Here's a horrific what if in the months after November 9, 2016. That's the day after the presidential election and the winner is declared. The nomination and confirmation of one, two, maybe even three more Antonin Scalias and Clarence Thomas's to the Supreme Court. The quick repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the shut-down of the Department of Education, the total scrap of the Dodd- Frank financial industry regulations, the defunding of Planned Parenthood, and outlawing of abortion, the gut of the EPA, a cheer of the notion that Global Warming is a fraud, the giveaway of millions of acres of public lands to oil, gas, and real estate interests, the categorical rejection that fracking poses safety and environmental hazards, the scrap of the Voting Rights Act, a total blind eye by the Justice Department to police misconduct, and a wink and nod license to ramp up anti-Muslim hysteria in the country. A perpetual confrontation with Iran, Russia, and U.S. boots on the ground in Syria and anywhere else in the world that the White House occupant deems a threat to alleged U.S. interests.
This is not a made up nightmarish Orwellian scenario for a future America. It's not an agenda slapped together to scare wavering Democrats about Hillary Clinton let along guilt trip progressives into holding their nose and backing Clinton, if Bernie Sanders fails to get the nomination. This is the agenda that GOP presidential contenders Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, to varying degrees Marco Rubio, and couched in flowery jargon, the Republican National Committee has spelled out as the agenda for a GOP White House in 2016 and beyond.
The fawn hope is that the GOP president would be relentlessly challenged every step of the way by Congressional Democrats, civil rights, liberties, environmental, and women groups to prevent shoving this horrific apocalyptic vision of a future America through. They would. But there are two brutal political realities. Senate Democrats and progressive House Democrats would almost certainly be in the minority in Congress and could not stop Republicans from proposing endless legislation and initiatives in all of these areas, inflaming their invigorated base of ultra-conservatives, and white protestant evangelicals, bullying the mainstream media, and using their majorities in the majority of America's state legislatures and state houses to counter the other side. Protest groups would have leverage only in the forces they could muster in the streets. But a Republican White House and majority Congress would be virtually immune to those protests since they did not rely on them to win or stay in office.
The other harsh reality is that Clinton is the
only one who would stand in the way of deflecting, derailing, or at the least
minimizing the irreparable political carnage that the GOP would wreak if it snared
the grand prize. This is more than just a question of holding the nose and
voting for the lesser of two evils. It's a matter of hard political reality.
No one knows this better than GOP leaders. Their take-no-prisoners war against Obama was never personal. The GOP war has always been about regaining political control, protecting its corporate and financial interests, and imposing its philosophical views--often through the courts--of how government and social institutions should be run. The presidency is the grand prize that makes GOP dominance possible--and, as the Reagan and Bush appointments to the Supreme Court showed-- assures that the party will continue to wield power for years, if not decades. Their strategy from day one was to ignore a Sanders' candidacy and to continue to aim their withering fire at Clinton. They know what many Democrats don't seem to grasp and that's that a Clinton-less Democratic ticket will be a ticket that can be far easier to beat.
The RNC openly boasted that it would spend millions to hammer Clinton. It made that public announcement long before Clinton even officially declared her candidacy. The gaggle of ultra-conservative Super PACS, and the never-ending parade of right wing bloggers and websites, and RNC dummy front groups will fill in the any anti-Clinton attack gaps that the RNC either misses or leaves to them for the sleazy, dirty work of personal muck and dirt digging on Hillary and Bill. The damage from the relentless Hillary bashing has been on full display. Polls supposedly show that her stock with every segment of Democrats has eroded. With the biggest and most worrisome of the drop-offs from women, especially white women. This is made far worse by many progressives who rail harder at Clinton for her alleged pro war, pro Wall Street, and corporate stance, than any of the GOP presidential candidates. They have loudly declared that if Clinton is the Democratic nominee they'll stay home on Election Day.
This can't be shrugged off as a case of pox on both houses or misplaced idealism. The election will be a numbers game in the handful of swing states that will decide who sits in the Oval Office. But far worse, those numbers will decide if that horrific vision of what the GOP wants to turn America into can or will happen. Shunning Hillary is the prescription for that to happen.Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His latest book is Trump and the GOP: Race Baiting to the White House (Amazon Kindle) He is a frequent MSNBC contributor. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on Radio One. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network.