A recent story in the Christian Science Monitor caught my eye. It begins as follows:
“[I]f their competitor in ‘16 is going to be Hillary Clinton – supported by Bill Clinton and presumably a still-relatively-popular President Barack Obama – trying to win that will be truly the Superbowl,” Gingrich said. “And the Republican Party today is incapable of competing at that level.”
There are so many aspects of this report one hardly knows where to start. For one thing, it’s Newt: the new Guru of the Republican Party, waxing wise. For another it’s four years away, for Pete’s sake, and Hillary may not be healthy enough or even want to run. Recent pictures suggest she’s worn out — as one might expect from a woman trying to repair this country’s fractured image abroad. And for another the report is being carried in the ultra-conservative Christian Science Monitor and the lead-in paragraph is fodder for a rebuttal by the article’s author to which Newt (and Hillary) has not (yet) replied.
But if Hillary were to run I would certainly support her without reserve. She strikes me as the sort of person who has a mind of her own and would be able to take on the monied interests that currently own politics in this country. For that reason alone, however, she may never run: they may see to it that it simply doesn’t happen. There’s enough truth in Newt’s pronouncement to make even the staunchest Republican quake in his gold-plated boots. They sure as Hell don’t want a Democrat running they cannot possibly beat. There are enough weak opponents out there to at least make it a close race. This, of course, assumes that the Republican Party can get its act together in the next four years (and that may be Newt’s motivation here) — and figure out what to do with their lunatic fringe.
But let’s get serious: the new President hasn’t even been sworn in yet and there’s that freakin’ fiscal cliff staring us all in the face as Obama currently meets with Republican no-taxers to try to wrangle a compromise. In the end there will almost certainly be a slight rise in the taxes on the rich (not enough for my blood; they own the country; they can damn well pay taxes!) and there will be cuts in social programs. The latter worries me, because the programs that are likely to be cut almost certainly benefit those in need.
I am not (repeat NOT) a “bleeding heart liberal.” I am a political moderate who leans left on some issues and right on others. I am fully aware that there are social programs that support the entitlement ethos that has gripped this country (and which I have pilloried in a number of my blogs). But there are people in need and they require assistance. Even though there are abuses of the “hand-outs” from a generous U.S. government, there are also a great many stories to be told about how many lives have been saved from going under for the third time.
It is better to err on the side of compassion it seems to me, especially in a country that claims to be predominantly “Christian.” In any event, the next election is years away, thankfully, and whether or not Hillary Clinton decides to run, we know it will be a circus and we will have to learn about how to put up with the nonsense all over again. Come to think of it, that may be the reason Hillary will decide not to run. The system really doesn’t encourage the gifted and able to run for public office: it wants clowns.