Monday, July 4, 2016

Prediction: the next eight years...

...will look a lot like the previous eight years.

A front-page article in the Times today, "‘President Hillary Clinton?’ She Wants Progress on Immigration and to Drink With G.O.P.," suggests otherwise (all emphasis mine):

Should she win the presidency, Hillary Clinton would quickly try to find common ground with Republicans on an immigration overhaul...

Good God! Immigration is the most motivating issue for Republicans today. First it took down Eric Cantor and then it handed Donald Trump the nomination. There is no way the GOP is going to move on immigration.

Mrs. Clinton would even schmooze differently than the past few presidents have. Not one to do business over golf or basketball, she would bring back the intimate style of former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Lyndon B. Johnson, negotiating over adult beverages. Picture a steady stream of senators, congressmen and other leaders raising a glass and talking policy in the Oval Office with her and her likely chief of staff, John D. Podesta, as her husband pops in with a quick thought or a disarming compliment.

Deeply confident that she would perform better as the president than as a political candidate, Mrs. Clinton wants to pursue a whole new approach at the White House to try to break through years of partisan gridlock, according to a dozen campaign advisers and allies who described her goals and outlook. From policy goals and personnel to her instinct for patiently cultivating the enemy, Mrs. Clinton thinks she would be a better dealmaker than President Obama if she finds willing partners on the other side.

Good luck with that! The Republicans, who have been blindly obstructionist for President Obama's entire two terms, are going to suddenly change their ways and do business with . . . Hillary? Are you kidding? They hate her as much, or more, than Obama. What are they smoking in Brooklyn?

Allies of Mrs. Clinton’s say they could imagine her, as president-elect, going to Mr. Ryan’s office this year to start talking about immigration. She believes in gestures: When Mrs. Clinton was working on the health care overhaul bill during President Bill Clinton’s first term, John Kasich, then a ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, asked one of her aides if Mrs. Clinton would ever consider coming over to Capitol Hill to talk to Republicans about her ideas.

“I said I’d ask her, and she was eager to go, which I think shows a willingness to get things done,” said the aide, Melanne Verveer, who became Mrs. Clinton’s White House chief of staff.

Oh, and then health care reform was Dead On Arrival on Capitol Hill. Lotta good all that schmoozing did! Sheesh.

(Besides, if Paul Ryan is so much as seen in the same room as a President Hillary Clinton it will be his last day as speaker.)

No, the next eight years are going to look a lot like the last. Until Democrats can take back both houses of Congress (and get a 60-vote super-majority in the Senate) gridlock is here to stay. But, if they can somehow pull a "California" and win back all three branches of government (after the 2020 census at the earliest), we may actually see some progress on the federal level.

Until then, however, don't hold your breath.

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