Eighty-six days until the election, and none too soon to start talking about what comes next. It is now clear that Clinton will win. The only question is whether it will be a solid win – 5-7 points and 350 Electoral Votes – or a blowout – ten plus points and close to 400 Electoral Votes. Which it is makes a big difference in down-ballot races and control of House and Senate, but that is not possible to predict at this point.
We know what we will get with Clinton. She will choose her economic team from Wall Street [but probably not from the executive ranks of multi-national corporations, an interesting fact, that.] In a desperate effort to transform herself into a caricature of a hawk, she has now reached out to the ninety-three year old Henry Kissinger for his wisdom on foreign affairs. As the immortal Judi Densch says in Philomena, I didn’t see that coming.
Polls suggest that on November 9th there will be a great many disillusioned twenty-somethings for whom this election has been a choice between disaster and disgust. Which, I believe, opens the way to the first truly progressive movement in American politics in generations. It is actually a great boon to such a movement that Clinton will be just fine on all issues emanating from identity politics. She will advance women’s rights, LGBT rights, Black Lives Matter, and immigration reform. But she will not lay a finger on Wall Street or attempt anything dramatic to reverse the ever-greater economic inequality that now defines American society, which leaves the field open for us.
If Bernie’s new initiative takes off, as I hope it will, we can start to build a left-wing movement at the local, state, and congressional levels where some concrete changes are possible. The recent spate of judicial rulings suggests that Republican voter suppression efforts may be defeated, and one more Supreme Court appointment will protect what the lower courts have started to do.
None of this will change Clinton’s basic domestic and foreign policy orientation, but she is, before all else, ambitious, and as soon as she is inaugurated, somewhere in the bowels of the White House a re-election team will be pulled together. Steady pressure from the left, combined with the utter disarray of a demoralized Republican Party, gives those of us on the left a chance for some victories.
Now, the women’s marathon at the Olympics has logged another ten miles. Let me go back to the TV set and watch the finale.