Thursday, January 26, 2006

Political dynasticism

An interesting discussion to be had at the moment is the potential ramifications of a Clinton campaign for the 2008 presidency. I’m by no means a US political expert, but I do pay a fair bit of attention to what goes on over there, and for a whole host of reasons I think it’d be a bad idea if she ran.

However one thing that isn’t discussed much – or at all – is how a successful campaign on her behalf would lead towards a theme of political dynasticism in American politics. Just look at it, you had Bush Senior, then Bill Clinton; you had Bush Junior; then (possibly) Hillary Clinton; after that you could possibly see Jeb Bush having a crack at the title.

I don’t know about you but if that kind of thing was going on in my country, Australia, I think it’d be quite a disturbing development. We’re talking ruling houses. We’re talking Medici, Visconti; Shakespearean Montagues and Capulets.

Josh Marshall, of Talking Points Memo fame, discusses the point further:

“I think I've seen some relatively systematic data showing a growth in the number of members of congress who are political legacies. Again, not unprecedented by any means, but a tendency that is growing and one I don't think is healthy in the aggregate.

George H. W. Bush left office to be followed by two terms of Bill Clinton. He in turn was followed by two terms of Bush's son. If those two terms of the son are followed by the election of Clinton's wife, I don't see where that's a good thing for this country. It ceases to be a fluke and grows into a pattern. It's dynasticism.”



some girl said...

Eventually both families will exhaust all the viable candidates and they will fade to the back like the bit players of the Kennedy clan.

I have faith that up and coming stars like Barack Obama or Mitt Romney will do what it takes to wrestle the presidency from the cold dead grips of inherently unsuitable candidates caught up in the political game from days of yore.

You know who I miss, Bob Dole. I miss the man who always referred to himself in third-person. That is political genius.

lividia said...

oooh, but Ahhhhnold is now part of the Kennedy clan! I'm sort of glad California has highlighted his political weaknesses, otherwise he might have stood a shot at getting further :P

there was a certain class to Bob Dole, I like smart Republicans who have side careers in Viagra and Pepsi commercials (playing a bit part alongside BRITNEY? you, my friend, have cajones). That's not easy to find these days. He rocketh. I liked John McCain there for a while as well, it's unfortunate that centrists seem to no longer have a place in the US right now. at least that's how it seems from up here.

I'm all for Obama. He will certainly be one to watch. I like Clinton but her rhetoric has been hard to classify as of late, it seems that instead of taking a stance that effectively incorporates ideals from both sides she's picking specific issues to promote / rant about from each that don't seem to mesh in a way that gives us a coherent view of where she stands. It averages out the same way but far less elegantly than it should.

2008 will be a *great* year for Jon Stewart... :P