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jerryking : bill_clinton   6

Barack Obama and Me - The New York Times
By J. D. VANCEJAN. 2, 2017

The data shows that working-class families like mine face much higher rates of marital strife and domestic instability. Demons like Mr. Clinton’s had haunted my home and family for generations, and at an age when I first began to develop strong feelings about my future, I knew that I wanted to outrun them. I cared little for Mr. Clinton’s elite education, his economic success or even his ascendancy to the most powerful office in the world. I cared that he had managed to build the domestic tranquillity that he lacked as a child. But here, in one sex scandal, he had blown it all up. If a man of his abilities had done this, then what hope was there for me? is one of the great failures of recent political history that the Republican Party was too often unable to disconnect legitimate political disagreements from the fact that the president himself is an admirable man. Part of this opposition comes from this uniquely polarized moment in our politics, part of it comes from Mr. Obama’s leadership style — more disconnected and cerebral than personal and emotive — and part of it (though a smaller amount than many on the left suppose) comes from the color of his skin.
J.D._Vance  Obama  role_models  Bill_Clinton  marital_strife  working_class  human_frailties 
january 2017 by jerryking
Medicare Debate: How Obama, Paul Ryan Fooled Themselves -
June 02, 2011 | TIME | By Joe Klein.

Why, in a media atmosphere dominated by infotainers and telecharlatans, have our politicians suddenly gone all high-minded on us?

The answer is, they haven't. They just define "the public" differently than we do. Their public is smaller, and also plural. One of those mini-publics is their base: the diehards who show up for every primary and midterm election. Because of gerrymandering, those elections usually yield a crop of Congresspeople who reside on the left and right wings of their respective parties. And Congress itself constitutes a second, crucial public. If a President wants to get things done, he has to pay close attention to what the congressional members of his party want. And so Obama, who didn't even propose universal health care in 2008, finds himself enslaved by the desires of Nancy Pelosi and Henry Waxman. And John Boehner finds himself the servant of the Tea Party and hermetically sealed ideologues like Ryan. "It is a serious structural problem that has developed over the past 40 years," says William Galston of the Brookings Institution. "Both the electorate and the political parties are growing more polarized — but the parties have moved farther and faster to their respective sides of the spectrum than the public has." The result has been a series of public rebellions in reaction to ideological overreach by both parties.

There is a cure for this disease, but it's not high-minded. It is called politics, especially the sort of pragmatic politics Clinton practiced after he had his own hubristic, near-death, health care hallucination. It is an ugly process, involving compromise and small-time bribery for the public good — the slathering of pork on recalcitrant Representatives, the trimming of ideological sails.
Obama  Paul_Ryan  Bill_Clinton  Medicare  polarization  public_goods  gerrymandering  high-minded 
august 2012 by jerryking
Bill Clinton talks to Simon Schama -
October 14, 2011 10:00 pm
Bill Clinton talks to Simon Schama

By Simon Schama
Bill_Clinton  Simon_Schama  philanthropy  Clinton_Global_Initiative  polymaths 
october 2011 by jerryking
The Clintons' last hurrah: watching the skunk in the alley
Thorsell, William. The Globe and Mail [Toronto, Ont] 16 Feb 2001: .13

The Wall Street Journal is the best-edited newspaper in the world, and its relentless editorial pages are sometimes superlative, too. This week, a Journal editorial disposed of Bill Clinton's shrinking rump of defenders with enviable finality. And last week, the Journal published a potent denunciation of the United States' governing elites -- "the dominant minority" on which the long-term welfare of any great civilization depends. Together, it was like reading a very good second draft of history.

The first of these forays can be explained by partisan predilection, as the Journal's genome contains the protein marker for Republicans in every cell, including the one that defines how you dress. But the editorial page's fervent hostility to Bill and Hillary Clinton goes far beyond the bounds of ideological conviction. It bespeaks moral outrage at the Clintons' damnable ability to act badly and then implicate a majority of Americans in their sins by sustaining public support...The context for all this was forcefully provided one week earlier in a Journal editorial-page essay coldly titled Prole Models. Charles Murray argued that America's governing elites have allowed repugnant lower-class values to become fashionable in society, nay, have adopted them. Citing Arnold Toynbee's cautionary tale in A Study of History,Mr. Murray warned against the rising social status of the Thug Code: "Take what you want, respond violently to anyone who antagonizes you, gloat when you win, despise courtesy as weakness, treat women as receptacles, take pride in cheating, deceiving or exploiting successfully."...The Wall Street Journal is an important instrument of the American establishment, and thus a contradiction to the thesis that U.S. elites have lost their way. Indeed, the political power of the religious right suggests the opposite, to the point that pluralist democracy might become at issue there. But Bill Clinton has ultimately validated the Journal's distinctive moral outrage by his consistently cynical indifference to its strictures.
thug_code  William_Thorsell  Bill_Clinton  Hillary_Clinton  moral_codes  Charles_Murray  underclass  values  social_classes  editors  cultural_values  cautionary_tales 
august 2011 by jerryking

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