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View Diary: Think Hillary Would Crush Rand? Think Again. (114 comments)

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  •  I don't think Rand would win, but the damage (7+ / 0-)

    to the Democratic Party would be huge from a Paul vs. Clinton race. Many young people and anti-establishment progressives would vote for Paul or be tempted to do so, or at least sit out the election. Clinton would be the clear pro-establishment candidate in the race, and Paul would be the choice for anyone who wants to register their disagreement with business as usual in Washington.

    Even though Paul would likely lose, the more important outcome would be to cement the image of the Democratic Party as the party of the establishment and the Republican Party as the party for people who oppose the establishment. This would undermine the progressive movement and leave it politically homeless. Clinton would win a pyrrhic victory. Furthermore, Rand Paul's loss would cause Republicans to blame it on his liberal views on marijuana, foreign policy, surveillance, etc., and therefore these positions would never be allowed again for any other Republican candidate. These positions would therefore be banished from both major parties.

    All around, a Paul vs. Clinton race would be a disaster for progressives and for America. Let's hope it doesn't happen.

    The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

    by Eric Stetson on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 06:24:58 PM PDT

    •  I do agree on many of your points (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Stetson, unfangus

      Eric, I do agree on many of your points. In my previous blog, I do talk about how Democrats have won by default for some time now, and this would apply to a Hillary win.

      I also looked at over in my last post how a Ross Perot candidacy unnecessarily nudged Bill Clinton center-right, and I am afraid Paul would play a largely similar role for Hilary, albeit in different ways (for one thing, he is so far still a Republican, and Perot didn't run of either established party's ticket.

      If Hillary wins, Paul likely will have a two-fold effect: nudge Hillary to the right of the progressives, and push GOPers further to the right.

      I do agree that many progressives would become politically homeless, but I also believe Rand will have succeeded in realigning many other progressives and left-leaning populists with populist Republicans. This probably would create a fissure in the GOP, much like Rockefeller Republicans who first appeared in the 1960s and Progressive Republicans in the 1910s and 1920s.

      Both these two types of Republicans did have a few major successes, but they gradually died out, one dying out faster than the other. Many switched back to the Dems, many others just became apolitical, and others became libertarian.

      Eventually, the electorate might reach equilibrium again, but this will most likely sort itself in such a way that we have faux "Independents" who merely vote along polarized lines. Others would probably re-sort back into their previous parties, but this would mean that both suppress their progressive/populist wing just as much as before any Rand Paul-inspired realignment.

      So, I do agree with your overall assessment if we assume Hillary wins, but I also believe there will be some time when many of the populist left would find their home among Republicans. And don't forget what happened to the politics of many of the White working-class and white middle-class who previously identified as New Dealers- they gradually transformed themselves into obscenely xenophobic and nativist social conservatives.

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment. It was certainly more thoughtful than many others here, so I do very much appreciate it.

      •  A libertarian-left alliance is possible, but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        unfangus

        I'm skeptical that many liberals would ever be willing to join the Republican Party. The GOP brand is simply too repulsive for all but a few liberals to be willing to join.

        However, I know a few libertarians who are actively courting liberals and supporting compromise with the left and formation of an alliance. For example, one libertarian I know even goes so far as to advocate for a guaranteed minimum income to replace all welfare/entitlement programs, which I think could be a viable libertarian-left compromise. Economics is the main area of disagreement, so if a compromise policy can be reached there, the sky's the limit in terms of such a potential alliance.

        But the Republican Party is probably too far gone into crazy land for any significant number of liberals to work within the GOP, even if Rand Paul becomes their standard bearer. Keep in mind that Paul would have to appease the conservatives in the GOP in order to get the nomination, which would turn off liberal potential crossover voters. He can't do both at the same time.

        The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

        by Eric Stetson on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 10:19:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Btw, I'm rec'ing your diary for excellent sourcing (0+ / 0-)

        and a thought-provoking argument, even though I tend to disagree that Paul could realistically beat Clinton.

        The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

        by Eric Stetson on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 10:20:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  "Leave" the progressive movement (3+ / 0-)

      politically homeless?

      In case you haven't noticed, the Democratic party doesn't exactly welcome progressive ideas. The party is further Right than the Republicans were in the Nixon era.

      But don't even get me started on that...

      •  I see your point, but it would be worse than now. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DemProgStrategist, ypochris, unfangus

        Imagine if a significant number of liberals decided to sit out the 2016 race or leave the Democratic Party as a result of a Paul vs. Clinton race. Then the Democratic Party that remains would be even further to the right. At least now, liberals can marginally participate in Democratic politics, but imagine how hostile it would be if Clinton is the party's standard bearer and ideas such as marijuana decriminalization, reining in the NSA, and a non-interventionist foreign policy become the province of a Paul-fueled populist right. These ideas would be seen as part of "the Republican enemy" and anyone who supports such ideas instead of Clinton's corporatist economics and neo-con military-industrial-surveillance complex would be told that they belong with Ron Paul and unwelcome in the Democratic Party.

        The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

        by Eric Stetson on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 10:12:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Meant to say Rand Paul, not Ron. (0+ / 0-)

          Same difference though. lol

          The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

          by Eric Stetson on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 10:22:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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