I would love to hear the whole 30 minute exchange here. It sounds like the debate the Democratic Party needs to have, unlike the presidential debates that Bernie and Hillary have had, which were largely substantive, but not completely frank because running for office.
Read the article and read the comments.
“If you never have to make a decision, then you can go back to the past and cherry-pick everything [for a] narrative that is blatantly false,” Clinton continued. “What you’re saying is false.”
“Seems like your narrative,” Brody responded, his voice louder than Clinton’s, “is that you did the best job that you could have possibly done from the most progressive standpoint that you possibly could have had.”
“No,” said Clinton.
YES! That is the actual narrative. We were coming out of the resurgence of conservatism under Reagan, the Democratic Party of FDR and labor was being buried by democrats like Clinton because, they argued, that’s what you needed to do to get elected in the shadow of Reagan. But Clinton, the “New” Democrat, piggybacked on Reagan’s anti-big government propaganda by saying “the era of big government is dead” which 1. sold out the FDR era Democrats, and 2. played into the GOP narrative that “big government” was the goal of those Democrats and the problem. The Bill Clinton legacy was that he was a Democrat that won and beat the ascendant Republicans, but he didn’t do it by championing traditional Democratic ideas, he did it by “triangulating” and adopting Republican values like welfare reform, free trade and business deregulation. Bill Clinton can only stand on one of two legs: either those were good policies to be defended, or those weren’t good policies but we had to espouse them to compete with the GOP, get elected and achieve other progressive aims.
He and Hillary have both admitted those policies were bad in other forums, but while they do, they don’t want to accept responsibility for them. As if to say, sure we did bad things, but look at the short term results, they were great! Just ignore the long term, please. Please!
From a commenter: If Democrats would just admit that they intentionally moved away from the party of FDR, we’d all be better off. But they won’t because they want to have it all… the history and legacy of FDR and the $$ of Wall Street. Well, you can’t have them both. And Bill Clinton is a douche for gaslighting that kid who was Spot.On.
Indeed. It’s that irreconcilable conundrum that makes Bill Clinton’s legacy so problematic and Hillary’s candidacy so fraught. It’s what’s putting Debbie Wasserman-Schultz in a vise now too. It’s the debate Democrats need to have in order to truly move on.
I will agree with the commenter that gave Bill kudos for engaging with the kid. Although the narrative of this will be that Bill is out of control by doing so. But Bill Clinton was never controllable by handlers so let’s not look at this as a sign that he’s losing touch. This is classic Clinton not conceding anything, even when he should.