If you have "no place to go," come here!

"Skin in the game"

What Riverdaughter said:

As far as everyone having “skin in the game”, Obama’s term for sacrificing in the upcoming Grand Bargain, um, I’ve seen my industry devastated by Wall Street grasshoppers and I’ve lost a very good living, permanently. So, you know, I’ve already been flayed. Not only that but I’m in the age cohort who has to wait until I’m 67 before I get the Social Security I prepaid for decades. I’m not sacrificing anymore skin. No, do not even ask. Don’t make us come down there to Washington to make your lives miserable. You do not want crowds from the size of my graduating class on the mall. No, you do not. I suggest that Congress go hunt people with an excess of skin, ie wealthy people. Give them a good reason to whine.

Yep. It's exactly like bankers and regulation.

If there aren't any banksters jumping out of windows, we're not regulating enough.

No votes yet


Submitted by ubetchaiam on

with this: "The only way that they are centrists is if you consider moderate republicanism centrist. That would make Bill Clinton a flaming commie. "

Clinton IS/WAS a "moderate republicanism centrist."; sheesh.

tom allen's picture
Submitted by tom allen on

I know. How can one call Clinton a Republican centrist? I mean, he fought for NAFTA, "ended welfare as we know it", instituted DADT, expanded the death penalty, signed DOMA, accused Saddam of having nuclear weapons and instituted a policy of bombing and starving Iraqis, and had Erskine Bowles try to negotiate cuts to Social Security. See! He's a typical Democrat.

Submitted by lambert on


Submitted by Lex on

Because the short term financial benefits of the neo-liberal model were kind of trickling down at the time. Not to mention that the markets that healthy middle class were holding their 401Ks in were benefiting from one time stimulus packages like Clinton sending the likes of Larry Summers to "help" the Russians become capitalists ... which resulted in the bulk of the cumulative wealth of a nation being siphoned out of the country and into Western markets.

But never mind, i'm obviously suffering from CDS ... it's not like the guy ever described his administration as "Eisenhower Republicans" or anything. He's a real liberal lion who just happens to be enjoying the immense riches that flowed from finishing the deregulation of the banking/finance sector so we could get on with the classic demise of our empire.

"We're Eisenhower Republicans here," Bill Clinton reflected, shortly after being elected president. "We stand for low deficits, free trade, and the bond market."

Submitted by lambert on

I'm very much in "Take what you like and leave the rest mode" here and basically everywhere. (I'm like a purist at the component level and a pragmatist at the assembly level, if that makes any sense.)

First, I think the "skin in the game" comment is dead on (why I reposted!)

Second, real wages rose in the Clinton era. The times were better. (I had a job an insurance!) Life is better for the peasants when the set point for the neo-liberal Overton window is to the left rather than the right, which is where the Clintons are. So it's natural for people to look on Clinton with some affection (especially when compared to the complete and total assholery of the crowd that ginned up Whitewater, Monica, and so on.

Third, Clinton (see tom allen, supra) surely contributed to the systemic deterioration that culminated in our free fall after the financial collapse post-Lehmanm, just as all the Presidents in the neo-liberal consensus did: Carter, Reagan, Bush the Elder, Clinton, Bush the Younger, Obama).

Fourth, I don't think a return to a different Democratic faction is "the answer," and I say that as somebody who fought like a lion for the Clinton faction in 2008. (I grant that "the answer" depends on how you define the question!) I admire Hillary Clinton's tenacity, mastery of policy detal, and intelligence, but to me, still being SoS now is like her AUMF vote: I think her flaws are lack of imagination and putting loyalty to the party above all else. Obama's intensification of Bush's policies, particularly with respect to executive powers, provided plenty of opportunities for her to gracefully resign. If she had done so, I might be taking the Clinton faction more seriously. She might be sitting pretty for an insurgency. Sad but true. The house of the Democrats is a tear-down.

Finally, I don't think CDS is operative in my comment, or in the comment above. In fact, it's a term of demonization, to put an opponent in a box and dismiss the points they make. I should know, since I've done plenty of demonization in my time, and invented and propagated memes to do it! Such terms should be used sparingly at best... Even though CDS clearly does exist, as a function of tribalism....

Submitted by ubetchaiam on

meant so I could respond. Last time I used such an acronym was for credit default swaps.

As towards Clintons; see Haiti and Honduras.

As towards demonization, I wrote this awhile back.

Submitted by hipparchia on

clinton derangement syndrome, where the mere mention of the name clinton sends someone into an unreasoning and unjustified frenzy of hatred.

Submitted by ubetchaiam on

I've no hatred for the Clintons, just disgust and aversion.

