Once again, the Clinton haters are pushing me to love them even more. I was, at first, a skeptic of Bill Clinton’s presidency. I supported Jerry Brown in the 92 primary, and honestly didn’t feel that George Bush I was a terrible president.
It’s hard to think about 1992–which might as well be an eon ago. The Democratic left was even more pervaded by identity politics than it is today, and the party’s coalition itself was falling apart. The Republican ascendancy, based on libertarian ideas but powered by evangelical voters, was one of the best acts of leger-de-main in political history.
It left people like me with no where to go. But, sure enough, Clinton won me over, slowly but surely. And the single largest factor was how he stood up to relentless criticism accusing him of everything from being the antichrist to simply not belonging in Washington. He was able to govern effectively and win political battles in the trenches against the best-funded most aggressive political demons in our history.
The Democrats that have come after him have failed miserably. That spineless pussified bunch of “decent” men–the pre-2001 Al Gore, Tom Daschle, Richard Gephardt, John Kerry–did not have the balls to fight the Republicans and their messiah, Bush II. This group rose like a pink phoenix from the ashes of the pre-Clinton Democrats who were similarly cowed and ineffective in the face of Ronald Reagan.
And now that same party is in a pitched battle, between one whose message is one of conciliation and unilateral disarmament towards an enemy that cuts off every hand offered in peace and turns every extended olive branch into pulp.
The other? She offers a purely political, tough as nails alternative. Though she may not offer policies that liberals love, she offers the spine that Democrats desire.
And the more they hate Hillary, the more I love her. It means she’s doing something right. It was the same with Bill. For all of his failings, for all of the things that did go wrong in his administration, he held the line against the vicious enemies that were storming the gates.
Can you imagine if Paul Tsongas was president when Gingrich came to power? To this day, we might have a prime minister instead of a president.
Chances are this whole thing will be resolved in one week and we can quit fussing. Whichever way it goes, I’m in until the end. Go Dems.
This has to be the least significant SOTU in my memory. The news coverage was ample, but miniscule compared to past norms. The media, if by nothing else, has realized that the interest shown in the primary elections reflects a desire to be rid of Bush, which they have failed to notice despite his terrible approval ratings.
No matter who is elected in November, the story of my generation will not be the story of what happened on September 11, 2001. Instead, it will be what happened on December 12, 2000.
On that day, the Supreme Court chose to ignore democracy. On that day, the trajectory of our national history was changed forever. Instead of continuing to move forward from the firewall that Clinton held against the barbarians, the barbarians looted the country. And we will spend the rest of our lives trying to get back to December 12, 2000. We may never succeed.