Hillary & the Right [Bruce]

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I have an article in this morning's Los Angeles Times that elaborates on my earlier post about how Hillary is becoming more acceptable to at least a few opinionmakers on the right.

Let me anticipate one criticism I always get when I talk about how Bill Clinton's administration ended up being pretty good on economic policy. I am told that is only because the Republicans got control of Congress in 1994 and thereafter checked his excesses, such as the effort to nationalize health care that was run by Hillary.

This is quite true. Left to his own devices with a Democratic Congress for 8 years, I have no doubt that Bill would have been a far worse president from a conservative viewpoint. This is why I have been harping on the dismal chances the Republicans have for keeping the White House. If they recognize that this just isn't going to happen, then maybe the party can pour some extra resources into some congressional races and try to win seats that were lost in 2006.

Earlier, I quoted political scientist Larry Sabato as saying--correctly in my view--that the American people like gridlock. They don't trust either party to run the whole show. And frankly, the 2000-2006 experience of a Republican Congress and a Republican president is strong evidence in favor of divided party control.

Therefore, if Republicans were to run a national campaign reminding voters that the best economic times we've had in living memory came when we had a Democratic president and a Republican Congress, I think it could persuade a lot of voters to split their votes. If, on the other hand, Republicans insist of believing that they can hold the White House and put all their eggs in that basket, then we could have a nightmare scenario where Democrats in Congress are free to enact bad legislation with no restraint.

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