Like Trump, Clinton’s campaign talk is stuck in the past

1964: When Ali met the Beatles, and all of Hillary Clinton's ideas were formed, apparently. (AP file photo)

1964: When Ali met the Beatles — and all of Hillary Clinton’s ideas were formed, apparently. (AP file photo)

Much has been made of the nostalgic, turn-back-the-clock element of Donald Trump’s candidacy. It’s right there in his slogan: Make America Great Again. If only we could go back to the good ol’ days, right? That backward-facing orientation was challenged by some of Trump’s GOP opponents, most notably Marco Rubio. But Hillary Clinton? Not so much.

Making that case quite well in The Week is Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, in a piece on baby boomers’ “unrelenting death grip on America.” It’s a quick read and worth reading in its entirety, but here’s the relevant section about Clinton:

“To the Clinton campaign, it seems, it’s always 1964. Her agenda is a retread of the Great Society, promising exactly the same vision as the post-war Western ideas of a cradle-to-grave welfare state. It’s a startling winding back of the clock to the same ideas and the same debates as those that animated the Boomers’ generation. Compare Hillary’s rhetoric to Bill Clinton’s economic vision in the 1990s of embracing globalization while investing in education to empower people to take advantage of it. Say what you will of this vision’s merits or its track record; at least it was a vision from the 1990s for the 1990s, not a vision from the 1960s for the 21st century.

“While her husband sought to reach social-democratic goals while embracing technological change and economic realities, Hillary Clinton wants to simply turn back the clock to the mythical time of the 1950s steady union job.

“Hillary Clinton’s other big cause seems to be identity politics. It’s always 1964, and the scenario is always the same, with the old white male patriarchy holding women and minorities down. While it would indeed be an important milestone to have a woman president of the United States, it’s ludicrous to suggest that any but a vanishingly small portion of the electorate thinks that a woman would be unqualified or unfit to be president.”

These are excellent points (as is Gobry’s observation that, as in other ways, Trump makes the perfect foil for her in this regard). I suspect Hillary’s backers would say she is future-oriented because she wants Americans making solar panels and such. That’s new technology, right? But that’s the wrong way to think about it. For the purposes of the economy of the future, it matters little which kind of widget is on the assembly line; if you’re still thinking in terms of widgets built on assembly lines — by a large work force of humans, anyway — you’re not thinking very realistically.

Much the same can be said about Trump, of course, but that’s my point: We routinely hear Trump’s candidacy described as past-oriented. We don’t hear it about Clinton’s campaign nearly as often, even though in the aforementioned respects it certainly is. She’s even regressing on such fronts as education reform and charter schools, areas in which Democrats often aligned with Republicans until their benefactors in the teachers unions made clear they weren’t going to stand for it anymore. (If you’re worried about money corrupting public education, that’s where you ought to start.)

Since January 1993, boomers and near-boomers have had almost exclusive control of the executive — Presidents Clinton (born in 1946), Bush (1946) and Obama (1961) — and legislative branches — Speakers Gingrich (1943), Hastert (1942), Pelosi (1940), Boehner (1949); Senate Majority Leaders Lott (1941), Daschle (1947), Frist (1952) and McConnell (1942). (Harry Reid, born in 1939, is a little too old to call him even a near-boomer; Tom Foley of the Silent Generation and Gen-Xer Paul Ryan held the speaker’s gavel for less than three years combined — so far — during this period.)

After some good early results, the era of boomers wielding political power has seen a steady decline of progress and an uptick in partisanship. Maybe one conclusion from this election is that it’s time for the boomers to hand the reins to the younger generations.

Reader Comments 0

68 comments
lvg
lvg

Stupid Con hung up on the past and not looking at Trump's future as US  President when every problem will disappear:


""""Among Donald J. Trump’s traits is his penchant for internalizing and personalizing things — insults, rejections and even policy disagreements. Trading slights seems essential to his personality, or at least something he feels is necessary for his presidential campaign.

