The Truth About Hillary
Look, I am in no way a Hillary Clinton supporter. But I've often been amazed at the irrational response she inspires in conservatives. For some reason, they can't stand her, even though her time in the Senate has been nowhere near as liberal as they predicted ("She's going to be the female Teddy Kennedy" they said in 2000). Ross Douthat, over at the Atlantic, gives a reasoned conservative response to this knee-jerk Republican response.
In the midst of a piece on religious-right leaders and what they would do if Giuliani were the GOP nominee, we have this:
Several social conservative leaders are leaving a narrow window open to supporting Giuliani in the general election if the New Yorker wins the GOP nomination.
"Where Mayor Giuliani is today, I absolutely could not support him. However, I would not completely rule it out," said Pat Mahoney, executive director of the Christian Defense Coalition. "There's two words that change the whole dynamic, and those two words are Hillary Clinton."
Now maybe Mahoney is just using "Hillary Clinton" as a stand-in for "any pro-choice Democrat," in which case fair enough - but from the way he and many on the Right talk about the Senator from New York, it often seems that there's some special reason why social conservatives should fear her above any other Democrat. This, in spite of the fact that it's pretty clear that Hillary would be the most rightward nominee to emerge from the Democratic primaries. She'll probably be indistinguishable from an Obama or an Edwards on the social issues, but if there's any daylight between them, the nature of their respective constituencies - and what seem to be Hillary's own political instincts on abortion - will push her toward the middle, not the left. At some point, the Right needs to get over its fears of Hillary the feminist extremist, and recognize her for the DLC liberal that she's become - someone to oppose, certainly, but not the worst the Democratic Party has to offer by any means.