One adage I use often is “Careful What You Wish For.” It has a lot of significance for me, a reminder that too often the one thing a person thinks they really want, really need, and work hard to obtain turns out to be the curse that keeps on giving.
In this case, I think the adage applies to the Republican Party as a whole. It applies to the 2016 election as they collectively worked hard to get trump “elected” to office. It applies to the years since, as one after another key republican officials have sworn undying loyalty to trump as the far better 2016 presidential candidate over the She-Devil BENGAZI! email-abusing tyrant-in-waiting Hillary Clinton. It just seems to me; the Republican party would be far better off right now if Clinton had become president.
Not to mention, the entire country.
Hunting the Clinton’s
Over the past thirty years the Republican Party put a lot of effort into destroying first Bill Clinton, then Hillary. I wasn’t much into politics back in the late 1990’s when Bill Clinton was president, but even then, I remember just being amazed at the level of vitriol Republicans directed at him. His impeachment was mind-boggling to me; I really didn’t get what the Republican leadership hoped to gain by spending so much effort trying to discredit a president who was generally well-liked, generally effective, and fairly Conservative in his views and policies.
Then we have Hillary Clinton. Even back when she was junior Senator from New York, the level of vitriol aimed at her by her Republican colleagues approached psychotic levels. Almost the way Republicans are presently going after Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY14), but without the sharp edges.
Once she became President Obama’s Secretary of State, the Republicans’ ratcheted up their vitriol to level 16. Their endless hearings on BENGAZI, the constant politically motivated investigations into the use of her email-server, became mind-numbing. But those attacks had their intended effect of “driving up her negatives,” and long with the tacit support from key FBI officials, Republican voter-suppression efforts, and the help of at least Russia, trump assumed the presidency.
In the eyes of Republicans, America was saved. For one brief shining moment Republicans controlled all levers of federal power. They got what they wished for.
Fast forward to now.
Where Are They Today?
So, here we are. Our country is in the grip of a one-hundred-year pandemic, with the disease ravaging large swaths of the US even while most of the rest of the world has it under control. In related news, our economy is in free-fall with unemployment rates approaching the 1930’s Great Depression. Small businesses aren’t even bothering to file bankruptcy as they simply close up after months of no sales income. Schools can’t reopen by reason that teachers aren’t willing to die in their classrooms. Which leaves schools in the position of deciding whether they want their elementary school age children performing mass die offs on school property.
No one could have predicted that all this is making the general American population increasingly angry at the people in charge – trump and the Senate Republicans. Along with their Republican governors. Trump increasingly looks hapless and out of touch to the point of living in a different space-time reality. Republican staffers, Congresspeople, and governors are increasingly joining trump in that alternate reality as they defend trump and push trump’s twitter-announced policies. With national elections coming up, their chances of getting reelected are generally in free-fall.
How could this been different if Hillary Clinton had been able to assume her rightful place as our nation’s 45th president?
Alternate History in The Twilight Zone
Let’s enter another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. A place where Hillary Clinton did become our 45th president.
Well, on election night, the gun nuts would have been out in force showing their displeasure with the election outcome through mass riots. Next, the Republican-controlled Congress would have re-started investigations into President Clinton’s email server and BENGHAZI even before she was sworn in. Impeachment hearings would have probably waited until after she was sworn in, on advice of Republican lawyers that they couldn’t impeach someone who wasn’t actually president.
The Republican-controlled Senate would have announced that eight Supreme Court Justices were plenty, so they would not fill the vacancy left by the untimely death of Antonin Scalia until at least after the next election. Anything Clinton attempted to do as president would be blocked by Congress, as they previously did with Obama only now with more practice and less shame. The net effect would be a do-nothing government that would then get blamed on the divisive Clinton policies.
The 2018 mid-term elections would have gone pretty good for Republicans as they added seats across offices. The themes of most Republican campaigns were “Government Doesn’t Work. Elect Me and I’ll Prove it.” President Clinton is increasingly looking like a failed presidency and lame duck, with non-stop press coverage to publicize it.
Then, we had the Coronavirus pandemic.
A Clinton-Managed Pandemic
President Clinton, being familiar with the Obama administration, would have attempted to enact the NSC “Playbook” immediately upon learning of a pending pandemic. Any executive actions she attempted would have been loudly condemned by the solidly Republican Congress, Republican Governors, liberal media, and probably a few shell-shocked Democrats emulating Republicans. As the pandemic spread, her actions would have been increasingly blocked by Republicans, who would then turn around and blame the rising death toll on President Clinton’s inaction.
Going into the 2020 elections, we’d have a country with near uncontrolled spread of the Coronavirus, and collapse of our economy, which is solidly blamed on the hapless 45th president. Republicans would have a 20-point lead across all their candidates and Democrats would be facing an extinction-level election. With the result many Democratic candidates are emulating Republican policies and condemning Clinton for her inaction and ineffective presidency.
Back in This World
So, I think the Republicans are getting their taste of “Careful What You Wish For” about now. In destroying a decent, slightly-to-the-right of Dwight Eisenhower politician, they destroyed their own futures. Sure does suck for us average Americans though.