Although it’s not something I feel comfortable with, the bombast of this campaign will not be remembered with the passage of time. Words come and go. The problem is what happens when his words lead him to do things that will reverberate long after the campaign is over.

To him, demands that he release his tax returns are just a ploy by his opponents and enemies to undermine his campaign. But that obstinacy will have consequences. Not releasing his tax returns would hurt transparency in our democratic process, and particularly in how voters evaluate the men and women vying to be our leaders. Whether he wins or loses, that is something our country cannot afford.

For one, it’s not really about his tax records per se. It’s about the American public’s ability to see other candidates’ returns. We have a long precedent in which every major-party presidential candidate since I was a child has released his returns. Break it now, and it stays broken.. 

Today's NY Times- Op ed. by Rep. Mark Sanford

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Only words matter with Democrats, empty though they have proven to be. The same can be said for Republicans to a degree. At least the GOP, with all its faults, has younger representatives looking to shake things up.  

"When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount."

The American voters ARE the committee established to study dead horses.

Time's a wastin'! 

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Decades of Democrat city government, seven-plus years of Obozonomics, and leftists recent dog-whistles encouraging racial violence and cop-killing have given us Milwaukee, Baltimore, etc etc.

Now it's Hillary's turn to ignore decades of effort and trillions in spending to guarantee equality of opportunity in order to keep her voters agitated.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Sadly, Roysheen Delshawn shot and killed Officer Tim Smith, a father of three young children as he was stepping out of his police cruiser.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

The chaos in the inner cities particularly within the Northern cities is far out of control.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Yes, I thought Democrats, particularly the liberal northern kind, were all sorts of progressive and tolerant and inclusive. So why are their cities on fire and consumed with racial violence?

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@SGTGrit 50 years of Democrat promises and Democrat control, just imagine what those places will look like in 100 years if they keep electing Democrats.  


Ever seen the email with the before and after pictures of Hiroshima and Detroit after 50 years.  One of them (Detroit) looks like Paradise before, and one like Paradise now (Hiroshima).

Starik
Starik

@lvg @Lil_Barry_Bailout What legitimate jobs are these folks qualified to do?  Jobs require skills in reading in nearly all cases, simple math in others, and a willingness to show up at work every day sober and actually put in the work they're paid for. 


Criminal activity pays better and has flexible hours.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Democrats haven't had an original thought since Al Gore invented the Internet.

lvg
lvg

Resident genius  doesn't know how to read charts,$458 billion deficit in last year of W and 474 billion projected deficit for 2016. In 2009 US had a total collapse o f  the economy due the frat boy running the country into the ditch. Only due to Barack Hussein Obama (not "Obozo")as President did the country get rapidly out  of the ditch did  federal spending come down rapidly.


Kyle and his little sycophants here obviously back the budget of next generation leader Paul Ryan (sight disapproval of him in 2012).

His  budget does away with sequester and restores over 200 billion to defense budget with no increase in income. He proposes throwing the elderly off medicare and privatising it. I guess if you and your mother have a multi million dollar trust fund that comes entirely from government contracts that is a great idea.


Amazing how these newbies are right wing morons cannot do basic math.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@lvg 

Amazing how these left wing morons can only cut and paste.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@SGTGrit @lvg Not amazing at all that some right-wingers, incapable of responding with facts, use insults instead. 

MarkVV
MarkVV

@SGTGrit @lvg Not amazing at all that some right-wingers, incapable of responding with facts, use insults instead. 

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Golly, what IS amazing is the party of math and evidence is incapable of comparing two numbers and determining which is larger.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

2008 spending: $3 trillion

2016 revenue: $3.2 trillion

Amounts in 2009 dollars.

lvg
lvg

Resident genius :  "" Revenue isn't the problem.  Spending and liberal fascism are the problem.""

Defense has more than doubled since 2001 after 9-11  and  now is 33% of federal budget at nearly 650 billion. How much will the genius cut? which bases and programs? Your hero , trump wants to increas enormously defense spending. How much are you willing to pay?


