PEEK

Don't run, Hillary

Please.
Ezra Klein has advice for Hillary.

In addition to all the astute political points Ezra makes, there are a couple of things that bother me about a Hillary presidency.

One: Were she to win and serve two terms, by the end of her 8 years, America would have been under the leadership of a Bush or Clinton for twenty-eight years. If you add in Bush Sr.'s eight years as veep, it brings the total to thirty-six years with either a Bush or Clinton in one of the top two government positions in the country. This isn't a monarchy -- two families having that much power over the direction of the nation is just too much.

Two: Hillary is just as divisive a figure as was Bill, and as is Bush Jr. Unlike Bush, who endeavors to marginalize half of the country by ruling as though he had a sweeping mandate, it's not really Hillary's fault that she's so divisive -- movement conservatives hate the Clintons no matter what they do (even when they do things that piss off progressives, like DADT and DOMA and supporting flag-burning amendments). Nonetheless, that's the reality, and I'm tired of having a country split in bloody two. There's no guarantee that movement conservatives won't react the same way to any Democratic president these days; perhaps John Edwards would attract the same level of ire. But there is a guarantee that a Hillary presidency will only inflame ideological opponents, and we'll spend the foreseeable future focused on stupid personal crap as movement conservatives seek to fill a crazy vendetta. I don't want a president who I know will be constantly embroiled in useless partisan disputes.

Three: Hillary doesn't seem to recognize -- or care about -- either of these things. I can kind of give a pass to her for ignoring the whole Clinton-Bush Reign thing, because she, as do all presidential candidates, believes she's the best person for the job, which eclipses concerns about two families ruling for a generation. But I can't give her a pass on turning a blind eye to the fact that her presidency will not remotely come close to moving beyond the bitter partisan divides that have fractured the country so deeply. I get the impression that her attitude is basically, "Tough shit. I wanna be president." It's as though she knows she can handle it, and that's all that matters. But it isn't. A lot of people, including me, are tired of the extreme polarization. It's why, though I'd be unhappy with a Republican president, I'd prefer a Republican in the mold of Richard Lugar to one in the mold of George Allen -- and it's why there are moderates who would cast a vote for John Edwards, or Al Gore, or Wes Clark, but who would never cast a vote for Hillary.

(Crossposted at Shakespeare's Sister)
Melissa McEwan writes and edits the blog Shakespeare's Sister.
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