Saturday, June 11, 2005

The origins of Clinton-hatred

The NYT Book Review runs a piece this Sunday on John F. Harris's The Survivor -- the most recent Clinton tome. The reviewer of the piece argues that Bill was probably the most-hated President in recent history -- save for FDR -- and he puzzles over this fact. (But he was a centrist! being one of the examples) . Harris's thesis? Clinton was a baby-boomer:

If, as Harris believes, Clinton was in the most important ways a competent president -- and certainly not a combative or ideological one -- then the conundrum of Clinton-hatred remains essentially unsolved. Harris does try to explain it. He suggests -- as others have -- that Clinton, not entirely through his own doing, suffered as the embodiment of a generation and a set of values that much of the country had never understood or been willing to accept. He was the tangible symbol of the Baby Boom, its conceits, its self-absorption, its lack of discipline and failures of responsibility. He was a child of the 1960's preaching to millions of people who had never come to terms with the 1960's and didn't want to be reminded of them.

Well, I find it curious that, right in the wake of the Deep Throat outing and the re-fighting of the Nixon resignation that it didn't occur to Alan Ehrenhalt that the Clinton wars were nothing but payback for Nixon [and, to a lesser extent, Iran-Contra]. In other words, it didn't really matter who Clinton was, what he believed, or how he governed, the GOP kooks just wanted to extract their pound of flesh, and they launched their goons and subpoenas and whatever else they had at him.

For proof of this, all you had to do in recent weeks was to listen to the aggrieved Nixonians of the world uttering the word "coup" at every turn. All you had to do was listen to the Limbaughs and Hannities and Ben Steins of the world screeching: What was so terrible about what Nixon did, and anyway, everyone else was doing the same thing, too! All you had to do was hear the wailing, and think for yourself -- How does one exact revenge? The GOP got their flesh, alright, but at what cost?

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 11:08 AM

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