As many commentators have noted, Hillary Clinton seems to be sleep-walking to the 2016 Presidential nomination. The absurdity of U.S. Presidential campaigns nowadays is one in which candidates seem to feel they must begin their soft campaigns years ahead of their actual declared campaigns, including all the fund-raising and ass-kissing involved.
As we know, this ruinously expensive process ends up floating up the well-known pols and largely sinking the serious candidates that don’t fit the predominant messaging of either party. The GOP, especially since the Reagan Era is particularly vulnerable to rigid ideological posturing, which, as we know, is hostile to the values of much of the American public but which can work in gerrymandered, conservative, predominantly white districts. As a result, the Congress has become polarized and paralyzed in a divided government. So states are becoming ever more dissonant from each other in their policies and laws. This is the GOP policy of enabling the 10th Amendment. They know it won’t work in the states which aren’t GOP dominated but in those that are it is all about bringing back “Jim Crow” and medieval social and labor practices. Whoopee.
In this ferocious context, for Hillary to offer a candidacy of “I am the first woman president” but otherwise it’s business as usual won’t work. Worse still, she seems to be staking out a position of being the Illinois “Gold Meir”, i.e., I am a bad ass military-oriented woman don’t mess with me. This, of course, is music to our military-industrial, war-as-theatre elite.
Unfortunately, back in early 2009, our genius current President (“first African American President”) immediately abandoned the progressives that voted for him and became a moderate conservative to the astonishment of many who had elected him to do otherwise. The White House did lead the stimulus but the health care reform and financial reforms were all really led by the Democratic Congress and Obama did little to help the ball game and, in fact, abandoned climate change pretty much right away.
This is not to say he hasn’t done progressive things. He right away signed the Lily Ledbetter bill and he tried to end Guantanamo. He has faced an unrelentingly racist and reactionary GOP, which is determined to give him nothing even if it hurts the Republic. They have unrelentingly opposed him from his first day in office. The Neo-Confederacy now lives like it hasn’t in more than 50 years.
Given the GOP’s decision, upon losing the 2008 general election to resurrect the 1950’s-1960’s massive resistance (to integration) strategy, Basically, as soon as he tried to do something constructive, his Presidency was doomed. This was partly a failure of his Administration. They had an awesome campaign outreach and communication system the likes of which have never been seen before. But once elected, the “professionals” took over and must outreach and involvement of the public simply disappeared. The GOP, sensing the vacuum, mobilized its awesome domination of the media to arouse fear and spread disinformation. This allowed the third factor: American voter apathy and stupidity to create an unnecessary wave election in 2010 that will have negative repercussions for generations for the vast majority of Americans, at least.
So this is a long-winded way of saying that the Democrats have to get their sh*t together on communicating and messaging. I get at least 60 pleading emails from various dem folks literally every day. I can give money but the democrats need to figure out an effective GOTV strategy and a way to personalize messages, especially to the 18-34s. Otherwise, the GOP will succeed in turning this country into a bought and paid-for oligarchy.