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Mon Feb 16, 2015, 06:23 PM

Square Dancing Sideways vs the 31st Amendment

One of the most offensive possibilities for the near-future is that Jeb Bush could become the republican presidential candidate in 2016, and possibly become President Bush III. While there are several important factors that could prevent that, it is an unfortunate possibility. The very thought of that is enough to make an ethical person vomit.

This is not to say that the other potential republican candidates are not equally vile individuals. But Jeb has family connections to various centers of power and influence that would, almost for sure, allow him to do more damage to the fabric of American society than the other republicans.

For many Democrats, this is reason enough to enthusiastically vote for any democratic candidate. That’s a good thing, that I certainly respect. But for many other Democrats, there remain concerns about what candidate the Democratic Party might run. This is absolutely not because they would ever vote for Jeb Bush -- they are immune to the unhealthy “so you’d rather have Palin/Nixon/Reagan in the White House?” -- but rather, because they understand that party affiliation alone does not define the quality of a candidate. This, too, is a good thing, and I respect it.

Both the media and common sense suggest that Hillary Clinton is likely to be the democratic candidate in 2016. Some good people think this is the best option; other good people think it is the worst option. In the final analysis, it will be up to Hillary Clinton -- if she is the democratic candidate -- to win or lose the election. And that is distinct from it being the responsibility of those from the grass roots, the small towns and large cities, or even of her campaign staff and political advisers. No one is more aware of that reality than Hillary Clinton.

When we consider candidates for President, besides “party affiliation,” there are three areas that should always be of interest: social policy; economic policy; and foreign affairs. In terms of Jeb Bush, it’s humorous to note that his biggest “weakness” within the context of the republican party is that he is considered “too liberal” on social policy. (Among Democrats and Independents, his social policy is viewed as to the right of moderate, at best. And obviously, his family’s name is a huge negative.) Jeb’s economic policies center upon what is best for billionaires; his foreign policy is likewise dictated by corporate interests.

Now, let’s consider Hillary in each of those three areas. Her social policies are likely her strongest point with the grass roots. She is, in many ways, progressively pro-family. I think she may be the most likely person to get “single-payer” through in terms of insurance/ health care. She is solid on women’s health care -- an issue that is important for the entire family. These are very significant pluses in her favor.

On the downside of social policy, and in an area that overlaps with the other two sections, Clinton is not good on environmental issues. She advocates for fracking, an operation that does provide “energy,” but benefit’s the wealthy, and devastates the land, air, and water where people live.

In terms of economic policy, there are connections with Wall Street that concern some Democrats, as well as the Democratic Left. While the Clinton family might be better viewed as part of the (multi-) millionaires’ club, rather than the billionaires’ more exclusive club, their interests place them more in line with both of those clubs, as opposed to the middle class or poor.

I believe that it is fair to say that her social policies show that, to a degree that is far larger than any potential republican candidate, that Hillary is able to identify and understand the middle class Americans. Likewise, I think it is fair for the grass roots to question to what degree she does that. Certainly, this should not include resentment for her making money. But it can include an examination of how she has done that, and how this might influence her actions if elected President of the United States.

Her foreign policy has both supporters and detractors. In the most literal sense, she can be described as someone who fit’s the original description of neoconservative. When this movement started in the late 1960s and early ‘70s, it was not associated with one party. In fact, many of the original neo-conservatism were registered Democrats: liberal on social policy, and aggressive on “defense” -- and a global view heavily influenced by one nation in the Middle East.

Today, there is a tendency to use the word incorrectly, and apply it to republicans -- including some of the tea party -- and even those non-true believers of neo-conservatism, who for example favored the invasion of Iraq, simply because they love violence against “others.” A great example of an early neoconservative was Daniel Patrick Moynihan. By the early 1970s, he was working in the Nixon administration. Nixon was not the first President to pick someone from the opposing party to serve in his administration. And, in theory, Moynihan’s position was limited to domestic policy. But those of us familiar with his career, including his service to Nixon, are aware that he influenced foreign policy, as well.

The Democratic Party does not have a policy that includes a purity test. (I’m convinced the republicans have an impurity test.) There are good people who favor Clinton’s social, economic, and foreign policy stances. There are people who may favor one or two; who might oppose one or two; or may not be interested in one or two. And who are more than ready to support her, based upon any of those interests.

Likewise, there are good people who are opposed to her, based upon one or more of these policy interests. And there are surely people who haven’t really given it much of any thought, in the context of 2016; or who have examined them, but are unsure of how they might vote -- including if there are options in the primaries.

The truth is, that for a lot of people, it’s not a simple, black-and-white issue. But somehow, on DU:GD, the majority of the discussion suggests that it is that simple, and that “black-versus-white.” In my opinion, that discourages the serious discussions that could be part of the upcoming election cycle, for many forum members. One of the least interesting issues being debated might be if a Clinton candidacy is “inevitable.” Certainly, she has to be favored at this point in time. Yet a lot can happen between now and November of 2016. It would seem -- at least to me -- to be at least as important to focus on how a democratic presidential candidate might influence races for the House and Senate, as to view “inevitability” as the key issue.

I also think that, while the folks at the national level tend to be moderate to conservative in two or more of the policy-groups I mentioned, that the liberals and progressives at the grass roots tend to do a lot of the work at the community level. They are the ones who can get members of the Democratic Left to consider actively supporting a democratic candidate, by pointing out the areas where they differ from the republican species. And that can make the difference between experiencing victory versus the “agony of defeat” in state and national elections.

H2O Man

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Reply Square Dancing Sideways vs the 31st Amendment (Original post)
H2O Man Feb 2015 OP
H2O Man Feb 2015 #1
H2O Man Feb 2015 #2
Octafish Feb 2015 #3
rgbecker Feb 2015 #4

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Feb 16, 2015, 07:57 PM

1. For years, I've

talked to myself. Often as I'm doing housework. Other times, while watching tv. And a few times on DU!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 17, 2015, 10:29 AM

2. I'll talk with you, H2O Man.

Your OP looks like it could present a more pleasant manner to discuss the pros and cons of a Hillary run for the presidency, than some of the others that I've read on DU this very morning.

I, for one, rather favor the idea -- call it a "concept," if you will -- that a person can be good and sincere, and be either in favor of her running, opposed to it, or unsure at this time.

Of course, if one takes that stance, they run the risk of missing out on numerous opportunities to hurl harsh insults at others on this forum. Decisions, decisions.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 17, 2015, 01:24 PM

3. Oft'times that's the only way to have an intelligent conversation.

I don't want Hillary as our Party's nominee for President because I believe she and I no longer are on the page of what it means to be a Democrat. Triangulating with traitors, warmongers, and banksters is someone else's bag.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Feb 17, 2015, 01:51 PM

4. I think the draw for H. Clinton is that she polls ahead of everybody.

1. When she gets on the trail and starts getting clobbered by the RW press, these polls may rapidly change.
2. The Country is evenly divided with the prize going to the side that gets riled up the most and comes out to vote.
3. Based on the history of Bill Clinton's presidency, the right will be plenty riled up against Hillary and will show up.
4. Clinton needs to be challenged by a strong primary candidate so the progressives will get riled up enough to show for the general election. A strong primary challenge will help to do that by drawing attention to all the issues that more engaged voters are already familiar with.
5. While I love a good policy debate and will support the most left and progressive candidate in the Primaries, keeping the GOP out of the Whitehouse is most important.
6. I'm deeply concerned Hillary Clinton will stumble badly because of her age and that after her long and strong career, she may not want the job enough to put up with all the crap that will be rolling towards her.

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