I voted for Clinton, I was glad he won—if only because his victory brought to an end twelve dreary years of right-wing domination. Whatever our hopes or expectations, large or modest, regarding the near future, we know at least that the focus of political debate has been shifted considerably. In the early months of the new administration there will be annulments of some of the more vicious and stupid regulations enforced by the Bush administration.(The role of stupidity in politics has never been sufficiently studied, and if it were studied, the Bush regime would be a prime instance.)
I want in this note to take up the question of how the democratic left will respond to the new situation—by democratic left I mean not only our own small voice but the stronger voices of labor, blacks, feminists, and so on. During the Reagan and Bush years things were fairly simple. We opposed the Republican administrations in general and almost all their policies, especially on domestic affairs, in particular. Now things will be more complex. Whatever Clinton does that is liberal or even just humane, we will want to applaud. What seems insufficient or evasive or wrong, we will want to criticize. This is a formula easy to announce, difficult to act upon....
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