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Old 02-02-2004, 10:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Fellow liberals, let's be honest - the Clinton test

A writer I like likes to talk about the Clinton test. It's a sort of reality check. What you do is, you look at something the Bush administration does, and say, "would I support this if it was Clinton doing it?" It's designed as a question for Dems to ask, but I suppose a Republican might learn a thing or two from it as well. So, without further ado, here are a few thoughts:

1. The war in Iraq. "If Clinton invaded Iraq, would we support him, even if it meant assuming that Iraq was a greater threat that it might actually be?"

It would depend on the selling, but I would probably back Clinton if he went into Iraq in 2003 or 2004. However, I doubt that his administration would construe it to be as great at threat as Bush's people did. Clinton might have given the inspectors more time, or worked longer to develop an international coalition, with or without the UN. But, on principle, I have to say I would be behind him.

2. The tax cut. "If Clinton proposed a 1.6 trillion dollar tax cut, would I support it?"

I think the record shows that Clinton is incapable of proposing such a tax cut, and I wouldn't support him if I did. I might even start to question if he started inhaling again, whether or not he did it in the past.

3. The medicare bill. "If Clinton signed the exact same bill that Bush did, would I consider it a good thing?"

I think the Bush bill is a bad bill. In a way, that's because it's a compromise, but there are two clear problems. One, it prevents us from negotiating a good price (which is both bad government policy and bad economic policy), and from importing cheaper drugs from canada. If these glaring concessions were necessary for passage, I might support it as a compromise.

So what do you guys think? We all know Clinton wouldn't do what Bush has done, but how much of our opposition is personal?
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Old 02-02-2004, 11:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Fellow liberals, let's be honest - the Clinton test

Quote:
Originally posted by Scipio
A writer I like likes to talk about the Clinton test. It's a sort of reality check. What you do is, you look at something the Bush administration does, and say, "would I support this if it was Clinton doing it?" It's designed as a question for Dems to ask, but I suppose a Republican might learn a thing or two from it as well. So, without further ado, here are a few thoughts:

1. The war in Iraq. "If Clinton invaded Iraq, would we support him, even if it meant assuming that Iraq was a greater threat that it might actually be?"

It would depend on the selling, but I would probably back Clinton if he went into Iraq in 2003 or 2004. However, I doubt that his administration would construe it to be as great at threat as Bush's people did. Clinton might have given the inspectors more time, or worked longer to develop an international coalition, with or without the UN. But, on principle, I have to say I would be behind him.

2. The tax cut. "If Clinton proposed a 1.6 trillion dollar tax cut, would I support it?"

I think the record shows that Clinton is incapable of proposing such a tax cut, and I wouldn't support him if I did. I might even start to question if he started inhaling again, whether or not he did it in the past.

3. The medicare bill. "If Clinton signed the exact same bill that Bush did, would I consider it a good thing?"

I think the Bush bill is a bad bill. In a way, that's because it's a compromise, but there are two clear problems. One, it prevents us from negotiating a good price (which is both bad government policy and bad economic policy), and from importing cheaper drugs from canada. If these glaring concessions were necessary for passage, I might support it as a compromise.

So what do you guys think? We all know Clinton wouldn't do what Bush has done, but how much of our opposition is personal?
I wouldn't support either one of them. As we know, I am a typical, traitorous, anti-american leftie--so I oppose all of this evil country's leaders equally.

I only wish France would invade the US so I could eat cheese and drink wine in peace and luxury with the rest of my scum-sucking comrades while talking shit about the "days of darkness" when that evil empire stalked the earth.

I am incapable of rational thought and must base all political decisions on personal likeability--unfortunately, I don't know what that is.

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Old 02-03-2004, 03:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Re: Fellow liberals, let's be honest - the Clinton test

Quote:
Originally posted by smooth
I wouldn't support either one of them. As we know, I am a typical, traitorous, anti-american leftie--so I oppose all of this evil country's leaders equally.

I only wish France would invade the US so I could eat cheese and drink wine in peace and luxury with the rest of my scum-sucking comrades while talking shit about the "days of darkness" when that evil empire stalked the earth.

I am incapable of rational thought and must base all political decisions on personal likeability--unfortunately, I don't know what that is.

