O Clinton, Where Art Thou?
March 1, 2001 7:05 AM   Subscribe

O Clinton, Where Art Thou? The New York Obsever, a traditionally liberal publication, has savaged the Clintons and pardongate, going so far as to call for Hillary to resign. Sen. Clinton won election in NYC handily, but apparently the bloom is off the rose.
posted by darren (22 comments total)
Call me old fashioned, but I am used to a system in which there is a due process to indicate that someone has or has not broken a law. Thus far, I have seen nothing to indicate guilt on the part of the wife. As a matter of fact, in the same paper, Joe Conason reveals the pardons that GOP presidents have made and they seem worse than those that Clinton gave.
What is funny, though, is that since the paper is called "liberal"--and I question this --then the demand is ok.
posted by Postroad at 7:15 AM on March 1, 2001

Isn't it though?
posted by tiaka at 7:27 AM on March 1, 2001

I liked the Observer's illustration to tease the article.
posted by darren at 7:57 AM on March 1, 2001

almost every departing president has granted questionable pardons. check this article at Salon to see the pardons Dubya Sr. granted.

this is nothing new; what's new about the situation is the weird rabid hatred the Clintons seem to be capable of inspiring in their enemies.
posted by cfj at 7:59 AM on March 1, 2001

Why are people surprised when liberals attack the Clintons? It's been going on for years in The Nation, and the title of Christopher Hitchens' book about the Clintons tells you exactly how he feels about them: No One Left to Lie To.

I think the real reason former supporters of President Clinton are turning on him is that he's no longer in a position to do anything for them.

However, if all of this really does scuttle Hillary Clinton's presidential aspirations, I can live with that. She's an unctious and tone-deaf politician who has no real prayer of winning anyway. Bush would be enormously lucky to get her as an opponent in 2004.
posted by rcade at 8:05 AM on March 1, 2001

Funny, a real liberal outlet, the New York Press, describes the Observer as "upmarket conservative" in this article, and we find that in 1999 it was purchased by "controversial neocon" Conrad Black.

I think somebody has to rewrite his assumptions about politics based merely on the city of publication.

I only found one hit on "liberal New York Observer", and that was at FR. Ayup.

(Actually the Observer has long covered both sides of the street.)
posted by dhartung at 8:42 AM on March 1, 2001

I would agree, rcade. I think the Democratic Party needs to undergo a major overhaul prior to 2004. It's clear there needs to be a purging of the old guard, and a new leadership base that speaks to the electorate's better angels. I think Bob Kerry is that type of leader, but right now he's not interested, having retired from the Senate and taken a job as president of the New School in NYC.

Despite all the election night (and post-election night) speculation that Dubya might be a one-term president because of the controversy, his strong performance out of the gate indicates he could be a formidable incumbent in four years.

Right now, who would the Democrats run against him? Gore? I suspect he might get fewer votes now than he received four months ago. Hillary? No way. Her negatives are too high. She's unelectable. Daschle? Gephardt? Their post-SOTU speech shows they're old news.

So I put the question out there -- who will be the New Guard of the Democratic Party? And don't say Nader or Jesse. Let's keep this discussion credible.
posted by darren at 8:45 AM on March 1, 2001

> Call me old fashioned, but I am used to a system in
> which there is a due process to indicate that someone
> has or has not broken a law. Thus far, I have seen
> nothing to indicate guilt on the part of the wife.

Nonsense. The presumption of innocence is to protect the rights of citizens formally accused by government enforcement officials. Period. The rest of us, in ordinary life, are entitled to whatever opinion of a person's guilt or innocence our wits may provide.

By your logic if some dude robs you at gunpoint you may not go to the police and accuse him, because you must presume he's innocent, because he hasn't been shown guilty by due process.

posted by jfuller at 9:00 AM on March 1, 2001

I keep hearing the names Evan Bayh and John Edwards pop up, mostly on NPR. And you can't count out Gray Davis, assuming he survives this power shortage mess.
posted by trox at 9:02 AM on March 1, 2001

Conrad Black's deal with the New York Observer did not go through. He failed to buy it. (From the London Times, 6 October, 2000: "I like Arthur Carter (its publisher) but when we got his tax return the night before the deal was due to be signed, it indicated a substantially larger loss than we had been prepared for.").

I can also tell you this: I used to work for the New York Observer, and like so many papers, the publisher, Arthur Carter, and the editorial staff, of which I think Joe Conason is fairly representative, generally share different political points of view. The staff is left-leaning, Carter is right-leaning. There's no surprise here: the "article" in question is actually a front-page editorial.

All in all, I think conservative and liberal are well-represented in the paper, one of those situations in which readers pick out the enemy in print and tag the whole paper with that one point of view. Most of the conservative voices, outside of real editorials (not to be confused with opinion colummns) come from regular contributors who are not, in fact, staff.

That said, the polls show that Hillary still has a strong approval rate--"46 percent of New York voters believe Clinton did something unethical" but "48 percent of those polled still had a favorable opinion of the former first lady"--and 47 percent of people in a different poll think Bill Clinton would be a good mayor of New York. All of those numbers are down, however, from previous polls.

