Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Preparing for 1980

Since the inauguration and early bumblings of Barack Obama, it has been an observation that many of the things that are happening today parallel much of what has happened in the late 1970's. Consider this era "Jimmy Carter II." We all know who got elected president after Jimmy Carter I. But for those who are not as old as I am to remember or who never really heard about it in detail, there was Ted Kennedy who ran against Jimmy Carter in the presidential primary at a time when the Democrat party was split over whether or not Jimmy Carter should get a second term. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Hillary "Ted Kennedy" Clinton who could be running against Barack Obama in the 2012 primaries.

The latest statement from her husband, Bill Clinton, should tell you something. The Clinton's don't wing it. They do things for a reason. While Hillary Clinton is expanding her areas of discussion as secretary of state, Bill is laying out what the president should do and trying to bring stability to a currently nervous and split Democrat party in advance of his wife's candidacy. We have liberals who want the president to pull out of Afghanistan and we have moderates who are getting nervous that he might be too radical for this country. At some point, these two elements are going to have to clash.

Will the Democrat party risk its very existence on hope and change, fundamental transformation of America and ultimately socialism? Not if the Clintons have their way.

Why did Ted Kennedy run against Jimmy Carter in 1980? Bungling and the opportunity to finally grab that brass ring he had so longed for. Why will Hillary Clinton run against Barack Obama? Bungling and the opportunity to finally grab that brass ring she has so longed for.

Hillary will raise the issues on the minds of many Americans. She will point out Obama's foreign policy failures. She will refer back to her chastising of then Senator Obama for naievite about wanting to meet with dictators like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. She will revive the theme of her husband's campaign in 1992: it's the economy stupid. And the battle for the hearts and minds of the Democrat party will be on.

Hillary Clinton will not get the nomination. The power of the incumbency combined with the power of Obama's Chicago political machine will stop her. But it will be close. And it will open wounds in front of the American people who will be watching the process with great interest.

What will the mainstream media do? They will expose themselves as Democrat hacks with some speaking out on behalf of their beloved Obama while others will choose to get behind Hillary. Either way, the media is filled with Democrats. So enjoy the fight on screen there as well if Hillary runs.

The excuse to support Hillary? She would have a better chance to beat Sarah Palin in the general election. The media will go nuts with analysis, regurgitation of Democrat talking points and their usual mockery. The excuse to support Obama? Don't worry about Sarah Palin. She's a grade B movie actor with no foreign policy experience hockey mom with no national experience. He's finally figured out the job. He screwed this up. Let him fix it now.

Either way, the American people will wake up and see the Democrat circus for the farce that it is.

Quite frankly, if Hillary Clinton wins the nomination by some freak accident, it would make for an interesting scenario. We might have a woman versus woman battle for the presidency. Or, the sense of urgency to remove Obama would be gone and Palin could take the Reagan route by waiting until she was a little older and let Hillary clean up part of the mess first. It raises the question is this 1964 or 1980? I lean heavily toward 1980, but I never rule out 1964.

Hillary is still a Democrat and would not revive the shining city on a hill. But she would be in a less dangerous position since her job would be to do some clean up work, unlike in 2008 when she was in a position to institutionalize the moderately left socially liberal welfare state with its crony capitalism face that says "look, we're still free market here."

I told friends in 2008 if Hillary wins the primaries, she will institutionalize liberalism. If Obama wins, he will come in radically hard and do his damnest to install socialism but he will be too wet behind the ears to make it work. What Hillary would do had she been elected in 2008 would take 25 years to undo. What Obama is doing (as I had anticipated), I said, will take about 5 years to fix.

Thus, the first term of any new president in 2012, whether it be Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney or some Joe off the street will be to clean up the mess. It will not be until the next president's second term that that individual will have a chance to shine. Reagan cleaned up Carter's mess in 3 years. Reagan is Reagan. Only Palin would have a remote shot of doing that, but chances are she would need her whole first term just to right the ship.

Obama will be renominated. If the Republicans are smart, they will read not only the playbook, but the history book. The strategy: let the Democrats divide and fight in front of the American people while the Republicans unite behind a Reagan-like figure such as Palin and take the center not by selling Palin as the next savior, but by getting the center to vote for her as the lesser of two evils in their minds.

Ronald Reagan did not win in 1980 because America loved him. He won in 1980 because America was sick of Jimmy Carter. It was only later that America would find out how great Reagan was and re-elect him in 1984. The same will be true for Sarah Palin.


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