Peter, if I may jump in: first, the idea that any conservative would want to rerun the Clinton presidency at this point is completely beyond me, even as an academic exercise. It’s like asking if you’d like another long, slow root canal, and I’m not Bill Murray in Little Shop of Horrors. Yes, it was a more fiscally conservative time than we had any right to expect. But you’re leaving out a huge elephant in the room: our utter unpreparedness for terror.
The Clinton administration’s scandalous failure to take Osama bin Laden and their failure to even respond in any way to outrages like the U.S.S. Cole bombing shows that the Clinton team always valued the management of their precious approval ratings ahead of their duty to protect the country against an emerging terrorist threat. No matter who the Democrats choose (and there are some over there who aren’t sold on Hillary), their appeal in this War on Terror era is still Back to Normalcy: What War on Terror? Typically, they are most comfortable with a war on terror when it can be camouflaged as a pork program for local police and fire officials, and least comfortable with it when the ACLU and other “human rights” activists strain to apply the most exquisite freedoms to terrorists foreign and domestic.