Tuesday, June 23, 2015
There are no sure things in politics, but Hillary Clinton is the closest thing to a sure thing to become the Democrats' candidate for president in 2016.
This is one of the painful but inescapable signs of our time. There is nothing in her history that would qualify her for the presidency, and much that should disqualify her. What is even more painful is that none of that matters politically. Many people simply want "a woman" to be president, and Hillary is the best-known woman in politics, though by no means the best qualified.
What is Hillary's history? In the most important job she has ever held -- Secretary of State -- American foreign policy has had one setback after another, punctuated by disasters.
U.S. intervention in Libya and Egypt, undermining governments that were no threat to American interests, led to Islamic extremists taking over in Egypt and terrorist chaos in Libya, where the American ambassador was killed, along with three other Americans.
Fortunately, the Egyptian military has gotten rid of that country's extremist government that was persecuting Christians, threatening Israel and aligning itself with our enemies. But that was in spite of American foreign policy.
In Europe, as in the Middle East, our foreign policy during Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State was to undermine our friends and cater to our enemies.
The famous "reset" in our foreign policy with Russia began with the Obama administration reneging on a pre-existing American commitment to supply defensive technology to shield Poland and the Czech Republic from missile attacks. This left both countries vulnerable to pressures and threats from Russia -- and left other countries elsewhere wondering how much they could rely on American promises.
Even after Russia invaded Ukraine, the Obama administration refused to let the Ukrainians have weapons with which to defend themselves. President Obama, like other presidents, has made his own foreign policy. But Hillary Clinton, like other Secretaries of State, had the option of resigning if she did not agree with it. In reality, she shared the same flawed vision of the world as Obama's when they were both in the Senate.
Both of them opposed the military "surge" in Iraq, under General David Petraeus, that defeated the terrorists there. Even after the surge succeeded, Hillary Clinton was among those who fiercely denied initially that it had succeeded, and sought to discredit General Petraeus, though eventually the evidence of the surge's success became undeniable, even among those who had opposed it.
The truly historic catastrophe of American foreign policy -- not only failing to stop Iran from going nuclear, but making it more difficult for Israel to stop them -- was also something that happened on Hillary Clinton's watch as Secretary of State.
What the administration's protracted and repeatedly extended negotiations with Iran accomplished was to allow Iran time to multiply, bury and reinforce its nuclear facilities, to the point where it was uncertain whether Israel still had the military capacity to destroy those facilities.
There are no offsetting foreign policy triumphs under Secretary of State Clinton. Syria, China and North Korea are other scenes of similar setbacks.
The fact that many people are still prepared to vote for Hillary Clinton to be President of the United States, in times made incredibly dangerous by the foreign policy disasters on her watch as Secretary of State, raises painful questions about this country.
A President of the United States -- any president -- has the lives of more than 300 million Americans in his or her hands, and the future of Western civilization. If the debacles and disasters of the Obama administration have still not demonstrated the irresponsibility of choosing a president on the basis of demographic characteristics, it is hard to imagine what could.
With our enemies around the world arming while we are disarming, such self-indulgent choices for president can leave our children and grandchildren a future that will be grim, if not catastrophic.
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is www.tsowell.com. To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2015 CREATORS.COM
See Other Political Commentary.
See Other Commentaries by Thomas Sowell.
Views expressed in this column are those of the author, not those of Rasmussen Reports.
Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.
We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.
Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.