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

NAFTA is much bigger in the minds of Democrats than in the day to day reality of working people.
I'm not in favor of keeping people in welfare indefinitely so ending welfare as we knew it in favor of jobs, healthcare, education, child are and housing vouchers? What's not to love? He vetoed two highjacked welfare reform bills before he signed a third and then worked to reverse its most egregious provisions.
I'm beginning to think its just leftish dogma that keeps these two things alive. Had Clinton been successful with healthcare reform and welfare reform, I believe we would have ended up with a more european style welfare state and we couldn't have that, right?
I don't know what to say about the financial deregulation except that Congress had a veto proof majority and summers et al were not Hillary's advisors in 2008, which means that the Clinton's learned something. What's Obama's excuse? He couldn't learn from the mistakes of his predecessors?
More and more, I get the feeling that people who are hostile to the Clinton's are failing to see the bigger picture. There is no comparison between Clinton and Obama in terms of who is more liberal. None. There have been studies of the last 100 years of presidents and Clinton is about as liberal as jack Kennedy while Obama is by far the most conservative Democratic president we have ever had. They're almost not in the same party. By liberals have very short memories. They forget that Clinton taxed the wealthy, *didn’t* privatize social security even though his advisors wanted him to, and that he appointed the last two truly liberal justices to the supreme court. Elena kagan and sotomayor can't hold a candle to Bader-Ginsburg and Breyer. They forget Lani Guinier. Lani fucking Guinier. Clinton wanted to eliminate discrimination of gays in the military but got backed into DADT, which at the time, was actually a better situation than what gay soldiers faced. Ideal? By no means. And we forget that Republicans wanted to prohibit gay marriage with an amendment to the constitution. That could have been a disaster. The media situation against Clinton was new. We had eight straight years of hearings, lawsuits, distracting coverage of Paula jones and whitewater, an impeachment, some boxes of missing records. It went on and on. What deal did Obama make with the press and the Republicans to spare himself and his family for that kind of scrutiny?
But conditioning is just really hard to overcome. Conservatives are convinced that we have a too much government and lefties are convinced that Clinton was a republican. Neither one of these things are true but people just feel that they are. I can tell you with absolute certainty that it is only in this small segment on the left side of the Democratic party that feels this way about the Clintons. The vast majority of Americans would walk on broken glass to have the Clinton years back, warts and all.
As for falling back on an old contingent, what are your alternatives? There are only two centers of power in the party right now, the Obama contingent and all of their allies, or the Clinton contingent. At least with the Clintons, you give the working class a chance to catch their breath and regroup. With Obama, it's full speed ahead to a retirement of destitution and untreated medical conditions. Four years from now, it will be too late for a do-over. It's really that simple.
Take your pick.

tom allen's picture
Submitted by tom allen on

The alternative: leave the Party. Join the Greens, or the Socialists, or some other party that actually stands for what you believe in. Whether you think the Clintons are slightly to the left of Obama, or the reverse, the fact is they're all much too far to the corporate right.

I used to defend Clinton's Third Way/DLC policies the way you do -- lesser of two evils and all that -- which is why I soured so quickly on Obama. Same song, different voice. And now we get Bill Clinton doing things like this (regarding Medicare):

“So anyway, I told them before you got here, I said I’m glad we won this race in New York,” Clinton told Ryan, when the two met backstage at a forum on the national debt held by the Pete Peterson Foundation. But he added, “I hope Democrats don’t use this as an excuse to do nothing.”

Yes, that's Paul Ryan he was talking to. Obama has said he feels the same way. So there's a reason some of us think choosing between the current Democratic and Republican leadership is a sucker's bet.

Submitted by ubetchaiam on

but statements like " The vast majority of Americans would walk on broken glass to have the Clinton years back, warts and all." only show bias,not facts. And you forgot to mention about Clinton and The Telecom Act and I could go on but to what point? This is the U.S. after all and facts don't have to get in the way of perceptions..

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

No it doesn't show "bias, not facts", it shows that real life matters in practice as well as theory. People's lives were tangibly better then, and they would like that back. As regards specific policy failings, you could also go on about Roosevelt's internment policies, as well. It wouldn't change the New Deal.

But getting back to my point, aren't people's living circumstances (jobs with health care for example) "facts"? I would say in response, don't let the facts get in the way of your own perceptions either.

Like a lot of former Democrats and former Hillary supporters, I and many here have moved on and believe the Clinton's (like Gore) are no longer are relevant, however the past doesn't change in response to the present, only our charaterization of it changes. And just because I no longer "support" any of them now, doesn't mean I don't still believe the world would be a different and better place if HRC (or even more so, Gore) had won then.

But again, that's not the world we live in, so why are we bothering to fight that battle? We all pretty much agree that going forward corporatist Democrats are just as much the enemy as right-wing and/or corporatist Republicans.

Submitted by Lex on

Aside from the emotional aspect of the Clintons as a political issue (and that's big), there are historical factors at work that both sides can (and do) over interpret to make their points.

Economically, Bill Clinton walked into office as the largest generational cohort was entering its peak earning power. Structurally, the United States was seeing its manufacturing and traditional economic sectors wane, but not nearly to the degree we've seen over the 20 years since then. Clinton didn't start the out-sourcing, globalization movement, but he certainly encouraged it. At the historical point the US was at, there were significant short term benefits ... particularly to a large generational cohort entering their peak earning power and turning a lot of that earning into investment strategies.

All this was helped by the explosion in tech as an economic vehicle. It wasn't hurt by the collapse of the USSR and the transfer of a superpower's real wealth into liquidity for Western markets.

Where Clinton stood was a prime historical point in the cycle of an empire, so it's easy to see him as either the pinnacle or the beginning of the end. And it's not like the US is the first to experience this cycle. The British went from self-contained to industrial juggernaut to a financialized economy ... and then it fell apart. Clinton happened to be in charge for the real push into an economy based on finance rather than production in the US. The table was set for his time as president, but he reaped most of the short-term benefits and moved fairly strongly to maximize them (of course not single-handedly).

The problem for those arguing that it was great and we should go back is that it was a historical moment much out of Clinton's control. It's not possible to go back. The short-term gains were gathered and spent. The political power that comes with focusing on finance as the crux of the economy had not yet fully developed, but it has now because we steamed full speed ahead and damn the icebergs.

I've always been more concerned with foreign policy than domestic, so while i can see both sides through the lens of the above, i still can't look back on the Clinton administration as anything except an abject failure. The man was given a generational opportunity with the demise of the USSR and he flatly blew it. He procured no peace dividend; he did not move to reorder the world towards more peace with the opportunity of no existential enemy; and his Russian policy turned extreme good will towards the US into a strong strain of anti-Americanism and those policies are strongly tied to the rise of Putin ... which i'm to understand we should all hate and fear because he's like a more photogenic Stalin.