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Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Jesse versus the Big He-Part 1-A world without Bill-the early years (1992-1994)Interesting essay from Matthew at A Fearful Symmetry agruing that Jesse Jackson has done more harm to the country than Bill Clinton. I'm not sure if I disagree with him or not. I'm thinking of what race relation would be like had not the Rev-run hit the national stage, if he merely became a respected pastor in Chicago, known well in black Baptist circles but not a playa nationally. Compare that to a alternate universe where Bill Clinton never ran for president and has the national impact of, say, Jim Blanchard (Who he?-Michigan Governor 83-91). In that universe, Bill is a law professor at Georgetown and Hillary is a liberal activist that only political geeks would have heard of. What would our world be like if Bill Clinton weren't in the 1992 primaries? We'd have never heard of Monica and not gone through an impeachment process. Who would have replaced him on the Democratic ticket? Either Paul Tsongas, Bob Kerrey or Dick Gephardt. I'd think Tsongas would have prevailed in the primary, but you could make a case for Kerrey. What would American politics have been like if we had a Tsongas-Bush 41 race? Would Perot have been as big a factor if a thoughtful economic neoliberal were in the race? Either way, if we had a President Tsongas or President Kerrey or a second Bush 41 term, we'd of had a lighter-taxing, more business friendly government in 1993. The big tax increase that Clinton pushed through would have been smaller to non-existant. The health-care plan that Clinton pushed through would either be non-existant under Bush or less klutzy and more business-freindly under Tsongas or Kerrey. Without the Clinton administration to run against, we might not have had the same revolt against the Democrats in 1994. No Contract with America. The Democrats might of hung onto the House and Senate in 1994 elections with only the House post office scandle to run against. I think a secular trend would have lead the Republicans to pick up seats, but not as many as in our 1994. If so, you'd have a Republican-Blue Dog coalition running the House and we'd be hearing less of Minority Leader Newt Gingrich. In our next installment, we'll look at the politics of 1995-2000.

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