OK, so in case anyone was wondering where the White House stands vis-a-vis its base these days, the defeat of Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter makes it pretty stark.
Who went off to campaign for incumbent Blanche Lincoln? None other than Bubba himself. Bill Clinton’s way, just to recall, was to promise loyalty to labor then push through NAFTA against their will. Clinton launched the reign of Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers – today so well ensconced still in the White House.
It was Bubba who early on embraced Dick Morris’s dictum, “Out Republican the Republicans” and, he might have added, to hell with your base while you’re at it. Cut deficits, grow poverty. That was an acceptable equation for getting re-elected. DC politics comes first. What if a bad recession hit, with no jobs, cut services, and unemployment benefits dry up? Take a look around today and you see the answer. This is the result of that.
Lest anyone forget, It was Rubin-Summers-Clinton’s buy into deficit panic that gave “shrink Government” Republicans the ideological edge – then. And the ideological give-way has sharpened the slash and burn budget knife ever since.
As for the party? It was the top-down party rule of Bill Clinton’s DNC that left scores of state Democratic parties penniless dependent – and pissed off. in fact, It was Clintonism that sparked the bottom up revolt on which Barack Obama rode to pow.
To sum up – Obama better beware Bubbaism. You saw the grief Senator Blanche Lincoln got from her voters for flip-flopping on worker rights and healthcare. That could end up being nothing, in comparison to what the 21st century Democratic base gives another flip-flopper president.
LAURA FLANDERS is the host of GRITtv, which broadcasts weekdays on satellite TV on cable, public television and online at GRITtv.org and TheNation.com. Follow GRITtv or GritLaura on Twitter.com.