10/10/2014 04:01 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Hillary Clinton and the Progressive Pursuit of Perfection


The season of progressive discontent over Hillary's coming 2016 candidacy is upon us.

An article in The Hill by Alexandra Jaffe kicked it off. Exposing"secret emails" from progressives on an email list in which I was the only one quoted who stood up for Hillary. Considering I'm known as a "die hard Clintonite," compliments of profiles in the Washington Post and the New Republic, it shouldn't shock anyone that a liberal feminist would support a qualified woman for president.

The goal of anti-Hillary progressives is to find a challenger to Clinton. Their target is Senator Elizabeth Warren, with Ready for Warren created as the vehicle to convince Warren to run. It's not going to happen, with Warren sending a powerful message in August.

"This letter serves as a formal disavowal of the organization and its activity," Warren's attorney, Marc E. Elias wrote to the Federal Election Commission. "The senator has not, and does not, explicitly or implicitly, authorize, endorse, or otherwise approve of the organization's activities." [Boston Globe]

The message was ignored and so was Senator Warren's own words.

"I'm going to give you the same answer I have given you many times. There is no wiggle room. I am not running for president. No means no."

Warren supporters won't take "no means no" for an answer, which seems a little creepy to me. That progressive activists are ignoring a woman's own words about her own political future, insisting they know best, is very odd, to be kind about it.

One Ready for Warren official was quoted in the Daily Beast on Thursday saying their purpose was "to build an organization that can help Senator Warren win when she decides to run." "When" she decides to run? Democratic campaign veteran Audrey Blondin is quoted in the same Daily Beast article saying, "In a few months it is going to take off. She won't be willing to buck the tide that is carrying her forward."

Senator Warren is nothing if not strong and direct, which is why we all love her so much, so I can't imagine anyone or anything "carrying her forward" against her will.

The headlines keep rolling, because Democratic conflict is click bait.

A recent headline from MSNBC: "Campaign to draft Elizabeth Warren for president gears up."

From The Hill this week: "Liberal grass roots gather to find a challenger for Hillary Clinton."

From AlterNet: "Populist Former Senator Jim Webb Could Give Hillary Clinton Major Headaches in 2016."

The complaint heard most often is Hillary's too "hawkish." Progressives evidently haven't looked at Warren's interview with Yahoo's Katie Couric. Warren has made statements supporting Israel's strong military actions against the Palestinians, and that she also believes the U.S. goal is to "close ISIS down. To end ISIS. To eliminate ISIS." Both statements could have easily come from Hillary Clinton.

As for Wall Street coziness, name one viable nominee for president who didn't have to engage big business. I'll save you the time: there isn't one, including Barack Obama. All of a sudden Hillary Clinton's being held to a different standard.

The American media, as well as a small contingent of progressives, I believe, have completely misjudged the excitement percolating for Hillary Clinton's coming presidential campaign. Republicans have not. Once the midterm elections are over and her announcement gets closer, hold on.

Women have been kept away from the U.S. presidency since our country's inception, because commander in chief duties have always been seen as a man's job. It didn't matter whether the male candidate, regardless of political party, had any experience in foreign policy or not. Now Democrats finally have a strong person who happens to also be a viable female candidate for commander in chief.

No one who saw Hillary Clinton in 2008 is worried that she will face challengers. At the end of the 2008 primary season fighting Hillary had become the best campaigner of the cycle. Just this week in Pennsylvania she once again sent the message about fighting for working people and families, the same case she made the last time she ran and came so close.

What I see in HRC's foreign policy philosophy is bleeding heart humanitarianism, with women and girls the focus. The stuff of action that institutes human empowerment and economic equality in places where desperation drives the violence, as does fundamentalist misogyny that sees women and girls as property, as well as spoils of war to rape and mutilate. From the U.S. State Department during Secretary Hillary Clinton's tenure, a reminder of what's at stake.

Women's empowerment is inextricably linked to security, economic opportunity, effective governance, and social development. It is a simple fact that no country can prosper if half its citizens are left behind. All reliable development indices show that investments in women are the single most effective poverty alleviation mechanism contributing to a society's prosperity; similarly, lack of investment in women characterizes failed states.

Failing states has been called the "toughest development challenge of our era."

There is no potential presidential candidate who is more committed to empowering women and girls than Hillary Clinton, who as first lady challenged China in that country through the words "human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights."

Hillary Clinton is a qualified candidate who's been tested and also happens to be a woman. Not only has she been through the presidential campaign juggernaut, but the other bonus is that whatever can be said about her, no one can claim she's weak on national security.

Someone tell anti-Hillary progressives that in a general election in the era of ISIL that's a very good thing.

And, seriously, if Democrats and progressives aren't excited about making feminist history, who will be?

Taylor Marsh is the author of The Hillary Effect on Clinton's rise and the 2008 election. Her new book is titled The Sexual Education of a Beauty Queen - Relationship Secrets From the Trenches.

Official White House photo by Pete Souza