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I suppose if you accept that Clinton is not a liberal, but instead a centrist, I take your point.

This being said, I hear a lot of self-described "liberals" expressing reverence both for Clinton and his wife, neither of whose political views are all that different from the same Tom Friedman with whom they share cocktails at Davos...

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu Jan 11th, 2007 at 06:05:04 PM EST
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Well, the conventional description of Clinton's "success" was that he dragged the Democratic Party to the center, so yeah, that's what I'd call him.
by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Thu Jan 11th, 2007 at 06:53:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't at all dispute that. I was in the US for part of that.

What I point out is that while Clinton was a "centrist" (I'd say a right-winger myself, but that's me), this doesn't stop the lion's share of self-professed "liberals" from lionizing both him and his wife.

To be sure, there are exceptions to this. But we're all cranks, dontcha know?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu Jan 11th, 2007 at 06:56:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Until the impeachment got well under way, American liberals and progressives were vociferous in their criticism of Clinton - for NAFTA, for ending "welfare," for triangulation, for selling out environmentalists, for proposing policies that hurt children.  For example, Marian Wright Edelman of The Children's Defense Fund is a liberal - and she excoriated Clinton.  

Similarly, non-liberal "centrists" like the New Republic (which we liberals call corporatist or conservative Dems), harshly criticized Dean in 2003 for rejecting Clinton's attack on liberalism.
http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20031229&s=lizza122903

Calling Clinton "liberal" is both historically and ideologically inaccurate.  He illustrates PRECISELY the kind of muddy thinking you correctly criticize.  My point is simple: legions of activists and writers have pointed this out consistently.  The fact that they are ignored by American elites does not make them less real.  To call Clinton - or the New York Times - "liberal" is to repeat Republican talking points.  

Cui bono?

by cambridgemac on Thu Jan 11th, 2007 at 08:46:14 PM EST
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