For all the ad hominems and bombast directed toward Hillary Clinton by the Republican field, on substantive issues of military belligerence and interventionism in the affairs of foreign countries, there is little difference between Hillary and the Republicans.
Same goes for such issues as political campaign financing, lobbyists, Wall Street, breaking up the too big to fail banks, and the appointment of industry hacks to departments, regulatory agencies, and even cabinet positions which oversee their very industries,
On most issues, such as immigration reform, women’s reproductive health, national healthcare, voting rights, expanding rights for the LGBT community, etc, Hillary is the far more attractive candidate to Democrats.
So, what’s the problem?
Apart from the power to appoint justices and judges, and to issue temporary executive orders, neither Hillary nor a Republican president can accomplish anything with a deadlocked Congress.
The Democrats are poised to retake the Senate in 2016. The Republicans are guaranteed to hold the House.
The Republican majority in the House of Representatives exists because Republicans controlled the majority of statehouses and governor’s mansions after the 2010 Census, and were able to reapportion Congressional Districts by the odious practice of gerrymandering (drawing district boundaries to ensure control by Republicans).
Congressional reapportionment occurs every ten years. The districts will not change until after the 2020 Census, which means Republicans will control the House until Hillary (or the Republican) seeks re-election for a second term.
Now imagine the political environment in which a President Hillary would lead the ticket in contests for state legislatures and governorships across the country, states that are must wins for Democrats if we are to control congressional reapportionment.
Even a popular president has limited coattails. But an unpopular one has virtually none.
Four years of a presidency that will be as stymied as has been Obama’s second term is unlikely to be popular in 2020. And defending an unproductive and unpopular incumbent will be a burden on both the president’s re-election and winning statehouses.
Basically, both the Republicans and the Democrats would likely do better in 2020 if they are not defending an incumbent president.
The Democrats will have the additional problem of having to defend Obama’s eight years in addition to Hillary’s four, and to make a credible case why Americans should extend Democratic control of the White House to a 16 year run, the longest run since it was held by FDR and Truman from 1932 to 1952.
If the Republicans keep a majority of chambers and governors, they will be able to draw Congressional districts which will give them control of the house for another decade.
If the Democrats run against a Republican incumbent in 2020, they will likely win the White House as well as ensure enough Democratic statehouse victories to end Republican gerrymandering of the House.
But the most important by-product of Hillary losing the presidential race to the Republican would be the opportunity afforded to Democratic progressives to take over the Democratic Party.
The Democratic Party has been controlled by Wall Street since Woodrow Wilson was president. Every Democratic president since has been a Wall Street Democrat.
On economic policy and support of Wall Street and corporate America, Wall Street Democrats are indistinguishable from Republicans. They are free to differ on social policies in which Wall Street has no stake, but they are in lock-step with the capitalists who finance both parties and control the government no matter who is in office.
A threat to that system is currently sweeping in from the left wing of the Democrats with the campaign of Bernie Sanders.
If Sanders manages to win the Democratic nomination and the presidency in 2016, the entire analysis above is invalid!
Sanders would have no more success than would Hillary in the face of a Republican controlled House, but Sanders’ presidency would be spent in furthering his political revolution, substantially growing the party with new young recruits, the disenfranchised poor and working poor, and re-invigorating leftists who have been frozen out of Democratic influence for decades.
A Sanders re-election campaign would be unlike any in recent memory. And it would bring out all those new, idealistic, and enthusiastic voters in 2020.
The difference between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders could not be more stark.
Hillary is a capitalist. Bernie is not.
While Hillary’s public pronouncements sound very much like Bernie’s, their political and economic differences are profound.
When push comes to shove, Hillary will back Wall Street and the oligarchy. She is one of them. She raises millions of dollars from them. Her husband was their president. Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, George W, and every president in modern times has appointed industry lobbyists and executives to positions in their administrations which oversaw those very industries.
There is no indication that Hillary would act differently. Her record certainly suggests that she is quite comfortable with Wall Street lobbyists.
Given that she has raised millions of dollars from Wall Street lobbyists, Monsanto, Big Oil, Big Banks, etc, it is reasonable to question her allegiances.
Sanders could change the future of the Democratic Party for generations. And would have a much better chance of securing the House for Democrats in 2020.
My choice for president in 2016 is Bernie Sanders.
I have no use for the Republicans, but abhorrent as they are, Hillary would be a worse choice for Democrats.
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