My proposal for a more invigorating, oxygenated, breathable 2016 presidential election: Hillary announces that under no circumstances will she be running, on condition that Jeb Bush says the same, though maybe Hillary could demand the Republicans throw in — or rather, out — Ted Cruz, Chris Christie and a draft pick to be decided on — [sic] undrafted — later. I'd say Hillary is a fair trade for at least three of them since she clogs up democratic futures, prospects, and possibilities at least three times as much.
Imagine what it would be like minus these crusty, formidable, immensely well-funded and insanely boring frontrunners. Maybe we'd have Elizabeth Warren v. Rand Paul. You can't deny it would be interesting. Compare, for a moment, the kinds of debates they would have — a passing game, to use a football analogy, as opposed to the yawn three yards and punt affair it would be between Hillary and Jeb et al. Electorate assumptions would be challenged, including, possibly, even some of my own. Besides that, it would entertain. (Just between us, I think she'd kick his ass, tear him a new one, as the saying goes, something like 43-12., assuming such a score is possible.)
Let's extrapolate and take it further: Hillary is out along with the commensurate heavies of the GOP. So maybe it's Bernie Sanders v. Rand Paul, or even, and not by any stretch to equate the two, Bernie Sanders v. Oliver North.
Further: Wolfkowitz, are you busy, wouldn't you like to run for president on the neo-con ticket? David Frum would write your speeches. Way things are going, you could name Bibi Netanyahu as your veep and he might have little choice but to accept, since with the slightest geo-political luck, Bibi will be out of a job by then
I jest and yet couldn't be more serious. Hillary is stifling. Stifling is what she's does, her forte, her art. As for Jeb, well, enough already with that bunch: Jeb is unlikely to be as bad as his brother but that's saying little. No president in the history of the United States has ever been as ruinously damaging to the world and this country as GW. That said, here we are.
If it does come down to Hillary v. Jeb (Chris, Marco, Ted) that will make me very sad. It would depress me the way it depresses me to see as clearly as I can't but help seeing that Putin's reign in Russia recapitulates Stalin — the grip of the security apparatus and its cadre, the ongoing and increasingly precise and murderous suppression of dissent. The recently assassinated Nemstov is Putin's Trotsky, if you will. All who oppose Putin's reign are, if you will, Trotskyites, portrayed as agents of a foreign power, devoted to undercutting Russia. Wreckers. Putin can't avail himself of communist sloganeering but Russian nationalism, fortified with doses of religious Orthodoxy, works just fine for him.
He's even more dangerous as his oil revenues go down, leaving him mostly war to run on.
But back to Hillary v. Jeb (Chris, Ted, Marco, etc.) If it came to it, I'd vote for her. She's the tip of a different iceberg. Stultifying and stifling as she is, in the end, in American electoral democracy, such as it is, it's icebergs that matter.