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Reinventing Democrats Hardcover – February 9, 2000
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From Library Journal
-Thomas J. Baldino, Wilkes Univ., Wilkes-Barre, PA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"A thorough study of the DLC phenomenon." -- Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Compelling and important. . . Provides valuable insight into the party's recent past and what it might mean for the future." -- Bob Kolasky, IntellectualCapital.com
"Indispensable." -- The American Prospect
"The first formal history of how the Democratic Party transformed itself. . . An important contribution to the literature on American politics." -- The Indianapolis Star
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Top Customer Reviews
Al From and his allies, including Sam Nunn, Joseph Lieberman, Al Gore, and Bill Clinton, sought to de-emphasize the party's stand on polarizing social issues like civil rights, abortion, and welfare. Instead, they urged Democrats to follow Republican ideas about the primacy of the market, the need to reform welfare, and the importance of the traditional family structure. The election of Bill Clinton in 1992 seemed to vindicate the reformers, but their historical record is a mixed bag.
One sympathizes with From: how could the Democrats start winning presidential elections again? Surely, some trimming of the party's left-wing elements was in order, especially following McGovern's 1972 campaign. But once in power, Democrats wreaked more havoc in rushing to the right than any Republican administration could have done. By de-regulating the banks, they created the conditions that led directly to the 2008 economic crisis. By opening military operations to private contractors, they led to terrible abuses by private companies like DynaCorps. And by slashing welfare, they pushed the poor into a growing disability system which today stands in need of massive reform.
A meticulous, if sometimes dry, account of how Democrats veered to the right.
Clinton was elected on a New Democrat (i.e. DLC) platform, but he commenced to govern, or was perceived to govern, with a liberal agenda. This led to his plummeting popularity and the mid-term disaster of 1994, and at the time it appeared he would be retired after one term. Since a good scare is always more valuable than good advice, he embraced a New Democratic agenda in his second two years and, with a little help from the Republicans, he won a handy victory in 1996, vindicating the DLC in the process. In all likelihood the New Democratic philosophy (embodied in Al Gore) would have achieved further electoral vindication in 2000 but for unfortunate lapses in the Oval Office and mis-steps thereafter -- the 2000 election was close; Clinton-exhaustion seems to have been a factor.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A must read for anyone interested in our political system! At the dawn of the 21st century, the face of politics and parties is changing at an alarming rate. Read morePublished on August 30, 2000 by Shelly Ann Rogers
Whether you have a passing interest or are a true political junky, this book is a must read to understand America's contemporary political landscape. Highly recommended.Published on August 30, 2000 by Peter B. Webster Jr
When you read this erudite tome (yet equally accessible as a summer beach read), it is hard to believe that Mr. Baer is merely an Oxford Ph. Read morePublished on February 15, 2000