Monday, October 19, 2015

The Hillary Train

On my Google news page there's a Rush Limbaugh transcript from today where he's preparing his audience for nothing to come of Hillary's testimony before the Benghazi committee. The headlines about Clinton's emails have stopped, thanks in large part to Bernie Sanders, and Hillary's nationwide polling lead is intact. Republicans have failed to derail the Hillary train. Biden might yet stumble into its path but that won't slow it down.

I remember 1992 when Bill Clinton and Al Gore got the upper hand on George HW Bush, who had angered his base by breaking his no new taxes pledge and being wishy washy on abortion. Clinton and Gore started pummeling him and went on to an electoral vote landslide. It is said that that election was transformative in that it reversed a trend of three straight Republican presidential election landslides, and cemented the Republican Party as the party of the South, as Clinton brought states in the Midwest and Northeast that had been swing states, and California, into the Democratic party column. Democrats Clinton and his successor Obama, however, turned their backs on their base and governed as moderate Republicans.

There's disarray in the Republican base now. Because of Bernie Sanders, who has tapped into the same vein of resistance to Neoliberal Capitalism that Occupy Wall Street did, Hillary Clinton has been taking a more populist and Leftist tone, in her rhetoric at least. Women, who are in reality the Democratic Party's base now, could turn out for her in overwhelming numbers and swing some Southern states, and even affect the balance in the congress, if Clinton continues to run as a Liberal Democrat and convinces people she'd govern that way. This could be a transformative election. I'm not holding by breath, but it's possible.

Note: Eric Draitsert uses this song as the introduction to the Counterpunch podcast. Counterpunch is a newsletter begun by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St Clair that's influential on the Left.

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