Thought for the Day: Hating Bill Clinton

Hating Bill Clinton was thought to have been an obsession of the right, but as I have been tracking for a while, the left has been turning against him for a long time now.

And over the transom from Princeton University Press comes the galleys to a forthcoming book, A Fabulous Failure: The Clinton Presidency and the Transformation of American Capitalism, written by two professors who lean to the left (is it really necessary to say that?).

From the introduction:

Today, however, Clinton’s presidency wins little respect. Few liberals want to return the Democratic Party to that era because so many see his presidency as a betrayal of the progressivism that was once the hallmark of the New Deal and the Great Society. Bill Clinton was the first Democratic president since FDR to win two consecutive terms, but that accomplishment seems merely a product of his accommodation to an ideology that privileged trade liberalization, financial deregulation, and privatization of government services, while tolerating the growth of class inequalities. President Clinton has been labeled “the Democratic Eisenhower,” the popular leader of a political party whose electoral success was predicated upon a wholesale accommodation to the ideology of its op-ponents. Clinton’s 1996 declaration that “the era of big government is over” seemingly ratified Reaganite conservatism and in the process trans-formed Republican politics and policy into a hegemonic ethos that liberated global finance and eviscerated Keynesian liberalism. . .

The Guardian’s George Monbiot concluded his story on the rise of neoliberalism by asserting, “The man who sank Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency was not Donald Trump. It was her husband.”

Nothing so clearly ratifies the Democratic Party’s sharp lurch to the left in recent years than this kind of revisionism that reviles the Clintons. I fully expect that sooner or later leftists will openly express regret that Clinton wasn’t convicted in his impeachment as it would have paved the way for the certifiably cuckoo Al Gore to become president.

Finally—a leftist book that is going to be fun to read! Pass the popcorn.

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