She Has, in Fact, Earned It

Our next president? Yes, please.

Our next president? Yes, please.

If you’re one of those whining Democrats who want to complain about Hillary Clinton and what a sub-par candidate she is, and, “Can’t we do any better? Like Elizabeth Warren! Or Bernie Sanders!” then fuck you, get a clue, and tune into Sanity FM.

There’s this odd perception going around that Hillary is somehow a terrible candidate, and she’s only getting supported, and not really very challenged, because it’s “her turn”. That she’s somehow just awful, and we could do so much better than her!

Really? Better than someone who was twice elected to the Senate, served one full term and part of another, before then becoming Secretary of State and serving in that position for several years? Better than someone who is connected to a former President who’s time in office was one of great prosperity and success for our country? Better than someone who really knows the political system, understands how it works, and can make it work for the benefit of the American people? Better than all that?

Hillary has earned every vote she’s going to be getting during primary season and if, when we get to the convention in 2016, her nomination feels more like a coronation, then that’s fine. She is, on paper, the best candidate the Democrats have fielded in decades. Better than Obama, Clinton, Carter and pretty much everyone after Johnson.

But being good on paper isn’t everything, it’s true. So we’re lucky that she’s also good in reality. She turned out to be one of the better Secretaries of State that we’ve had, and did a good job as a senator. Really, while Elizabeth Warren is an interesting choice, she isn’t as good on paper and lacks the experience that Hillary has. Also, she’s said repeatedly that she isn’t running, and frankly she’s excellent in the Senate, so let’s leave her there. As for Sanders, he isn’t even a Democrat.

None of this is to say that I’m keen on Hillary running unchallenged. I’d be quite happy to see someone on the left pop up and obligate her to moderate her hawkish tendencies a bit. She is also more conservative than I’d like, but frankly, so is Obama, and so were Clinton, Johnson, Carter, Kennedy, Truman and Roosevelt. In fact, we’ve never had a president as liberal as I want, and I’m ok with that.

Because, you see, we don’t tend to elect people who lean strongly to the left or the right. In this country, when it comes to our president, we generally prefer moderates. There have been outliers, like Reagan and George W, but for the most part, we choose fairly middle-of-the-road presidents, and when either party nominates someone who is obviously outside that, it tends to go badly for them (though usually more so for the Democrats).

Lastly, let me point out that Hillary is, hands down, the best, most likely person to win in 2016. Any Republican who comes up against her does not fare well, with the possible exception of Jeb Bush, and even he likely wouldn’t win against her. Also, let’s be honest, the woman thing doesn’t hurt. Much as Obama helped get black people out to the polls to vote for him, so Hillary will help with the female vote.

And it’s very important that we get a Democrat in office in 2016. Why? If for not other reason than the fact that Scalia, Ginsberg, Thomas and Breyer are all in their seventies or eighties. These are not young people. The next president will almost certainly pick anywhere from two to four SCOTUS justices, and I want that president to be a Democrat. Even if that Democrat is someone I disagree with sometimes, they’re still likely to be better than any Republican president.

So stop viewing Hillary with a vague sense of, “Fine, I guess I’ll vote for her if I have to, whatever, she’s no Elizabeth Warren, etc”, and start embracing her. She’s a strong, excellent candidate. The party has done, can do, and will do in the future, much worse than her.

And with that, my coverage of Campaign 2016 begins…


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