Gore Joins Max in Spending the Surplus

Nathan Newman nathan.newman at yale.edu
Fri Aug 25 14:02:59 PDT 2000

On Fri, 25 Aug 2000, Doug Henwood wrote:

> Nathan Newman wrote:
> >And if Nader if elected would be any more successful in passing the
> >programs over a GOP/conservative Dem opposition, I would be more likely to
> >take Nader more seriously.
> What about the possibility that Gore will be more successful in
> dismantling programs because there won't be any Dem/liberal
> opposition? Worked nicely for welfare reform, clear-cutting, mass
> incarceration, etc.

Actually, welfare reform - without question the lowest basest act of Clinton's mendacious bowing to so-called moderation - is also a perfect illustration of the gains from lesser-evilism. Welfare reform did not need a single Dem for passage and in fact the GOP passed two earlier versions of the bill that were far, far worse - less funds, the essential destruction of Medicaid and food stamps as well as AFDC, and a host of other even worst provisions. Clinton vetoed them.

This doesn't get Clinton sainthood or even out of the depths of hell for which he deserves for approving the final version, but I have never bought the "liberals can get passed worse bills" than conservatives argument. Without Clinton, the GOP in fact passed two far worse bills which would have been law without CLinton's veto. As for clearcutting etc., look back at the anti-environment riders that Clinton vetoed in the 1995 government shutdown.

Lesser-evilism may not be pretty but it is lesser.

-- Nathan Newman

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