Unformatted text preview: America's Right Turn and Beyond
19752000 Terms for 19752000 Productivity 1973 Oil Embargo Jimmy Carter "Stagflation" Camp David Accords (1979) Iran Hostage Crisis (19801981) The New Right Ronald Reagan Reagan Revolution "Reaganomics" Supply Siders The (Arthur) Laffer Curve Ghostbusters (1984) IranContra (1986) George Herbert Walker Bush The Gulf War LA Riots (1991) New Democrats Bill Clinton Impeachment (1998) Falling Productivity Growth The Economics of "Globalization" Greater Competition Rising Deficits Fewer sales at home Fewer sales abroad Greater Military 18701973 = 3.4% 19731994 = 2.3% (33% decrease) This is with computers, etc. Nonproductive use $1.5 trillion (19821987) Sinks capital into "debt servicing" (foreign banks) Commitments Abroad BIG QUESTION: Does a "less intrusive Federal Government" solve this? Is US lacking an "entrepreneurial spirit"? A Change in the National Mood Viet Nam Anxieties of the Cold War (The Morning After, 1982) Inner City Collapse Drugs and hostile Youth Culture Racial Strife Poverty Could America Remain in Control?
1973 Oil Embargo 1974 Watergate 1975 Bankruptcy of New York City Social Pressures of Falling Economy Workers increasingly Higher tariffs? threatened by foreign competition caught between need for modern tools and falling world prices Lower Tariffs? American Farmers Work harder for the same pay (Americans work MiddleClass "Malaise" harder than any other industrialized nation) Borrow more to live the same lifestyle (Americans borrow more than any other industrialized nation) "Fear of Falling" intense Fight the appearance of dependency Attack the symptoms (poverty), not the disease (slow growth) Little sympathy for those trapped in cycles of poverty Little sympathy for noneconomic (social) policy Closest comparison: blackswhites in Reconstructed South; same economic conditions but split by race Directed by Sidney Lumet Network (1976) HIST1302: For this topic, we concentrate mostly on Politics. Why? Events are so recent that we are forced to turn to politics first Politics show underlying tensions and how they are addressed (or ignored) Can be problematic, though Hard to correctly identify social and economic trends Most importantly, between 19761992, American politics shows clear swing to the right Old Right (Nixon's "Cloth Coat Republicans") discredited (lose) Dtente, liberal on social policies, NO DEFICITS!! Liberal Republicans (Nixon, Ford) unable to stem the tide of economic decline Watergate undermines what compromise remained Civil Rights, "Great Society" "Identity Politics" rips loose coalition of Democrats ProDemocratic business shifts to the right with slowing economy (DependencyControl) Civil Rights seen as too much too fast! LBJ willfully cedes control of the South 19641974 Liberalism splintering (lose) Hardline Conservatives gain but what defines these "new" conservatives? Presidential candidate 1964 Sen. Barry Goldwater (RAZ) Rejects progressivism in ALL forms Rejects Republican New Dealers/Great Society Called Eisenhower a "dime store New Deal" Rejects effort to use federal government to "legislate morality" (such as Civil Rights Act of 1965; Goldwater seen as "new Republican" by Southern whites who reject desegregation) Gains fame in 1961 for wishing country could "saw off Eastern seaboard" Supporters form the core of "New Right" Rejects multinational foreign policy spawned by WWII Gov. Ronald Reagan (RCA) Phyllis Schaffly AntiERA (women's equal rights amendment) Sen. Prescott Bush (RCT) and son George H.W. Bush (a "true" conservative?) Willing to "lob [a few nukes] into the men's room at the Kremlin" Willing to use nukes in theater in Vietnam, concerns about judgment Shifted Republican Party AWAY from Eastern seaboard moderates towards Sun Belt and Bible Belt By 1990, Goldwater sees loss of Libertarian core of Conservatism and "float it out to sea" Goldwater was too aggressive in style Legacy Goldwater supports abortion rights, not opposed to homosexuality between consenting adults (or in military), balanced budgets, keep religion out of public education By 1987 Goldwater claims "a bunch of kooks" now running the Republican Party; and that "every good Christian ought to kick [Jerry] Falwell] in the ass" "Stagflation" Cause Rise of the "New