Max Boot Finally Ready To Be A Democrat, Just In The 1990s
Max Boot, a man who is nowhere near as good at hat-wearing as he would like to believe, has made a name for himself as a Never Trump conservative. He would really, really like to vote for a Democrat, and not Donald Trump, but feels that the party needs to do more to win over tasty centrist independents like him.
Like many of his ilk, he has taken to writing essays in prominent newspapers about what the Democrats could do to win over people like him. He's The Bachelor, he's got the rose, but he's not giving it out to just anyone. He wants to be wooed. He wants Democrats to come to their senses and go back to the way things were back in the '90s.
Sure, he probably did not vote for Bill Clinton, but as a conservative, he is 20 years behind in terms of social change. If Dems could just regress 20 years to accommodate him, he'd be all caught up! He's a Democrat of the 1990s now! He's gonna watch "In Living Color" and drink some Orbitz and wear that damned fedora while listening to the dulcet tones of the Cherry Poppin' Daddies. He's not even mad at Murphy Brown for having that baby out of wedlock that one time, that is how hip and with it he is.
He wrote, wistfully, in yesterday's Washington Post:
In the 1990s, when the Clintons were in the White House, the Democratic Party got into the habit of making compromises, both personal and political.
President Bill Clinton was determined to show he was not a typical "liberal," a term that had become an epithet. As governor of Arkansas and candidate for president, he denounced hip-hop artist Sister Souljah for justifying black-on-white violence and refused to grant clemency to cop-killer Ricky Ray Rector, who was executed despite his mental incompetence. As president, he signed a welfare-reform bill over the anguished protests of Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) and balanced the budget while proclaiming that "the era of big government is over."
Yeah. All of those things were bad. They were not good things! They were not compromises, they were objectively bad things that Bill Clinton did. Ricky Ray Rector thought he could save his last-meal's dessert for after his execution.
Boot points these things out as "compromises," and to Clinton's various scandals as something Democrats were willing to overlook because he was going to expand health care and protect abortion.
Many Democrats were unhappy with this "triangulation," but they gritted their teeth because Clinton also attempted to expand health-care coverage and keep abortion legal — and he was better than the Republicans. For the same reasons, Democrats overcame their qualms over the Clintons' personal conduct, ranging from dodgy financial deals (cattle futures, Whitewater) to his treatment of women, which led to credible accusations of sexual harassment and even rape. Democrats were the feminist party, but they made excuses for Clinton that they would never have made for a Republican.
Let's look at what actually happened after Democrats shifted right, shall we? Leftists voted for Nader or chose community activism over any electoral politics whatsoever, and Republicans voted for someone even further to the right than any president before him -- George W. Bush. Then they went full Tea Party, and then they elected Donald Trump!
I will give Max Boot a dollar if he can locate any time at which Republicans (of the day, not 20 years later) gave Clinton or anyone any "credit" for these "compromises." Shit, Obama spent his whole first term desperately grasping at any chance to reach across the aisle, and all he got for his efforts were people screaming about how he was a Secret Muslim Socialist.
When Democrats move to the center, Republicans move to the Right. When Democrats move left, it's Republicans who are forced to move to the center. That is why, back when Democrats were pushing for single-payer, Republicans were pushing a "free market solution" that looked a heck of a lot like the ACA.
While admitting that these "compromises" may have hurt Democrats in the long run, giving Trump ammo against Hillary Clinton, Boot worries that this sudden embrace of radical ideas like taxing rich people and making sure everyone can go see a doctor --and kicking people out of office for sexual harassment or med school minstrel shows -- will result in people like him (the people we must really want to attract) feeling alienated!
It's true that Democrats' speed in ejecting errant officeholders risks miscarriages of justice — something that some Democrats think may have happened with Franken, who was forced out before the Ethics Committee could complete its investigation. But, on balance, Democrats' willingness to hold their politicians to a high standard is a welcome change from the hypocrisy of the Clinton era — and compares favorably with the GOP's support for the likes of Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (Miss.), Rep. Steve King (Iowa) and President Trump despite evidence of their racism (and, in Trump's case, numerous other ethical lapses including #MeToo issues).
Democrats' rejection of Clinton-style centrism in favor of progressive purity is more problematic. Their left turn risks alienating the independents and moderates whose support they need to defeat Trump — and to govern effectively. The United States already has one extremist party; it doesn't need another.
I would like to know how Max Boot did on his SATs. He has all the correct information here, and yet somehow, he draws the most absurd conclusion on earth.
Max Boot, Bachelor Contestant, is sitting patiently with his rose. He's old-fashioned. He doesn't want healthcare for everyone. He doesn't want some harpy going around criticizing Wall Street. He wants flowers and candy and the execution of prisoners who are not mentally capable of realizing they are being executed. He wants black women taken entirely out of context to soothe the souls and egos of frightened white men. He wants to feel important, he wants to be wanted. Can't we tell he's something special? That he deserves to get everything he wants?
Unless he doesn't get exactly, specifically, what he wants. In which case, he'll just be forced to give his rose to Ted Bundy instead.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse