On Steve Sailer’s site, I commented upon one of the election threads that the most likely result will be Marco Rubio versus Hillary Clinton. Just for kicks, I went on to point out that this was Clinton – Lazio 2.0 and a suspicious mind might wonder if this was not the scripted result. For those who don’t remember Clinton’s senate run, she used pretty boy Rick Lazio like a Q-Tip and then tossed him away.
I was mostly joking, but it is not an outcome that is beyond the pale. If Rubio wins New Hampshire, he is most likely the nominee. Despite her debacle in Iowa, Clinton is probably going to win her party’s nomination. Democrats have gone around the bend, but there’s no way the brothers and sisters are voting for the old Jewish guy. Think about that. Blacks are now the party ballast for the Democrats.
Anyway, after a long primary for both sides, let’s say we end up with Hillary Clinton versus Marco Rubio. I’m going to assume that most people reading this would not be enthusiastic with either option, but democracy is all about the lesser of two evils, picking between electrocution and poisoning. My guess is most readers face every election thinking both choices are unpleasant. So, how to pick?
My first litmus test issue for any candidate these days is immigration. I’m a squish on the topic, but I think open borders is grounds for commitment to an institution. Here’s what Hillary Clinton says, “We need comprehensive immigration reform with a path to full and equal citizenship. If Congress won’t act, I’ll defend President Obama’s executive actions—and I’ll go even further to keep families together. I’ll end family detention, close private immigrant detention centers, and help more eligible people become naturalized.”
Marco Rubio tried to pass exactly that in the Senate, but he now says, “Our reaction needs to be what we should be doing anyway, which is passing immigration reform, beginning with getting illegal immigration under control.” I guess if you really want to make a case for a difference between Marco and Hillary, you can say he is slightly less enthusiastic about granting citizenship to the world, but we’re splitting hairs now.
My second litmus test issue is gun control. Hillary says, “I’ll take on the gun lobby and fight for commonsense reforms to keep guns away from terrorists, domestic abusers, and other violent criminals—including comprehensive background checks and closing loopholes that allow guns to fall into the wrong hands.” While I have no doubt she is a gun grabber, this word salad here says she will do nothing about it.
Marco Rubio has no history of gun grabbing and he said, “It’s not the guns, it’s the people who are committing these crimes.” His voting record here is solid and he has never said anything to suggest he is faking it. Rubio is also from Florida and you go nowhere in Florida politics if you’re soft on guns. This is one of those times where you have to look beyond the position statements and Rubio is the safe choice on guns
I used to put abortion as a litmus test issue, even though there’s not much to be done about it. My view is that while abortion should be legal, but very limited, calling it a natural right tells me you are too stupid to be trusted. I used to hold the same view of homosexual marriage. The fact is, Progressives have won all these battles and it will take a revolution to alter that reality. Most of the GOP is fine with abortion and homosexual marriage so a candidate’s opinion here is irrelevant.
That’s it for the big philosophical questions. Next on my list would be the smaller issues like taxes, spending and regulation. It’s easy to get lost in the weeds on these things. Look at the candidates websites and they have thousands of words on issues that fall into one of those three buckets. Clinton has a whole section on legal reform, whatever that means. Rubio has a section on common core, a topic that should not even exist.
I’m just going to keep it at the 30,000 foot view. What do the candidates have to say about reducing the size of government? Stop laughing. God help me, but I read everything on Hillary’s site and I have no idea what she wants to do as president. Her whole site is just emotive nonsense about various demographics groups. The only reasonable score here is to assume she would be business as usual, which means steady growth of the state, with some extras for Democrat barnacles.
On Rubio’s site, he has a laundry list of issues organized so the blind and stupid can easily navigate the topics. To his credit he has a section on debt, which is pretty funny given his personal finances. As you can see, there’s nothing there but some platitudes about saving stuff by reducing waste and reducing waste by saving stuff. As with Hillary, there’s no reason to think he has any interest in cutting government spending.
On taxes, it appears both candidates want to move commas around the tax code, which is always great fun. It accomplishes very little, but it makes for great flag waving. Both candidates think social engineering through the tax code is a great idea. Otherwise. there’s not much to distinguish them and they don’t seem to be making taxes a big part of their pitch. That really says a lot when you think about it. It used to be that taxes were the main difference between the parties.
That leaves regulation. Like taxes, you just don’t hear anyone talk about clearing out the regulatory thicket anymore. The Federal Registry is close to 100,000 pages now. There are more than one million regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations. No human can know all of them. Hillary Clinton is promising more regulations for all sorts of nonsense like requiring people to be happy on alternate Thursdays, but her posted positions are, as a I wrote above, emotive nonsense.
Rubio, to his credit, has a section on regulation. Hilariously, he proposes new regulations on the making of new regulations. I miss the days when Republicans talked about cutting departments. It was a lie, of course, but at least they were not talking about altering the space-time continuum. I went looking around for a better understanding of his idea and it is basically a budget that limits the total number of regulations each year, based on some exotic formulas.
The funny thing here is Hillary, the old commie, is showing her age. In her prime, a good statist promised a laundry list of free stuff from the public treasury. Today’s statists replace laws passed by elected parliaments with administrative degrees ginned up by autocratic agencies. Rubio’s regulatory reform is a complicated technocratic response to the metastasizing technocratic state. It’s unleashing a cobra in your house to kill the mice.
The long and short of it, when you start comparing the two probable contestants for president, is they are not all that different from one another. Unless you have some weird reason to care about how they move some commas around the tax and regulatory code, the only difference worth mentioning is the gun issue. Otherwise, your life will not be any different under the tyranny of Hillary than the tyranny of Marco.
Just in case someone is tempted to mention the courts, just keep in mind that the most egregious decisions of late are from Republicans appointees. The lesson of the last year is that the courts have locked shields with their fellow in the managerial class against any attempts by the dirt people to reign in their excesses. Like abortion, only a revolution will do anything to fix the courts.