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Bill Clinton is back and looking good

zsdersw

Lifer
Oct 29, 2003
10,560
2
0
http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/04/20/avlon.bill.clilnton/index.html?hpt=Mid

(CNN) -- With the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing this week, former President Bill Clinton has been back in the news with timely reminders of the costs of extreme anti-government rhetoric and his perspective on the partisan wars in Washington.

After a speech at the Center for American Progress on Friday, an ABC News "This Week" interview on Sunday and an op-ed in The New York Times on Monday, Clinton's resurgence amounts to a reassessment of his presidency -- and Bubba is looking pretty good in the rearview mirror of history, even to his one-time critics.

In some ways, the parallels to today's political debates are striking: A Democratic president from a new generation, representing a mandate for change during a recession, brings his party into unified control of Washington for the first time in more than a decade.

Amid a fight over health care reform, the new president was accused of governing far more liberally than he campaigned. In a relitigation of the 1960s culture wars, Newt Gingrich -- who earlier this month accused Barack Obama of being "the most radical president in American history" -- called the Clintons "counterculture McGovernicks." Bumper stickers sold near the White House featured Clinton's name with a Soviet-style hammer and sickle.

Conservative talk radio proliferated in opposition, turning hatred of the president into a cottage industry, providing a profitable boost in ratings. Separately, the militia movement grew, fueled by fears of a tyrannical federal government, new gun restrictions and a foreign policy that was said to sacrifice sovereignty in favor of globalization.


The same narratives endure today, the reflexive reflection of old scripts that still retain their power.

But echoes of 1994 run through this year's midterm elections as well. In their enthusiasm, some Democrats misread the previous presidential election as a liberal ideological mandate. Surging numbers of independent voters turned toward Republicans in their desire for deficit reduction and the checks and balances of divided government. It was a reminder that America remained an essentially center-right nation.

Clinton pivoted back toward the center in the second half of his first term. He worked with Republicans to pass welfare reform with bipartisan margins, over the objections of his liberal base. He was committed to a free-trade agenda and continued to pursue policies that turned a deficit into a surplus, while actually shrinking the size of the federal work force. While recognizing that "the era of big government is over," he was able to make the case for a more limited but still activist government. He reclaimed the allegiance of moderates and the middle class and was re-elected.

Of course, any discussion of Clinton's legacy cannot ignore his self-inflicted scandals. I was a Clinton kid -- a freshman in college in the fall of 1992, a White House intern the same summer as Monica Lewinsky, and a worker at his 1996 convention. I remember the sense of personal betrayal I felt when the man who had so evenly said, "I have less and less control over my reputation, but I still have full control over my character" proved less than candid.

The fact that he was the second president impeached outweighs the fact that he was the first Democratic president re-elected since FDR. Nonetheless, after all the drama and disappointment, he left office with a sky-high 62 percent approval rating. It was a clear endorsement of Clinton's policies, if not his personal life, from the American people.

Given the fury of the partisan fights between conservatives and Clinton, it seems odd that the mid-1990s would now look like a golden age of bipartisan cooperation. But that divided government proved the most fiscally responsible of the modern era.

Through the eyes of history, it seems Clinton was essentially what he said he was: a centrist Southern president who was focused on economic growth. He understood the necessity of forming a durable political coalition and governing from the center -- and in the process, he started a third-way philosophy of governing that proved its ultimate success with Tony Blair across the Atlantic.

The ultimate compliments may come from his one-time bitter adversaries, like Christopher Ruddy -- a conservative journalist who investigated the Vince Foster suicide and who is now editor-in-chief of Newsmax. Ruddy told the The New York Times Magazine last year that he now considers Clinton a friend -- and vice versa. "And to think of all the wars we went through in the '90s, it seems almost surreal. ... I guess we thought, 'This is just politics.' But looking back at my role, I was probably over the top. And if I knew then what I know today, I wouldn't have pursued some of that stuff as aggressively as I did."

This belated revelation should be a cautionary tale for those who find themselves obsessively invested in Obama hatred today. It is a reminder of how hyper-partisanship fundamentally distorts our political debates and often makes them intellectually dishonest.

The resurgence of some of Clinton's old critics, wielding similar lines of attack at Obama, should give cause for pause. At the same time, Obama can learn from some of the lessons of Clinton to recenter his presidency. And we all should take to heart the 42nd president's recent warning that "there is a big difference between criticizing a policy or a politician and demonizing the government that guarantees our freedoms and the public servants who enforce our laws."

To see politics, we must view it with the broadest sense of perspective -- remembering that patriotism is ultimately more important than partisanship.
Emphasis mine.

The Rush Limbaughs, Ann Coulters, Sean Hannitys, Keith Olbermanns, Rachel Maddows, etc. of our political discourse all have a financial motive to be as incendiary as possible. This makes them very dangerous to take as sources of factual information.
 
