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« FBI Interrogator Says Saddam Faked Having WMDs? | Main | Shaken, not Stirred: Thoughts on Market Volatility »

January 25, 2008



What's to like?

NAFTA? Welfare reform? Dont Ask, Don't Tell? The Communications Decency Act? Easing media ownership laws? Defense of Marriage Act?

This is some of the legislation Bill Clinton signed into law. Most of it in an effort to save his presidency after the disastrous failure of Hillary's healthcare reform bill lost congress to the Republicans.

Obama is right, Clinton didn't shift the American debate our way. The Clintons just triangulated their way through the 1990's doing their best to ameliorate the worst aspects of Republican legislation.

In the end the man who told us if we worked hard and played by the rules broke the rules, got caught and allowed the Republicans to stifle any gains he could have made for us. We lost congress and he couldn't even help Al Gore become his successor.

If we nominate Hillary and she gets elected you can expect more of the same small bore efforts. These two won't build the huge mandate we need for the great changes that have to be made. There will be no coattails. They won't change the debate. They've never even tried.


I don't know; do you think that what Bill Clinton had to do in the nineties will be a rule for Hillary now? She seems to be saying rather different things than she did before. At any rate, no truly progressive agenda can be implemented except by stages with the country so divided (which would have been a problem if my man Edwards---the only REAL progressive running---had been elected).

I don't think Obama will be a bit different. According to Krugman---who is after all a highly credentialed economist---Hillary's economic plan is more progressive than Obama's.

Triangulation is going to be necessary for them to get anything done at all REALISTICALLY. Shoving a progressive agenda down the throats of the "base" is likely to have the same effect as their shoving theirs down ours. It's got to happen gradually, so frightened conservatives will see that the world doesn't come to an end.

And the Hillary-hatred (not yours, just it in general) strikes me as WAY over the top, quite frankly. It's raised my feminist hackles, since everything she's accused of could be said of her rival(s): arrogant, smug, rich, oligarch, ties to corrupt business people, will say whatever it takes to get elected, ruthless....

James Stripes

Perhaps I take too much stock in history, but I agree with assessments that Hillary has already aided in the production some of the disasters we must overcome. Untried Obama looks good, thus, but inexperience and vague notions of "unifying potential" such as Andrew Sullivan addressed at length in the Atlantic Monthly are not convincing reasons. They've been convincing enough so far when combined with my historical distrust of everything Clinton. I'm still among the undecideds and my state's primary is still a month away, and the Democratic candidate might yet be clear before then.

Can I in good conscience support Hillary? By highlighting how she has learned from her errors, the NYT's endorsement reminds me of the death and rebirth of another Presidential candidate: Richard Nixon.


I think that's a bit much, to compare her to Nixon, don't you (really)? So much hyperbole about the Clintons, especially Hillary. Nobody ever says anything specific about Hillary. It's just all so out of proportion to the actual offenses. meanwhile, everyone's worshipping Obama in the expectation that a new broom sweeps clean. I've never heard him make a single point of substance on an issue where I didn't prefer Hillary's stance each time. (And I like Edwards much better than either).

If people would study the candidates' aspirations and choose the one whose platform would be in their best interests (instead of fixating on whether the person is clean enough, sweet enough, bright enough, or likable enough), this would be a different world.

Nixon was most closer in every respect to George W. Bush....I'm sorry, I see nothing in common between either.

James Stripes

Perhaps I overreached a little. Nevertheless, things looked very bleak for the future of the Clintons during the height of the Lewinsky scandal, just as Nixon's political future looked dead after he lost the 1960 Presidential election, then the California governor's race in 1962. Nevertheless, he won the Presidency in 1968 and then in 1972 won by the largest margin in history to that point (and a larger share of the popular vote than Reagan got in 1984). Hillary's current ascendancy resembles the Phoenix quality of Nixon (rising from the ashes). They also both share a naked quest for power. Of course their ideologies are poles apart.

Nixon was more evil than Bush, and far less naive. Bush has no comprehension of foreign policy and has created a disaster as a consequence. Nixon's made less mess than any of his Republican successors, and he understood the consequences of his actions--his crimes in Indochina were conscious and deliberate.

The whole likability thing is a serious problem in American politics. I would like to agree that it is beside the point, but it is one that politicians and campaign workers must consider. Indeed, the Democratic party as a whole must understand that far too many ordinary voters will make their decision on such a basis. Overcoming her image problem as unlikable is one place where Hillary might look to Nixon as a model. In these post-Watergate years, it is hard to remember that he was immensely disliked at the start of his career and at the end, but not always through the middle.

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