Saturday, May 10, 2008
(10:23 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
The Death of "Toughness"As is well-known, Democrats frequently go along with Republicans on foreign policy issues out of a desire to look "tough." As is also well-known, Democrats other than Lieberman never get any credit for such positions.
Hillary Clinton's campaign is the culmination of the quest for "toughness." Not only does she embrace right-wing foreign policy positions for the sake of "toughness," but she also began to base the entire rationale for her candidacy on how "tough" she was in her struggle against Barack Obama. Indeed, many liberal candidates expressed a grudging respect for her and wondered if perhaps her "toughness" would actually make her the better candidate.
Yet crucially, "toughness" didn't work! Barring some miracle, she has lost the nomination -- in fact, she effectively lost it two months ago. The whole charade of "toughness" took place as a desperate gambit after the battle had already been lost.