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Defending Hillary

Not that it will matter to the left, but David Brooks writes an effective defense of Hillary Clinton in today's New York Times:

Far be it from me to get in the middle of a liberal purge, but would anybody mind if I pointed out that the calls for Hillary Clinton to apologize for her support of the Iraq war are almost entirely bogus?

Brooks chronicles Hillary's public utterances before the war and finds them surprisingly consistent in seeking a "third way" by opposing a pre-emptive strike but also trying to give additional leverage to Colin Powell and the administration to force a diplomatic solution. Brooks points to Clinton's statement on March 3, 2003, when she said: "It is preferable that we do this in a peaceful manner through coercive inspection. At some point we have to be willing to uphold the United Nations resolutions.This is a very delicate balancing act."

Brooks concludes that Hillary should stand her ground:

Today, the liberal wing of the Democratic Party believes that the world, and Hillary Clinton in particular, owes it an apology. If she apologizes, she'll forfeit her integrity. She will be apologizing for being herself.

Brooks is right, though as John wrote the other day, the political reality is that at some point in the primary - probably sooner rather than later - Hillary's defense of her vote to authorize the war will become such a political liability it will be untenable. So we're fast approaching the moment where Hillary has to choose between her integrity and being president. Any guesses which way she'll go?