Finally, New York Press is hardly a "real liberal outlet." Are you kidding? They're the closest thing to opposite of the Village Voice they could be without goose-stepping, from Mugger down to their love of Taki (who used to, and may still, write for the Observer).
posted by Mo Nickels at 9:03 AM on March 1, 2001

PS: The editorial staff may write editorials, but they are intended to represent the point of the view of the publisher, not the editorial staff. Just an oddity of journalism terminology.
posted by Mo Nickels at 9:07 AM on March 1, 2001

Gray Davis, coming from Cal. with all of those electoral votes, is definitely a player if he comes out of this energy crisis unscathed. That said, four years is an eternity in politics. Was anyone touting Clinton in '89 or Carter in '73? It is fun to speculate, but almost anyone could emerge over the next couple of years.
posted by gimli at 9:17 AM on March 1, 2001

Some early possibilities for the 2004 nomination: Gore, Lieberman, John Edwards, Bob Kerrey, John Kerry, Evan Bayh and Gray Davis. I would be surprised if a northeastern politician like Kerry or Lieberman was the nominee. I expect Democrats to believe that they need to reach out to the midwest and south to win.
posted by rcade at 9:55 AM on March 1, 2001

Is Lieberman too tarred by selling out his convictions to be part of the Gore-Lieberman team?
posted by darren at 10:10 AM on March 1, 2001

My thinking is that someone will come out of nowhere for the nomination-- the Dems need an entirely new face, (but not new policies, which would have won the election if it was policy v. policy)
posted by rad dude at 11:20 AM on March 1, 2001

Seeing who the current DNC chairman is, it is hard to see anyone besides Hillary running in '04. Gray Davis willhave to deal with Ah-nold first in 2002...
posted by gyc at 12:01 PM on March 1, 2001

Having campaigned for Bill Clinton once, and voted for him twice, I've spent quite a bit of time defending these two. Sadly, my patience with them has run out. They are both liars. Plain and simple. (I know that they are two separate individuals, but they operate politically as a unit, and I will be referring to them as such) They have lied repeatedly, been busted repeatedly, and repeatedly weasled their way out of any real repercussions for their actions.

Liberals need to get their heads out of the sand (and that's not my first choice of expression). Defending these two is simply an unnecessary drain on our meager rescources.

Why are we so eager to defend them, anyway? Every chance they have had to actually make a stand on principal, they have instead caved in as if made of crepe paper. From the firing of Jocelyn Elders, to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", to the increase in the intensity of the "War on Drugs", to the current rash of scandals, it has been made painfully clear that these people are unprincipaled at best, and borderline sociopaths at worst.

The Clintons are low-rent, machiavellian, backwoods Boss Hogg-types who managed to "Peter Principle" their way into high elective office. While holding that office, they did relatively little harm. Tragically, they also blew countless opportunities to do great good. It's time to wash our hands of them and move on.
posted by Optamystic at 3:00 PM on March 1, 2001

Guys, the Dems could run their donkey in 2004 and still win.

Look, there isn't a Republican candidate who can win New York (31 EC votes next election). After the debacle of Prop. 187, no Republican has taken a marquee race in California, a formerly reliable Republican state. (187 was the anti-immigration prop, and normally conservative Latinos have voted Democratic ever since). There goes California's 55 EC votes.

Florida, like California, is probably now forever lost to the Republicans. There is rage in that state now. Jeb Bush is going to be tossed out next election, along with the Republican majorities of both chambers of the state house. I think it's very unlikely a Republican presidential candidate will win Florida for the next 20 years or more, same as California. That's another 27 EC votes, after reapportionment. [note: .GIF image]

That's 113 of the 270 needed to clinch. It means the Republicans need to take 64% of the remaining 425 EC votes to make the 270 needed.

It could happen... But it ain't terribly likely.

As a Republican, this is what makes Dubya so repugnant to me. He found it better to get his piddly one term through burning the bridges of any subsequent, reasonable Republican for a generation.

posted by aurelian at 5:06 PM on March 1, 2001

"Low rent," mixed with Machiavellian and "Boss Hogg" mixed with "Peter Principle" are just about too much to take -- including them all in one sentence. There's nothing low-rent, per se, about being Machiavellian. What did Machiavelli want to do anyway? Let's se -- he wanted to preserve his home, Florence, and for it to become a Republic, as opposed to a dictatorship for all time. Machiavellian does not imply being ruthless at all times in any case, and presents a low-rent, understanding of political philosophy. (I know a backwoods air conditioning sales/repairman who could tell you.) Also, if we're going with southern TV characters to describe a southern president for no other reason than his being southern, Bill reminds me more of Bo Duke. You may make of that what you will, but no matter what the angle taken I believe you'll find it exceedingly more accurate.
posted by raysmj at 5:10 PM on March 1, 2001

That's why I used commas.
posted by Optamystic at 5:21 PM on March 1, 2001

Do you take any issue with the substance of my argument, or do you just not like my low rent attempt at being a backwoods Dennis Miller?
posted by Optamystic at 5:25 PM on March 1, 2001

More the backwoods Dennis Miller, though I hate it when Dennis relies on southern jokes as a crutch. But I do think the Bill-did-nothing is a bit of stretch. Example: On the "he screwed black people while he always sought them out in trouble" bit is unfair. Sure, he played the race card, so to speak. But he also expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit to gigantic levels, making it the biggest expansion of any lower income-related program since the Great Society. You can argue from any direction as to whether that was good or not, and of course about welfare reform. (I've read numerous times since that the assumption that its negative features would be worked out later. We'll see.) Special note: this is not meant to imply that "black" equals "poverty," but a shamefully disproportionate amount of black people do live in poverty.

In any case, he didn't break the country, near-abouts. That's what Reagan did, and the whole S&L thing occurred on his watch, yet you'll hear him described as the epitome of American political class in some quarters. The more I read about it, the more irresponsible the Reagan admin. looked, even if Ronnie was likable. Bill was likable too. So what?
posted by raysmj at 6:09 PM on March 1, 2001

« Older The NYTimes has an article on installing Linux   |   King of the Road: Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments