A Wing and a Prayer

Democrats dream that the G.O.P. mandate will self-destruct, allowing Clinton to push his old agenda. But reality keeps flooding back

In the haze of winter, the new Congress settles in and, to the horror and gratification of Democrats, the Republicans take their mandate and go berserk. In the Senate Banking Committee, new G.O.P. chairman Alfonse D'Amato annoys the public with endless hearings on the Whitewater affair, stirring sympathy for Bill and Hillary Clinton. At the same time, Republican proposals to pluck children from their indigent mothers and lock them up in orphanages turn voters against G.O.P. ideas for welfare reform. Meanwhile, radicals like Senator Jesse Helms take over the G.O.P.'s foreign policy and defense strategy, riling allied countries with their nativism...

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