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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

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bunkerbuster

It's important to consider the political and historical context of the Clinton presidency. Perhaps those who say he was a terrible president are not taking into account how little political and financial capital he had to work with relative to that of his opponents.

Why can't Clinton's critics judge his failures and his achievements as a whole, rather than simply pointing to the weak points and condemning his presidency on that basis alone? At the simplest level, the U.S. started and was involved in no major wars and the economy boomed. You can gripe all you want, but those two facts are unassailable and highly relevant.

Secondly, I voted for Jerry Brown in the primary and was never thrilled with Bill Clinton. So please, do chastise me if I "defend" Clinton as any kind of messaiah.

It seems to me that what Marc and his ilk are waiting for is the second coming of Christ, not a politician who will wheedle, cajole and do what it takes to beat back the onslaught of Idiot America that spawned George W. Bush.

Here's a clue: look in all Marc's posts, and columns, for that matter, for commentary about politicians or ideas he supports. You'll find precious little, if any. Apparently, his view is that showing support for and/or defending the good guys isn't worth his time. Instead, we get an endless whinge and juvenile ad hominem ad nauseum about all those who fall short of the greater glory. A real pity, that.


But, so far, my comments about Clinton have been aimed at correcting what I think are misleading statements in others' comments about him: such as Marc's contention that Clinton abolished AFDC and Jim R's claim that Clinton "did nothing" after Al Qaeda attacks. Does that make me a Clintonista?

richard lo cicero

I don't know why I bother, I'm probably a glutton for punishment but here goes. To even minimally equate the Clinton "Scandals" with the Bush corruption extraviganza is so ridiculous that it can only come from someone who has an almost pathological hatred of the 42nd president. Oh wait, he does! Marc still refuses to take any responsibility for Nader and the "Children's Crusade" that got us into this fine mess by raising googooism to a high art.

Restore Honor and Integrity to the White House. HA HA HA HA

While we're blastinfg Clinton for the Welfare Bill let us consider some facts:

1. The poverty rate declined from 15.6 percent to 11.3 percent the lowest since the sixties

2. Ovewr two million children raised out of poverty

3. The lowest Minority unemployment rate and the highes minority home ownership rate in history.

And the CHIPS program and so much more plus the production of a budget surplus which freed money for more efforts. And all this with a hostile GOP_ congree for six of his eight years in office. Clinton wasn't Superman but he was damn good and has been replaced by one of the worst Presidents in our history. Thanks Marc!

reg

Let's not forget that the Paula Jones case was politically hatched and that, if we learned anything from the Clinton experience, Presidents should not be subjected to private law suits based on years-old incidents between persons while they are holding office. Also, frankly, Clinton's lie in this context may have been technically perjurous, but it was the kind of perjury - outside of the facts of the case itself, and in response to very personal "dirt" dug up solely to destroy his reputation and his family - that I find forgiveable. I would never argue that he handled himself well, but you've got to be pretty goddam self-righteous not to cut him some slack in the context he, by his own idiotic transgressions with Lewinsky admittedly, found himself in. The people who pushed the Clinton scandals relentlessly - Coulter, American Spectator, the Pittsburgh newspaper mogul, etc. - are people with an essentially fascist sensibility and to give them aid and comfort in their project out of some kind of belief in being "even-handed" would have been idiocy. The people on the left who bought into this were generally folks, like Hitchens, who had a militantly Naderite, Clinton-hating sensibility to begin with. I, like Marc, put a lot of the blame for Bush on Clinton's personal failings, but at the time the "censure him and move on" argument was the best response IMHO. I haven't read the Hitchens book, because frankly by it's very title - which I find offensive - it sounds like a hit piece. I respect AAA's reading tips, so maybe it's not just the usual Hitchens posturing (I find the guy to be devoid of any pragmatic politics, as opposed to moralizing.) I read Conosan's book and was appalled by the vultures and Starr's lack of professinal ethics, as well as the amount of money poured in privately to foster what was purely politics of personal destruction.

Kevin

The idea that Nader got us into any sort of "mess" is absolutely preposterous. Do you think that only candidates anointed by the nation Democrats or Republicans should be allowed? Do the candidates for those two parties automatically deserve to carve up 100% of the vote?

Mavis Beacon

Delay's crimes - a natural outgrowth of the K-Street project - truly affront the democratic process. Clinton, Frist, and Newt perpetrated petty crimes that attend those with great power, ego, and the machavelian impulses necessary to achieve high office. They're a bunch of bastards who deserve what they got. But you can't compare the magnitude of their crimes to Delay's efforts to institutionally trash our democracy. (Crooks like Cunningham are simply low level guys in the Delay mafia and even they deserve far worse than Frist, Newt, Clinton et al.)