The first step is recognizing the problem
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Old 02-03-2004, 04:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I wouldnt describe myself as a liberal, but I view Clinton as one of the furthest Right American presidents since the war, ideologically I do not see a great difference between him and Bush - both of them are totally and completely opposed to the values of myself and the vast majority of working class people.
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Old 02-03-2004, 05:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Strange Famous
...vast majority of working class people.
Strange Famous -

No offense buddy, but sometimes I wonder about this vast majority you talk about. Where are they? Are you speaking of England (which I know nothing about), because while some people do share your views in the US, I don't think there is a vast majority on anything other than centrism.
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Old 02-03-2004, 05:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Working class people in the U.S. are probably more right then left, probably the majority of working class would be considered centrist actually. Liberals tend to "work" at Starbucks or Barnes and Noble.
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Old 02-03-2004, 05:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Phaenx
Working class people in the U.S. are probably more right then left, probably the majority of working class would be considered centrist actually. Liberals tend to "work" at Starbucks or Barnes and Noble.
For what its worth....count me amongst the"vast majority"
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Old 02-03-2004, 08:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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"A writer I like likes to talk about the Clinton test."

Are you talking about JMM?

Anyway, Clinton was actually center-right in many areas of policy, so while I agree that the 'test' is a good way to check Democrats railing against the Bush administration, it is not really a good measure of liberal, per se, opinion.
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by ubertuber
Strange Famous -

No offense buddy, but sometimes I wonder about this vast majority you talk about. Where are they? Are you speaking of England (which I know nothing about), because while some people do share your views in the US, I don't think there is a vast majority on anything other than centrism.
I've had that same thought.
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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It's a question of the person. Libs like to bash bush cause they personally dislike him. He's not smart enough, he stole the election, etc.

Clinton wasn't a center right president. He was basically liberal on social issues. He used targetted middle class tax cuts and upper bracket tax increases. He favored an internationalized foreign policy with a minimum use of troops on the ground. He at least attempted to expand government supported health care coverage in the same direction that a lot of the candidates are now pushing.

There's no real ground to say the man was center right. He worked with the Republican congress he had, and he did what he could.

The argument I'm implicitly making is this: if it was Clinton on TV saying that we ought to go to war, a lot of the people who opposed it then would have supported it. I'm not talking about now, in hindsight. Of course there were no weapons, but if you go back to 2002, when we were pretty sure that he had some chemical weapons lying around (which really aren't worth going to war over), and that he likely had biological weapons programs, and that war was politically possible, why not do it then?

(edit- it is JMM btw.)
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:31 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Strange Famous
I wouldnt describe myself as a liberal, but I view Clinton as one of the furthest Right American presidents since the war, ideologically I do not see a great difference between him and Bush - both of them are totally and completely opposed to the values of myself and the vast majority of working class people.
Sorry SF, you are not a vast majority, more of a ummm 'fringe' group in the US made up of 18-26 year olds who haven't done much with their lives and a few 'elder' members with nothing better to do with thier lives. Most of the 'workers' in the US are not waiting for your revolution.

Bill Clinton was pretty center oriented but I've always wondered how much was that his nature and how much of that was 1994 where the incompetence of his first 2 years cost the democrats the house of reps for the first time in 40 years. Its not like he could do 'Hilarycare' or any other nutball plans without the congress.
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:36 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Screw Clinton

1.
No, there was no reason to go into Iraq. We already had UN inspectors up their ass constantly even DURING the neo-Bush administration. Human rights abuses? Uh look at China in Tibet, central Africa, and the Phillipines. I'm sorry but in terms of human rights abuses the world has bigger bloodier problems they should be working on FIRST.

2.
If Clinton supported a tax cut like Bush's pandering to the rich, no of course I wouldn't support it. I am well-read and I understand how to collect information from multiple news and analyst sources while at the same time sorting out BIAS.

3.
The Bush medicare bill continues to give BILLIONS to drug companies by
a) Not allowing the government to negociate prices (WTF kind of FREE MARKET is that)
b) Allowing current prices that will provide 10's of BILLIONS of dollars worth of profit (far far more than the cost to develop the drug over the lifetime of its use or to even make a reasonable amount of money) Who loses? You and your tax dollars paying for medication that is sold to the rest of the world at cut prices.

Clinton is GONE. PAST. No longer president. He wasn't even very liberal to begin with, unless you count his wife talking about the "Global Village" and the fact he smoked some ganj. He still was a handmaiden of special interests. The fact is we do not have a democracy in this country, any one who thinks otherwise needs to be beaten with some commonsense and a copy of Locke. We have a 2 Party Republic. NOT a democracy. There is nothing really democratic about federal level government. Admittedly, democracy is slow and requires an intelligent and active populace...something America does not have. Hopefully having Bush falsely placed in power by his brother's actions in Florida ( I have read multiple sources on this and have eliminated bias. The lists of 'felons' used in the Florida election was so horribly fabricated they couldn't even get the dates right) will wake some people up. Until we have a country that allows multiple power politics we will continue to go back and worth between two political parties already so bought off by corporations most people just accept it as part of US politics. This will require elimination of the electoral college and actual FREE SPEECH and participation in national televised debates by other party canidates. I personally dislike having to sacrifice my ideals just so this country doesn't get stuck showing the world the horrors of modern technology and how easily it is to eliminate dissent.