Right": Economics High Unemployment (fewer people with money in pockets) But High Inflation! New World Competition more productive (more recently modernized) Overexpenditures Military Consumer goods U.S. Labor costs too high when compared to developing nations (retirement, health care, safety) Businesses choose to locate in countries that look like the Gilded Age, not those that look like modern America Rise of the "New Right": Societal Targets: Social Legislation of the 1960s (Civil Rights, Great Society) Attack of those getting "special treatment" Social Security and Medicare "untouchable," therefore focus "Weak" military But defeat in Viet Nam not due to military ineptitude Business Regulations Where "OverRegulation" meant ANY regulation Republicans too split in 1976; but the candidate was chosen
shifts to discretionary budget But had to be destitute poor to be "special" Gerald Ford unable to muster support of conservatives (not one himself) Reagan Candidacy (1974) "Our nation's capital has become the seat of a buddy system that functions for its own benefit; increasingly insensitive to the needs of the American worker who supports it with his taxes. Today it is difficult to find leaders who are independent of the forces that have brought us our problems the Congress, the bureaucracy, the lobbyists, big business, and big labor." (note how last two are linked) "The Problem" was government itself Cause of Stagflation? Cause of lost productivity? Cause of increased foreign competition? Loss of American entrepreneurialism by recipients of aid (old and poor)? Jimmy Carter Democratic Nomination Party splintered (beginning of centrist New Left of Bill Clinton) First NeoLiberals (those willing to reform or reject Great Society programs) Helped by poor Ford campaign Election of 1976 No mandate Little vision for the future Last of the "Solid Democratic South" Carter's Policies Conservative (he is part of the shift to the right) Lowers Business Taxes Hard on Inflation Cuts domestic programs Increases military budgets Paul Voelker Painful for consumers, but Carter does little to address unemployment Early Victories in Foreign Policy Panama Canal Treaty Strategic Arms Limitations Talks (SALT) Human Rights No Military Offenses (first since Hoover) While economy was weak, Carter did seem to bring "honor" back to White House PostNixon voters could at least agree that their president was "not a crook" Camp David Accords (1979) OPEC Oil Embargo, 1979 USSR invades Afghanistan (U.S. Olympic boycott) Latin American revolutions (Nicaraguan Sandinistas) 14% annual inflation, 11% unemployment Sen. Edward Kennedy (DMA) openly challenges Carter to 1980 nomination! Carter appears weak and directionless Collapse (late in his term) Iran Hostage Crisis
Nov. 4, 1979 444 days 52 hostages Rescue attempt fails horribly Carter ineffectual 1980 Election Reagan and Republicans Interesting new trend Economy no better Blames Americans for a "crisis in confidence" U.S. international prestige at all time low Are you better today than four years ago? Simple and unified plan Poorer, urban voters stay home Liberals stay home Affluent, suburban voters turn out in large numbers Modern politics shifts to "activating your base" NOT getting everyone to vote "wedge issues" become more powerful to activate the base Abortion Gay Marriage Born 1911, Tampico (Illinois) Ronald Wilson Reagan Ronald sees moral weakness in father's dependency Ronald sees the world as he wants it to appear (children of alcoholics) Father (Jack) a shoe salesman, good storyteller, and an alcoholic Mother (Nell) a devout Christian
"destiny" or fate God directs all events, people have a Move to Dixon (IL) Moves family frequently; "Dutch" is aloof with no close friends Good at football, drama, and swimming (saved 77 lives as lifeguard on Rock River) 1932 Cub broadcaster at WHO
