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Wed Feb 24, 2016, 11:58 AM

Hillary or Bernie -- how much does it matter?

If a Democrat (either Hillary or Bernie) wins the White House in 2016 by a large margin with Obama-like coattails, there's a slim chance the Senate could switch back to the Democrats. There is virtually no chance, given the 2010 elections and the gerrymandering of House districts that followed, that the GOP will lose control of the House of Representatives.

If the Senate flipped, a Clinton or Sanders presidency would have a chance of getting a relatively progressive Supreme Court replacement for Scalia, and maybe a freer hand in advancing foreign policy goals that require Senate ratification.

But with a Republican House, neither Clinton or Sanders would have much chance to advance any kind of legislative agenda as president. Single payer health care? Gun control? Public funding of higher ed? Not going to happen.

The best a Democrat in the White House will be able to do over the next 4 years is to be a firewall to prevent the total dismantling of the Obama legacy -- the Affordable Care Act, the opening to Cuba, the Iran nuclear agreement, executive actions on immigration.

Maybe I'm wrong about the chances of winning the House back. But if I'm not, then either a President Clinton or a President Sanders is in for a very long, very frustrating next four years. As are we all.

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply Hillary or Bernie -- how much does it matter? (Original post)
Bagsgroove Feb 2016 OP
firebrand80 Feb 2016 #1
djean111 Feb 2016 #2
RiverLover Feb 2016 #3
frazzled Feb 2016 #4
TTUBatfan2008 Feb 2016 #7
frazzled Feb 2016 #9
TTUBatfan2008 Feb 2016 #11
TTUBatfan2008 Feb 2016 #5
NurseJackie Feb 2016 #6
Orsino Feb 2016 #8
oasis Feb 2016 #10
RiverLover Feb 2016 #12
senz Feb 2016 #13

Response to Bagsgroove (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2016, 12:08 PM

1. You are largely correct

I do think there is a better than average chance at this point that the Senate flips, but there is no hope for the House.

There appears to be bipartisan support for criminal justice reform, and I'd imagine that something could always get done on infrastructure spending. Other than that, it's mostly about beating back GOP attacks on the Obama legacy and trying to get more Dems elected in the next 2-8 years.

In my opinion the importance of this election comes down to:

1. If the GOP wins the presidency, they'll have what they need to tear down Obamacare and everything else.
2. The Supreme Court
3. Preventing another ground war in the middle east
4. Having a competent person running our executive branch

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Response to Bagsgroove (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2016, 12:10 PM

2. Hillary is likely to find common ground with the GOP for Third Way objectives.

 

That is the difference for me.
Also, she is more likely to go to war. Another big difference.

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Response to Bagsgroove (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2016, 12:14 PM

3. Considering Hillary is a conservative who wants to work with the repubs, BIG difference.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/02/hillary-clintons-warm-purple-space/386288/

Huge.

This is a turning point, or status quo for the next 20 years.

AND think of all the Moneyed Interests she would owe going in. She is bought & paid for & no good will come from THAT.

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Response to Bagsgroove (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2016, 12:16 PM

4. It would matter quite a bit on at least one front

Given that 50% of a president's time is spent on foreign policy issues and international relations, we have a stark contrast here. Someone who has met with and negotiated with scores of foreign leaders and diplomats, and who maintains a cool, professional demeanor. Or an angry guy who yells a lot and constantly wags his finger scoldingly, and is neither really interested in foreign policy nor very schooled in it. Can you imagine him meeting with the G-10 leaders, much less holding a state dinner or sitting in a tense discussion with, say, the Chinese premiere?

Personally, I don't think I could stand 4 years of someone shouting and scolding in the tv set on any level, much less picture them conducting our diplomatic relations with other nations.

It's a personality thing. And frankly, it matters. At least to me. And quite possibly to our country.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 24, 2016, 12:22 PM

7. This calm person you speak of...

...has advocated for regime change repeatedly. And it's not some "old" thing you can sweep under the rug. She advocated for it during her time as Secretary of State and she advocates for it now with Syria.

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Response to TTUBatfan2008 (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 24, 2016, 12:29 PM

9. So has Obama

He has repeatedly asked, for example, for Assad to step aside and to hold democratic elections. We don't publicly shrug our shoulders at genocidal dictators. And Clinton has been very clear she does not intend to pull an Iraq by putting American forces on the ground. Stop pretending she's GW Bush in Iraq. She's not.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 24, 2016, 12:31 PM

11. And I disagree with Obama too.

The bottom line is that we have only made the Middle East even more of a mess than it would be if we never started meddling in their affairs to begin with.

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Response to Bagsgroove (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2016, 12:17 PM

5. Gridlock is likely...

...the question then is which one of these candidates is more likely to go along with the GOP agenda? This is in the eye of the beholder. From my view, I think one of them is more likely to go along with that disastrous TPP agreement and regime changes in the Middle East.

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Response to Bagsgroove (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2016, 12:18 PM

6. Hillary is infinitely better qualified.

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Response to Bagsgroove (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2016, 12:26 PM

8. "Settle," whispers the MSM.

One lesson for us ought to be, IMO, don't nominate a candidate who pre-negotiates away half of what you want.

The other, more important lesson is that the nation that can nominate a Bernie Sanders will be electing a more progressive Congress as well, on which future success may hinge.

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Response to Bagsgroove (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2016, 12:30 PM

10. Supreme Court nominations. At least three.

a major issue in the GE.

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Response to oasis (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 24, 2016, 12:33 PM

12. I trust Bernie to make wise choices there.

100%.

Neoliberal wall street private server Hillary? Not so much.

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Response to oasis (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 24, 2016, 12:36 PM

13. Yes, a Wall Street-friendly Supreme Court. Just what we need.

 

Those six-figure speeches she won't talk about? That was payola. Wall Street tells Hillary what to do.

And that's what you're going to vote for?

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