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Monday, August 15, 2011
Clinton Takes On Anti-Governmentality
It is his description of Perry as "crazy" and a "good looking rascal" that has gotten all the attention, but it is Clinton's commonsense rebuttal of Republican anti-governmentality that is important to me. More and more Democrats have grasped the necessity of re-iterating commonsense defenses of good government to counteract the long-unanswered multi-generational assault on democratic governance.
This assault, regular readers of this blog will recall, emerged in the aftermath of the New Deal from Mont Pelerin by right-wing ideologues peddling discredited pre-Keynesian "laissez-faire" feudal pieties financed by hitherto-disorganized Big Businessmen and hitherto-antipolitical fundamentalist Christians who created the right-wing think-tank archipelago as an anti-Academic alternative-reality marketing disinformation through Establishment media. Through the long night of Eisenhower Republicanism and Galbraithian liberalism they soldiered on, reading Ayn Rand novels and taking over freshwater Economics Departments and indulging their id in Red Scares and Cold War hysteria, confronting abject failure in the Goldwater debacle, then sailing from strength to strength soon after from frowny-faced Nixonian politics of resentment to smiley-faced Reaganomic politics of denial, rallying their anti-tax anti-government anti-civilizational rhetoric to the destruction of California, climaxing in the Gingrichian Contract Hit on America, then the right-wing putsch and Killer Clown Administration of George W. Bush, and now the Teavangelical Tide of Death Panel Summer, the Great GOP Governor overreach, and the Tea Party Downgrade.
I do happen to think it is also important to recognize the extent to which President Clinton's own neoliberal DLC enthusiastically participated in the deregulatory dismantling and privatizing looting of legitimate governance. Clintonian Workfare and NAFTA and the junking of the Fairness Doctrine and of Glass Steagall were all essentially driven by and driving forces for right-wing market feudalist ideology. Hillary Clinton, never forget, was -- like Ayn Rand -- a Goldwater Gal. And Al Gore was another DLC free-marketeer and remains to this day a technocrat with distressing futurological tendencies that look to me to be the next generation siren-song for stealth reactionary politics, via the celebration of vacuous online networked "participatory" democracy and corporate-military geo-engineering greenwashing schemes.
But all that said, Clinton remains a well-liked fondly-remembered generationally-definitive figure within Democratic politics and his formulation of basic good government messaging to counter right wing anti-governmentality -- whether he fell for it himself or contributed more than his fair share to it himself -- remains an important development and is quite well done here. (And don't get me wrong, Hillary Clinton and Al Gore aren't all bad either, they just bear watching.)