Salon Pundit: ‘Hillary-zilla,’ Friend of the Oligarchy, Dominates Dems' 2016 Landscape

Conservatives seeking a potential president who’s like Ronald Reagan might be interested to know that Andrew O’Hehir of Salon thinks he’s found such a person. True, they might then be surprised to learn that he's talking about Hillary Clinton.

O’Hehir, who’s well to the left of Hillary on economic issues, doesn’t intend the Clinton-Reagan comparison as a compliment to either. He believes that she is and he was propelled by “the force of money and those who wield it,” and that these days, plutocrats control the whole political process: “You can’t separate the fact that only rich people can run for president from the fact that both parties are fueled by rich people’s money, or from the fact that beneath all their partisan bickering Democrats and Republicans have vigorously collaborated for more than 20 years on a set of deregulatory, low-tax and cheap-credit economic policies that have made rich people a whole lot richer.” From O’Hehir’s Saturday piece (emphasis added):


While…the Republican right prepares for a predictable series of apoplectic seizures about how she’s a lesbian murderess who personally shot up the Benghazi consulate, the public seems generally OK with Clinton’s impending coronation. As numerous commentators have observed, her principal opponent is probably not Jeb Bush or Rand Paul but herself, or at least the possibility that we’ll all feel sick of her before she gets elected…

…[I]t seems not just possible but probable that Clinton will face no serious or significant opposition within her own party, which as far as I can tell is a brand new situation for a non-incumbent candidate…

If there’s a historical precedent to Hillary-zilla…it’s Ronald Reagan in 1980. Most Republicans assumed going into that campaign that Reagan – who had been waiting around as the conservative savior since nearly wresting the nomination from Gerald Ford in 1976 – would sweep to victory in the primaries and then drive cardigan-clad malaise-monger Jimmy Carter from the White House...Reagan actually faced brief but spirited opposition from George H.W. Bush, who played the role of responsible centrist in that campaign and memorably denounced Reagan’s “voodoo economics”…Reagan ultimately swamped him in the South, of course, but Bush won six primaries and more than 3 million votes, essentially forcing himself onto the ticket as the vice-presidential nominee. Who’s going to put up that level of resistance to Hillary Clinton?...

…[E]lectoral politics has increasingly become an oligarchic or dynastic enterprise, open only to the immensely wealthy and/or the immensely well connected…You can’t separate the fact that only rich people can run for president from the fact that both parties are fueled by rich people’s money, or from the fact that beneath all their partisan bickering Democrats and Republicans have vigorously collaborated for more than 20 years on a set of deregulatory, low-tax and cheap-credit economic policies that have made rich people a whole lot richer. It’s not like those are unrelated coincidences.

…Generally speaking, the Democratic Party stands for what might be termed the metropolitan caste in American life, a diverse group of people who live in or near major cities and tend to support a range of rights-based issues around race, gender, sexuality and related factors...[T]hat’s a big contrast to the Republicans, who at least for marketing purposes view the metropolitan caste as a bunch of socialistic tree-huggers who will take away your guns and your F-150 and compel you to drive a Prius to your gay marriage.

But what Hillary Clinton and Obama and most other prominent Democrats of the 21st century definitely don’t represent is any form of progressive or class-based economic philosophy…

…[T]he final point of similarity between Hillary Clinton and Reagan [is that] both function in the political marketplace first and foremost as powerful symbols: Reagan was a symbol of American manhood and the mythical American past, while Clinton stands (I guess) for the upward progress of American women and a more egalitarian future. (It’s not entirely accidental that both have provoked exaggerated hatred among their opponents.)

…[N]either Clinton nor Reagan actually represents what they seem to represent. Reagan did little or nothing for the working-class white Americans who elected him, and if Clinton reaches the White House she will not be there to serve metropolitan women…[T]he same force works through both of them: the force of money and those who wield it.

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters