Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Kuttner Likes Clark

If Clark runs, all bets are off

He's the former NATO supreme commander who headed operations in Kosovo, a Rhodes Scholar who graduated first in his class at West Point, and a Vietnam vet with several combat medals including a purple heart. He has been a tough critic of Bush's foreign policy. His domestic positions are not as fully fashioned, but he'd repeal Bush's tax cuts and revisit the so-called Patriot Act.

Clark is progressive on domestic issues by way of his military background. Though it is very much a hierarchy, the military is also the most egalitarian island in this unequal society. Top executives -- four-star generals -- make about nine times the pay of buck privates.

In corporate life, the ratio of CEO to worker bee is more like 900 times. The military also has America's most comprehensive child care system. And, as Clark likes to point out, everyone has health care. He's also pro-affirmative action and prochoice.

My favorite Clark riposte is on guns. He grew up hunting, in a family that had more than a dozen hunting rifles. But he's pro-gun control. "If you want to fire an assault weapon," he says, "join the army." The NRA can put that in its AK-47 and smoke it.

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