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Russell Shaw Headshot

If Hillary's Nominated, No Progressive Third Party Voting Please

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I am not a fan of Hillary Clinton. As I have written before in this space, I find her overly shrewd, power-coveting, scripted, focus group-driven and hypocritical.

But then I look at this past week's 5-4 Supreme Court vote against "partial birth abortion." Then I hold up the ages of liberal Justices John Paul Stevens (87), and an increasingly feeble Ruth Bader Ginsburg (74) against the actuarial tables. I just pray these two are able to serve on the Court until that hopefully blessed morning of January 20, 2009.

At Noon on that day, a Democrat will- from my mouse to the Goddess' ears- take the Oath.

I'd love for the oath-taker to be Al Gore, or John Edwards, or Bill Richardson. But if it comes down to saving Roe, I'd settle for Hillary. With more campaign funds than her Democratic opponents, her nomination is likely. I can see where Obama will fade, Edwards may need to drop out, and Gore will stay out.

At this point in time, though, I can see a scenario that causes ideological purists on our side of the fence to do something stupid that will cause Hillary to fall short, and thus, pave the path for another anti-choice, Justice-appointng Republican to get into the White House.

Here's what I am afraid could happen, in chronological order:

1. Hillary wins the Democratic nomination for President.

2. Progressives still bearing a grudge against Hillary for her 2003 vote for the Iraq War start a strategically clueless quest for a left-wing independent nominee.

3. A left-wing alternative emerges: Russ Feingold, Bernie Sanders, Dennis Kucinich, maybe even (G-R-R-R-alph Nader again. Hell, if Henry Wallace or Barry Commonner were still alive, they'd get votes as well.

4. Enough dreamy, non-practical progressives let their anger at Hillary's 2003 Iraq vote blind them to the political realities on the ground- and thus vote for the progressive.

5. The "progressive" candidate siphons enough votes from Hillary to tilt enough states into the Republican column that a McCain, Guiliani, Huckabee, etc. takes the oath. Of course there will be conspiracy theories of "stolen elections," but all that hemming and hawing will accomplish will be to psychologically enable some of our fellow lefties who will vote for third party candidates to deflect blame.

But a lot of good that will do. I say this because of Step 6:

6. And then the fifth anti-Roe "Justice" wins confirmation, overturns Roe (if it hasn't already been accomplished by then) and then pregnant, poor women in anti-choice states go to jail or even die at the hands of back-alley abortionists.

Yes, this past week's "partial birth abortion" vote convinced me what I have already been thinking.

To quote Bob Dylan, "the line it is drawn, the curse it is cast."

Which I why if it really comes down to it, I'd rather hold my nose and forgive Hillary Clinton for her pro-war votes than allow any "strict constructionist"-appointing Republican President in.

I may not trust Hillary about too many things, but I do trust her to appoint the right type of Supreme Court Justices.