Oh and Medicare is 24% for   the  federal budget  at $560 billion in 2016. ,  an increase from around $420 billion when Obama took office. Who are you going to cut? everyone over 85 and let the rest die? 

or cut W's free drug program?

and how much of a tax increase is the genius willing to pay to  offset these increases?  (probably zero)

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@lvg Let the airlines employ the security people, that way we get kinder/gentler people and a more service oriented customer experience.  Plus, the folks who fly will pay the bill, rather than burdening the folks who don't have to fly.

lvg
lvg

@RafeHollister @lvg How much of federal budget will that save? And the airlines and private security were doing such a  dandy job on 9-11? I guess that's why your guy ignored all the  warnings.

lvg
lvg

Oh and   also Homeland security went from around 15 billion before 9-11 to currently almost 70 billion. None is funded by tax increases. How much is Lil Barry willing to pay?

Here's_to_Blue
Here's_to_Blue

@RafeHollister @lvg Have you forgotten that the reason the TSA exists today is because the private sector (read: the airlines and airports) provided such p**s poor security prior to September 11th that it was super easy for the terrorists to carry out their attacks?

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

And congrats Kyle for opposing the steady drumbeat of teacher's union policies that gets espoused elsewhere in the AJC pages.

lvg
lvg

@xxxzzz  """"The explosive growth in entitlement spending, while well-intentioned and in many cases necessary, is bad for the economy and our workforce. Because many government benefits to individuals are in the form of cash, the share of government transfers as a percentage of personal income has grown over the last four decades, which means people are actually earning less of their incomes. Public assistance for retirement, income maintenance, and unemployment insurance has made it possible for a smaller percentage of adult men to be working today than at any time since the Great Depression. We can argue about which caused which, but the fact is that the growth of entitlement spending has coincided with an unprecedented decline in the number of working adult men over the last several decades. In fact, last year more Americans received a steady income from public assistance than were working in the construction, transport, and warehousing or information technology industries. In 2010, more Americans were getting disability checks from the government than were working for any U.S. manufacturer. (I'm thinking your blood pressure is going up now.)

Eberstadt points out that entitlement spending tended to be an average of 8 percent higher under Republican presidents than Democratic ones—and singles out the Nixon, Ford, and George W. Bush administrations as "especially lavish" in their entitlement spending. """""""""""""""


http://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2012/12/19/the-shocking-truth-on-entitlements


Now see the inane comments of Lil  Barry  blaming the deficit and rise in entitlement  spending  to the Dems and liberals.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

The feds collect more tax revenue now, adjusted for inflation, than the last time the budget was balanced.  Revenue isn't the problem.  Spending and liberal fascism are the problem.

lvg
lvg

Good article but it leaves out the most important similarities of Trump's campaign to Richard Nixon in 1968.


-Both said they were the law and order candidate ;

-both concealed their tax returns because they owed  a lot of taxes and were audited;

-both were claiming to represent the silent majority;

- both had secret war plans;and 

- both were BS artists and liars.

lvg
lvg

@RafeHollister @lvg Crooks and liars do win especially if they are Republican and get our enemies to collaborate in October surprises. I bet Putin and Manafort are working on one now.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

I don't know about the 50's Kyle, but she is always behind the times. Her economic message is "let's be Europe of the eighties".  Now that most objective rational folks have seen and observed what Europes cradle to the grave socialism has done for their economy and how it has destroyed freedom and initiative, they want no part of it.  


Hillary stuck in her 60's ideological fog, out of touch with reality, thinks Europe is what we should emulate.    


Hillary wants to duplicate Europe's stagnant economy, with higher taxes on all, more programs, more regulations, a return to unionism, more free stuff, and more economic redistribution. The economic plan she unveiled last week had very few specifics on how she would grow the economy, just more doubling down on Obama's government spending, taxing, and economic "fairness.  Hillary offered nothing in her economic program that will change the status quo, unlike Trump's pro-grow make America rich again plan.