We like to take down the other side's elected representatives with scandals and investigations. It's a dirty proclivity and one that's hard to kick while our leaders are so corrupt. We should take time to acknowledge that while the whole house needs cleaning, there should be a special kind of bipartisan voter wrath reserved for those who find new ways to help lobbyists thwart democracy. Ugh.

Jim Rockford

BB -- Clinton's missteps and mistakes with bin Laden are serious, and deserve criticism. However, they can be understood in context. No one seriously viewed terrorism as a threat to the US and bipartisan policy since Nixon had been to ignore the threat and use "law enforcement" as a model for dealing with it, which clearly did not work. Clinton did not do anything different than Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, or Bush 1. Nor was their strong domestic support in either Party for action to decisively and finally deal with the problem.

In the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing by Al Qaeda Clinton's Ambassador prevented the FBI from pressing the Saudis for rights to question suspects to find links between the Egyptian Islamic Jihad 1993 WTC bombers and the Al Qaeda group, which we now know to exist (because EIJ joined Al Qaeda). Paul O'Neil who led the 1993 WTC investigation for the FBI was so frustrated by Clinton's refusal to stop his Ambassador in Yemen from frankly obstructing the Cole bombing investigation that he resigned to take a job with the Port Authority where he tragically was murdered on 9/11. Clinton refused an offer of bin Laden by the Sudanese because politically he did not want to try bin Laden and Janet Reno was opposed to the deal. Clinton refused as detailed by Scheuer and Clark to kill bin Laden on several occasions for fear of: a. killing a Gulf prince who was visiting bin Laden; b. damaging a mosque and upsetting Muslims; c. fear of killing innocent civilians.

Clinton's impotent (there is no other word for it) missile attacks in Sudan, Afghanistan and Iraq gave pretty much positive proof that the US was a "paper tiger" as bin Laden put it and could be attacked with near impunity. That was a very dangerous course of action to take. I understand in the context of the times when both Parties wanted only to go back to sleep after the long Cold War struggle. But there it is. Iraq? Saddam clearly was not going to moderate his hostility towards us and was our enemy, sheltering 1993 WTC bomber (and still at large fugitive) Abdul Rahman Yassin along with Abu Nidal and various other terrorist nasties who murdered Americans besides his territorial ambitions which put him in direct conflict with us. Clinton blinked and kicked the problem down the road which made us look weak and an easy target.

Hindsight is 20-20, politically there was no appetite for taking measures on either side of the aisle to deal once and for all with bin Laden before he grew into the world-wide threat he is today or taking painful and costly steps to stop Iran's nuclear program, North Korea's, get rid of Saddam, and remove the House of Saud. However, that failure of personal leadership and vision should be something Clinton is judged by just as Bush must also be judged by the same standard (and also found lacking).

I myself supported Clinton's policies and have come to the conclusion I was profoundly wrong. But I understand the environment of the times.

It's worth noting that Bush himself did nothing to respond to the Cole. Only 9/11 shattered the political consensus developed over thirty years. On balance I believe Clinton while not morally pure was a far better President than Jerry Brown would have been, in that he kept the economy going which helped everyone through skillful politics and realistic leadership. Hillary was responsible for the death of Healthcare, because she's a bad politician. But that was the price for Bill's philandering. Everyone knew he fooled around a lot but no one really cared. The 92 elections were about economics and Clinton understood that.

The Central Difference between Bush and Clinton domestically is that Clinton and Bush both had pandering appointments (Reno, Powell) who were not very good at their jobs or outright disasters, and huge amounts of cronyism, but Clinton's appointments though corrupt were often pretty competent.

Bush's appointments are so far not corrupt, but pretty incompetent. Jack Snow vs. Bob Rudin? What the heck does the former head of CSX know about Treasury? Bush has not been linked to shady land deals, corrupt billing practices, or phony cattle futures profits, nor has his appointees been accused of the myriad shady financial dealings ala Charlie Trie and the Chinese PLA, Johnny Huang, etc. Life is a series of trade-offs and on balance Clinton was a better President than either Bush even though his Admin was light years more corrupt.

Richard -- it was not Ralph Nader but gun control that cost Gore the Presidency. Even Gore admits it privately.

Clinton was on balance a good president, the last gasp of the FDR Party as we see Dems transformed into a sad collection of largely irrelevant social causes. I doubt we'll see his like again, sadly.

Reg -- the same lack of ethics on Starr's account which eroded all support for the Prosecutions of Clinton are going to come up with DeLay. We still in this country don't have bills of attainder making people "illegal" and Earle will get the same backlash as Starr. Earle is if anything WORSE than Starr. Making a movie about DeLay's prosecution? That alone is likely to get all charges dropped in a court of law.

