Why the Repubs hate Clinton

Chris Burford cburford at gn.apc.org
Sun Aug 6 12:13:36 PDT 2000

At 08:34 06/08/00 -0400, Michael Pollak wrote:

>[This is the only half-decent thing I've read on the convention.

>Financial Times ; 04-Aug-2000
>Clinton steals the election show: The president may be bowing out but
>his political legacy will nevertheless dominate the race for the White

>We can argue forever how much credit the president should take for the
>longest economic upswing of modern times. The recovery started in the
>twilight of George senior's incumbency. And it had as much to do with
>creative exploitation of new technologies as with the White House. Yet the
>bargain Mr Clinton struck with Alan Greenspan - the Administration would
>tackle the
>deficit and the Fed would hold down interest rates - made it possible.

Yes the FT is often a good read. It seldom feels under pressure to be partisan in the way the Wall Street Journal does, and has a greater freedom to analyse.

The Republican convention does appear to signal the utter defeat of the fundamentalist Gingrich Contract on America.

In that respect the New Democrats, like New Labour, and the Neue Mitte, have shifted the perspective decisively against the dominance of the Thatcherite- Reaganite "There is no Alternative"

In class terms what the FT does not say, but I think we should explore, is that this convention is also a defeat for small capital - for the individual capitalist companies like tobacco and the Pest Control company that backed the republican leader in Congress. There has been massive investment in the Republican congress (and a lot of money going to the Democrats too) but this is not petty partisan money. It represents the consensus of advanced finance capital. And remember that finance capital, unlike small industrial capital, does not object to social engineering, so long as it is on its terms. It does not object to the management of a complex pluralist bourgeois democracy, so long as it can pull the strings on the presentations.

Here is where we see the strange paradox that in certain limited respects finance capital has some interests that coincide with a broader democratic agenda.

Of course I know that tobacco capital is large but I hope you can see the case I am arguing.

Finance capital will not be too worried if George Bush does not enforce the maximum tax cuts possible, and it will not be worried if he controls tobacco and guns a little more, even though he does not appear to be saying anything too strong one way or the other about this. It will support him contesting the ground with Gore for having the best polices on social security to aid a more inclusive society.

Chris Burford


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