The Grifter Queen is just trying to do what she has always done,divide people into groups, play on class envy, stroke the notion of victim hood, enrich herself, grow her personal power through growing government, and protect her friends and donors. Half the folks, her sycophants, seem to think she is some oppressed SJW and whatever means she needs to employ are acceptable, even if she puts the national security in jeopardy and lies about it.  Even if she mixes her private business with government service and personnel, it is all apparently acceptable for the Grifter Queen.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@RafeHollister A neat summary of all the inane, worn-out cliches promulgated by the conservatives.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

@RafeHollister 

Actually what you see here in opposition to Kyle's, commentary is what's leaching from the neighboring blog comprised of old hippies from the 60's and their wannabe's. This condition lends credence to Gobry's contention that Hillary, has nothing new but only the tired old LBJ, strategy of building plantation minorities that further the Democrats goal of political domination by class warfare. In my opinion Blacks who've broken through the Democrats plantation class enslavement are their worst fear.

lvg
lvg

@RafeHollister Yeah that idiot Hillary wants to raise taxes to pay off the debt. Trump wants to give the 1%  tax breaks to increase the deficit by trillions- great idea.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

@MarkVV @RafeHollister

"Inane...worn out"?  Sounds just like Hillary's economic plan, which is more of the same as Obama.

To use a phrase Hillary trots out when confronted with her latest lie, "old news".

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Great post.

When a politician doesn't have an original thought or useful idea, they do what Hillary is doing.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@lvg @RafeHollister Dems pretend their is no debt. The Grifter Queen never mentions the debt, it gets in the way of her desired new spending.

lvg
lvg

@RafeHollister @lvg Which recent president balanced the budget while in office?(Monica helped him)

Caius
Caius

"Maybe one conclusion from this election is that it’s time for the boomers to hand the reins to the younger generations."

Sorry Kyle, but no one is going to hand you anything.  You will need to take it!  Turnout!!!



Starik
Starik

I wouldn't call Obama a boomer. Bush, Clinton and Trump, draft dodgers all seem to be the politicians who can get elected,  The problem isn't the boomer generation, but bad choices made by the voters.  They choose draft dodgers over people who did follow the law (Kerry, Gore).

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

We'll be in even more trouble than we are now if we turn things over to ignorant tools who believe education, healthcare, housing, and Obamaphones can be "free".

lvg
lvg

@Lil_Barry_Bailout Like that ignorant fool Reagan who decided to give free phones to the poor and free hospital care . What an idiot and socialist !

DaltonbywayofBickley
DaltonbywayofBickley

I would love to see the younger ones taking over. Some of the tech used by the federal government is ancient, and they would change that. We need some new thinking, and I believe the crippling partisan gridlock is something the younger folks would break.

Here's_to_Blue
Here's_to_Blue

Can't do that without the funds that Congress has steadfastly refused to provide.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

@Here's_to_Blue

Congress has provided about $8 trillion more in funds than Americans have paid in taxes over the last seven years.

How much more does Obama's failed government need to finally turn things around?

Caius
Caius

@Lil_Barry_Bailout @Here's_to_Blue You have it nailed Barry but your start date is a little too recent.  In 1981 a Republican president and a Democratic Speaker decided that the US could cut government revenue, increase government spending and balance the budget.  $20 trillion in debt later most think it is a great idea. For the fiscal year ending 9/30/16 a Republican congress approved $4 trillion in spending and $3.6 trillion in revenue, all with eyes wide open.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

@Caius @Lil_Barry_Bailout @Here's_to_Blue

Deficit spending wasn't invented in 1981.

And do you really think Obama would sign a budget that significantly cut off the oxygen to Big Government?  He and a Democrat congress ratcheted spending up to that level in 2009-10.

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

@DaltonbywayofBickley I read an article indicating the boomers had always been at loggerheads with each other and may well be the cause of gridlock.    But its hard to imagine Xers being anything but much worse with their lack of tolerance for differing ideas and lack of courtesy.  Maybe they didn't vote for Hillary or Donald because they saw too much of themselves in those two!