The Common Good
November-December 1996

Smart Politics

by Karl Hess | November-December 1996

WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT to see-in the same issue with Jim Wallis' article on civility in political discourse-the attack by Wallis on Clinton's decision to sign the welfare bill.

WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT to see-in the same issue with Jim Wallis' article on civility in political discourse-the attack by Wallis on Clinton's decision to sign the welfare bill ("Hearts Minds," September-October 1996). How presumptuous to label it "Clinton's sin"!

Entirely lacking for Wallis appears to be the political effect of these decisions. Having already burdened his term in office with the gays-in-the-military struggle and the attempt to reform the disease care system, Wallis appears to expect Clinton to go before the voters vetoing the third welfare bill to come to his office. Would Wallis prefer to have Dole president and Clinton liberally pure?

Perhaps it was a slip of the pen, but perhaps it is an insight we should think carefully about. In the second paragraph, Wallis comments that Clinton is "smart but political." How revealing! I hope Wallis didn't really write this, that some unreflective ghost from the '60s somehow slipped it into the mag over his signature.

 

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