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Ensuring a liberal Congress is more vital than supporting a Clinton presidency

Former U.S. Seceratary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the 10th National Automobile Dealers Association Convention on January 27, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Former U.S. Seceratary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the 10th National Automobile Dealers Association Convention on January 27, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

As announced Sunday by Online PR News, Hillary Clinton 2016 – “a Beltway-based political organization -- officially launched its website “for Hillary Clinton supporters” Monday.

But according to a series of recent posts by progressive bloggers at Daily Kos, ensuring a liberal Congress is more vital that supporting a Clinton presidency.

“Last weekend, and then on Monday,” the ever clandestine “Armando” wrote for the liberal blog Daily Kos Sunday, “there was a lot of discussion about whether Hillary Clinton was the right Democratic presidential candidate for 2016 and whether progressives would be wise to spend time, energy and resources trying to stop her.”

The cited posts – a Feb. 16 post by fellow Kos blogger Egberto Willies and the Feb. 17 post by Kos “founder and publisher” Markos Moulitsas – were subsequently dissected and criticized.

Willies dared to argue that “Hillary Clinton’s Wall Street baggage” and “the triangulation used by the Clintons against the Republicans in the past may just be used against them in 2016.”

Moulitsas argued that “some people have to come to terms” with the fact that “there is no alternative to Hillary this cycle.”

“If Hillary runs, she's the nominee.”

To “Armando,” Hillary is irrelevant.

“I have what is probably an unpopular view,” he wrote. “I think progressive values and goals for 2014 and 2016 are best achieved not by "Stopping Hillary!" but instead by attempting, as best as possible, and presenting her with a Democratic Party that is firm in its progressivism. This would be achieved by "persuading" Congressional Democrats and potential candidates that they need to adopt progressive values and positions.”

“The more liberal the Congress we give Hillary,” "Armando" presumed, “the more liberal she can govern, the more leverage we have.”

While Moulitsas defines Hillary as “the consensus nominee” – “assuming she runs” – he apparently agrees with "Armando’s" position that ensuring a "more liberal" Congress is more important than supporting her election.

“Me, I won't ignore Hillary, but I won't worry about her either,” Moulitsas wrote. “She'll have all the money and boots she'll need. Instead, I'll focus down ballot, on those Senate, House and state-level races what will determine the partisan composition of our government the coming decade.”

Citing his previous Daily Kos blog post from Nov. 13, 2013 – titled, “How can progressives influence presidents?” – "Armando" even subjugated the significance of a Hillary presidency to the more important opportunity for liberal bloggers “to conduct a progressive persuasion campaign in an election.”

In fact, the only “benefit” "Armando" seems to see “for progressives to a Hillary Clinton presidency” is “a less fettered ability to establish the left flank of politics outside a Democratic White House.”

To better explain, he cited a post written by fellow progressive blogger Chris Bowers of Open Left after a meeting with President Bill Clinton and “a dozen” other “progressive” bloggers “at his New York Offices” on Jan. 15, 2009.

“President Clinton told the assembled bloggers that one of the best things they could do for elected Democrats is to function as a "counterveiling" source of progressive pressure,” Bowers wrote.

That is, he encouraged us to offer left-wing criticism of Democrats on key policy areas, and that we should urge our leaders and elected officials to favor further reaching, more community-focused public policy. In fact, he indicated that he would have wanted more such progressive media pushing him during his time in office.

“I think this is a much more likely approach under a President Hillary Clinton than it was to President Obama,” "Armando" theorized. “In the longer term, increased independence and, hopefully, influence, from progressive segments in and out of Congress would be a good thing that could be produced by a Hillary Clinton presidency.”

But there’s a serious flaw in his theory.

As Fox News’ Liz Peek put it Jan. 19, 2013, “these people tend to confuse Hillary with husband Bill.”

“President Clinton is a liberal,” Peek explained, “but he pivoted when he had to, is a pragmatist, and worked successfully across the aisle.”

But Hillary Clinton, who describes herself as a “modern progressive,” is as much the ideologue as Mr. Obama. Remember that she sacrificed her first-lady influence on the altar of universal healthcare.

"Armando" -- outed by NRO in June 2006 as trial attorney Armando Lloréns-Sar -- is quite the ideologue as well.

"As citizens and activists,” he prosthelytized, “our allegiances have to be to the issues we believe in.”

I am a partisan Democrat, it is true. But the reason I am is because I know who we can pressure to do the right thing some of the time. Republicans aren't them. But that does not mean we accept the failings of our Democrats. There is nothing more important that we can do, as citizens, activists or bloggers than fight to pressure DEMOCRATS to do the right thing on OUR issues.

For a man who was willing to turn his back on progressive "issues" to personally represent Wal-Mart and Shell -- entities attacked by his fellow "progressives" as the ultimate corporate capitalist antichrist and a money-grubbing, big oil environmental barbarian -- it's a curious, if not hypocritical, testimonial.

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