Right now, every electoral map has Hillary winning by a very comfortable margin. As of this writing, Fivethirtyeight, one of the more conservative forecasts, shows her winning the Electoral College by almost 140 points and the popular vote by a stunning 6.4 points. By way of comparison, Obama won in 2008 by 7.2 points and in 2012 by 3.9. Both were considered to be crushing defeats for Republicans.
With less than 3 weeks left, Trump’s best chance of winning is for Hillary Clinton to fall down an open wormhole and pop out on the other side of the universe.
So we’re clearly facing a Hillary landslide. Will Republicans acknowledge that she has a mandate? Will they give her the tiniest bit of leeway to enact the will of the American public that voted in her by an overwhelming amount?
If past is prologue, the answer to these questions is an emphatic “No.”
On the night Obama was being sworn in to office, Republicans had their infamous meeting to discuss how they would break his presidency. Instead of heeding the will of the people, Republicans literally plotted like cheap movie villains how to override the American voter. For the next 8 years, an unprecedented amount of obstruction kept the country limping along in the wake of the Great Recession and millions suffered unnecessarily.
And that was before the Republican Party and its followers went bat-shit insane and nominated Donald Trump.
While it’s possible that Hillary Clinton, who has the ability to connect with people on a very personal level when she works with them, might be able to dissuade Republicans from trying to mount her head on a pike, the Republican base is a total write-off. Decades of internalized anti-Hillary propaganda means that any elected Republican that dares to work with, smile at, or simply not spit on Hillary will be deemed a vile traitor.
On top of this, Trump, who will not abandon his adoring white supremacist fans, will most likely start up a new media empire that will make Fox News look like The Young Turks. The amount of anti-Hillary propaganda will make the ghost of Goebbels blush. This additional pressure from the far right will force Republicans to take hard line stances against anything Hillary agrees with.
Accordingly, Republicans will insist that Hillary does not have a mandate but rather that the vote was only against Trump, not for her. Already, Republicans have signaled their intent to continue their refusal to do their jobs when John McCain preemptively dismissed any possible candidate Hillary my nominate for the Supreme Court. The anti-Trump vote will be a flimsy pretext for obstruction, but that fig leaf is all they’ll need.
But it’s not not all doom and gloom. The Democrats are almost certainly going to take back the Senate (and just possibly the House as well) and it’s unlikely that Chuck Schumer, the presumed Senate Majority Leader, will allow Republicans to filibuster Supreme Court nominees for very long.
Once the Court tilts back to the left, the extreme gerrymandering and voter suppression schemes Republicans are using to cling to power will be dismantled and Hillary will be able to implement her agenda. But even without the House, it’s hard to imagine that Hillary isn’t already planning on how to work with, or around, a hostile Congress, so her agenda is going to get done anyway.
In the end, it really doesn’t matter if Hillary wins by a landslide or not; she’s still going to face the same obstacles to running the country. Republicans are now completely hostage to the crazed extremists of their base and are no longer capable of governing like adults. They will ramp up their obstructionism to new heights and Hillary has to know this.
On the other hand, winning by a massive landslide over the walking personification of male privilege, misogyny and arrogance will be the tastiest victory of her life and a wonderful entry into the history books.