Friday, January 31, 2014

Progressivism’s One Hundred Years (III)

On to Hillary in 2016

Yesterday was Franklin Roosevelt’s birthday (January 30, 1882). We earlier wrote that Roosevelt’s was the first of five successful presidencies over the last 100 years, followed by Eisenhower, Kennedy, Reagan, and potentially Clinton, each strong enough to send a successor to the White House. The first four successors were all vice presidents (Truman, Nixon, Johnson, Bush). Clinton is the fifth, and his successor-to-be is Hillary, the inevitable Democratic nominee.

Hillary is aging. She will be 69 on election day 2016, only 9 months younger than Reagan, our oldest president, was on his election day. But does that really matter? Hillary is a “Baby Boomer”! Boomers (and they include Obama) made up 36% of the 2012 voters, and Boomers, as you know, don’t think they are old!

House Judiciary Staff Member
What matters for Hillary, though, isn’t her age anyway, it’s her sex. She's the presumptive first woman president. Hillary was Wellesley’s first student commencement speaker, entered Yale Law School when women first broke through the national glass ceiling in 1969 (both Yale and Princeton went coed that year), worked on the House Judiciary Committee staff during the Watergate hearings, married the future Arkansas attorney general and governor (at 32, the youngest governor in the country), developed a successful legal career, serving in a top Arkansas law firm and as the first female chair of the Legal Services Corporation in Washington, maintaining a strong interest in women’s and children’s legal rights.

Hillary served as President Clinton’s first lady, the first female senator from New York, then the first major female candidate for president in 2008, losing the Democratic nomination to our first nonwhite president, but receiving 18.2 million total primary and caucus votes to Obama’s 18.0 million. Obama made Hillary his secretary of state, the third female appointed to the U.S.’s ranking cabinet position.

Hillary’s rise has paralleled the growing national power of women. Parity in the Senate would be 50 women. They are at 20, or 40% of the way, but female Democrats, at 16, are within 9 of having half the 50 Democrats need for control of the Senate, and that female half of 25 could theoretically control the Democratic caucus. In the House, Democrats are led by Nancy Pelosi, have 59 female members, and need 41 more to reach half the Democratic caucus.

We earlier wrote about the rise of women over Hillary’s last half-century. The Feminine Mystique in 1963-4 lead to women pouring into the workforce. Women followed the civil rights movement's morally uplifting struggle for equality by similarly demanding equality in all corners of American life, and have very nearly achieved it. Women under 30 earn more than men of their age. Women are 40% of the breadwinners in families with children, are 50+% of the workforce since 2009, and are receiving 60% of college degrees. Men slide downward with the manufacturing sector, women rise with service occupations. Primary schools are feminized, and proving hostile to active boys.

Women who both raise children and manage careers--alpha women--are an important part of our national elite, shaping a Democratic Party that serves special interests (unmarried women, minorities, civil servants, youth). Women bend national policy toward a sheltering, caring government and away from competitive free enterprise, national security concerns, and the military. Their major unfinished objective is electing Hillary president.

There is a simple reason Hillary may not succeed. Crafty parties nominate candidates who add to their base--Carter and Clinton from the South, Obama fueling a vast expansion of minority support. But career and unmarried women are already basic to the Democratic coalition.

And of course Hillary will have to follow a failed Democratic presidency, at a time when progressivism seems to be running out of gas. Or so the conservative Wall Street Journal’s Dan Henninger suggests:
Gallup [says,] "Obama is on course to have the most politically polarized approval ratings of any president." Segments of the U.S. population see themselves [targeted by] the Obama administration. . . the famous 1%, but also the upper-middle class, Southern states, charter schools, politically active conservatives, private businesses, the Catholic church, electric utilities, doctors driven out of ObamaCare's health networks and those famous partisans, the Little Sisters of the Poor.
All have been vilified, investigated, audited or sued by the president himself, Eric Holder’s Justice Department, the National Labor Relations Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and, not least, the Internal Revenue Service. . .Gallup said in December that 72% of Americans regard big government as the greatest threat to the U.S.
Progressives justify coerced public policy with their belief that what they are doing is good. [But] a glitch always occurs in the U.S.: because the Founding Fathers designed an arduous system for producing progress, the far left has never been able to put its most purebred ideas consistently across the legislative goal line. Too many citizens resist[, so i]n frustration. . . the left [defaults] to direct executive action.
Hillary has a great deal going for her, but she is a progressive, and the pendulum may be swinging away from progressivism with a force she's powerless to stop.

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