天声人語

おい、バンカーバスたー、お前みたい糞虫野郎から「おめだいやつ」って呼ばさせないぞ!死になさいよ!

天声人語

And BTW:

"juvenile ad hominem ad nauseum"

it's ad nauseAm, you pretentious ignoramus ウンコ垂れ!

reg

"Do you think that only candidates anointed by the nation Democrats or Republicans should be allowed?"

What is "allowed" and what a sensible liberal does in the context of electoral politics at the Presidential level, obviously, are two quite different issues. Free speech is "allowed", but that doesn't mean that an idiot like Bill Bennett, for example, can't use their fundamental right unwisely.

Of course Nader made an opportunistic, remarkably poor political decision that cost Gore the election. Not really a debatable issue. No more debatable than the fact that Clinton made a remarkably careless and selfish personal decision that cost the Dems the 2000 election, or that Gore - already faced with his own political limitations, a bad deal handed him by Clinton and Nader's opportunism - made some remarkably poor tactical decisions that probably cost the Dems the 2000 election. Clinton created a tougher electoral terrain than need be, Nader exploited it carelessly and Gore blew some opportunities. Clinton and Nader could have definitely changed the outcome of the election had they shown better, less narcissitic judgement and Gore probably could had he more guts, charisma or skill.

reg

Let's try "...had they shown better, less narcissistic judgement and Gore probably could have, had he more guts, charisma or skill."

Mavis Beacon is right. De Lay's actions are destroying whatever small democracy we have left. The Washington Post noted Monday that the White House and Congress, under the leadership of the now twice-indicted Tom DeLay, blurred "the line between lawmakers and lobbyists so that lobbyists are now considered partners of politicians and not merely pleaders -- especially if they once worked for Republicans on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers-turned-corporate lobbyists... remain among the most influential figures on Capitol Hill -- often more involved than lawmakers in writing policy and plotting political strategy."
The way it goes is lobbyists give corporate money to Delay's group and then get to write the legislation.
Can anything be more corrupt than that?

Also $2 million of corporate money was money laundered by DeLay's national Republican group & then sent back to Texas funding candidates for their state legislature against state law.

By the way, Bush relied on DeLay to
get his legislation passed, so
even if Bush isn't directy involved
with DeLay's corruption, Bush
sure relies on and depends on this
corruption daily.

My question, is Bush the most corrupt president ever? Is Bush more corrupt than Harding who was really really corrupt? I think Bush is like
Harding who didn't directly take
money but Harding appointed his political cronies who took money from people all the time. I mean why
is that total incompenent Michael
Brown still on the government payroll as a consultant to FEMA. Brown couldn't conslut his way out of a paper bag

rosedog

Speaking of the erosion of Democracy, is it just me, or does this AP article strike anyone as....uh....a tad uneasy-making?

BUSH CONSIDERS MILITARY ROLE IN FLU FIGHT

By JENNIFER LOVEN
The Associated Press
Tuesday, October 4, 2005; 7:38 PM

WASHINGTON -- President Bush, stirring debate on the worrisome possibility of a bird flu pandemic, suggested dispatching American troops to enforce quarantines in any areas with outbreaks of the killer virus.

Bush asserted aggressive action could be needed to prevent a potentially crippling U.S. outbreak of a bird flu strain that is sweeping through Asian poultry and causing experts to fear it could become the next deadly pandemic. Citing concern that state and local authorities might be unable to contain and deal with such an outbreak, Bush asked Congress to give him the authority to call in the military....

....Dr. Irwin Redlener, associate dean of Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and director of its National Center for Disaster Preparedness, called the president's suggestion an "extraordinarily draconian measure" that would be unnecessary if the nation had built the capability for rapid vaccine production, ensured a large supply of anti-virals like Tamiflu, and not allowed the degradation of the public health system.

"The translation of this is martial law in the United States," Redlener said...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/04/AR2005100400663.html

*****************

Uh, well, yeah. That'd be martial law, alright.

In the hands of George W. Bush.

richard lo cicero

Well I'm back after fufilling some obligations to complete what I was saying this morning (don't you just hate it when the real world intrudes on your rant time?)

I really couldn't let something that Marc wrote this morning go unrebuted. So Clinton "fucked a little girl". A little Girl? She was 21 years old Marc when she gave the blow job heard round the world. I know this culture of ours has become infantilized but since when isn't that well within the age of consent? When is it Marc? 55? That might suit us AARP types ("kids, whats the matter with kids today?") but I really think people ought to be responsible somewhat earlier. Please don't tell me you're buying Chris Hitchens" allegations. I'll believe him when Achmed Chalibi wins the Nobel Peace Prize with Judy Miller! Somebody already pointed out that the difference with Swaggart (and Newt and Bob Livingston and so many others)is sexual hypocrisy.

