Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's BĂȘte Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Occasionally I come across a putatively radical writer who can't let go of '90s-style Clinton-bashing and liberal-bashing, from the left -- an activity that was relevant at the time but is nothing but an exercise in nostalgia now. I rallied against Clinton's criminal air campaign against the Serbian regime: not that I was pro-Serbia, but that an aerial campaign is necessarily a war crime in that it does the opposite of minimizing civilian death. I voted for Nader in '96, furious about "welfare reform." Many people I love voted for Nader in '00; most of them now regret it (partly because Nader later proved himself a political opportunist with no interest in building an alternative political party).

Often these leftist '90s-nostalgia writers conflate Clinton and liberalism, when Clinton himself admitted that he governed from the right of Nixon on most issues. Europeans recognize that America has no liberal party. The Democrats are the equivalent of a center-right party, and the Republicans are the equivalent of a extreme-right, at times fascist, party. Not all Republicans are fascists, but the leadership is friendly with explicitly white-supremacist groups, and they habitually line up with the most extremely misogynist regimes in the world in their policies against birth control, an issue of life and death for millions of 3rd World women.

I wish it were needless to say, but unfortunately it is not: there's a huge difference between a center-right party and a white-supremacist-friendly, explicitly misogynist, extreme rightist party. I miss '90s lefty Clinton-bashing too, I miss it like crazy, but history has moved on. Playing that old song as if it were the latest hit single is severely out of touch.
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