Monday, March 05, 2012

Putin, Clinton, & Bush… Oh my! The current, dynastic period of American history

No Trespass.  Gresham, Oregon.  February 5, 2012.  Photo of the Day, February 24, 2012.

Observers Detail Flaws in Russian Election - NYTimes.com:

Mr. Putin, who has already served eight years as president and four years as prime minister, won a new six-year term on Sunday with an official tally of 63.75 percent of the vote. He has already suggested that he might run again in 2018, potentially extending his tenure as Russia’s pre-eminent leader to 24 years, on a par with Brezhnev and Stalin.

Before we get all shocked about Putin and say, "It could never happen here!" think about this:

A likely list of US Presidents in a future text book...

1989 - 2021 or 2025 (32-34 years):
-Bush
-Clinton
-Bush
-Obama (almost Clinton & prominently featuring Clinton family members and former Clinton officials in the cabinet/administration)
-(Clinton or Bush likely)

Hillary and Jeb have to be considered the initial front runners in 2016.

I am starting to think of our current period as the Dynastic Period in American history.

Of course, there have been a few more shenanigans in the Russian elections than the American elections.  2000 not withstanding, though, Americans are clearly choosing their leaders from these prominent families.

Recently, I read an article saying that Jeb may even jump in this year to save the GOP from their circular firing squad.  And I think there is little doubt that Hillary will take a shot at 2016.  It wouldn’t even be the most shocking event ever if she ends up being on the 2012 ticket as VP.

In 2008, one of the main reasons why I supported Obama in the primaries was that I felt having a 20 year stretch with only the last names Bush or Clinton residing in the White House was bad for America and bad for our democracy, even if we liked the people in office (or some of them).

Continuing this trend for another four to eight years?  Having the potential for the Presidency to be passed back and forth between two families, if Hillary was elected twice, for nearly thirty years?

That is dangerous, I believe, for any democracy. 

I suspect, though, that we may not be done with Presidents named Bush and Clinton. 

I would be very surprised not to see either Hillary or Jeb picking up a nomination in the future, and 2016 may even end up being Bush v. Clinton in the general.

And they are young enough that both may eventually end up in the White House.

Picture this:

Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Bush, Clinton

If everyone gets two terms, that would be 44 years of dynastic presidencies with one, minor exception.  Almost half a century.

Age may limit these far reaching possibilities. 

Hillary will be 81 in 2028 and 86 in 2033 (end of the latest possible second term in this scenario).

Jeb will be 76 in 2028 and 80 in 2033.

In comparison, Ronald Reagan, our oldest president so far, was almost 70 when he was first inaugurated in 1981 and served until two weeks before his 78th birthday.  He lived to age 93, but was crippled by Alzheimer's for, at least, the last 10 years of his life.

This article drifts a little towards the unsteady conspiracy theories from time to time, but it also makes plenty of solid points.

The Jeb Scenario: Can You Say “President Bush” Again? | Snip.it:

The Bushes are nothing if not resilient. George W. Bush, he of so few qualifications but with his own distinctive Bush personality and formidable charisma, came out of the dust of his father’s re-election defeat in 1992, stronger than his father ever was politically. And though W. is now persona non grata to many, his brother would come back as a significantly different brand. He’s widely regarded as more capable, much more focused, much better at delivering points. He’s able to pull off a kind of sober, reasonable persona, more stable than a Santorum or a Gingrich or most of the other contenders. Rich but not entitled. A kind of Romney—without the Romney.

And yet….And yet he is still a Bush. That means a great deal, because, putting aside all the stylistic differences, this is a clan with a mission. It’s a mission they’ll never talk about, beyond vague statements about a sense within the family of Duty to Nation. No, the Bush clan is the ultimate representative of the game plan of the one percent of the one percent. What they stand for in private is much, much more troubling than most Americans know. What I learned in the five years I spent investigating them—as they were going out of power the last time—shook me to my core.

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