Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Clintonia in Retrospect, pt. 2 - As if all of the foregoing weren't enough, the following shows that Bill Clinton is more than willing to trash every president since the Pharaohs in order to look better in comparison. Here again he discusses his impeachment.

So it was bad and my reputation should suffer. Now if you want to hold it against me that I did something wrong, that’s a fair deal. That has nothing to do with this impeachment. Then if you do that, then you have a whole lot of other questions, which is how many other presidents do you have to downgrade… And you’ve got a lot of other problems. What are you going to do with all those Republican congressmen that had problems? And you have another problem, which is: what about other issues? Does that count more than, for example, the Nixon enemies list?
Inexplicably, to the Democratic faithful, Clinton is their Immanuel - their god abiding with them. Although the Democratic Party has existed for over 150 years, Democrats treat this one individual as if he were the embodiment of everything that they stand for and hope to become. Irrespective of the foibles and insecurities that nagged him and negatively impacted his presidency for the worse, they continue to sacrifice their principles, their good names and their reputations in order to appease him.

The Left remains blissfully unperturbed by his studied indifference to anything not directly connected to the immediate satisfaction of his own cravings. And only by ignoring the grievous and manifest failings of his administration, they have made him into their golden calf, and in the process, they have begun to remake themselves in his image. They now take perceived attacks on him as personal insults. It appears that the Clintonistas have but one goal in mind, to assuage their own egos by attempting to salvage his reputation. Clinton’s supporters and apologists certainly have an ego investment in burnishing his image, as he compares so poorly in personal behavior and professional stature to American presidents past and present.

Forty-one men have occupied the Oval Office prior to Bill Clinton. A few of them were excellent in the role, most were average and some were well below. But nearly all of them appeared to have respect for the office that they held and for the electorate that put them there. Mr. Clinton, abetted by his party, is the one salient exception. In 1992, Republicans gave America an incumbent president and World War II hero, George H. W. Bush, for that year’s presidential election and offered another war hero in 1996 with Bob Dole. Progressives gave us a womanizing, dope-smoking draft dodger who loathed the military, and turned out to have a similar contempt for America and its values. The contrast is stark, and tells us much about both parties, their attitudes towards the presidency and their esteem, or lack thereof, for the American people.

I would submit that the legacy definition efforts exerted by Bill and his acolytes are unnecessary. To many observers, the full shape and contour of the Clinton legacy is already apparent. The Weekly Standard’s Noemie Emery perhaps put it best in her article, "The Clinton Legacy" in the August 10, 1998 issue.
The Clinton Project is not really about politics. It is about values. That is, it is about an inversion of values. Many have wondered whether the Clintons and their friends are truly immoral – engaged in knowing wrongdoing – or merely amoral, unable to tell right from wrong. Now, it appears neither is accurate. In the strange [politically correct] terms of their culture, the Clintons appear to be “differently moraled” – that is, they have morals, even quite strong ones, but ones of which no church or state has ever heard. This is the Church of Bill, in the State of Bill, with its own mores and standards. There is the Bible, with its boring old Ten Commandments, where certain acts are simple no-no’s. Then there is the Bible of Bill, in which Thou-shalt-nots are downsized to glitches, and trendy new sins are invoked in their place.
Lest it appear that any opprobrium directed towards the Clinton administration emanates solely from the political Right, one would be well-served in taking note of the comments of Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos fame, in an op-ed piece in the May 7, 2006 Washington Post.

Despite all of his successes – and eight years of peace and prosperity is nothing to sneeze at – he never broke the 50-percent mark in his two elections. Regardless of the president’s personal popularity, Democrats held fewer congressional seats at the end of his presidency than before it. The Democratic Party atrophied during his two terms, partly because of his fealty to his “third way” of politics, which neglected key parts of the progressive movement and reserved its outreach efforts for corporate and moneyed interests.

Clinton’s third way failed miserably. It killed off the Jesse Jackson wing of the Democratic Party and, despite its undivided control of the party apparatus, delivered nothing. Nothing that is, except the loss of Congress, the perception of the muddled Democratic “message,” a demoralized and moribund party base, and electoral defeats in 2000, 2002 and 2004.

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