As Zandardad emailed me today to point out, Clinton Derangement Syndrome 2.0 is coming, and Republicans are signalling that with 10 weeks to go before the election and 20 weeks before a new president would take office that Hillary will get nothing but the same rancor and utter disrespect that Barack Obama got, and from an even earlier point.
Is there such a thing as a negative grace period as president? Because that's where we are now.
Hillary Clinton has managed to win support from Republicans without conceding any part of the progressive economic agenda she outlined during the Democratic primary.
But with fall approaching and momentum on Clinton’s side, Democrats and Republicans alike are looking over the horizon to a thornier reality: if elected, Clinton would likely become the first Democrat since Grover Cleveland to enter office without control of both houses of Congress.
That means the bipartisan show of support she has now -- thanks to Donald Trump and the “alt-right,” conspiracy-driven campaign Clinton attacked Thursday in Reno -- is likely to evaporate as soon as the race is called. If she wins the presidency, Clinton would likely enjoy the shortest honeymoon period of any incoming commander-in-chief in recent history, according to Washington strategists, confronting major roadblocks to enacting her ambitious agenda, as well as Republican attacks that have been muted courtesy of the GOP nominee.
“It will be the defining fact of her presidency,” Jonathan Cowan, president of the moderate think tank Third Way, said of Clinton's problem of entering office with a divided Congress. “It’s unprecedented."
President Obama and former President Bill Clinton both enjoyed at least two years of a Democratic majority in Congress when they entered the White House, a period when they were able to enact major portions of their agendas.
While Democrats are confident about taking control of the Senate if Clinton wins the election, even her top operatives who have been working to elect down-ballot Democrats do not expect to snatch up the House of Representatives.
“What that would leave her with is an absolute imperative to govern from the center," said Cowan, a former Bill Clinton White House official. "She will have no choice. There is no choice. Obama will have picked most of the low hanging executive orders, and she'll be in this Grover Cleveland moment.”
In other words, if you thought it was difficult for Barack Obama to get anything done over the last six years, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Of course the obvious solution is for Democrats to do everything they can to win the House, but the ship may have sailed on that one thanks to Debbie Wasserman Schultz and DCCC chair Ben Ray Lujan, who have been complete non factors in 2016 as far as even trying to win the House back at this point. There are plenty of non-contested Republican House seats in a year where Donald Trump should be costing the GOP dozens of races.
We'll see, but if your worry was somehow that Hillary Clinton was going to be too nice to the GOP or something, well they'll probably have articles of impeachment drawn up on January 21.