- The Washington Times - Friday, April 6, 2001

Liberal legacy

"In the first installment of his … five-part retrospective on the Clinton administration, 'Nightline' host Ted Koppel twice referred to Bill Clinton as a 'centrist.'
"Particularly in Mr. Clinton's second term, Republicans allowed this notion of 'Clinton as centrist' to take hold largely unchallenged and to their own detriment. In truth, Clinton just moved what was generally thought of as the political center well to the left of where it had been before he took office… .
" … A mostly sympathetic liberal media helped in portraying Clinton as a 'centrist.' Many people who should have known better, ranging from Fred Barnes of Fox [News] to Republican Rep. Jennifer Dunn of Washington, bought into the myth. All the while, the Clinton administration was way out on the leftist fringe.
"Much was clearly presaged at his 1993 inauguration, when he referred to the Founding Fathers by the gender-neutral term 'the Founders' and featured as his keynote speaker Maya Angelou, the poet laureate of the brie-and-chablis set.
"Even now, as his presidential legacy looms ever smaller, let me suggest another legacy possibility. That is this: His was the most left-wing presidency in our nation's history."
Peter Parisi, writing on "69 Reasons Why Clinton Wasn't a Centrist" April 3 in National Review Online at www.nationalreviw.com

Elitist mob show

" 'The Sopranos' is a certified cultural phenomenon, according to the public prints. Last week alone came a cover story in Newsweek, yet another feature in USA Today, a gushy valentine in GQ, and a lengthy chin-puller in the New Yorker, all of them written in tones of undying appreciation… .
"Aren't there any people out there who don't like 'The Sopranos'? …
"A very large majority of Americans don't even have access to HBO and therefore, of course, to 'The Sopranos.' It costs money to watch 'The Sopranos' an extra $200 or more a year for people who already get cable, and much more than that for people who would have to initiate cable service and then add the premium channels to boot.
"Difficult as it is for some of us to believe, most people in the United States have chosen not to spend the extra money. What this means is that, relative to the universe of TV watchers, 'The Sopranos' isn't being seen by very many people… .
" 'The Sopranos' is the entertainment equivalent of the gated community. The well-to-do now retreat to their own corner of the television world, with the obliviousness that has always been a hallmark of the rich and privileged."
Andrew Ferguson, writing on " 'The Sopranos' and Its Groupies," in the April 9 issue of the Weekly Standard

Banal Hillary

"When Hillary Clinton emerged from marital humiliation to become the first First Lady in American history to win a seat in the U.S. Senate, the commentariat predicted she'd take Capitol Hill by storm… .
"Crowning her 'perhaps the most important Democrat in the country,' the New York Times called it a 'fantasy' to think she would 'blend into the woodwork as just another freshman senator.' …
"In fact, she barely even makes the papers (except when mentioned in the same paragraph as Denise Rich). If Clinton fantasized in her post-health-care days about liberating herself from her gilded prison of White House interior decorating to participate in serious policy once again, she's gotten her win. And it isn't pretty.
"Crouching low to avoid the pardon scandals battering her husband's ex-presidency, Clinton has submerged herself in policy minutiae that would make a C-SPAN junkie snore… . People expected Hillary Clinton to be a lot of things in the U.S. Senate except, perhaps, for the one thing she has become: banal."
Michael Crowley, writing on "Dull and Duller," in the April 9 issue of New Republic

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