The New New Left versus the Old New Left: By the time McGruder had finished, and a tipsy Joe Wilson took the microphone to deliver his New Year’s Resolutions, perhaps half the guests had excused themselves to join Alterman in the lobby. A Nation contributor estimated that McGruder had offended eighty per cent of the audience. “Some people still haven’t recovered,” he said, sounding thrilled. “At a certain point, I just got the uncomfortable feeling that this was a bunch of people who were feeling a little too good about themselves,” McGruder said afterward. “These are the big, rich white leftists who are going to carry the fight to George Bush, and the best they can do is blame Nader?” He went on, laughing a little, “I was not the right guest for that event. I’ll be the first one to say that. It was one of those reminders that, yeah, I’m not this political leader that people are looking for.” Me to Aaron McGruder after a talk he gave here last year: "How do you see Clintonian Welfare Reform?" Aaron McGruder: "You're a Yalie, aren't you?" Me: "Yeah, but I try not to act like it. Aaron McGruder: "Too late." And then we talked about the absurdity of forcing people off the rolls in the name of making them work without offering them jobs.


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