Robert Reich Calls Bill Clinton to Account
Some months ago after reading Reich's latest book Supercapitalism and his earlier, Locked in the Cabinet I was particularly impressed by his integrity. His account of the Bill Clinton's efforts to curry approval from the Republicans during his presidency by dumping all of the committments that he made before being elected to office was particularly chilling. At that time I asked him if we might post his commentary from his blog and he agreed. I believe his views on the eve of the South Carolina Democratic Party should get the widest audience possible. Here is what he has written in full.
Robert Reich was the nation's 22nd Secretary of Labor, serving under Bill Clinton. He is presently a professor at the University of California at Berkeley. This is from his personal journal.Taken from Robert Reich's Blog
Bill Clinton's Old Politics
I write this more out of sadness than anger. Bill Clinton’s ill-tempered and ill-founded attacks on Barack Obama are doing no credit to the former President, his legacy, or his wife’s campaign. Nor are they helping the Democratic party. While it may be that all is fair in love, war, and politics, it’s not fair – indeed, it’s demeaning – for a former President to say things that are patently untrue (such as Obama’s anti-war position is a “fairy tale”) or to insinuate that Obama is injecting race into the race when the former President is himself doing it. Meanwhile, the attack ads being run in South Carolina by the Clinton camp which quote Obama as saying Republicans had all the ideas under Reagan, is disingenuous. For years, Bill Clinton and many other leading Democrats have made precisely the same point – that starting in the Reagan administration, Republicans put forth a range of new ideas while the Democrats sat on their hands. Many of these ideas were wrong-headed and dangerous, such as supply-side economics. But for too long Democrats failed counter with new ideas of their own; they wrongly assumed that the old Democratic positions and visions would be enough. Clinton’s 1992 campaign – indeed, the entire “New Democratic” message of the 1990s – was premised on the importance of taking back the initiative from the Republicans and offering Americans a new set of ideas and principles. Now, sadly, we’re witnessing a smear campaign against Obama that employs some of the worst aspects of the old politics.