Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Case for Hillary - Updated

Jacob Hacker -- he of The Great Risk Shift -- has co-authored the best argument for Hillary in this cycle, along with a Berkeley Poli Sci prof named Paul Pierson. This is important. The campaign should spread this far and wide -- and Hillary should join them on their upcoming book tour for American Amnesia. I'm gonna order my copy.

Money quote:
"The fiercest attacks come from the right: In apocalyptic terms, conservatives attack government as an enemy — not an essential complement — of markets. Yet the left has its own sources of skepticism. Calling for a “political revolution,” Mr. Sanders casts government as so captured by powerful interests that only a popular upsurge will right the situation. This stance may not have the same anti-government tenor as conservatives’, but it sets up an impossibly high standard for reform and slights government’s continuing achievements (including the much-maligned Affordable Care Act, which has broadened coverage without driving up health prices)."
Update: I came upon the piece from earlier in the cycle that bears the same title as this post, and it bears re-posting.

4 comments:

JP Frenza said...

This is great ... and Falstaff has been on an incredible roll lately ... There is another very interesting argument made by the Economist -- that I have not seen made anywhere else. An HRC victory could create a political re-alignment that is actually good for America as a whole. Here is the thinking from the Economist:

'Or a President Hillary Clinton might argue for the virtues of democratic compromise, and not claim that she can magically give her core voters everything they want all of the time. If she were able to pursue a different kind of politics, one that seeks to deal with some Republican concerns as well as Democratic ones, she might just hold the new consensus together for longer, reshaping the parties, making the country more governable and burying Mr Trump’s offer of an America turned against itself. This is the distant promise that 2016 holds. As the battle lines are drawn, try to bear it in mind."

Falstaff said...

Hi,JP. I think one structural aspect of our politics for the next generation is pretty well set: The GOP is dead as a national party. It may be dead, period, a la the Whigs -- but its best-case scenario is to control congress. So I don't think it's really in Hillary's interest -- or the country's -- to aim for some Obama-esque ideological compromise. I think the game is going to be played out between the Executive branch and the Supreme Court, where a Dem replacement for Scalia (in all likelihood coming from Hillary, since the GOP will not confirm Garland) will become the swing vote on constitutionality of executive privilege.

JP Frenza said...

Falstaff. I was a little wobbly on HRC for a bit but am now feeling much better. Two things got me standing upright again -- HRC's own admission that she is not great at this political theater (essentially saying I know how to govern but am just not good at this horse shit) and that Hacker piece. I don't think HRC needs to aim for the Obama unicorn of ideological transcendence (which was admirable but see how far that got us) but she could revive the thread that Hacker points out as our unique advantage as a governing system -- the public, private partnership that so drove the tremendous growth of our country. I am now of the belief that HRC has the potential to be a transformational president. We can't go from where we are today (with Trump and Sanders) into political harmony. But we can revive what Hacker suggests as our extraordinary public-private partnership and stabilize things that we can then build on in the future. We can move from drowning government in the bathtub thinking to government and business working together and that may be HRC's legacy. That is what I am voting for.

Falstaff said...

As you know, I yield to no one in my regard for Hillary. But I guess I'm not as optimistic as you are. I'm not sure transformation is in the cards. But I do think that smarts, toughness and common sense can make a big difference. Also, there's nobody I'd want more in the driver's seat as the GOP melts down. She's got both the serious-wonk policy chops and the political chops to make the most of that historic shift.