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Sunday, February 17, 2008


Hey, let's not forget the wonderful Telecommunications Act of 1996 which led to the consolidation of all media in a handful of corporations, and Clear Channel owning 1200 radio stations nationwide.

And pardoning Marc Rich, of course.

There, right off the top of my head, I came up with two more things they don't care about! It must be delightful to be so carefree.

And let's not forget the Defense of Marriage Act, which Clinton attempted to campaign on in 1996 (until he got caught and attacked for it). And Don't Ask, Don't Tell, which led to increased numbers of gay and lesbian military personnel being expelled. And continued support for the Indonesian invasion of East Timor, right up to the referendum. (Followed by blocking any attempts to count the dead by international organizations. Let the dead bury the dead, okay?)

And, as Dennis Perrin has reminded us, "the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act which, under the guise of fighting terrorists, was a frontal assault on the Fourth Amendment and further expanded federal police power. The Clinton/Gore admin also was in favor of roving wiretaps, which they felt the FBI should conduct without a court order. But even before Oklahoma City, Clinton/Gore sought more state control over the populace via the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, passed in 1994, which aided police and federal spying on citizens by tapping digital phone networks. Not only did the phone companies have to allow any and all surveillance of their networks, they also were required to make phone call records available to the state. On top of all this, anyone being spied upon was not to know that they were under federal or police suspicion for whatever reason." But that was okay, because it was *legal*, right?

The rest of the post contains more Democratic goodies:

Isn't it fun to remember those halcyon days of the Clinton presidency?

I was being unfair, though. The people I'm talking about aren't carefree. They do care deeply about wrongs committed by Republicans—especially when a Democrat's in power, and especially the wrongs that are directed at the Democrats themselves (like, say, partisan impeachment bids). I know, because that's how I felt through most of the 90s.

Also, I was oversimplifying; a more complete taxonomy would include variation along the axes of caring, knowing, caring to know, willingness to rationalize (or out and out agreement), and a few others as well. But setting aside the complexities, if the Clinton years are any guide the vast majority of people who voted for a Democrat would—through one mechanism or another, and regardless of their own underlying values—give them a pass on their crimes.

That was what worried me in 2004. If Kerry had been elected, he could have cut the throats of Iraqi children and eaten their hearts on live TV, and most Democrats would have said, "Well, at least he's not Bush."

And surely, comrades, you do not want Bush back?

Well, this whole discussion is just too bleak, so I'll have to try to inject a small ray of sunshine:

One reason an Obama or Hillary Clinton administration wouldn't be an exact replay of the Clinton years is that popular movements against some of Clinton's pro-corporate policies have grown stronger. In 1996, for example, there was essentially no popular movement against corporate consolidation of the media. Today thousands of people and dozens of organizations exist to fight on just this one issue. Same goes for popular opposition to pro-corporate "free-trade" agreements, and, of course, there's also the anti-war movement. Most of the people active in these movements aren't going to sleep just because the policies they oppose are being pursued by Dems.

People who haven't done a damn thing to oppose the war (except complain about it) will continue to do not-a-damn-thing if Hillary or Barack decide to keep us in Iraq for four more years. But yes, their complaining will be a bit quieter.

I guess what I'm saying is that the guy who posted that flyer on the kiosk probably wasn't contributing much to the fight against imperialism and corporatism anyway, so I don't expect we'll notice his absence much in 2009-2013.

"popular movements against some of Clinton's pro-corporate policies have grown stronger."

true, but they're no more effective now than then. protesting and demanding are the methods of the lost, we just gotta build it up from the ground ourselves.

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