Summary: Now that Campaign 2016 has collapsed into a circus, a spectacle to maximize the news media’s profits and entertain America’s Outer Party (professionals, managers, & small businesspeople) — let’s look ahead to the Hillary Clinton administration. Our pundits predict it will be a continuation of the Bill and Obama show. As usual, they’re probably wrong.
Forecasting the deeds of candidates if elected requires humility. The campaign — their words and position papers — mean little or nothing. FDR ran to the right of Herbert Hoover, denouncing his deficits. LBJ ran as a peace candidate in 1964, while his generals were planning to escalate the Vietnam War. Even their record gives few clues to their behavior once holding power. Here are my guesses about the broad nature of her foreign and domestic policies, guesses which I give you with strong confidence.
(1) Domestic policy
Bill Clinton had modest goals. Obama had modest goals, plus devoting much of his political capital to managing the recovery from the 2008 crash. I believe Clinton and her team have more ambitious goals for domestic policy. Hers will be the boldest administration in domestic action since LBJ (although probably a resulting in a train wreck instead of LBJ’s historic triumph).
While nobody would let Ezra Klein run anything more complex than a lemonade stand, his fantastic success as a pundit comes — as with most pundits — from mirroring what his audience thinks, feels, and dreams. The above quote perfectly captures what I believe will be the nature of HRC’s domestic policy: radicalism, arrogance, utopianism, and an eagerness to use of force against rebels. Childish fiddling with the complex controls of society, hoping for good results.
(2) Foreign Policy: Gamer Girls in action
President Bush Jr. gave us a War on Terror — a strategy-free, incoherent war on fundamentalist Islam (called “terror”), fulfilling bin Laden dreams. See 9/11 was the most effective single military operation in the history of the world and Bin Laden wins by using the “Tactics of Mistake” against America. It was largely designed by armchair strategists, mostly neocons, almost all men, few of whom had ever served in the military — let alone in combat.
Now it’s the women’s turn to show that they can be as ignorant, arrogant, and mindlessly belligerent as men. Susan Rice, Samantha Power, Michèle Flournoy, and their fellow Valkyries will start or expand wars around the globe (not just against jihadists) with US military involvement cloaked in maudlin prose about our good intentions. Political polarization stops at the oceans’ edge, with our wars waged with the bipartisanship so loved by pundits (as we saw in the Libya debacle).
Conservatives wage war with indifference to our troops and veterans, as seen in their disinterest in preparing for the flood of wounded and crippled returning from Afghanistan and Iraq (despite the Veteran’s Administration’s repeated warnings that more funding would be needed). Liberals will do this differently, as they substitute contempt for indifference. If the troops are lucky, the result will be the same — wasted valor overseas and poor support when they return home. It could be much worse, of course (sometimes I am too optimistic).
Here is an excellent analysis of Hillary and her hawks by Gareth Porter.
For More Information
- Forecast: Clinton will crush Trump in November.
- The five reasons Trump will lose in November.
- Hillary runs as a populist because we’re easily fooled.
- CounterPunch shows us the heart of Clinton’s politics. It’s not pretty.
- What to expect from Team Hillary in the White House.