I. In January, as the value of the Mexican peso plummeted, President Clinton, Majority Leader Bob Dole and House Speaker Newt Gingrich agreed to a U.S. Treasury plan guaranteeing $40 billion of new loans to the Mexican economy. The loans, it was hoped, would stop the peso’s fall and also save the investments of American banks and mutual funds that had bought high-interest Mexican bonds after the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). As Congress began debating the deal, hundreds of CEOs and business lobbyists led by John W.
It's a few minutes to six on a Thursday evening in October, and the corridor outside the House chamber, thick with bodies a week ago, is a lazy parlor for a team of guards kicking back on swivel chairs bolted to the marble floor. Afternoon light sifts through windows painted shut since Truman was president, smoothing a coat of gold over the sculpted walls and vaulted ceiling.
President Clinton isn't the only drag on Democrats in the midterm election on November 8. There's something worse: partisan realignment. The same trends that have given Republicans an advantage in electing presidents for more than two decades--an advantage George Bush frittered away in 1992--are now at work in races for the House of Representatives. What gop pollster Richard Wirthlin once called a "rolling realignment" is rolling again.
Apparently America cannot be the world's policeman. Political quarrels in foreign lands are none of our business. Apparently our nation is "on the verge of catastrophic decay" because we've been ignoring the problems of the poor. Major new government initiatives are called for. These are not sentiments culled from the 1972 McGovern campaign or the speeches of Hubert Humphrey. These are "new ideas" being trumpeted by America's triumphant conservatives.
Although I have no special desire to be governor of Texas, and would actively prefer not to become head of the Office of Thrift Supervision (the poor soul charged with cleaning up the savings and loan mess), the traumas of aspirants to these posts in recent days compel me to make the following statement. It has been cleared with political consultants of both parties. Like many members of my generation—Senator Al Gore and Representative Newt Gingrich, to name but two—I too have experimented with marijuana in the distant past. It was in a party situation during my freshman year in college.