Archive for the ‘Clinton’ Category

Bill Clinton was a polarizing figure, in spite of his popularity. For both friends and enemies, he was the true torch-bearer of the 60s and the Baby Boomers: idealistic, flabby, occasionally elitist, urban, self-indulgent, draft-dodging, and all the rest. His lifestyle fed into stereotypes held by Reagan Democrats and blue collar Americans about liberal elites, and his gun control measures and perceived hostility to religious people–not least in the Waco Massacre–did much to fuel an anti-government paranoia among conservatives during that time. In its more mainstream manifestation, this included measures like the Contract With America and the attempted alliance of paleoconservatives and certain libertarians in venues like Chronicles magazine and the John Randolph Club. The most extreme variant included the militia movement and the Timothy McVeigh bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building. Much of this feeling dissipated after 9/11 and the 2000 election. Many conservatives channeled their feelings of alienation and fear at Islamic terrorists. Bush’s perceived moral clarity was welcome, and a new kind of bellicose populism became prominent in the movement, even if the democracy-spreading stuff was dismissed as necessary window dressing. This turned out not to be so.

Bush, who was frequently called “more conservative than his father” behind closed doors in Republican circles in 2000, turned out to be quite a bit more idealistic and more liberal than his father. His foreign policy was less steeped in realism. His embrace of Hispanics, including illegal immigrants, as the future of the Republican Party did much to alienate social conservatives and Reagan Democrats, who became more concerned about mass immigration in recent years.

I believe Obama has the capacity to have the Clinton effect, uniting conservatives who have now lost the distraction of a non-conservative president leading us into hopeless backwaters like “spreading democracy in the Middle East” or expanding home ownership to bad credit risks. After all, without the albatross of the first President Bush after 1992, conservatives united around a truly conservative set of themes and did much to scuttle Clinton’s dumbest ideas. As with Clinton, Obama’s big spending, dubious heritage, increasingly hackneyed rhetoric, and recent anti-gun noises will likely trigger the anti-government, anti-spending feeling that conservatives always seem to find again as soon as they’re out of power. I may be wrong; the demographics have changed considerably since 1994. Many millions of newcomers have arrived since then. And younger people are less likely to marry and have children–these milestones being major inducements to conservatism among not particularly political folks. We’re still here though. Obama has been fearless about confronting conservative on various hot button issues–criticizing the US in Turkey, mocking Christian beliefs in his stem cell decisions, kowtowing to Mexico on guns–and the intense backlash is brewing, along with that old time conservative anti-government rhetoric. While this message fell on deaf ears during the inflationary boom, there is always a group that views big government spending as profligate and short-sighted during hard economic times. Such views connect directly with those of our Founding Fathers and have even penetrated the once pro-New Deal Reagan Democrats as they have climbed the economic ladder. When combined with the more culturally-based opposition to amnesty, which Obama seems surprisingly poised to advocate, Obama may accomplish what Bush could not: uniting conservatives around a small government, neo-nationalist set of views.

The political disaster would be for some opportunist without a thorough understanding and ability to articulate these views to become the face of conservatism. This is why McCain, Huckabee, and Palin each present different risks to the party. None is a real conservative steeped in the nationalist and small government strains of thinking that have grown so robust under Bush’s pseuedo-conservatism, and each would become a lightning rod for conservatives, while in fact being a populist or militarist imposter.

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Obama, though he portrays himself as a post-racial healer, is willing to play the race card to win this election.  He’s just thrown Democratic party elder statesman, Geraldine Ferraro, under the bus for pointing out the obvious:  if Obama were a white man or a white woman, he wouldn’t be so close to winning the nomination. 

Andrew Sullivan calls the Clinton’s despicable for their “hard ball” tactics, but, what game did he think everyone was playing?  This is politics.  Obama’s intimations about post-racial healing and connectedness are just as focus-grouped and artificial as every word out of Hillary’s mouth.  He’s just smoother in the delivery.  Plus, all of her attacks are moderate and reasonable considering what the Clintons are capable of and amount to the following:  he’s inexperienced, he’s got skeletons, he’s got some bad associates, and the media’s given him a pass. 

But it is an abnormal and fairly recent development that racism charges can simultaneously be perceived as the greatest social evil and also be the most common charge advanced by blacks seeking an advantage against whites. 

The anti-racism of today is not rooted in justice.  There is almost no racism in America today, and, even to the extent it exists, it does not explain persistent and growing black failure.  Instead, the anti-racism of today is an ideology of power designed to identify, denounce, and avenge the imaginary white sources of black failure.  Because this campaign is rooted not in justice but in furtherance of the Marxist goal of rearranging society by subordinating whites to minorities and newcomers, it knows no limits. 

It would be nice to think Obama could assuage these disaffected groups, recreate conditions of a common national identity, and promote race relations based on mutual understanding and justice.  His flowerly campaign rhetoric, however, does not match his gritty and dishonorable campaign tactics. 

As I’ve said before, Obama will be a tragic figure if elected, because modern day leftism, as espoused in the Democratic Party, does not permit a vocabulary with which to provide limits to the dominant anti-white, anti-rich, anti-male, anti-Christian, anti-establishment, and anti-American agenda.

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I guess the tears worked. Surprising possible victory by Clinton at this time (8:30 EST) in New Hampshire, but it’s neck and neck.

Looks like McCain, Romney, Huckabee (38%, 28%, 12%) on Republican side.  Still open, but bad news for Romney.

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Sweating Through Fog reminds us of something that people who are a bit nostalgic for the 90s may have forgotten:

Some polls have Hillary third in Iowa. Apparently even Democrats are seeing her for what she is – a liar without her husband’s ability to pull it off.

The Clintons were insufferable in power, and now we’ll get to see how gracefully they handle defeat. It won’t be an inspiring sight. Their shamelessness reached an earlier peak on the day of Bill’s impeachment, when he pulled all of the House Democrats onto the White House lawn for a “rally” – as if impeachment for the crime of perjury was just some primary setback. This quality – their repellent shamelessness – was all that kept them in power. Richard Nixon had a sense of honor, but Bill Clinton never did. His wife’s willingness to stand by him was a sure sign that nothing matters to her more than power.

I’ve always had this theory about the two of them. They wouldn’t have gone willingly. If another one of Bill’s bimbos had come forward during the impeachment hearings and testified as to what sort of man he was, the truth may have been so blunt, so undeniable, that it may have have turned a dozen or so reluctant Democratic senators. He might have been convicted by the Senate, just so they could be done with him.

Even then, the Clintons wouldn’t have left the White House. Having said that the House impeachment was just politics, they would have said the same thing about the Senate conviction. They would have eagerly forced a constitutional crisis. A sitting president refusing to leave office on conviction by what they would have called a “partisan Senate.” The only way they would have left the White House was if the army went in and dragged Bill and Hillary out in handcuffs.

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