radio, Des Moines, IA 1937 Hollywood No experience with Great Depression Plays George Gipp (the "Gipper") in Knute Rockne All American Liberal Democrat, Votes 4x for FDR President of Screen Actors' Guild 1950s Acting Career in Decline GE Theater (TV show) FBI informant Friendly witness HUAC AntiCommunism Making of a Politician President of Screen Actors' Guild In American homes every Sunday night Corporate Spokesman Dislikes "Big Government" Fiery, US Revolution against "big government" Catches eye of CA Republicans Cut income taxes 1964 "The Speech" in support of Barry Goldwater 19661974 Governor 1968 Presidential Bid (no direction, amateur) 1976 runs second to Ford 1980 Runs to "Rescue" America from pessimism LANDSLIDE !! Reagan has no selfdoubt; no doubt in America Plays off of insecurity and doubt of 1970s But wins heart of the Republican Party USSR an Evil Empire (doesn't use this phrase yet) Hard line on defense Wins big in South and West (develops image of cowboy) "The Great Communicator" in Action Inaugural Address, January 1981 Coalition Politics (old as U.S.) termed the "New Right." Made up of... The "Reagan Revolution" 1. Big Business Unlike earlier eras, business openly sides with one party 1204 Republican PACs by 1980 (less that 200 for the Dems) 2. Conservative Ideologues Charles Murray, Dinesh D'Sousa Argue that Progressivism does more harm than good Rejection of the major political philosophy of 20th century "Party of Ideas" Irving Kristol: a neocon is a "liberal mugged by reality" Reject coalition foreign policy spawned by WWII (UN, NATO, etc.), reject isolationism of old conservatives U.S. to act unilaterally without the need for allies using full force of American military Antagonistic to international organizations and international law; founded on works of Leo Strauss Strong MORAL TONE ("Evil Empire," "Axis of Evil") Often compare situation to 1939 (before Hitler struck) Term makes most sense during Cold War, it make less sense in GWOT New Conservatives (NeoCons) Not opposed to social legislation of Great Society Term today often refers to vocal spokespersons Often used as negative/pejorative today But argue that the free market, not government, is the best tool to produce real "opportunity" Lower taxes, deregulate, prevent courts from mandating change The Weekly Standard, Rupert Murdoch and FOX News American Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute 3. "Moral Majority" (these are NOT neocons!!!) Apply (Protestant) Christian theology to political issues of the day Personal morality as chief source of society's ills The central "problem" of the U.S. is lack of Christian faith Unlike MLK, who used ecumenical religious beliefs to bring people together, new evangelicals argued they were vastly different from "those people" or "secular humanists" Easily politicized (whereas MLK's faith was not); "Rapture" world view No direct reference to "Born Again" in the Bible other than baptism John 3:5 "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God"; Romans 6:4 "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." According to Bible, no Christian gets into Heaven unless they are "reborn" through baptism (not the ACT of baptism, but the ACT OF FAITH) Reject legality of abortion (1973) Reject teaching of evolution (even in science classes) Reject separation of church and state (fyi, not all Americans are Christian) "Politics" of Moral Majority In U.S., "Born Again" shifts to decidedly SECULAR and political terms Ten Commandments, school prayer, views on interracial dating, "faithbased" social services How would you feel about legal justice in U.S. Courts if the Koran was displayed as a "founding document" of American law? In 1980, "Born Again" groups like Moral Majority overwhelmingly favor secular Reagan over evangelical Baptist Jimmy Carter Go figure 4. Economic "SupplySiders"
Arthur Laffer Jack Kemp Jude Wanniski Irving Kristol "Laffer Curve" "Trickledown" Starts something termed "Reaganomics" Tax Reduction: Arthur Laffer Curve
Federal Revenues 100 80 60 40 20 0
0% 25% Optimal Rate Lower Tax Rate Higher Tax Revenues 75% 100% Tax Rate 1. Lower marginal taxes for businesses and investors 1. Lower government spending on social programs 1. Reduce or eliminate Federal regulation 2. Reduce money supply (M1) to "kill" inflation But increase military spending (started under Carter) "Reaganomics" chief goals High tax rate limits ability to use wealth to make more wealth As high as 90% for some people Paul Voelker, Chair Federal Reserve (Carter appointment) Traditional Republicans see this as "voodoo economics" (George H. W. Bush) and "riverboat gambling" (Howard Baker) Reagan Budget Director David Stockman says fiscal goals are an "impossibility" Raises huge deficits (the ultimate sin for Republicans) to be paid by later generations Reagan ultimately sees deficits as lesser evil Earlier U.S. Policies Create Large MiddleClass 192030s: Great Depression ==> New Deal 194050s: WWII ==> Home loans, GI Bill 1960s: Great Society ==> Civil Rights and "Opportunity" Policies Aid Those Who Have Made It, Not Those Seeking to Make It By 1980s, Desire to Stop New Efforts at Upward Mobility Now wealth will have to "trickle down" first Lower Taxes for wealthy Sustain existing policies tax breaks for home ownership, social security, medicare BUT NO NEW POLICIES TO DEAL WITH NEW PROBLEMS "Reagan's success stemmed from the fact that most Americans were like him on one level... they generally distrusted government... [and] believed in the virtues of the market economy....Yet those same Americans, as poll data has repeatedly shown, wanted to keep intact specific welfare programs, including Social Security and Medicare; and they willingly took from the federal treasury an entire range of benefits and assistance on which the economic health of their communities and regions depended." William C. Berman, America's Right Turn, 2003 Most "Sunbelt Cities" created by federal spending and support during WWII and Cold War Opposed the same policies for others today Lower Taxes Formal Policies Cut Social Spending Deregulation KempRoth Tax Act (1981) $750B reduced from top brackets Income Tax Act (1986) rates lowered 50% for all; including corporations Budget Reconciliation Act (1981) budget cuts taken from social programs GarnSt. Germaine Act (1982) Airlines, S&L, Telecommunications, Securities all deregulated Retains Paul Voelker to keep inflation in check Old heroes, like John Wayne, stood for Cold War values of regimentation, victory for groups and group values, an America that protects the weak New heroes combine testosterone and wealth; highly individualistic Rambo, Rocky, Dirty Harry, Conan the Barbarian: Driven by rage Charlie's Angels, Dynasty, Dallas: Women driven by sex and consumer trophies (Madonna's Material Girl) Reaganomics aided by shifting "image culture" in U.S.: Social Darwinism on steroids
"Do we get to win this time?" Political polling closely follows this culture Reagan: "Make my day" Bush #41: "Read my lips" "Who you gonna call?" EPA regulation and officials the sources of the problem Effete: Mr. "Pecker" is a "pencil neck" (and "dickless")! Culture of Entrepreneurialism not always so negative; also affirmative If they fail, they fail If they win, then spoils for everyone Traditional institutions ineffective University life sheltered Intellectuals not to be trusted "Out there" they expect results Race neutralized (?) Aggressive women are "bitchy" or sexually "nimble little minks" "I've seen shit that will turn you white" Ghostbusters (1984)
Directed by Ivan Reitman Defined by the Cold War (last administration to do so) Reagan Foreign Policy Soviet aggressively moving into Middle East (Afghanistan), Central (Nicaragua) and Africa. Greatest USSR advantage: nuclear parity with U.S. (neither could use large arsenals or fear total annihilation) Reagan & NeoCons reject Nixonian Detente Carter greatly expands Navy and Special Forces Reagan proposes Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) to intercept and destroy ICBMs; very speculative yet expensive technology... for what? 1982 Beruit, Lebanon (241 U.S. dead) 1983 Grenada 1986 Bombing of Libya (results in terrorist bombing on U.S. commercial flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, 270 dead, 12/21/1988) Military Buildup Military Action very limited Bigger shifts in Cold War: Polish Resistance (1981) Rise of Mikhail Gorbachev (1985) Internal reforms in China following Tiannamen Square (1988) IranContra Scandal, 1986 Fears about Reagan's Role in Setting Policy U.S. selling Iran shoulderlaunched surface toair missiles; in return Iran pressuring terrorists to release hostages Runs counter to Reagan's public statements never to negotiate for hostages NSC's Lt.Col. Oliver North (USMC) uses these funds to provide arms for Contra rebels in Nicaragua Problem: U.S. Congress outlawed ANY ARMS SALES TO CONTRAS without public debate Blames Reagan's lose managerial style VP Bush claims to be "out of the