The debate’s finally gotten back to this issue, which is good because earlier today I read a very good precis of exactly what’s so troubling about Clinton’s support of the resolution, notwithstanding her backpedalling since she started taking heat for it. I’ll just turn this over to John Judis:
Clinton’s reason for supporting the resolution was that, as the Times put it, she was shifting from “primary mode, when she needs to guard against critics from the left, to general election mode, when she must guard against critics from the right.” Clinton, the article said, was also “solidifying crucial support from the pro-Israel lobby.”
These explanations reinforce the impression that for narrow political reasons, Clinton lent her support to a measure that might eventually lead to war. And that, of course, revives doubts about Clinton’s vote in October 2002 for the Iraq war: Namely, has she really rethought her support for the Iraq war? And even if she has, will pressure from Washington lobbies or from political opponents who accuse her of timidity sway her to back new military misadventures?
Right. This isn’t just about the impact of the vote, it’s about what the vote tells us about Clinton’s approach to these issues.