Sunday, November 25, 2007

In the last debate, Hillary declared with a simple "No" that she was against the granting of driver licenses to illegals. Prior to that, she had stated a less definitive position on the matter, one that saw her Democratic opponents jump all over her for being what they felt was less than forthright.

I say both of her answers were appropriate and just fine for different reasons.

Her first, less definitive reply to this issue was understandable because not all issues are black & white in nature. How many times must I write that some if not many political topics are very complex, complicated and with much nuance. It's not every issue that has clear-cut resolutions; many inherently are just not easy to address -- this illegals and driver licenses a perfect example.

It gets back to the title of my blog which acknowledges that there's not always black & white clarity and obvious right or wrong to every issue, rather there's much grey area for difficult situations. Hillary was trying to recognize and speak to the tough aspects of what Spitzer was facing with this issue, but she was immediately accused of flip-flopping and saying both yes and no to the question. Nonsense. She simply admitted Spitzer was trying to make better a very difficult problem by proposing at least one, imperfect solution to it. She wasn't necessarily for it politically but she she understood what he was trying to do.

As for her more recent "No" answer, that too was appropriate given the fallout of her first answer, and given the unfortunate realities of the political game. She was forced into making a contrite, black/white declaration on the matter, to not elaborate but instead just offer a blurb and move on. Predictably, when she did make this brief reply in the debate, her foes just moved on. (Groan)

Notice with Hillary's first answer the right-wing attacked, not just because they hysterically decry anything Hillary has to say about anything, but in this case they foamed at the mouth because they must have black & white. Absolutely no nuance allowed, ever. They can't stand or tolerate at all the grey area. They demand to have easy answers to every issue or their heads will explode.

And Hannity, Limbaugh, O'Reilly et al oblige this demand, having made this inflexible, definite thinking their bread and butter. Their listeners and the Republican base do not allow for "wishy washy" wonkery speak or reasonable discourse. They only want sound bites that are quick to digest and memorize, making it a simple task to repeat the talking points to friends. They also want brief blurbs that sound right -- even if they make little sense in actuality. It's why when they're in government and have the power, things often go awry. It's an unfortunate fact that much of life is complicated and doesn't yield to their desire for clap-trap solutions. It's called reality.

By the way, equivocating is a different matter. Equivocating is not giving a straight answer to a simple, black and white question. Example: do you like chocolate ice cream or not? A much different matter than addressing a complex dilemma that cannot be properly considered or vetted via the use of near primitive verbiage or thinking.

Speaking of simple and neanderthal-like, do we really need four more years of "fighting-them-there-so-we-don't-have-to-fight-them-here" or "bring it on!"?

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