Dems need to Kick it Old School and Kick Out the Clintons
By Bernie Quigley for The Free Market News Network 11/30/07
The most important thing that has to happen in politics between now and 2012 is that the generations need to shift. Both the Democrats and the Republicans alike have to leave it all behind. Ron Paul has opened a gate for the Republicans but the Democrats are still in a quandary. For the Democrats to get a fresh start, they need to leave the
The invasion of
Today President Clinton says in the WaPost that he ". . . opposed
The issue is well reported on the
“I have repeatedly defended President Bush against the left on
“That's why I supported the
It was a disappointed to read this morning in the Time magazine piece that Obama would consider including President Clinton in his cabinet. That makes two of the leading Democrats who would include President Clinton in their cabinets.
I first went to Mark Warner several years ago because I saw the new century opening up from either Mark Warner or Mitt Romney. This I gleaned from a national Governor's Council meeting several years ago, where Warner and Romney both brought forth their long-term visions. Both were sound visions of encouraging youth education and training and both were primarily management-based perspectives by two of the best managers of important states. They presented new paradigms and Warner especially promised to work "across the isle" has he had done as Governor of Virginia. They were both new voices. They both wanted to be President.
Generational dynamics demand that the paradigms shift entirely between generations. You can’t make your kids like Perry Como if they are already listening to Bob Dylan. Generational dynamics demand that the old be left behind so the new can rise. For example, today in the NYTs and in the LA Times yesterday, the great quarterback Brett Favre was referred to as "the last American hero" (LA) and Texas quarterback Tony Romo referred to as "The new Brett Favre" (NYTs). These are end-game comments - they mark the end of a generation of action of passion. They come because the
Likewise, generational dynamics can be seen as the difference between Perry Como, Jimmy Durante and kind and the rise of Bob Dylan and The Beatles. Seasons pass. In fact, Dylan’s record company initially resisted playing Like a Rolling Stone because they knew it would change the season and their old list would recede. Dylan surreptitiously had it played in a famous
Today we are directly between seasons again. Mark Warner and Jim Webb started a new season for the Democrats. It is not that the previous season was "bad" - just that new generations need to define themselves on their own terms. The problem for the Democrats today is that Elvis – and his relatives – won’t leave the building. But sending up kin or relatives to do the job – Elisabeth Dole, Hillary, George W. Bush – is always the sign that the generational season is in late November, early December.
When I was writing about Warner and Webb two years ago Markos of DKos had an important and influential piece in the WaPost declaring a division in the Democrats and mentioning Mark Warner and Howard Dean as "new Democrats" or representative of a new generation of Democrats. These divisions need to happen. In that same period he had a post on DKos asking "Won't these Clinton-era Democrats ever go away?" This is a representative voice of the new generation. The question has to be asked again today if Obama is going to bring Clinton-era Democrats into his cabinet.
The Democrats can define a completely new generation today with Warner, Webb, and others - I would include Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas and possibly John Lynch of New Hampshire who has defined his Governorship as "across-the-isle" like Mark Warner's and who has long admired Warner as Governor.
Jim Webb diametrically opposed the "Rubin Democrats" and their purpose in his rebuttal to Bush's State of the Union speech last February. This was implicit criticism of the Clinton-era Democrats. Webb was of course referring to Robert Rubin, the Clinton Secretary of Treasury, when he used the phrase "Rubin Democrats" although these might be considered "Jerry Rubin Democrats" since Sixties-radical-turned-Wall-St.-mogul Jerry Rubin first proposed this shift.
But this new direction from Webb, embraced by John Edwards as well, is not in opposition to all Democrats. It is Old School and pre-Clinton. And William Strauss and Neil Howe, who write about generational shifts in history, make the point that it is characteristic of the new generation to jump over the last to grandmother’s and grandfather’s generation.
John Kenneth Galbraith, a venerable Nobel laureate and party icon from the Kennedy days, wrote a book in 1992, The Culture of Contentment, in direct opposition to
They opposed George Kennan as well, possibly
Webb and Edwards honor the Old School and the old traditions. I had hoped that Obama would as well, because that will be the path of the new generation.
In August, I interviewed the chief-of-staff of possibly the wisest and most venerable of the Old School, Sam Nunn of