If you wait 15 years, people will say anything. Sunday morning on ABC, Donna Brazile explained why 2010 won’t be another 1994:
Well, first of all, I don’t think it’s ’94, because in ’94, we also had some potential disastrous that happened that caused Democrats to lose so many seats. First of all, we had a great deal of retirements in the Congress, we had the bank scandal, the post office scandal… We also had a Republican Party that had ideas. We had a Republican Party that was a lot more viable and had plans to help solve some problems. We don’t have that Republican Party today.
I wasn’t all that politically active back in 1994 (although I was a big Clinton fan), yet somehow I don’t recall any Democrats praising the GOP for the depth of its ideas or for its pragmatic willingness to solve problems. I guess that some Lexis-Nexis work might turn up the odd bit of praise, but what I mostly remember from the late 90s is a kind of vindictiveness that makes today’s bickering seem pretty dull and substantive.
In the fall of 1995, I was a freshman in college. In the spring, I took an intro-level course on the US Congress. I remember being assigned a New Yorker profile of Newt Gingrich that portrayed him as a shameless liar willing to do anything to take power. Ah, the good old days. Where has civility gone?