What Hillary Will Win In 2016

The Supreme Court.

A reader at Andrew Sullivan’s blog makes the point concisely:

A president Clinton will have […] a very gray Supreme Court (FOUR octogenarians in her first term).  Think about what that means for all those Voting Rights Act cases winding their way up, for gerrymandering (hence, the makeup of the House), for a whole host of immigration issues (as they relate to the electorate).

The GOP is good at histrionics, feigned outrage, and generally vamping to the theatrical side of things, but in the midst of all that motion and energy, President Obama and the Democrats are quietly winning the politics. Domestic policy, foreign policy, the courts. They are playing for the win, and winning.

The midterm elections in 2014 won’t change this (even if Republicans achieve a drubbing of Democrats on election night, which I continue to doubt that they will). If 2014 breaks the Republicans’ way, it will be their last hurrah.

But what’s the long-term win? Domination of the next generation of politics, setting it to the position of “center” and “center-left” (akin to the politics of California).

It’s happening now. Demographic shifts, like gathering clouds, foretell a long Democratic rain on the GOP. Can you see it coming?

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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4 Responses to What Hillary Will Win In 2016

  1. andrewclunn says:

    No I can’t. I think you maybe should spend some time outside of California. Immigration has not taken the sharp left turn you think it has. “Voting Rights” advocacy belongs to those fighting to restore the right to representation to those deemed ‘criminals’ (Something neither party has promoted). And gerrymandering? IF you think that’s A) An issue for only one party or B) That Hillary or her appointees will be a reformer on this, then have I got a bridge to sell you.

    Echo chamber… echo chamber…

    • Santi Tafarella says:

      The center in the center-left equation is likely to be filled by libertarians who want the cultural reforms liberals want, but not the economic redistribution policies. The future belongs to libertarians and center-left liberals battling over go-go capitalism–but not gay marriage or invasion of other countries. It doesn’t belong to the cultural right and the foreign policy neoconservatism of the Bush years. That’s what I mean by a win. The future is moving toward Millennial politics–which is culturally liberal, but also conflicted about the nanny state, and therefore is more open to libertarian economics (without the foreign policy hostility or hostility toward energy efficiency and ecology). The economic tussle between left and libertarian will always work out to a draw in a democracy. Electorates don’t let either side stall the economy without punishment.

      I think you should get out to California more often. The state is an interesting mix of libertarian and liberal policies (despite the stereotypes of right wing media).

      And surely you don’t deny that the demographics of the country are shifting to look more and more like California.

      • andrewclunn says:

        You’re right about the gay marriage battle being over, but nationalism crops up pretty quickly and unexpectedly. Also, the largest growing segment demographically is Indian and Middle Eastern now. The US grows through waves of different immigration patterns, and there’s no reason to believe that they won’t change in unexpected ways.

        All that aside, you appear to be missing the transformation that the Republican Party MAY (I cannot stress the MAY enough here) be undergoing right now, and also appear to believe that the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton are more aligned with progressive politics than recent history would suggest. If you want a progressive champion for the Democratic Party, then hope for Elizabeth Warren.

      • Santi Tafarella says:

        No, I prefer Hillary to Warren. I want a centrist who leans left culturally, not so much economically. And I want somebody centrist in foreign policy. I think Obama’s foreign policy has largely been sane these past five years.

        Hillary’s best VP pick would be Condoleeza Rice. Hillary will probably end up with Warren, which may be fine for winning in 2016, but probably not good if Hillary actually died in office or decided not to run in 2020. Warren at the top of a Democratic ticket is unlikely to be trusted by enough independents to do anything but hobble the Democratic Party.

        But if Republicans can pivot to the center (culturally) faster than I suspect, more power to them. They won’t be in the wilderness long if they can manage that. I would like to see a center-right Republican party that is sane on cultural and foreign policy issues (like gay marriage and Iran) and capable of making deals with the other side. I just don’t see that happening soon. The GOP will probably have to take a series of election hits to pivot to the degree they need to.

        And I’m telling you, dude, the GOP has a serious problem with Hispanic voters. They are playing the California Republican Party’s playbook from the early 1990s, and they’re going to end up in the same situation (far out of power) if they’re not careful.

        And 2014 will only encourage in the Tea Party an unwarranted hubris and derangement about their actual chances over the next decade. Barring an economic or foreign policy calamity, there will be no Putin/Ted Cruz/GW Bush-style right-wing religious and hyper-nationalist presidencies over the next several decades. This is a bullet America will almost certainly dodge, and we can all be thankful for that.

        The country’s ship is moving, slowly but decidedly, in the direction of the politics, not of Russia or Texas, but California. That is, toward fiscal moderates like Jerry Brown.

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