Cheat-Seeking Missles

Monday, January 22, 2007

Anyone But A Bush Or A Clinton

Real Clear Politics leads off today with a piece by Concordia U. (a fine OC institution) history prof James Burkee who points out:
But if [Hillary] secures the Democratic nomination, wins and serves two terms, by 2017 the United States will have been governed by either a Bush or a Clinton for 28 years. That's three decades governed not just by the same two families but much of the same supporting staff. As Dick Cheney is a name familiar to both Bush presidencies (as George H.W. Bush's secretary of Defense and his son's vice president), so too may a Hillary Clinton presidency resuscitate familiar names such as Harold Ickes, Paul Begala and James Carville.

And it might not end there. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, encouraged by Republican leaders and the current president (who said, "I would like to see Jeb run at some point"), has not ruled out a White House bid or a vice presidential slot on the ticket in 2012 or 2016.
America is a meritocracy and doesn't take well to the inheritance of political power, Burkee says.
Three times in American history have close relatives of former presidents won the office. John Quincy Adams, son of John Adams, lost the popular vote to Andrew Jackson in 1824 but won in the electoral college amid charges of a "corrupt bargain." Benjamin Harrison, grandson of William Henry Harrison, lost the popular vote to Grover Cleveland in 1888 and also suffered as a "minority president" and mere figurehead. George W. Bush lost the popular vote to Al Gore in 2000.

Recent polls suggest that a significant body of Americans, perhaps 40%, will not vote for Hillary Clinton under any circumstances — so it is unlikely that she could enter the Oval Office with a strong electoral mandate. The ironic upshot is that such a Hillary Clinton presidency — weakened by low approval and beset by partisan sniping — would mirror George W. Bush's presidency.

That the Bush's administration has been consumed by political partisanship comes as no surprise to students of history. From the time of John Quincy Adams — whose term in office marked the end of the Era of Good Feelings — the children, grandchildren and spouses of presidents engender exceptional hostility when they seek office themselves. For all their personal capacities, the latter Adams, Harrison and Bush — like Hillary Clinton — inherited their claims to the presidency. George W. Bush would not be president today were his name not George Bush, nor Hillary a senator from New York absent the Clinton name. This nation's traditional commitment to meritocracy inclines many to reject these "unnatural" aristocrats, who never garner widespread popularity.
I don't doubt for a minute that a great deal of the animosity Bush faced came simply from his last name. Remember, he was reviled by the entire left wing and much of the rest of the Dem party long before the Florida hanging chad debacle. In fact, I probably wouldn't vote for Jeb in the primaries, were he to vote, because I'm a meritocrat in my heart.

Yet, Hillary runs. Surely she knows at least a bit of this history, but, as the brilliant post today at Sigmund, Karl and Alfred so skillfully points out in discussing the "second holocaust" of Islam against the Jews, there are a lot of similarities between politics and addiction:

History does repeat itself. Today, there are those worried about our response to Iran’s threats, as opposed to the Iranian threats and evil. ‘It’s about Jews,‘ or ‘It’s about Israel,‘ are the unspoken and underlying reasons for lack of resolve against Iran.

We cannot reason or accommodate with those who hate any more than we can reason or make accommodations with substance abusers. We cannot put ourselves at risk by allowing drunks to share the road with us. We cannot endanger our families and our community by enabling those who say, ‘We have it under control,‘ even as we watch their descent into self destructive madness.

Hillary thinks she has history under control. She thinks she is so capable, so smart, so winnable, that if the second Adams and Harrison were alive today and if Bush were only smart enough to learn from her brilliance, they would know how to do succession by name right. She's in denial.

Have another one, Hillary. Hopefully America won't.

Here's a toast to you, Hil: May you win the primary so the GOP doesn't have to worry about having to defeat a charismatic sort-of-black ultra-leftist. And then may we pour you back into the bottle.

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