At bottom, the euphoria with which the public has welcomed Bill Clinton to Washington—and which, if the polls are right, has substantially survived his rocky first few weeks—is a euphoria at the reinvention of government. Euphoria just that a government exists again, that it isn’t gridlocked, that it’s identified the problems (if not yet all the solutions), that it doesn’t abdicate on ideologi- cal grounds when confronted with the challenge of rebuilding America.
Which is not to say the liberal moment is upon us. Public skepticism at the idea of government remains high. But if Bill Clinton’s 43 percent mandate in the November election was not quite a clarion call for social democracy, George Bush’s 38 percent was a decisive repudiation of Republican rule, a verdict that twelve years of laissez-faire had imperiled American jobs and living standards....
For just $19.95 a year, get access to new issues and decades' worth of archives on our site.
Print + Online
For $29.95 a year, get new issues delivered to your door and access to our full online archives.