:
... David Brooks has decided to celebrate his liberation from TimesSelect by penning a column seemingly designed to get tons of liberal bloggers to link to him by pissing us off.
AND: Andrew Sullivan takes umbrage:
The conservative Washington Establishment is swooning for Hillary for a reason. The reason is an accommodation with what they see as the next source of power (surprise!); and the desire to see George W. Bush's invasion and occupation of Iraq legitimated and extended by a Democratic president (genuine surprise). Hillary is Bush's ticket to posterity. On Iraq, she will be his legacy.
Yes, as noted earlier today, Hillary is already consulting with Bush about the war.
... They may oppose one another; but they respect each other as equals in the neo-monarchy that is the current presidency. And so elite conservatives are falling over themselves to embrace a new Queen Hillary, with an empire reaching across Mesopotamia, a recently deposed court just waiting to return to the salons of DC, a consort happy to be co-president for another four years, and a back-channel to the other royal family. She'll even have more powers than Clinton I, because Cheney has given her back various royal prerogatives: arrests without charges, torture, wire-tapping, and spy-ware on your Expedia account. Only the coronation awaits.Why all the monarchy imagery? Anyone who wins the presidency acquires great power. Sullivan has found a way to repeat what we already know: He doesn't like Bush's ideas about the scope of presidential power and the way to use it, and he thinks Hillary Clinton is too much like Bush. But going on about "Queen Hillary" has a bit of a sexist edge to it, especially when Sullivan has chosen to illustrate his post with a photo of a sculpted bust of Hillary, which includes bared breasts. (Yes, I know the bust is supposed to call to mind grandiose Roman emperors who were depicted this way. Nevertheless.)