As to the notion that Clinton cost Gore the election in 2000 let me just say a few things. First when you have a GOP noise machine allied with a compliant press its no wonder that some might think there was a moral stench. Except they didn't! Look at the polls Marc! Want to bet that Bill would have easily won reelection in 2000? The so-called "Clinton Fatigue" was a product of the DC Kool Kids who never liked Bill because he was smarter than them and had a connection with the people that they didn't. And I'm sorry but Sally Quinn writing that Clinton lowered the tone in Washington? SALLY FUCKING QUINN? Give me a break? Gore's problemwas he was a good little boy who believed this crap and distanced himself so far from Clinton that he could not make the case that he had anything to do with a successful administration. Add to that Ralph Nader's quixotic campaign and all the goo-goos who saw no difference. Well they sure learned didn't they! But you know what? I'll let you in on a little secret. For all of that there is one incontrovertable fact:

GORE WON!

He not only took the poular vote but the newspaper consortium's Florida Recount showed he would have won that state and, therefore, the Presidency. And he would be president now. No Iraq war, No uncontrollable deficit. No Bankruptcy atrocity. No Supreme Court ready to take away your rights.

No I think it is asinine to compare the Clinton misdemeanors with the Bush Felonies. A bunch of con artists told us they would restore "Honor and Integrity" to the White House. Instead they have ushered in an era of cronyism and corruption that would have made Grant or Harding blush. With the exception of Buchanan, the worst President ever!

bunkerbuster

i heard somewhere, NPR?, there's a "draft Gore'' effort out there somewhere. Nice thought, but I wonder if, faced with an actual campaign, Gore would revert to his "old" goo-goo centrism template, or whether he would campaign calling Bush a liar and criminal flat out.

richard lo cicero

And now a few words about Tom DeLay. I really think balancing by damning the Dem's defense of Clinton misses the point. Democrats have had bad apples in Congress go to the pokey - "Rosty" comes to mind. No party has a lock on corrupt pols - Think "Duke" Cunningham. But Tom DeLay is sui generis.

The exterminator/hammer was one of the brains behind the "K-Street Project" which is an attempt to make sure that all major lobbying groups hire and use only Republicans. The "offer you can't refuse"? Hire someone else and watch your legislation go down the drain. When the MPAA hired a Democrat the displeasure of DeLay and company was notable. This is extortion - "That's a nice little trade group youy've got, shame if something happened to it!" And its object is to create a permanant GOP majority allied to the monied interests. There is a word for that but I'll not use that in polite company but Andrew Sullivan used it recently. You could look it up (said by Casey Stengel, not Yogi, Marc)

reg

rlc - Clinton's antics might not have inevitably cost the Dems the 2000 election, but they definitely made Gore's job harder with certain swing voters and were the context of Gore's (bad) decision not to have Bill actively campaign. (Not to mention choosing "Holy Joe", a real dud of a pol, to "balance" the ticket.) Had Clinton avoided the Lewinsky boondoggle, Nader's skimming on the left wouldn't have had a determining negative effect in the Florida mess. And while Gore "won", he didn't win - so the focus that I'm seeing here is where did the liberal players fuck up, not how fucked is the Supreme Court, Katherine Harris, etc. etc. Plenty of blame among "our guys" for a bizarre debacle that could have been avoided if any one of the three leading liberals involved had behaved better or smarter.

Marc Cooper

RLC: Stengel, Berra, at least the same team!

As to Clinton and the "little girl." Certainly age 21 is legal. But are you denying the real world dynamcis that are the very definition of sexual harassment? When a an older boss has sex with a younger employee, in this case the President and an intern less than half his age. That may indeed be legal. But do u honestly think that fairly sums up the nature of the relationship? Surely you are kidding.
Especially once we know this man's history of abusing his power to engage in these affairs. Remember that Gennifer Flowers was given a plum state job because she was the Guv;s paramour. Paula Jones was brought to the Guvnor by his troopers. And of course, even UN Ambassador Bill Richardson was brought in to try and give Monica a hush-job.

There is no possible defense of Clinton. Ur only weak feeble attempt is to invent a straw man--- saying that his offenses are somehow being equated (by me) to Bush's.

No. That's not what I said. What I said is that in both cases the partisan defenders of each creep find ways to rationalize away everything. The "defense" of Clinton on this baord has only proven my point. Several times over.

P.S. Let me say in passing, if Monica had been my daughter, I would have jumped in the car, found this schmuck named Bill, and punched out his lights.

bunkerbuster

``if Monica had been my daughter, I would have jumped in the car, found this schmuck named Bill, and punched out his lights.''

LOL!! now we're into sexist macho insecurity. pathetic...

reg

It's pretty obvious that Lewinsky was a canny, scheming seductress and Clinton was her target. Frankly, