Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Reading Hillary Between the Lines

The great question in life is how much to believe your own bullshit. I am talking of everything from religion to politics to economics.

What I mean is, how much should you blindly conduct your life on faith, and how much with a skeptical eye on things, knowing that everything you believe might turn out to be wrong?

My answer is straight forward, for I am a Kantian, believing that we can never know "things-in-themselves" but only appearances.

How much should you believe your religion's creation myth, from God creating the world in seven days to the magical Big Bang of today's speculative scientists?

How much should you believe the eternal growth myth of modern economics, and how much the "immiseration" myth of Marxist economics?

And how much, if you are a Democrat, should you believe in the The Emerging Democratic Majority of women, minorities, the educated and the young prophesied in the 2000s by John B. Judis and Ruy Teixeira?

Probably the answer is the same as it has been for every loyal foot soldier down the ages. You believe until you find yourself dying of hunger and disease on the side of the road as your army disintegrates in defeat. But then it's too late.

I think that's where we stand in the Democratic ascendancy of the last ten years. It comes through rather clearly in Rich Lowry's piece on "The End of the Clinton Coalition." He writes:
Bill Clinton got elected by peeling off working-class whites and suburbanites from the Republican party, while holding traditional Democratic voters.
 But Barack Obama won with the Emerging Democratic Majority of "minorities, liberals, and upper-class suburbanites."
Elsewhere in the former Clinton coalition, though, his support collapsed, with older and blue-collar whites continuing to flee the Democrats.
That worked pretty well for Obama because of the peculiar enthusiasm of blacks and the educated and youth for his promise of Hope and Change. And when Obama ran for reelection he did a good job turning the white working class off Mitt Romney with his Joe Soptic ad.

But now the white working class is probably gone for good.
Even if Hillary wanted to try to recapture those kinds of voters, it’s not clear that she could, and the effort would risk alienating the Obama supporters she needs if she’s going to win a national election.
So Hillary Clinton is faced with flogging the Obama coalition into one more Big Push.

But let's look at the numbers at uspresidentelection.us. In 2008 Barack Obama won with 69.5 million votes to McCain's 59.9 million. In 2012 Obama won with 63.5 million to Romney's 59.7 million.

Leaving out the natural expansion of the electorate, you think that Hillary is going to beat Obama's turnout in 2012 after eight years of disappointment for the Democratic faithful? And you think that the new generation of GOP operatives haven't been thinking 24-7 about how to bounce the GOP vote up over 70 million?

The big hit against Hillary Clinton is that people can't name a single achievement from her 25 year time on the national stage.

But I think there is another, bigger problem with Hillary Clinton. She is an utterly conventional thinker; she has never vouchsafed a single thought that wasn't liberal conventional wisdom. So how can she possibly inspire Americans with hope and change?

The conventional wisdom about presidential elections is that it is always Four More Years vs. Time for a Change. After eight years of government by one party the instinct for a change is almost irresistible.

And after eight years of Obama there must be a still small voice in the mind of many Democratic voters asking: "What difference did it make?"

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