Another leftist critic of the Clintons

Hillary Clinton's candidacy is splitting  the left over more than race. No longer inevitable, and lacking her husband's natural political talents, the appalling behavior of the Clinton campaign is drawing left wing critics. The latest attack comes from William Greider , writing in The Nation  an article titled, "Slick Willie Rides Again."

"The one-two style of Clintons, however, is as informative as low-life street fighters. Mr. Bill punches Obama in the kidney and from the rear. When Obama whirls around to strike back, there stands Mrs. Clinton, looking like a prim Sunday School teacher and citing goody-goody lessons she learned from her 135 years in government." [....]
"The style is very familiar to official Washington, not just among the Clintons' partisan adversaries, but among their supporters. The man lied to his friends. All the time. They got used to it. They came expect it. I observe a good many old hands among the Senate Democrats are getting behind Obama. It would be good to know more about why they declined to make the more obvious choice of endorsing the power couple."

All well and good, as far as it goes. But what alternative is The Nation -- and Mr. Greider -- offering the self-perceived "progressive" community? He stops short of openly supporting Sen. Obama, after clearly implying he is "outclassed" as a streetfighter by the Clintons and saying that politics is "Tough, even nasty conflict." The implication here is that Mrs. Clinton is likely to win the nomination because she knows how "win ugly" and is quite willing to do so.

Assuming the Clintons win the nomination (I having the same problem Sen. Obama has, not being able to tell which one of the Clintons he is running against), what does Mr. Greider then say and do?

Does he advocate leftists stay home on Election Day in November? Does he advocate voting for Ralph Nader or Michael Bloomberg? Does he advocate writing in the name Eugene V. Debs as a protest?   Or, does he advocate the unthinkable to a Nation reader, voting for the Republican to stop Bill and Hillary?

I suspect Mr. Greider -- and The Nation -- are still sorting out what to do when the situation becomes clearer to them, perhaps after both major parties' nominee is known either in March or after their national conventions in the summer. 

To be fair and realistic, it isn't only the voters of the left that are doing a gut check and searching their souls for what and whom they want representing their values in the next presidential candidate. The issues and candidate choices are still being argued on the Republican side as well. The major difference is that the vast majority on the right who don't want Hillary and are actively involved in offering an alternative candidate to Clinton, Inc. What will The Nation magazine do to chose an alternative to the Clintons, other than write high-minded articles and wring their collective hands?

Then again, if you are a socialist and waiting for a more centralized government to send you a check - or write a Fairness Doctrine favorable to your media outlet - perhaps publicly offering an alternative to the Clintons is fraught with much danger. Whereas the Republicans already have a Fairness Doctrine fight on their hands, even before next January's Presidential Inauguration, the Nation - and Mr. Greider - perhaps realizes they have more to lose in this respect by speaking out now than does the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy."

Still, without offering an alternative solution, one can only conclude that The Nation's objections to the Clintons do not add up to more than posturing and cover. Should there be another major shredding of leftist political values in either the Clinton campaign or - God Forbid - a new Clinton presidency, The Nation is now, however, on record as mouthing high minded criticisms of Bill and Hillary. As we say in New York, that plus two dollars will get you on the subway.

Jack Kemp is not the politician of the same
If you experience technical problems, please write to