Bill Clinton, so the left would have you believe, was an exceptional and progressive President unfairly targeted and abused by the moralistic right. He is, so goes the narrative, an elder statesman to be admired and emulated. Judging by the left’s adoration, one would hardly believe that Clinton was:
- An anti-gay President who supported both Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act.
- The former governor who, while running for President and eager to woo conservative voters, demanded the execution of Ricky Ray Rector, a criminal who was clearly not competent to stand trial due to his frontal lobe being destroyed by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Rector didn’t even understand he was being killed when the sentence was carried out.
- The habitual liar and life-long abuser of women who ensured, time and time again, that any woman who told the truth about his sexual misdeeds would be branded a liar and have her reputation destroyed. At least 4 women have publicly accused Clinton of extramarital affairs and 2 have accused him of sexual assault and rape (and these are just the incidents we know about).
- The President who pardoned Marc Rich, a man found guilty of tax evasion and making oil deals with Iran. Clinton pardoned an additional 140 people, some of whom were found guilty of laundering $19 million for a drug cartel, committing 12 counts of sexual assault, soliciting child pornography, money laundering, tax evasion, fraud, bribery, and inciting riots, among many other crimes.
- The orchestrator of the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, which killed more than a thousand innocent people. Among the targets of the bombings: a senior citizen’s home, an apartment building, a hospital in Belgrade, the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, another hospital in Nis, a marketplace filled with civilians, a residential area in Surdulica, a passenger train, more apartment buildings in Aleksinac, and an emergency medical center in Aleksinac.
Furthermore, Clinton’s welfare reform, which was widely supported by Republicans, has disastrous consequences during times of economic hardship, as demonstrated in the aftermath of the 2008 recession. The New York Times recently published a devastating critique of Clinton’s efforts to “end welfare as we know it.”
It’s no coincidence that when looking back on the Clinton years, most liberals tend to emphasize the budget surplus and economic growth. These are both significant accomplishments but they cannot compensate for the wide array of harmful policies and personal immorality that defines the Clinton administration. Through his personal charm, skilled media spin, and philanthropic work, Clinton has managed to fool most Americans into believing his Presidency was a successful one. The supposedly liberal President who declared that “the era of big government is over” deserves far more derision from the left than he receives.
Edit: Part 2, some clarifications and responses.
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