loop" Q: Who was running the show? Approved by his bosses (NSC & CIA) Sec't State Shultz threatens to resign Republican Senator John Tower investigates A: Oliver North!!!! Reagan publicly admits mistakes never regains full trust of the public Mikhail Gorbachev becomes Gen. Sec'y of Communist Party in 1985 Following quick deaths of two old hardliners Perestroika Glasnost U.S. U.S.S.R. Summitry & Nuclear Arms 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster Economic restructuring to remove influence of Soviet bureaucracy Political openness, "free" press Key need by USSR: reduce military spending (harmful to Soviets as well as US) Cut land missiles by half Withdraw demand that US abandon SDI Reagan sees man he can work with; summits in 1985 and 1986 Reagan offers to cut substantial numbers of US ballistic missiles 1972 Nixon Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) lowers GROWTH of nukes 1979 Carter SALT II further lowers GROWTH 1987 Reagan Intermediate Nuclear Force Agreement (INFA); US destroys 846 nuclear cruise missiles, USSR destroys 1,846 SS20s. 19913 Bush Sr./Clinton Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START I & II); U.S. arsenal limited to 2,750 warheads; USSR to 3,725 warheads. Mixed Legacy: Positives and Negatives 1. 19811982 Recession painful but purges U.S. of excessive inflation (seen in interest paid to "use" capital) Great aid to capital; economy grows 2. Massive profits and tax breaks for the truly wealthy creates incentives for investments that sparks stock market growth
People invest in "U.S." business rather than gold 2000 1987 Ratio between price of Gold and DJIA, 19002000 2000 1970 1982 Dow Jones Indust. Avg. 19802000 1930 3. American public feels confident again Grenada & Central American "Freedom fighters" Sports as America's new religion; culture of "winners": 1984 Olympics ("USA" chant); athletes to the White House; ESPN Ronald Reagan also a genuinely good and optimistic man CAN feel proud of him People liked him; much like FDR in Great Depression He reaches out to Democrats (very unlike the current partisanship between the parties; Reagan today would be seen as a political "wimp") 4. Renewed Arms Race (while expensive for U.S.) was too expensive for USSR Destabilizing? (ABM, "Star Wars") CIA sees USSR as collapsing from within; why provoke dying and paranoid regime? Soviets intelligence predicts U.S. first strike in 1983! Reagan talks about "Armageddon" with his advisors!! Greatly aided by lingering effects of dtente as practiced by Nixon and Carter Unfair to claim Reagan "won" the Cold War, but he did press our advantage to the point beyond the point that the Soviet system could support (the question is whether it bankrupted us as well!!!) But longterm negative consequences too... 1. "Twin Peaks" economy Mixed Results (Negative) According to Reagan's own accounting office (CBO, 1980 1988): Top 1% made additional $186K/year in tax relief alone Middleclass "were not net losers" at best 51% "middleclass" in 1973 46% "middleclass" in 1986 "We demand housing promised on this site" This phenomenon has only gotten more pronounced in the last two decades Wages fall 7% Poverty increases 4% Home ownership falls 9% Top 1% (834k households) owns more than bottom 90% (84m households) CEOs make >100x average worker City governments on defensive since 1968 Urban America Particularly Hard Hit Reaganomics Violence and drugs increase costs of existing services: police, hospital, etc. White flight to suburbs lowers municipal tax base deindustrialization lowers chances of municipal recovery Lowers federal aid to cities from 18% (1980) to less than 7% (1990) 1980: 49 states provide AFDC benefits to working mothers who made 75% or less of poverty line. 1988: Only three states have funds to offer AFDC to these working mothers. (More logical not to work?) 2. Twins peaks creates new cultural divide Negative Results (cont) Pop culture traditionally united U.S. in 20th c. Upscale, designer clothing J.C. Penney, WalMart Krispy Kreme, Starbucks Mr. Donut, Generic brands Lexus, BMW, Mercedes Benz Yugo, Neon, Saturn Moreover, culture politicized to a degree not seen in previous eras Greater acceptance of economic inequality Greater $$ pressures to "keep up" appearances by middle class "Culture