There are many things to dislike about Bill Clinton- his welfare reform, deregulation, failed foreign policy, anti-gay agenda and atrocious personal conduct- but he’s the only Democrat at this year’s convention to cite statistics in his argument and address all Americans, not just die-hard liberals. For this, he deserves tempered praise.
We’ve got this explosion of diabetes in America among young people. For the first time, Type II diabetes is showing up in 9-year-olds and among the Baby Boomers who are retiring. And together, these things are going to bankrupt us. It’s a terrible human tragedy, and it’s basically too much sugar going into the body, we can’t process it all.
So if you get rid of these giant, full-of-sugar, drinks and make people have smaller portions, it will help. I know a lot of people think, ‘Well, this is a nanny state and [Bloomberg is] interfering.’ But these are very serious problems. It’s like shortening your life and undermining the quality of your life and exploding the cost of our healthcare system.
1. My criticism is not that Clinton is in favor of the death penalty. It’s that he found it necessary, for political reasons, to ensure the death of a mentally disabled man who should not have stood trial in the first place. Again, he made certain that Rector would be killed. The priest who typically supervised death sentences at Rector’s prison resigned in protest over the incident. So even those who supported the death penalty thought Clinton’s actions in this case were especially immoral.
2. Clinton’s moral failings are far worse than most people’s and indeed most Presidents’. For instance, the following Presidents have not been accused of numerous affairs, sexual assault, and rape: Obama, Bush I, Bush II, Reagan, Carter, Johnson, Ford, Nixon, Eisenhower, Truman…must I go on? And it’s not just serial infidelity that’s concerning. It’s serial infidelity, lying, covering up, and public shaming of innocent women that’s concerning. These are many moral failings over a long period of time, not just an occasional mistake. The emotional, psychological, and perhaps even physical abuse of women over many years contrasts strongly with the mistakes made by Eliot Spitzer or even Newt Gingrich.
3. Only sociopaths argue that one terrible crime is not so bad as long as someone else committed a worse crime. To say, “Sure, Clinton killed a thousand innocent people but Bush killed many more” is clearly an indefensible argument. There’s also a big difference between unintended civilian casualties and the deliberate bombing of civilian targets. One is an inevitable part of combat, the other is a war crime.
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.
Obama and Hilary are not opposed to gay marriage. And Clinton was trying to pass more pro-gay legislation, but he had a Republican Congress, so he couldn't and had to settle with Don't Ask, Don't Tell and similar legislation. At least he got something through.
One cannot express disgust for Herman Cain’s sexual “misconduct” or “inappropriateness” or whatever euphemism we’re using to describe his perversion, and then turn around and say Bill Clinton’s erotic escapades were no big deal.
If Cain is a sexist man-pig, then Clinton is certainly much worse and therefore was unfit for office. I’ve never liked Bill Clinton so it doesn’t bother me to label him a sleazy, manipulative, pathological liar. But liberals can’t have it both ways. Either this stuff matters or it doesn’t.
Following the advice of Bill Clinton, Obama should cite the 14th Amendment, raise the debt ceiling on his own, and then loudly chastise Congress for being more ineffective and dysfunctional than it’s been in generations. This “bipartisan,” “we can all come to an agreement” strategy clearly isn’t working. And meanwhile, the entire world is watching as some of our politicians seriously suggest we shouldn’t raise the debt ceiling at all. In other words, that we shouldn’t pay for things we already purchased.
The Tea Party has made the Republicans even more conservative, to the point where John Boehner is now regarded as being too moderate. Just once, it would be nice to see Obama be assertive and aggressive and do what needs to be done without worrying about appealing to people who will never like him anyway. We did not elect this man to capitulate to ultra conservatives dressed up in revolutionary war costumes.