SAFETY SCHOOL

Posted in Rants on August 18th, 2015 by Ed

Back in high school there was a boy you figured you would end up going to the prom with. He didn't really excite you, and in fact there were some pretty obvious flaws in his makeup. Despite that, you really wanted to go to the prom and he was a good, safe bet. You could go with him and be guaranteed of having a decent time. It wouldn't be great, but he wouldn't show up in a Pantera t-shirt or take you to McDonald's or get loaded and vomit on your nice dress. He wasn't the richest or best looking or most popular or most interesting guy available but you knew what you were getting. So of course your dominant strategy, not being in a committed relationship, was to make a vague promise short of agreeing to go with him while you waited for someone better to ask you out. Don't feel bad. You were young and immature. It's what high school kids do.

This pretty much sums up Hillary Clinton and the Democratic voter.

Maybe it's just a means of generating content during a lull in the pre-election hullabaloo, but over the weekend a burst of "What if Joe Biden runs? Joe Biden should run, shouldn't he?" pieces flooded the internet. Look. I like Joe Biden. Joe Biden has had a long political career of which he can and should be proud. Joe Biden would be a terrible presidential candidate. His lack of a brain-mouth filter would be like pouring gas on the right wing noise machine's fire. Think of the field day they would have quoting him out of context and exploiting his endless "gaffes." The idea of a Joe Biden candidacy being greeted with enthusiasm or even interest is the surest sign that the Democratic electorate (or possibly just the media, it's hard to tell the difference with Trend Pieces) is absolutely, positively going to kick the tires on every candidate in the country before settling for Hillary Clinton.

There is a lot to like about Clinton as a candidate. She could probably destroy any of the jackasses running for the Republican nomination with little drama. She'd be a more tolerable president than any of them, certainly, although likely an uninspiring one. She has experience. She's not stupid. She would appoint people to positions of power who believe in something other than wrecking the public sector to make privatization look more appealing to lowbrow puds. If she remained in office for two terms she might even get the chance to appoint Scalia's replacement, God willing. So the world is not going to be a dark and depressing place if the Democratic Party nominates Hillary and she wins.

There is also a lot not to like. Everything about her 2008 campaign, especially the race baiting. The Ahab-like lust for the Oval Office and the fact that her reason for running for president appears to be that she really, really f-ing wants to be president. The classic New Democrat vacillating – the refusal to take a stand on anything until public opinion is overwhelmingly in favor of it. The foreign policy hawkishness stemming from the misguided belief that conservatives will respect Democrats if they too show a willingness to bomb the hell out of some brown people. The constant appeals to moderation and bipartisanship, code words for letting Republicans do whatever they want even if they're not in power. Like Biden and Sanders, she's very old and, according to some accounts, not in the finest health. She is, to say the least, not without her unpleasant aspects.

That's why the Party is likely to exhaust every conceivable option before turning to her, much as the Republicans did in 2012 before finally giving up and telling Mitt Romney, "Alright, fine. You can do it." That any aspect of her candidacy can be compared to Mitt Romney's should be enough to explain why someone who appears so well situated to win is greeted with so little enthusiasm.