Wars" enter politics; divide Americans on race and (especially) religion Irony: Ronald Reagan has strong faith in God but is NOT overtly religious, has close friends who were openly gay LBOs (Leveraged BuyOuts) 3. Negative Business Practices S&L industry deregulated "Merger Mania" Borrow money to buy assetrich companies Liquidate assets, huge dividends Corporate debt through "junk bonds" By 1986 completely bankrupt $535 billion paid in bailout to industry ($2,000+ per taxpayer) Could have paid ALL COLLEGE Aggressively AntiUnion TUITION for ALL STUDENTS for the ENTIRE DECADE! PATCO (1981) Workers' wages fall precipitously Wall Street (1987) Directed by Oliver Stone Deficit spending not always a "bad thing" Too much too soon does the reverse U.S. Debt 17891980: $789 billion 19811988: $2,191 billion 4. Federal Deficits "Creates" capital, can be used more productively (3%) than interest rates (2.9%) Drains capital from economy, raises interest rates, consumers pay Moral questions: who has to pay? Next generation saddled with debt (think of generational idealism of 1960s in reverse) Federal debt of 1980s paid by Americans in 1990s (Clinton years) Money already spent, they had little choice in setting their own priorities Great Society leads to "culture of poverty" 5. Failed Assumptions of Neo Conservatives aka "Welfare Queens" who have babies to increase federal payments But in 1983 black teen pregnancy rate 30% lower than Eroding "moral fabric" of poor leads to "cycle of poverty," but: Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) funding actually cut. For threeperson family: July 1972 = $872/month (1992 dollars) July 1992 = $649/month (1992 dollars) 1970 and 40% lower than 1960 (before Great Society) By 1992, only 23% of AFDC families receive ANY Doesn't seem that any real aid is given to BREAK the "cycle of poverty"
housing support Fading "Reagan Revolution" Not a longlived coalition (remember, today party affiliation evenly split; no dominant coalition remains after Reagan) "Reagan Democrats" loyal as long as job protected Religious Right angered over lack of substantial rollbacks (Abortion, Gays); push harder for more ideological leaders (eg. Bush #43) NeoCons (Yuppies) fearful about economy Americans, generally sympathetic to the suffering of others, see the human costs of indifference Reject activism of Great Society Reject state intervention of New Deal Reject taxes based on earned income levels of Progressives Morality a central political issue; but no direction Smaller government and lower taxes aid business investment Moreover, most legislation only posed as negatives to previous generations Affirm two things: Other influences slow the movement... Poverty in the Aged and Disabled Homelessness Equal to the entire population of the city of Atlanta Nearly 15% are children Obvious Suffering Little concern for struggling, twoincome families 50,000 dead of AIDS by 1988 (poor health care in general) Deep pockets of innercity devastation New "hyperghettos" Coattails of Reagan "Wimp" Factor!!!! But not a "real conservative" George Herbert Walker Bush Democrats split Lee Atwater runs dirtiest campaign in decades Pledge + Horton "Push polling" Dukakis = technocrat Gephardt = trade Jackson = liberal heart, populist (white support strong), 3rd Party? Bush as Carter Republican Bush more liberal than Carter! Tax increase to stem tide of deficits Fully funds Social Security 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act Bans discrimination Includes those with HIV+ and cancer Like Carter, a masterful job of Foreign Policy For Carter, this ends by 1979 Poland begins the collapse in 1989 End of Cold War and USSR Gorbachev does nothing Lech Walesa and Solidarity Czech., Baltic States, Yugo., finally Bulgaria and Romania Army Coup attempt in 1991 Boris Yeltsin leads popular opposition in Moscow USSR collapses peacefully Gulf War, 1991 Like Carter, Bush undone by Domestic Policies Rising Sense of "Glass Ceiling" Female Inequality in the Workplace Clarence Thomas Hearings (1991) 199092 National Elections 8 Female Senators "Hyperghettoes" 1992 L.A. Riots Continued Economic/Racial Tensions Rodney King beating L.A. Police exonerated 58 dead, 2,383 injured 17,000 arrests $785m$1b damages 4,500 businesses destroyed; 2,300 of these Korean Conflict with "New Immigrants" Korean Central American Unemployment 7.2% (1992) Negative Growth (Recession) U.S. hampered by deficits (Reagan's coattails now a liability!) 