Tuesday, May 06, 2008
THE CLINTON LEGACY – WHATEVER IT TAKES TO WIN
Well Hillary certainly did gain some degree of experience during the Bill Clinton years in the White House. She learned the art of media misdirection, the ability to double cross any bridge when she came to it, and the ability to deny the past if it is the politically expedient thing to do.
Where does her training come from, President Bill Clinton of course? Last night in his whirlwind tour of small town America in North Carolina on behalf of his wife he claimed that his Clinton years as President were the best years in “Modern American History.” I thought it was up to historians to make that determination but clearly Bill Clinton has already written the history books.
These were the best years in modern American history? If the Clinton years were the best years in modern American history then why doesn’t the public agree? In 1992 Clinton was elected with the smallest winning percentage in modern American history only 43% of the vote, tying Richard Nixon in 1968 for that dubious distinction.
By 1996 Clinton still failed to capture half of the vote winning 49%, but one half of the eligible voters were so disgusted with politicians they didn’t even vote. That means Clinton won with less than 25% of the eligible voters. Does that sound like the most successful presidency in modern history?
What happened during those Clinton years when Hillary was serving as assistant president according to her resume and campaign claims? It seems as if Bill Clinton had an epiphany and figured out how to out Republican the Republicans. Clinton became the first Democrat to be the darling of the business community as first the poverty stricken were victims of the Clinton epiphany, then the minorities, then the immigrants, and then labor unions, the core of the Democratic party.
Clinton slammed through the NAFTA Free Trade Agreement, with the help of his wife the First Lady, that led to the loss of millions of American jobs, a transfer of the production of American goods and services to foreign countries, and the failure to set in motion controls and testing that would protect Americans from poor quality, unsafe and dangerous foreign products.
Welfare and poverty programs were victims of budget cuts while immigrants, legal and otherwise, were denied benefits and legal representation. Prison populations increased rapidly from the law and order attitude of the president to the point that the death penalty was extended to cover many new crimes and actions such as the Waco FBI attack on a religious sect resulted in the deaths of 86 men, women and children.
Clinton ordered a bombing attack on Baghdad, Iraq just six months after taking office. Several times during the Clinton presidency Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the World Trade Center 9-11 bombings and worldwide terrorism network that would haunt us until this day could have been captured by the USA but each event was bungled by the administration. Is that a sign of the best presidency in modern American history?
Clinton maintained the military establishment although the Soviet Union was gone and there were no more wars. He courted the Republican business community with tax breaks, trade agreements, and other favors throughout his two terms. When it became necessary to cut government expenditures to balance the budget the Clinton White House approved eliminating $5 billion in educational spending to repair crumbling schools and rejecting a proposal to extend health insurance to 10.5 million uninsured children leaning on Congress to back his rejection.
Of course there is also the personal actions during the Clinton presidency like Jennifer Flowers, Monica Lewinski, Paula Jones and Whitewater to name a few that disgusted the public to the point of impeachment of the president. Only three times in our history have impeachment charges been brought against a president. Just twice in our history did the House vote for impeachment and send it to the Senate for trial. The two cases were Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1999. Clinton was acquitted after the trial on a tie vote.
This was the Clinton presidency that Bill now calls the greatest of modern times and that Hillary says was her training ground for presidential experience. It also led to her election to the US Senate and to her failing to disclose $24 million in Bill’s income over a three-year period (2004-2006) not to mention their joint income of $109 million
In the eight years since he was president Bill and Hillary earned $109 million including lucrative consulting contracts and six figure speaking engagements, hardly a sign of the people’s candidate. What companies can afford to pay over $100,000 to hear him speak? It is doubtful many struggling non-profits are on his itinerary. This is what makes the Clinton presidency the best in modern history?
One can only hope the traditional Democrats will see how they have been duped, the labor unions, immigrants and minorities will see how they have been taken for granted, and the general public will see how they have been used. Can we really afford eight more years of double talk, double crossing and double dealing at the highest levels of our government? If this is the legacy of the greatest presidency of modern times then I believe the last thing we need is experienced people like Hillary who were running the country through those years.