/rant
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Old 02-03-2004, 09:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ustwo
Sorry SF, you are not a vast majority, more of a ummm 'fringe' group in the US made up of 18-26 year olds who haven't done much with their lives and a few 'elder' members with nothing better to do with thier lives. Most of the 'workers' in the US are not waiting for your revolution.
I think "who haven't done much with their lives" is a little bit of a swing at SF and, in fact, at young liberals in general. Bad!
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Old 02-03-2004, 10:11 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Clinton fan here, I liked what he did. Here goes:

1. I wouldn't support the war, period... but I did know from the moment they announced Bush was prez-elect (The second time) that we were going to war in Iraq. We all should have, really.

2. Would NOT have supported the tax cut. The deficit IS a major concern, and it needs to be roped. He did a good job moving us in that direction. Plus, I am one of the citizens who benefits from taxation- I have two children in public school, I live in an area with a lot of urbanization, I've long been related to military personnel. These things need to be paid for, although I'm very pro-cuts. 20% more missile defense spending? Ug....

3. I'd feel the medicare bill was a copout on the socialized medicine bill, which I support, so I wouldn't dig that.

However, to look at it another way, I consider Clinton to be a *very* intelligent man, so if he wanted to sell me Iraq, I might believe him a little more than Bush. Bush sounds like a puppet. Clinton sounds like a puppeteer. I'm still anti-oil war, though. Tough call!
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Old 02-03-2004, 01:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I think I'm missing the point of this test... its not a question of what we would think if clinton did these things, because Clinton certainly wouldn't have done the last two things at all... thats the reason dems bash bush is because clinton wouldn't have done followed the same actions, not because it isn't clinton doing it.

As for Iraq, there have already been many threads but I would tell anyone who says there was "no reason to go into Iraq" to reexamine reality... the reasons they sold us were, to a certain extent, BS, there's no doubt there (human rights, WMD), but there was and is much being gained in the war on terror and Al Qaeda by occupying Iraq and forcing Osama to throw his resources at us there... is this democratic or fair? probably not, but is it worthwhile, yes
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Old 02-03-2004, 01:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I think this whole war is mostly bullshit anyways. If clinton had done everything the same way bush did i think i would just have a lesser opinion of clinton than i do already.
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Old 02-03-2004, 01:33 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I'm applying it more generally, but it often makes more sense to use it whenever Bush does something we might think of as a dirty trick. It's hard to come up with an example off the top of my head. The best thing I can think of is Bush's decision to put off asking for more Iraq funding until after the election. It's his perogative, but it looks shady. On the other hand, presidents have historically asked for war funding separately from the main budget, so it's kind of a gray area. And, he just recently got a bunch of money for it, so mabye waiting is a good idea.

Basically, if Clinton (or president Dean or Kucinich, whatever makes you look at the problem the right way) did that with the funding, I might not oppose it.

Again, it's a reality check that works on some issues. Probably depends on how hard your knees jerk.
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Old 02-03-2004, 02:41 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
I only wish France would invade the US
Right.. so then the entire US would be like San Fransico. And Queer-Eye would draw more people than the superbowl.

Quote:
Hopefully having Bush falsely placed in power by his brother's actions in Florida ( I have read multiple sources on this and have eliminated bias. The lists of 'felons' used in the Florida election was so horribly fabricated they couldn't even get the dates right)
You need to stop looking at the ultra-left news. Look, Bush didnt steal the election. He won florida, not immediately, but after the out-of-state votes were counted (90-some% military, and guess what, the military didnt like Gore).

Quote:
This will require elimination of the electoral college
Look, if you actually READ the literature at the time you will realize the reason for the electoral college. It was NOT because they felt the people were dumb, it was to keep state rights. Look, if we took out the electoral college 3 states could decide the entire election (New York, California, Texas). If these 3 states voted strongly for one opponent what difference would the votes of New Mexico matter? Exactly, they wouldnt. The electoral college sits there because at the time of the Constitution the North was extreamly powerful population wise and the South didnt want their say to fall upon deaf ears (If you could win by only a few Northern states why even go or listen to the south?).

Hell, Clinton failed to win the majority of the votes in EITHER election, but you dont hear the conservatives yelling he stole the election. If you want the Constitution changed vote for Senator/Congressman in your district who wishes to change it, but dont close your ears and yell out false claims.

Quote:
I personally dislike having to sacrifice my ideals just so this country doesn't get stuck showing the world the horrors of modern technology and how easily it is to eliminate dissent.
Fair enough, but what have you had to sacrifice? Have the cops come over to your house because you said some anti-Bush things? Have you been imprisoned for visiting an anti-Bush website? No? Ok then dont make claims to that.

/Cheer Scipio and others who are at least honest with themselves.
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