I get it. I see it now. I am shaking my head at my previous obtuseness. The brush has been cleared for the path ahead. The path that leads to the sunlit clearing where we join hands and I'd Like To Buy The World A Coke unironically.
Please follow me (and the breadcrumbs) down the path.
Hillary Clinton is unique. It is completely possible that she may become a historical figure of gigantic proportions. She has the potential to permanently alter the American political landscape for generations in one fell swoop.
Hyperbole? I don't think so.
What do we know about Hillary? We know that she has always been brilliant, she went to Yale, became a lawyer, married Bill Clinton, went with him to Arkansas, became First Lady of Arkansas, became First Lady of The United States, survived a barrage of "scandals" involving both herself and her husband, sometimes as individuals, sometimes as a couple, further survived the impeachment attempt against Bill Clinton, went on to become Senator from New York and then became Secretary of State in the Obama Administration. As we speak, she appears to be positioned to become the front running candidate as the Democratic nominee for the President of the United States in 2016.
Incredible story about an amazing woman by anyone's standards. But what if it were about to become even more amazing?
I wrote a fairly inconsequential diary the other day that contained within it the seeds for the thought that has consumed my sub-conscious since, although I didn't recognize it even as I referenced it in regard to something smaller but related.
These two observations are courtesy of Robert Reich in a column he wrote called The Six Principles of the New Populism
Reich Observation number 1:
Even so, the major fault line in American politics seems to be shifting, from Democrat versus Republican, to populist versus establishment -- those who think the game is rigged versus those who do the rigging.We can see that fault line in society and in our political parties and we can see it right here in the diaries and discussions on this website. The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street are two similar yet diametrically opposite manifestations of frustrations with our current political situation which does not work in any way with average people while it is stuck in partisan gridlock. The major difference being that the Tea Party chose to work within the system while OWS chose to remain outside the system. Both groups and their sympathizers are often considered to be the nuclei of potential Third Party spin-offs to the two major parties.
Even though the Tea Party and OWS are considered "fringe" movements by many, they do reflect the more general anger that is shared by the majority of Americans, Republican and Democrat, left and right, Liberal and Conservative, that our Congress sucks and our system sucks and our Parties pretty much suck. (I should but I won't include poll data substantiating this - I think we've all seen the polls and articles. Someone else can post them in comments if they like)
Reich observation number 2:
Wall Street and big business Republicans are already signaling they'd prefer a Democratic establishment candidate over a Republican populist.That signalling for a Democratic Establishment figure in context is supposed to be their response if a Tea Party Populist such as Ted Cruz or Rand Paul becomes the nominee of the Republican Party over their first choices Jeb Bush and Chris Christie.
Reich is being coy in not naming the specific "Democratic Establishment Candidate" in this sentence. His essay makes it clear that the establishment candidate is Hillary Clinton. Sorry, Joe Biden and anyone else who might feel they qualify
Let's talk about Chris Christie and Jeb Bush. I think Christie is out for good, not just because of Bridgegate but also because his state is imploding economically as we speak. New Jersey credit has been down-graded, the transportation trust fund is broke, etc. etc. Chris Christie's future will be as a Nutri-system spokesperson.
Jeb Bush seems conflicted about running. Aside from his own ambivalence, in my personal opinion the "Bush" brand is still dead in national politics for at least this generation. I do not think there is a hunger in the citizenry to start reading about another President Bush.
So, if Christie and Bush are out, that pretty well clears the Republican field for a Cruz or a Paul or someone else with "fringey" appeal.
So now we are left with the specter as opined by Reich that "establishment Republicans and Wall Street" will throw their support behind the "Democratic Establishment Candidate" Hillary Clinton.
My friends, this is HUGE.
This is why Hillary Clinton is a unique political figure. She stands alone as the single figure in American politics who could garner not just the majority Democratic vote but a large portion of the "establishment Republican" vote as well and of course we would have to throw in a solid portion of the Independents as well. There is no comparable figure on the right or anywhere else for that matter.
In my diary yesterday I asked the following question in a light hearted and snarky fashion:
What does the coalescing around Hillary Clinton portend for the futures of both the Republican and Democratic parties? Will the Third Way/Republican/Corporate mind meld be complete and will the No Labels Can't We All Just Get Along Party be a reality?Having had time to consider the question, I now know the answer, it is:
My diary yesterday was focused on the trees and bushes and weeds of the 2016 Presidential election while I ignored the larger forest. Hillary is the forest. She overshadows every single other politician.
Hillary Clinton could be the catalyst for a real new Third Party, not comprised of minority membership malcontents, but one where the establishment majorities of both parties throw off their annoying flanks and come together to push through the agenda they can all get behind. I won't take time in this diary to enumerate what I think those goals might be, I think most of us have a pretty good idea. Since we are talking of a merging of all the Pragmatists, I have to imagine there would be some sops to the 99% while the wealth consolidation and corporate globalization proceeds apace.
Kos himself caused some excitement the other day with his "Would you vote for Hillary if she were the Democratic candidate?" poll
My new poll question is:
Would you vote for Hillary if she were both the Democratic AND the Republican candidate?