Lady C's InfoNapsterizer

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Revisiting "trivial" virtues and vices

LA Times: Clinton's Biggest Gains Not on Conservatives' Radar:

Ron Brownstein has an excellent riposte to the Right's denigration of all things Clinton, including their disparagement of the notion that Clinton's eight years accomplished anything beyond the "trivial."Athough agreeing with critics such as C Krauthammer that "Clinton certainly pursued his share of 'small bore' initiatives, like promoting school uniforms," Brownstein puns that critics "willfully miss the forest for the shrubs."

After an extended display during the Reagan ceremonies of conservative revisionist history, another ourpouring of revisionism is accompanying the publication of Clinton's auto-bio.  But if "winners get to write history," why are the mainstream media treating the Republicans as if they are the "winners" and swallowing the GOP's version of history?

It's as if the MSM has swallowed the GOP approach to Bush's 2000 victory over Al Gore -- that Bush could behave as if he had a "mandate" because the rightful "party of government" was back in charge after eight years of the usurper's rule. This attitude is all the more galling in the run-up to this year's election, given the current standing in the polls of the Republican Party's standard bearer and Congressional delegation.

Brownstein counters the revisionists with a "scorecard" that reminds us Clinton's eight years that were far from trivial.

With the publication of Bill Clinton's memoirs, a chorus of conservatives is reprising the right's familiar charge that his presidency was an eight-year exercise in trivial pursuits. [...] Clinton modernized the Democratic Party's agenda and restored its attenuated ability to compete for the presidency. His domestic program helped to produce the most widely shared economic boom since the 1960s. And though Clinton's scorecard on foreign affairs is more mixed, he moved the Democrats away from their post-Vietnam aversion to force, and sharpened the government's focus on terrorism — even if history will likely conclude that he, like Congress, the media and President George W. Bush before Sept. 11, 2001, didn't meet the full measure of the threat. [...] It's reasonable to debate whether elements of this approach were wrongheaded or ineffective or insufficient. But to dismiss it as trivial says more about the critics than about Clinton.

Indeed, the purely petty and trivial nature of the personal and political attacks is the thrust of Clinton's going on the offensive against the conservatives during the peddling of his memoirs.


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