Friday, May 13, 2005

A Dynastic Presidency

It looks like Hillary Clinton and Newt Gingrich are politically approaching each other on military and healthcare issues. According to the NYTs, their time together working on these issues led Gingrich to say, "any Republican who thinks she's going to be easy to beat has a total amnesia about the history of the Clintons."

From any ideological perspective, you might think this is a Faustian bargain, but I'm more bothered by the implications of a Hillary Clinton presidency or for that matter a Jeb Bush presidency in the next couple of election cycles.

If Hillary Clinton does win the 2008 nomination for president and takes the presidency, that would mean this nation, the supposedly most democratic on earth, has been led by two families, without an intermission, for the last 24 years. There's no doubt Jeb Bush has presidential desires as well. If Ms. Clinton does become president and governs well, she might be politically unbeatable in 2012. Jeb, smart as he is, may wait her second term out and start with a clean slate.

So it's possible the United States could be in the thrall of two political families, both utterly corrupt and craven, for the forseeable future. This may sound like hysteria, but it's certainly possible and plausible -- and I might add, completely undesirable and destructive of republican government.

Even if there are short presidential terms between either a Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush presidency, we're already in the era of American dynastic politics where the most powerful position in the world has been much too concentrated in the hands of two families. And to the detriment of our already fragile democracy, it could get worse.