Bill Clinton, perhaps the best raw political animal of his generation, said a mouthful recently, especially when he confronted activists from the ubiquitous Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
There, the primary political architect of the Mass Incarceration phenomenon of the ’90s defended his position with classic Clintonian doublespeak. He argued that the imprisonment boom that he fathered was done to protect Blacks–from other Blacks! Quoth Clinton: “How can you defend those vicious gang leaders who sent 13-year-olds into the streets to do their killing?!” This, in response to Hillary Clinton’s venal denunciation of “super-predators,” which gave rise to the greatest imprisonment boom on earth, was defended by Clinton in a way only Bill Clinton could have done.
Essentially, he argued, ‘We did it for you.’ 🙂
One needs to go back to the tortured prose of the Dred Scott decision to find something so audacious. There, that old slave owner and chief justice, Roger Brooke Taney, argued that ‘the negro was subjected to slavery for his own benefit.’
I guess great minds think alike, huh?
Bill Clinton unleashed the greatest imprisonment boom in American history, to protect Black folk from Black children–y’ know, the ‘super-predators’. This is Clintonism. Neo-liberalism — so-called ‘compassionate conservatism’—for the good of the natives! He didn’t do it to employ tens of thousands of rural whites in the containment (so-called ‘corrections’) industry — thousands of new state workers who would donate to the Democratic Party for generations. He didn’t do it because it gave lower-class whites a sense of entitlement and a recession-proof ‘profession’. He didn’t do it because it was the new way that Democrats governed — tougher, meaner.
He did it because he felt Black Pain. He did it for you. This is Clintonism. Wars for (corporate) profit. Prisons for profit. More jails = more jobs, right? More cops? More crime! It works out, doesn’t it? Hillary Clinton apologized for her ‘choice of words’. Bill Clinton, being Bill Clinton, bragged about it. “I did it for Y’ all!”, he yells.
Voting for Clintonian promises, more of the same.
Good luck with that.