Barring health problems or an act of God, I can say with 100% certainty that Jeb Bush, the Establishment’s choice, will be the 2016 nominee. It will be a coronation. The other contenders can hustle and bustle, just like in 2012 against that year’s selection, but it won’t amount to a hill of beans.
And political journalists will try to hype up other would-be contenders, or talk up imagined “obstacles” to Jeb, because they have to. Just like football color commentators covering a completely one-sided domination, Washington pundits have to do anything they can to keep up audience interest and ratings (or page hits) no matter how obvious the outcome is.
Therefore, the 2016 presidential ballot will feature precisely the same last names as the one from 1992. It will feature the third Bush installed into the nomination since 1988 and if he wins, will ensure that there hasn’t been a Republican president not named Bush for 27 years. And as always, it doesn’t really matter to the people who really run this country which one wins.
This is because both will ensure more of the same for you plebians, because there is no daylight between the Bush and Clinton dynasties in the issues that matter: expansion of the powers of the executive and bureaucratic branches at the expense of the legislative; protection and enhancement of the wealth and power of the 0.1%; further weakening of the working class via massive competition from illegal immigrants; upholding of Citizens United and other laws so important to ensure continued dominance of the 0.1% over the political process; endless foreign wars, in part to benefit the military-industrial complex at the expense of taxpayers and the soldiers who, again, largely hail from the working class so despised by the elites. On the local level, you will see further stagnation of real wages; further reduction of the wealth of the middle class as it is transferred to the 0.1%; endlessly skyrocketing tuitions, which are negligible to a child of privilege but so onerous to young people of the 99%; and increasingly calcified social strata, as fewer and fewer either gain entrance to the 0.1%’s land of milk and honey… or leave it.
Jeb or Hillary will work to ensure the continued transformation of America into a system of hereditary, landed aristocracies. Vanishing are the days when people could come out of nowhere to get rich and powerful, as the Clintons themselves did; instead, ownership of this or that business will be handed down to the children. Sam Walton certainly earned his spot in the Establishment, but his sons and daughters did absolutely nothing. They don’t even really run the company. They just cash the checks they get for winning the birth lottery, while their employees continue to subsist at unnecessarily cruel poverty-level wages. Sure, there is tech as the last remaining option for commoners to get ahead, but even that is increasingly a playground of those who are already rich.
And this is just how it has been for the past few decades, and how it will be for decades to come. Sooner or later, Chelsea Clinton will run for Senate, and she will win. Sooner or later, George P. Bush will run for governor of Texas, and he will win. And sooner or later, both will be selected to be nominated for president. The populists and the principled conservatives and liberals will all wring their hands every four years about the situation, and they will yearn for an Elizabeth Warren or Ted Cruz… but they will then dutifully march to the polls every four years and vote for the correct candidate despite what they just said. If not an actual Clinton or Bush, then a close facsimile thereof. If a candidate for either party isn’t going to play by the 0.1%’s rules, then he or she is not going to be nominated, simple as that.
So yes. Complain, like me, about Jeb vs. Hillary. But we all need to remember that the Establishment couldn’t give two shits about how much people piss and moan. Because they didn’t just already win the game in 2016 — they wrote the rules so that they will always win from here on out.
(Update: For a less-dyspeptic view from the conservative side of things, here’s a take from The Federalist. They suggest a strategy where a Republican insurgent could possibly take on the Bush juggernaut, while still acknowledging the vast advantage the ruling class has. Myself, I think they’re on crack… but I hope they prove me wrong.)