- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 10, 2000

New student radicals

"This year, from UC-Davis to the University of Vermont, students have held globalization teach-ins, planned civil disobedience for the April IMF/World Bank meetings, protested labor policies at the Gap and launched vigorous campaigns to drive Starbucks out of university dining services… .
"[C]ollege students are increasingly engaged in well-organized, thoughtful and morally outraged resistance to corporate power. These activists, more than any student radicals in years, passionately denounce the wealth gap, globally and in the United States, as well as the lack of democratic accountability in a world dominated by corporations… .
"It is neither too soon, nor too naively optimistic, to call it a movement."
Liza Featherstone, writing on "The New Student Movement," in the May 15 issue of the Nation

Autonomous America

"America is a harder country to govern in an age of autonomy. Its inhabitants are increasingly unwilling to do things just because an authority tells them they should. Everyone seems to have an opinion on truths that were once considered self-evident.
"The resulting turbulence is often too much for those who worry that Americans, preoccupied with their own selfish concerns, do not worry enough. Looking back to the days of 'Saving Private Ryan,' they fear that, especially during this golden age of prosperity, people are paying too little attention to the poverty around them or to the responsibilities the country must exercise around the world… .
"Autonomy does raise the prospect of people too preoccupied with their private selves to care much about the common good. But it also challenges those who emphasize the importance of the common good to take heed of what Americans find valuable about their way of life.
"The question is where Americans can learn to use the autonomy they have gained to strengthen the institutions that make civil society possible. If they do not, this new age promises to be unstable. But if they do, it will produce institutions from which people will feel less need to escape in large measure because institutions will not escape from them."
Alan Wolfe, writing on "The Pursuit of Autonomy," in Sunday's New York Times Magazine

Fog machine

" 'We've been over and over this.' That's what George Stephanopoulos would say. That's what any other Clintonite would say. That's what they always say when confronted with inconvenient facts or questions.
"Stephanopoulos pioneered this technique in the 1992 campaign, when he tried to make Gennifer Flowers go away. He pretty much succeeded, too. Isn't the public weary of this? he would say. Can't you get on to something else? What are you, some kind of obsessive? A Clinton-hater?
"We have, it is true, been 'over and over' the Clinton messes, including the Lewinsky affair. But not well enough. The Clinton fog machine belches day and night, trying to obscure what ought to be plain.
"The president himself revises and spins at every opportunity… . The American Society of Newspaper Editors had a taste of his act at a recent meeting. Clinton put on a remarkable performance, and a typical one. He knows his lines to a T.
" 'I made a terrible mistake. I think I have paid for it… . On the impeachment, I am proud of what we did there, because I think we saved the Constitution of the United States. First of all, I had to defeat the Republican revolution in 1994, when they shut down the government, and we beat back the Contract on America… . Then we had to beat it in the impeachment issue. Then we had to beat it when I vetoed the tax cut last year.' "
Jay Nordlinger, writing on "1998 and All That," in the May 22 issue of National Review

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