Looking forward to Clinton II

I never could have imagined Hillary Clinton as President, I thought she was the worst possible candidate, but it turns out the Republicans picked an even bigger stinker.

If each party were intentionally trying to throw the election, what would they have done differently? Nothing.

Ross Douthat considers Trump a plane crash, Clinton a slow-moving train wreck:

The dangers of a Hillary Clinton presidency are more familiar than Trump’s authoritarian unknowns, because we live with them in our politics already.

They’re the dangers of elite groupthink, of Beltway power worship, of a cult of presidential action in the service of dubious ideals. They’re the dangers of a recklessness and radicalism that doesn’t recognize itself as either, because it’s convinced that if an idea is mainstream and commonplace among the great and good then it cannot possibly be folly.

He goes on to list some of the Bipartisan Washington Consensus disasters of the last 15 years: the invasion of Iraq, the loose money that created the housing bubble, the destabilization of Libya and generally self-contradictory Middle Eastern policies, and on the other side of the Atlantic, the idea that Greece and Germany could share a currency, and the welcoming of wandering migrants into Europe with the subsequent (and entirely predictable) violence they brought.

My two cents: political power is an illusion – it simply cannot deliver on the promises it makes. The technocrat in particular operates under the illusion 1) that he is smart and 2) that he can know the effects of his actions.

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11 comments

  1. This Douthat person presents substandard thinking. All viewed from a very narrow angle. You’ve chosen incomparably better ones in the past.
    Mrs. Clinton is somewhat mediocre but also excellent at realpolitik. That’s not a terrible combination.

    1. Snort. OK, I’ll try harder to meet your standards.
      Why are people on the left so engaged in realpolitik against their domestic rivals and so easily fooled by foreign ones? Clinton seems to me to have flubbed Sec. State.

      1. I’m for realpolitik at large. Currently I’m poised to vote for Alain Juppé.

      2. My fear is that realpolitik is usually indistinguishable from “being a crook” the difference being whether or not we agree with the politics of the person doing it.

      3. But seriously, does it not bother you that he can’t seem to ever present an idea without it being a case of team A versus team B? In essence all he’s doing is substituting the word liberal for the word cosmopolitan and re-drawing the lines of opposition. And he redraws the lines in a way that justify pre-existing positions that are hardly based in fact. So Mrs. Merkel “delivered” polarization and violence to Europe? Seriously? That’s ridiculous.

      4. That’s an interesting point.
        Or it could be that he is realizing that people he thought were on his side and the people he thought were his enemies, are often colluding with each other against him?
        Parties pull stunts to get “the base” motivated to vote, but they don’t want “the base” running the show. It is always a bait and switch.

      5. Doesn’t that set up Douthat and his crowd as the Permanently Aggrieved Class? First they were oppressed by liberals, now it turns out they’re actually oppressed by an “elite” which includes some NYT writers (but not him)? An elite which also oppresses Donald Trump?

      6. I would hope he admits that he himself is part of the elite he complains about – in which case he would probably congratulate himself on his self-awareness.
        I get your objections, but the fact is classes have their interests and their way of looking at the world.

      7. Ignorance isn’t an interest. Choosing ignorance over evidence is a very bad way at looking at the world. It helps no one. When Douthat mentions Little Englanders with implied fondness as if he “really gets them”, he’s not defending an ideology or even an idea. He’s defending ignorance. Worse, he’s defending pride in ignorance.

  2. Come on man, perhaps you would have preferred another establishment Republican candidate? One who would pay lip service to conservatism all the while promoting the interests of big businesses, getting into foreign wars, and capitulating on every remaining cultural battle? Who cares as long as he is polite and has an intellectual/presidential demeanor right?

    1. Being polite is better than nothing. Trump is a sucking vacuum. There is nothing, absolutely nothing there.

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