19912 Economic Downturn William Jefferson Clinton Clinton Biography Born to lowermiddleclass, broken family, in the South Rhodes Scholar, Yale Law (1973) Democratic activist 1976 Runs Carter campaign in AK; wins Att'y General 1978 Elected Governor AK; defeated 1980; returns 1982 1992 1991 Enters race when Bush popularity nears 90% "New Democrat" Texas (1972) for McGovern House Judiciary Committee (1973)! Bush Election of 1992 Clinton abandoned by Conservatives (as Carter was by Liberals) Runs poor campaign Had never seen UPC scanners! New Hampshire: "Message: I care" Scanning his watch during debates "Comeback Kid" ("Slick Willie") Gennifer Flowers, pot, draft Bailed out by Hillary lightening rod (Primary Colors) Knew "It's the economy, stupid" Perot polls 20% of voters! Americans wanted change Lack of Mandate (Like Carter and Bush) Did voters elect Clinton to... SelfInflicted Wounds in first few months: NonPartisan Attorney General? ==>Lani Guinier (strong advocate of racial quotas) Gays in the military ==> "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Weak, Oldstyle Liberal NOT Skilled "New Democrat" Pass NAFTA? "Save" Social Security? "End welfare as we know it"? Clinton Appears as Good at reaching "across the aisle" to Republicans Good public speaker and communicator But Clinton survives: Unwilling to press for major social reforms Never attacks opponents using Nixonstyle smears Some see this as negative But Clinton earned only 43% of voters in 1992 NAFTA (successful; aided by GorePerot debate on Larry King Live) Tax increase to pay to retire deficit (successful by 1998!!) Family Leave Act (successful) Welfare Reform, by 1996 (successful) The Economy (historic period of expansion) Some Significant Accomplishments Some Significant Failures Health Care Reform Too much, too fast Hillary Rodham Clinton too brash and secretive about changes Defeated in Congress Welfare Reform stuck in Congress More than any other modern Clinton faces intense partisan opposition President but probably the pattern (first seen in Nixon) Angers many powerful groups: Brady Bill angers NRA NAFTA angers Labor Tax Increase angers Supply Siders Welfare angers liberal Democrats Centrism angers Republican moderates Meanspirited personal slander Media Attack Others accuse government of extensive murder plots and drug running While this goes on, suggest that a "left wing media bias" exists! 300pound Oxycontinaddict Rush Limbaugh calls 14YO Chelsea Clinton the "family dog;" partisans attack Hillary as a "frigid lesbian" 19941996 OffYear Elections return Republican's to power in House and Senate But numbers suggest that victory was very thin Would they, as Clinton had in 1992, be as cautious as the "mandate" suggested U.S. electorate pretty evenly divided Only 34% voter turnout 22,000 votes would have kept Dems. in control of House Gingrich favors direct New "New Right" v. Clinton confrontation over politics (and loses) "Contract with America" Nixonstyle politics, no evidence, just accusations Clinton represents "era of official evasion and posturing" Gov't "too big, too intrusive, and too easy with America's money" "cycle of scandal and disgrace" (no Monica yet) To create "cycle of scandal," Gingrich encourages constant investigation of White House Travel Office Whitewater FBI files Chinese FundRaising U.S. House actually "does" little else (lowest activity in 30+ years) GOP Overplays Hand Gingrich then agrees to shut down U.S. government to force Clinton to pass onesided Republican budget (no compromise) Mail stopped, Social Security checks issued but not delivered On two occasions, Gingrich fumes because of where he is sitting on Air Force One and at conference tables! Gingrich refuses to publicly acknowledge Clinton is legitimate leader of Executive branch! "Triangulation" places Clinton in the center of Family Leave Infant inoculation Head Start 100,000 police Vchip Hillary Clinton minimized Clinton's Response "extremist" Gingrich and liberal Democrats "Small agenda" targets the needs of real families Makes argument that government is not the enemy reverses position of Reagan (significant political victory) Oklahoma City (1995) Monica Lewinsky Affair During the federal shut
