The Syndicate convened the Bilderberg Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Illuminati and the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy over the weekend at a secret hideaway in downtown Shangri-la to talk about themes for the 2016 campaign.
We're all familiar with the work of the Syndicate, though few know who's in it. The Syndicate controls everything: Nothing is too small to escape Syndicate attention. Perhaps you're looking for a friend's house late on a dark and rainy night on Coffee Pot Lane, and you remember that the house is definitely on the south side of the street. Frustration expands, temper grows short, and suddenly there it is - but on the north side of the street. You weren't wrong. The Syndicate, having heard you were coming, moved the house. During the night they'll put it back.
The Syndicate picks presidents, but calls in other smaller but powerful cartels to help. Next year the chosen Democrat is Hillary Clinton. There's not yet a chosen Republican, though the Bilderberg Group and the Council on Foreign Relations are rooting for Jeb Bush. The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy likes Ted Cruz. No final decision on candidates yet, but the campaign themes were locked in by Sunday night when everybody went home:
"Vote for Hillary: She ain't much but she's all we've got." The Republican candidate will stick with the tried and sometimes true: "Vote Republican: "We're not as bad as you think."
That's the kind of year 2016 is shaping up to be. Nobody yet figures to make anyone throw his hat in the air, which is logical since no one wears a hat any more. (Women were nuts to give up hats and take up ugly shoes.) Recycling is not yet for everybody, but it works in presidential politics.
Martin O'Malley, the former Democratic governor of Maryland who is trying to put his toe in the water if he can find the lake, says what a lot of people in both parties are thinking: In a nation of 330 million, give or take, why is it given to only two families to furnish candidates for president? "I think that our country always benefits from new leadership and new perspectives," Mr. O'Malley tells ABC News. "Let's be honest here. The presidency is not some crown to be passed between two families. It is an awesome and sacred trust, to be earned, and exercised, on behalf of the American people."
Given the givens, Hillary may still be the inevitable Democrat, but she doesn't look as inevitable as she did only a few weeks ago. Within the space of a single week, The Washington Post and The New York Times, loyal as always to Democratic interests, published cautions to the party, The Post about how Democrats are alarmed about Hillary's readiness for a campaign and The New York Times about how many Democrats are frightened that they have nobody but Hillary. They're "ready for Hillary" but Hillary's not ready to run. And where is Bubba?
How could this happen to such a nice party as the Democrats, usually with prospective candidates bumping into each other on the way to the convention. They used to say in the Solid South that Democratic fights were like cat fights and fights in Baptist churches, resulting only in more Democrats, more Baptists and more cats. Now the South is solid for the Republicans, and next year the Democrats are acting like proper Republicans, talking about choosing a candidate by inheritance.
A new CBS News poll finds that 8 of 10 Democrats want Hillary to run, and 8 of 10 want someone to challenge her in the primaries. It's a lot to ask of someone to make a suicide run, but it's true that sending Hillary to battle untested, with neither battle scars nor battle stars is an invitation to disappointment on election day.
The Democrats who boast they're "ready for Hillary" insist that her growing list of failures, if not scandals, are irrelevant in the public mind: Who cares, "at this point," about Benghazi? Who cares about her missing emails? Who cares that people are comparing her, slick and slippery as she may be, to Richard Nixon? Who even remembers the great entertainment of the Clinton years? Who was this guy they call Bubba? Time moves on and young voters in their early 20s can barely remember when Bubba and Hillary were playing the White House.
Nothing much stuck to Bubba, but he went through the fire on his way to Washington. Now Hillary is yesterday's news, stale, boring and maybe over the hill. That's enough to frighten Democrats everywhere.