Point of View Columns

Time to Get Ahead of the Game

With its latent racism, overt misogyny and rampant disdain for sharing and caring, there is not a lot of good to be said of the right wing of the right wing in this country. But, giving credit where credit is due, that sad and shrinking segment of the political discourse has always been strategic in its planning. So perhaps it is time for the progressive political cohorts to start thinking about 2016 right now. And that discussion must of necessity include Hillary Clinton.

With the fiscal cliff dominating the headlines and plans for President Obama’s second inauguration still on the drawing board, it feels premature to start thinking about the best way to win the 2016 presidential election. And it would be a mistake to give in to that feeling. While supporters of the president are still bathing in the afterglow of 11.6.12 the strategists of the right wing of the right wing are doing their level best to “take back America”….again.

It is important to keep in mind that the Republican ascendancy of the last quarter of the twentieth century was not the result of another political cyclical quirk. As early as 1960 self-identified conservatives planned (and some say plotted) to not only take over the presidency, but also to control the legislative and judicial branches of the federal government. Take a look around and you will see the strange fruits of their labor.

From 1980 to 2012, a period of 32 years, Democrats have held the White House for only twelve years. Of the fifty states 29 are led by Republican governors. The right wing of the right wing currently has a stranglehold on the United States House of Representatives and they are only a midterm election surge away from controlling the Senate.

The federal judiciary, with its lifetime appointments, has been seeded with conservative Republicans from District Courts right up to the Supreme Court. And in the Supreme Court RobertsScaliaAlitoThomas right wing cabal sits poised to turn the Constitution into a conservative bludgeon, thwarted at this point only by the fact that Barack Obama will almost certainly have one or two appointments to the Court during the next four years of his Administration.

And so it really isn’t too early to start thinking about the 2016 presidential election. And certainly those thoughts have to include the contemplation of a Hillary Clinton presidential candidacy. Certainly, in December of 2012, there isn’t another potential Democratic candidate who is even within the same solar system of winning potential. And there isn’t a Teapublican candidate on the horizon who wants any part of debating the person who will have the clear opportunity to become the first female President of the United States.

Some will point out that similar thoughts were expressed December of 2004 and then along came Barack Obama. But a supernatural candidacy like Barack Obama’s, comes along once in a generation. Perhaps Haley’s Comet will come early but in the absence of the supernatural real planning is probably a good idea.

Further, Hillary Clinton’s domestic and international star power has been polished to perfection during her tenure as Secretary of State. There are scores of Teapublican senators and members of Congress who are on record extolling her virtues and her competency. They will be hard pressed to walk back all of that praise during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Keep in mind that, although there would be obvious differences between the policies of the Obama Administration and the policies of an administration headed by President Hillary Clinton, on the whole the direction and philosophical vision would not be that different. And given the continued assault on civil rights, women’s rights, immigration reform and social services that will be pursued by the Teapublicans for the foreseeable future, sixteen years of continuous progressive Democratic presidencies seems like a pretty good idea.

It is still early, but not too early to start thinking about tomorrow. Indeed, now is the time.