Go Away, Bill
He's back. Like an old lounge act that doesn't know when to quit, like an overbearing brother-in-law you can't get out of your house, like a bad tamale that keeps repeating on you -- Bill Clinton is pushing himself on the Democratic Party again, trying to get back onto the center stage of national policy-making.
Some former Clinton cabinet officials, staffers, and political operatives have been scheming with Bill to press his Republican-Lite agenda on the party this year. The New York Times reports that Clinton and team are assembling a staff to coordinate this unprecedented political offensive by an ex-president, intending for him "to play a central role in setting an issue agenda for the Democrats and for the party's aspiring congressional and presidential candidates."
It's the "legacy" thing again. Clinton spent eight years in the White House so obsessed with what his historical legacy might be that he forgot to build one. Instead of being a real Democrat and standing tall for working families, poor people, small farmers, the environment, minorities, or others who need a champion, Clinton was most comfortable currying favor with the corporate powers. He tried to out-do the Republicans on such issues as passing job-busting trades scams, bashing welfare moms, holding down wages, and dispensing corporate welfare. He went so far that the Republican's even complained that he was stealing their agenda.
Yet, now, he's miffed that some of the congressional Democrats are taking pro-worker, pro-environment, pro-poor people stands. "It's important that the Democratic Party not turn away from Clinton's centrist legacy," scolded one of his team players.
This is Jim Hightower saying ... Spare us. Thanks to Clinton's corporatist policies, the workaday majority has no one standing up for them, and they've quit voting. Indeed, in the last presidential race, 100 million people didn't vote -- nearly all of them Democrats who feel they've got no home. Far from rallying around Clinton, the Democratic Party needs to rally around the people. The hell with Clinton's so-called "legacy" ... let's build a future!