Is The Center Holding In The US? (was- Who is Patrice Marchak?)

Tony Abdo aabdo at
Sun Jun 25 18:27:24 MDT 2000

I agree with almost all of what you are saying, Jose.      I certainly
didn't want to say that the center is collapsing in the US.     After 12
years of right dominance under the Reagan/ Bush crew, and now 8 years of
the center crowd under Clinton/ Gore, the reality is that there is a
sense of disgust with both, amongst certain sectors of the population.
I am referring to both the strength of the Nader resurgence of the left,
along with also the Buchanan phenomena.

Most of the right is still in the Republican Party, because the Repubs
are still essentially a coalition centrist/ right formation.      So in
a sense the Right is split between those that want to go it alone, and
those that don't want to surrender that middle ground.      After all,
the center does still have the power, and the capitalist press is almost
overwhelmingly pro-centrist in its preachings.

In fact, the center propaganda is so strong, that even as the Nader
crowd moves out of the Democratic Party sphere, Nader tries to maintain
as non-left a line as possible.     He essentially refuses to attack the
police state or imperialist foreign policy of Clinton head-on.

The point of my commentary about Marchak, was to mention the contrast
between societies with a collapsed center ideologically, and those like
the US where the center is worshipped.    Because often times US
Leftists see struggles in Latin America as being 2 dimensional--- Left
versus Right.

They  go from that misfocus to think that when the Center collapses,
that the populations of those countries are automatically going to move
to the Left.      The error is in seeing the center and the right as
being one singular entity (which liberals call the right), in those
countries.      It's not.

Liberals and Social Democrats make the same mistake all the time in the
US, and in some degree Great Britain.     The  liberal's view is that
the Democrats are the Left, while the Republicans are the Right.     And
these people believe that the whole world operates equally in  the phony
bipartisan mode.

Realities are more complex than the liberals want to see.      The
political spectrum has more complexity than just a big line drawn down
the center.


Tony,  I'm not sure where you find the evidence for "growing
dissatisfaction" with Clinton's rule. On the contrary, by all measures
he remains one of the most popular presidents ever; by comparison,
Reagan's Teflon was made of flypaper.
        It is true that there have been numerous signs
of the beginning of a possible radicalization, but I do not believe
these have been provoked by or directed against the policies of "the
center" per sé. If anything, this incipient radicalization (like those
of the past) is at right angles to the left-right spectrum of American
bourgeois politics.
        Thinking back over the past several years, it
seems to me very confused to say: "Both the right and left in the US
find Clintonism (The Center) to be more and more tiresome. It unites us
in this one thing alone."
        On the contrary, if there is one thing that
people in the U.S., and especially, I believe, working people found even
MORE "tiresome" than the cretinism of American bourgeois electoral
politics, it was the unceasing efforts by a right-wing cabal, the news
media and Congressional Republicans to drive Clinton from office under
the aegis of one or another "scandal."
        Particularly revealing was Monica Lewinskygate:
at every turning point, when the right-wing Republican/Washington media
gasbags/right-wing cabal threw a new bucket of mud at Clinton, the
typical reaction was that Clinton's approval rating would RISE from
about 60% to about 70%, and then slowly trend back down to 60 or so.
        Of course, the six- and seven-figure TV gasbags
could never figure out why Clinton's popularity would rise "despite"
such and such an accusation or revelation. The Washington insider
celebrities who portray journalists on TV "reported" with a straight
face on how important it was whether Clinton had fingered Lewinsky and
whether he had come on her dress. And they wailed with despair over how
the public could "forgive" Clinton for having lied about his affair with
        Regular people, working people, had no problem
understanding why Clinton lied in response to such questions from his
political enemies. It's what many of US would have done under similar
circumstances. Moreover, the reaction against a sexual wtich-hunt by
Cops, the Courts and Congress was instinctive. The ones working people
couldn't forgive were the Paula Jones lawyers, the Starr gang and the
Republicans for having asked such questions in the first place, and the
media windbags for serving as their megaphone.
        And, of course, those of us raised in a certain
way understood that it was the duty of a gentleman
to protect the good name of a young lady that had shown him such favor.
        I think a similar analysis could be made of the
Elián González case, which rivetted the attention of the country at
the beginning of the year. What people found tiresome was not the
"center" to use your terminology but the "right," and the "center's"
unceasing accommodations of the right. There is and was, quite simply,
no "left-right" coincidence at all that I can see.

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