Monday, January 23, 2006

A Democrat president?

A recent article in the New York Times on Hillary Clinton seems to have inspired Andrew Sullivan's piece reprinted in The Australian. A better Times piece is however Matt Bai's Ms Triangulation here. Hillary aspires to be a Truman Democrat on foreign policy but would she be a Truman Democrat on domestic policy? Most media discussion in Australia is foreign policy (and a very narrow definition of foreign policy at that) centered there is very little about domestic American policy. Yet much would depend on whether a Democrat president faced a Democrat congress, the Democrats seem to be travelling well for the 2006 elections here. Bush's polarising approach has encouraged Democrats to vote as a bloc more consistently than previously; would this continue under a Democratic presidency? Joseph Stiglitz complains that on international economic policy the Clinton administration pursued more conservative lines than on domestic economic policy, would the next Democrat president be any better? As Chris Nyland notes the Australian left has largely ignored the labour rights sections of the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement. What options might a Democrat administration open up here? Bush has pushed his agenda through Congress could a Democrat president do the same? Can the Democrats get beyond the free-trade protection debate? How will the split in American labor affect the ability of unions to exercise influence on a Democrat administration? The Australian media and those on the left to whom America is evil by definition will ignore these questions but I will post on them.


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