With mounting evidence that the Democratic Party is shifting massively further to the left (separate post on this coming soon), Hillary’s remembrances of things past is not going over well with a party base that has been slowly revolting against her husband for a long time.
And now comes Newsweek, with a cover story saying that everything wrong with America today is Bill’s fault! The story is actually an excerpt from a new history of the 1990s, and is a major disappointment. I don’t recommend it.
But I couldn’t help wondering at the time of Trump’s Access Hollywood videotape fiasco of a year ago just how liberals who said “character doesn’t matter” when Clinton kept getting caught with his fly unzipped could now expect Americans to apply the old character standards that Clinton shredded.
But that entirely predictable hypocrisy is secondary to the real reckoning the left is having about Bill Clinton, which is that he was a slave to “neoliberalism”—no better than a moderate Republican.
There is something to this, of course. Clinton did, after all, complete the NAFTA treaty that everyone now seems to hate; he balanced the budget (under duress from the Republican Congress, to be sure), agreed to a capital gains tax cut, generally left the internet alone in its formative period. As Norman Podhoretz put it at the end of the Clinton Administration: “He lied; he cheated; he saved the Democrats.”
But Democrats don’t want to be saved. I hear Bernie Sanders put out his single-payer health plan today. I haven’t had time to chase it down yet, but it should be fun. It is going to be the Democrats’ Big Idea for 2020, and very quickly their albatross.