The Financial Times this week published a piece about whether there is a serious anti-Hillary Clinton movement brewing inside the Democratic Party that could threaten her 2008 prospects. I'm not so sure there is a concerted effort to oppose Sen. Clinton as much as there is a new movement brewing to support candidates who are serious about standing up for ordinary citizens and fighting the hostile takeover of our government by Big Money interests.
There are a lot of Democratic operatives in Washington who bemoan the obsessive attacks on Clinton by the right -- attacks motivated by a sick form of hatred of her personally that I just don't understand. That said, if Clinton becomes a target of populist and progressive Democrats, it will not be because of such disgusting personal hatred, but instead because of serious policy concerns about how she would behave as President. Lately, she has seemed all too happy to embrace ultra-right-wing zealots and parrot Bush talking points on the Iraq War -- all while refusing to use her national platform to challenge the Big Money interests that run Washington.
On that last point, the Financial Times tells us why we shouldn't be shocked by that. "Mrs. Clinton has courted corporate America, raising $40 million since 2001," the paper notes. "Lawyers are the biggest single donors, but her two top individual contributors are Metropolitan Life and Goldman Sachs." That may explain why, at a time of strapped budgets, she recently appeared at a high-profile groundbreaking ceremony to hand over millions of dollars of taxpayer-backed loans to Goldman Sachs to help the already wealthy company build a palatial new headquarters in Manhattan. It may explain more generally why she has been using her platform to push flashy, clearly-calculating proposals to ban flag burning instead of proposals to better regulate Big Money interests that are running roughshod over society.
As the Financial Times noted in its piece, I don't think there is a full-on "anti-Hillary" movement yet. And let's be clear -- I am not a reflexive Hillary Clinton hater, and I"ve praised her in the past. But here's the thing: all the talk by out-of-touch Beltway pundits about Clinton supposedly representing the "liberal" or "progressive" wing of the Democratic Party is increasingly being shown to be the farce that it is thanks to Clinton's recent behavior. That's why I've also publicly criticized her recently. And if she continues down this path, I don't think Democrats or progressives should -- or will -- take it sitting down by simply letting her and her giant corporate-funded warchest walk to the 2008 presidential nomination.