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Fear No Evil

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2008
5,922
0
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More attempts by the radical left to try to portray right-wing radio and the tea parties as violent. There's no evidence to suggest that they are, but because 'the ends justify the means' with the progressives, they will do everything and anything they can to win. This exact type of thing from Bill is what is going to cost the left the next election.

Perhaps Bill should listen to his wife:

I'm sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you're not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we're Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration.
 

irishScott

Lifer
Oct 10, 2006
21,568
2
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I lost most of my respect for Clinton a long time ago. His economic policies were good. That's about it.

Oh and pundits are stupid.
 

zsdersw

Lifer
Oct 29, 2003
10,560
2
0
More attempts by the radical left to try to portray right-wing radio and the tea parties as violent. There's no evidence to suggest that they are, but because 'the ends justify the means' with the progressives, they will do everything and anything they can to win. This exact type of thing from Bill is what is going to cost the left the next election.
Bill said nothing about anyone being violent.
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,582
619
126
At least Clinton was entertaining, with his womanizing and all. Obama is just so boring that it is hard to even have a good laugh at his expense. :)
 

boomerang

Lifer
Jun 19, 2000
18,890
639
126
A variety of sources. Pundits like Limbaugh, Olbermann, etc. are not on the list.
That's a weak dodge of the question. You must have someone in mind. Or your commentary at the end of your quoted post was just a smokescreen. I'm betting on that.

Here's the audio of the written Hillary quote in FNE's post. Hillary's inflection really makes the point better than the written word.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJxmpTMGhU0

Slick Willy and the progressive machine are ratcheting up rhetoric as the earth crumbles beneath them. All but the most faithful see right through this horse shit.

Tacking Olberman and Maddow on the end is a nice touch, but your motives are transparent. You may get a kick from trying to present yourself as a moderate, but we know better.
 

zsdersw

Lifer
Oct 29, 2003
10,560
2
0
That's a weak dodge of the question. You must have someone in mind. Or your commentary at the end of your quoted post was just a smokescreen. I'm betting on that.
I get my news and information from a variety of sources, both in the MSM and otherwise. The News Hour with Jim Lehrer is a favorite. I read opinions and commentary as well. George Will is usually on the list.

Tacking Olberman and Maddow on the end is a nice touch, but your motives are transparent.
I'm sure you think so.

You may get a kick from trying to present yourself as a moderate, but we know better.
I'm sure you think you do.
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
33,701
3,165
126
At least Clinton was entertaining, with his womanizing and all. Obama is just so boring that it is hard to even have a good laugh at his expense. :)
that`s the way it should be......we can still laugh at goofballs like you though....rofl
 

woolfe9999

Diamond Member
Mar 28, 2005
7,164
0
0
The most socialist and radical President ever is always...whatever democrat happens to be in office at the time. They said the exact same things about Clinton, to a T. It amazes me how short our political memories are that any of this current rhetoric seems even remotely fresh to anyone. And it's kind of funny the way conservatives are now much kinder to Clinton, some even complimentary. I wouldn't be surprised if in 20 years, we have another dem in office who is now the most socialist/radical President ever, but that Obama guy, well gee, he really wasn't too bad after all.

- wolf
 

IndyColtsFan

Lifer
Sep 22, 2007
33,582
619
126
that`s the way it should be......we can still laugh at goofballs like you though....rofl
After Clinton and the stupidity of Bush, Obama is a real letdown in the world of comedy. But hey, we have you to point and laugh at. :awe:
 

zsdersw

Lifer
Oct 29, 2003
10,560
2
0
Glad to see you've got a backbone. It's important to fight for what you believe in.
I don't yield, I don't back down, and may whatever god you believe in have mercy on your soul if you truly upset me.

The closet is for wimps.
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
5
0
The most socialist and radical President ever is always...whatever democrat happens to be in office at the time. They said the exact same things about Clinton, to a T. It amazes me how short our political memories are that any of this current rhetoric seems even remotely fresh to anyone. And it's kind of funny the way conservatives are now much kinder to Clinton, some even complimentary. I wouldn't be surprised if in 20 years, we have another dem in office who is now the most socialist/radical President ever, but that Obama guy, well gee, he really wasn't too bad after all.

- wolf
That is because Clinton took a huge turn to the right after he lost control of congress.

Prior to the Republican take over of congress Clinton never even spoke about balancing the budget. The same with welfare reform etc etc.

More than anything Clinton cares about himself and how people view him and when he saw the country take a huge step to the right he followed suit in order to save his own political skin.

There is nothing in Obama's past to suggest that he is willing or able to do the same thing.
 

Corn

Diamond Member
Nov 12, 1999
6,389
29
91
I don't yield, I don't back down, and may whatever god you believe in have mercy on your soul if you truly upset me.

The closet is for wimps.
LOL, what a pussy.

Tell me what upsets you so that I may test your manliness.
 

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