The skewed perspective of a conservative Catholic employee-side employment lawyer living in the most exciting city in the Milky Way, Las Vegas, Nevada USA, who listens to a lot of really strange music and who, for some reason, lives and dies St. Louis Cardinal baseball

2/10/2005

Could Clinton have survived the blogosphere?

Over at classicalvalues. com, Justin addressed a blogger's question: Could Bill Clinton have survived the blogosphere?

Here's my take:

Could the blogosphere have prevented the election of Bill Clinton? Very likely. Clinton is 1992 won for one reason and one reason only: the presence on the ballot of billionaire nutjob H. Ross Perot. Perot attacked George Herbert Walker unmercifully. He split the conservative vote and allowed a Democrat who could barely hold his base to win with a low plurality (a mere 43% of the popular vote). I think a focused blogosphere could have quickly reduced Perot to the figure of ridicule he is now today. Drop Perot's support from 19% down to the single digits and the incumbent (Bush) wins re-election.

Could the blogosphere have negatively affected Clinton passing his agenda? What agenda? After the failure of Hillarycare, Clinton co-opted the Republican agenda through artful Dick Morris-directed triangulation. Perhaps a focused blogosphere would have broken the story of Dick Morris's toe-sucking proclivities sooner and Clinton would not have been as skillful in stealing Republican thunder (i.e., welfare reform). Hillarycare failed of its own volition. And Clinton's little mini-issues (e.g., school uniforms, his big issue in 1996 re-election campaign) would not have been affected due to their sheer weightlessness.

Could the blogosphere have negatively affected Clinton's re-election? Doubtful. The presence of H. Ross Perot caused a different dynamic. Those distured by Clinton's performance could vote against Clinton without having to vote for a Republican. And I doubt the blogosphere could have done anything to get the Republicans to put up a stronger candidate (Dick Lugar!) in 1996, rather than a retread whose only justification was that it was his time.

So, if he could have gotten elected in such climate, then, yeah, I think he would have. That doesn't mean all of his appointments (i.e., Madeleine Albright) would have fared as well.
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