Artorius Castus

Clinton Redux

Posted in Uncategorized by Patrick Truax on January 8, 2009

After all the talk about “change” in 2008’s election, it seems we are getting more of the same. True, a different candidate has won, but the players are all the same. Barack Obama has salted his administration with a number of Clinton-era stalwarts, prompting the inevitable question, what has changed? Certainly the times, as there are a number of wars on, an economy going south and a general malaise that has draped the nation like a blanket of thick fog. During the 1990’s, the economy was good, France liked us, and you could fly coast to coast for 199.00. How will the Clintonistas hold up under real pressure?

To be sure, any Clinton staffer is well versed in crisis management. From “bimbo eruptions” to shady dealings with the Chinese, Slick Willie’s staffers were kept hopping by all the antics in the Clinton White House. Monicagate, Travelgate, Chinagate, Campaigngate and Fort Marcy Parkgate, still are easily retrievable from the hippocampus. It is safe to assume that these veterans of angst are prepared for the scandals. But are they prepared to lead?

One of the issues early on Bill Clinton’s first administration, was his forced migration to the center. The Republican Revolution of ’94 saw to that. But Clinton’s relocation to the spectrum’s center seemed to serve him well, as he was re-elected in ’96 comfortably. And several bipartisan issues were moved through both chambers with relative ease. Bill Clinton knew that a certain rapprochement would be necessary, if any part of his agenda was to be enacted. This conservative column grudgingly gives kudos where due, Bill left the country basically intact when he turned it over. This doesn’t mean it was by any means pleasing to the right, but it could have been a lot worse.

Now that President Obama is making up his cabinet and discussing issues, we wonder if the Clinton presence in the administration will be advising the same move to the center that Clinton did in the nineties. There is some doubt in conservative circles as to whether President Obama will consider these viewpoints as he said he would when he was Candidate Obama.

The two main social issues in this country, guns and abortion, have no common voter ground; some folks want restrictions on guns, but no parental notification for minors getting an abortion, while others want abortion gone and looser regulations on gun ownership. On both of these issues, Obama has made his position clear; abortion- good, guns- bad. With these social brick walls, it is obvious that no one would ever be happy.
But honest compromise might go a long way to at least tabling the issue for a later date.

But Barack Obama is a liberal’s liberal. He has not disguised his leanings and we wonder could he ever meet in the middle on issues like guns and partial birth abortion. There is doubt, too, that he will listen to Bill Clinton’s former acolytes in terms of compromise. One gets the feel that all of the Clinton era names are being brought into demonstrate compromise. The question is, will the Clinton Era of compromise and centrism make it into the Obama administration?

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