November 2, 2015

THE DREARY NOSTALGIA OF 2016: Hillary’s “presidential candidacy has not merely been an invitation to perform a critical review of the president’s first term; it has also become a soul-sucking time vortex drawing American punditry back into the 1990s. For a subset of left-leaning political journalists and progeny of ‘Generation X,’ nothing could be more welcome. This decade was, however, characterized by more than an information technology bubble and the fruits of America’s uncontested global hegemony. It was a period of spectacular cynicism,” Noah Rothman writes at Commentary:

There is a superficial but popular contention among political observers that Hillary Clinton is greatly aided by the fact that her husband presided over a period in American history characterized by unparalleled peace and prosperity. That belief only holds up so long as you do not take too much stock in the fact that Clinton has been compelled by her restive left-flank to renounce virtually all of her husband’s most popular achievements.

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Amid Donald Trump’s campaign of bomb throwing, he perhaps inadvertently stumbled upon a rare attack on Democrats, and Team Clinton in particular. By obtusely suggesting the September 11 attacks might have been preventable, he reignited a long-settled debate over the nature of pre-attack intelligence.

And of course by virtue of his last name, Jeb is also carrying the torch for the late 1980s and 2001-2008. If the leading candidates on both sides of the aisle are all trapped in the past, that lends further credence to Jonah Goldberg’s observation regarding the importance of making 2016 a contrast between an exhausted DC lifer and a younger outsider in his latest G-File:

While not my first choice by any measure, I think [Jeb] could be a fine president, and it would be a no-brainer to vote for him over Hillary Clinton. That said, I’ve always thought he’d be a deeply, deeply, flawed nominee. As I’ve written before, in a contest of familiar brands, the more popular one does better — and the Clinton brand is more popular than the Bush brand. In a change election, when the other side has an old and tired brand, the last thing in the world you should do is respond with an older and even more tired brand.

Especially when the stakes involve the chance to finally move beyond 1933.

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And to bring this post full circle, all of this dreary nostalgia explains the “Fear And Loathing In Hillary World,” the stench of which emanates particularly strong from her operatives with bylines.

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