Sunday, June 19, 2016

The long interregnum.

 So, we enter a period of political lull, after the primary/caucus period and before the party conventions.  Normally, the parties coalesce, the major issues become clear, the nominees vet VP candidates, and get ready for the fall, organizing, strategizing, raising money, and giving policy speeches intended to move them back to the center of the political spectrum from which they strayed to win their respective nominations.

This is no ordinary year.

Clinton has done more of that than Trump, but she is not positioning herself quite as rapidly as history would expect. She still has a substantial number of Sanders supporters who have not and do no appear likely to follow in lockstep.  She moved on the "radical Islamic terrorist" language, but on other issues, she stays frozen in the primary dilemma.  Is she really vetting Senator E. Warren as her VP choice? Is that the way she wins over the Sanders crowd?  What would two women on one ticket do to improve, or hurt her chances?

And Trump, who proved himself capable of "behaving" with establishment Republicans for about 10 days, now is back to insulting the leaders of his own party. Cruz and Bush (and who else, who knows) might be working behind the scenes to win the nomination, provided the Republican convention rules were changed to "let delegates vote their conscience" as Paul Ryan suggests of his own caucus.  How can that be the rules for the elites and not the common masses?

The Democrats are raising money, and the Clinton machine has kicked into full mode.  Remember the way Bill raised funds, from every source, including the Chinese.  Is the FEC even up to monitoring campaigns that raise hundreds of millions, perhaps a billion dollars?

Trump refuses to release his income taxes, Hillary contends the email/Clinton Foundation investigation are "no problem" and the voters lay in uneasy repose, waiting for a campaign that might be the most divisive, least informative in history.

What gives?  Are the events of this campaign an aberration or do they portend the kind of politics that will be the norm?

As America waits on answers to deep and resilient problems we face in our society, our economy, in our future both domestic and foreign, the campaign of 2016 hangs like an albatross around our collective and uneasy necks.

This will start soon enough, and the interregnum we are currently in, feels like the muggy heat of summer, when the winds die down and the boat waits for the waves.

And we hope they will not swamp us in their anger and fury.

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