Friday, May 02, 2014

Bill's Bedroom Stories

Bill Clinton's longrunning affair with neoliberalism began even before he was elected president in 1992. It began with the formation of the Democratic Leadership Council, founded by a group of southern Democrats and those with business interests trying to help get the Democratic Party become a national party again after the 1988 Dukakis defeat. It seemed sincere at first, but it didn't take all that long for the DLC to become wholeheartedly an imitation of the GOP on economic issues. It basically destroyed Democratic Party opposition to the worst impulses of the GOP to tank the economy. They were simply a "me too" party. As a result of 25 years of neolib infiltration, there are no significant policy differences between the two parties anymore.

Today there is no DLC but an outfit called "Third Way" which is devoted to furthering the aims of the billionaire/Wall Street/neoliberal class in destroying the country to benefit themselves.

Despite all of the evidence that neoliberalism has been discredited and debunked, Clinton is still going around the country peddling the gospel of "globalism" and other such rot.

It could have all been prevented, of course, had the Democrats booted the fakers out of the party and forced Clinton to behave like a Democrat. Instead, what we got was Clinton being behind the destruction of AFDC, which was insanity, only to preserve his re-election chances by out-GOPing the GOP. It was disgraceful. But he's a neoliberal, remember? He didn't have to sign on for NAFTA or for Glass-Steagall repeal--he could have taken a stand. He refused. He's a neoliberal, remember?

Those destructive policies were embraced because Clinton was in bed with interests bent on killing the economy for their own ends. He was completely and totally in bed with then-fed chairman Alan Greenspan and the Wall Street bankster and then-secretary of the treasury Robert Rubin, whose appointment to the Treasury was like appointing Al Capone to the job. People who make excuses for him are trying to argue along a party line argument when in fact both political parties are at fault.

People at the time were focused on silly "sex scandals" than on the people Clinton was truly in bed with.

Such selling out of the American people is worse when Democrats do it because their interests are supposed to be aligned with the interests of the 99.99-percent of the public. If they subvert the interests of us non-elites, where do we have to go?

This is the crux of the linked interview:

The grand historical significance of the Clinton Administration, and of the DLC to a lesser degree, is that they are what cemented the neoliberal era. It’s that air of complete, ironclad consensus about matters economic. That sense that, there is only one way to run an economy and we know what it is. So you can have Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher making the big turn toward laissez-faire, but it’s not really “neoliberalism” until the other party capitulates, until you have the famous handshake between Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich, and until you have Clinton announcing “the era of big government is over.” In the 1990s they called this the “Washington Consensus,” but today we hip and cognizant people know to call it “neoliberalism.”

That's because political "leaders" embraced the economic theories of a Nobel Prize-winning crackpot by the name of Milton Friedman.

The day Bill Clinton repudiates his "welfare reform," approval of ruinous trade deals, and the repeal of banking industry regulations is the day I will hold him in any kind of high esteem.

As it is, thanks for nothing, Bill.

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