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Hillary Clinton 2016: Why We Will Have 12 Years of Democratic Presidents

I voted for Jill Stein.

As undeveloped as my moral principles are, the drone strikes seemed like a deal-breaker. Nonetheless, I'm glad to see Mitt Romney defeated, as he would have been worse than Obama in many respects. I found his lack of concern for the poor and the environment very troubling. I have nothing to say about the rest of his opinions or promises, because how he actually would have presided will forever remain a mystery.

David Brooks seemed to think that Romney was strategically positioned to get bigger things done than Obama because his keen political instincts (???) would induce him to govern as a moderate. This seems wildly over-optimistic, but we'll never know. I'm also glad that Obama will have four more years to name Supreme Court justices (whose seats, by the way, I think should be term-limited).

It appears that America is in for 12 more years of Democratic governance.Obama's second term, coupled with Hillary Clinton's likely bid in 2016, means it will be years until we see another Republican in the Oval Office.

My expectations for the next four years of Obama are pretty low. LBJ he is not; negotiating with a hostile Congress will continue to be a major barrier. He also doesn't seem to have a serious plan for reforming the  entitlement programs, and the health care law will probably remain his signature achievement.

If she runs, it's likely that Hillary Clinton will win in 2016. The economy will probably be strong by then, and I don't think the Republican A-team who sat this election out is nearly as formidable as their supporters hope. Hillary Clinton and Corey Booker versus Paul Ryan and Bobby Jindal? It would be an interesting campaign, but the Democrats are killing it on demographics. It's also within the realm of possibility that Sarah Palin will rally the Tea Party vote, win the nomination and then get crushed in a 1984-esque landslide. But my money is on a close Clinton victory over intellectually serious opponents.

To forecast even further, I think she'll win again in 2020, because incumbents tend to. By that point, gay marriage will likely be legal in a majority of states, abortion will be pretty much exactly where it is today, and we'll still be squabbling over public expenditures and not seriously reckoning with health care costs.

It will take a Republican executive to do so, and given the projections above, I think the next Republican victory will be in 2024. That's a shame; a party focused on social mobility, technological innovation, and a strong social fabric would be really great, and we don't have that now. Maybe they'll get there. Who knows?

 

In the meantime, let's not give too much credence to the inside baseball, finger-pointing, self-serving nonsense that's likely to emerge in the coming months. We should probably ignore every qualitative explanation about this loss that comes out for the next 6-12 months. It takes time for good information to sift through. In the meantime, Colorado and Washington give me hope that not all stupid laws are here forever.

Overall, I'd say yesterday was a good day. For all the sound and fury of the campaign, there is a huge amount of convergence between the two parties right now. I don't love the particular place they've converged, but it could be a lot worse. If politics is truly the art of "choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable," then we're doing just fine.

(P.S. How about those dreaded Super PACs stealing the election? How did that turn out?)

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