down, Clinton downsizes White House staff to use free intern labor This included Monica Lewinsky Beginning November 15, 1995 (ends 1997), Clinton did have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky Ken Starr appointed special prosecutor to Affair Becomes Public investigate Whitewater, 1994 (Clinton's weakest point) Story breaks Jan. 1998; days before Clinton to testify in Jones Civil suit Sandbagged Asked vague question if he had "sex" with Lewinsky, Clinton privately defines this as intercourse, answers no Starr attacks Hillary Clinton on the stand; Bill Clinton vows to play "hard ball" Republican appointees targeted; Linda Tripp moved to a Pentagon backwater, fears for her job; tells Paula Jones lawyers of affair; tapes Lewinsky's telephone calls Jones lawyers break the law, tell Starr's committee Summer, 1998, Starr forces Lewinsky to testify that they did have oral sex (blue dress) Only one to keep cool was Hillary (furious at husband), publicly "stands by her man" Impeachment Constitution allows for impeachment for "high crimes and misdemeanors" or "treason," not lying in civil court about oral sex Clinton guilty of: House impeaches Clinton Senates refuses to convict Clinton Moral lapse (he was her boss; she was clearly naive) Testifying with lack of candor about sex But the average citizen would not have had to take the stand (civil court); Jones' lawyers use information from criminal court (Starr) in which the President was eventually be found innocent of all charges! For most, law matters less than desire to finally "get" Slick Willie Conclusions for Clinton Ironically, Lewinsky affair "helps" Clinton's legacy On balance, his administration is moderate with an "What If" History Force us to separate the politics from the policy outstanding record in domestic economy; poor foreign relations U.S. public generally distracted by Impeachment foolishness when, in August 1998, U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania bombed by Al Qaeda; 800+ dead Gen. Anthony Zinni (US Central Command), FBI, CIA, State Department all cite threat by Osama bin Laden U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Prudence Bushnell, notes terrorism now directed at the United States: "This is a tragedy in the real sense of the word, and it's a tragedy that has caused us to think differently. We no longer operate under the assumptions that we did in the past." Longlasting effect of Clinton is to (again) blur the lines Opens door for new third parties as in Gilded Age? between the parties; tighten focus on "character" issues that no one can predict Two big factors in political realignment Conclusions for 19752000 SocioEconomic pressures come at "bad time" Counterculture a normal generational process Hits with conservative backlash of late 1970s Liberal Civil Rights and Great Society chase many to Republican Party Globalization and failing U.S. economy discredits Government interference in the economy (falsely?) Ronald Reagan represented a potential new voting bloc W/C Democrats Social Conservatives SupplySiders Moral Majority Big Business Coalition does not last (slip starts in 1986!) Irony: deficits and deregulation of Reagan years made fiscal crisis that blended the two parties Many Republicans today not "Right" enough for Conservatives Many Democrats not "Left" enough for Liberals Growth of "Independent" voter, not represented well by either party Remember: whatever your political persuasions, roughly half of the country disagrees with you
fringes Conclusions (cont) Tough era to find common ground Makes it all the more aggravating when politicians rule from the ideological Seen in backlash against Clinton, c. 1992 Seen in Bush #43, who won presidency with less than 50% of the vote in 2000 and barely 50% in 2004 (lowest of ANY second term president) Rehabilitation of the State There are some problems that only the Federal government can handle With end of the Cold War, State activism much less threatening recent terrorist attack shows value of federal coordination of U.S. Reformist impulse of the Progressives still alive and well (now at least 100 years old) ...
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