ith liberals still irate over President Obama's chronic caving to Republicans during Washington's debt-ceiling crisis, pesky questions have resurfaced. On Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher, the politically-incorrect pundit asked his panel, "Do you think people on the Left are having buyers' remorse about the president?" — and the question, finetuned with a focus on Hillary Clinton as the erstwhile Obama alternative, has since inspired plenty of commentary. Should Democrats have picked Clinton instead?
Many liberals think Hillary wouldn't have caved: In recent days, says Leslie Bennetts at The Daily Beast, the whispers about Obama's failings have "swelled to an angry chorus of frustration." The Democratic Party's liberal stalwarts are furious "about Obama's perceived weakness," and "heartbroken at how ineffectual he seemed in dealing with Republican opponents over the debt ceiling." Many are "particularly incensed" by Obama's "capitulation to conservatives on fundamental liberal principles." They believe Hillary would have stood firm.
"Hillary told you so"
And now, arguably, Hillary is the Dems' best hope in 2012: Clinton warned voters in 2008 about the danger of being duped by Obama's rhetoric and the perils of having such an inexperienced leader, says Matthew Dickinson at Presidential Power. Now we have an unpopular president "mired deep in the political muck of Washington...." The best solution: Hillary should run in 2012. Sure, "a contested nomination would be a nasty, brutish spectacle," but the still-popular Clinton, who had no involvement with Obama's unpopular domestic record, has far fewer liabilities than her struggling boss.
"An open letter to Madam Secretary: Run, Hillary, run!"
Not so fast: It's hardly a sure thing that Clinton would have avoided Obama's missteps, says Joan Walsh at Salon. Sure, she would have known from the start "the extent to which the right wing would go to sabotage a Democratic president." But a Hillary presidency also risked becoming a "dreaded sequel to the ugly Clinton Wars," full of "90s-style partisan warfare." And remember, "it's not Obama's fault that the Tea Party took over the GOP."
"Should liberals have buyers' remorse over Obama?"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why China's Communist Party is headed for collapse
- Why Texas Republicans may want to cool the anti-Obama land-grab talk
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- Why the poor's investment of choice is so alarming
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to make perfect fried rice in 6 easy steps
- Obama doesn't have a manhood problem — but conservatives certainly do
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- Why we need a maximum wage
- Why Mindy Kaling — not Lena Dunham — is the body positive icon of the moment
Subscribe to the Week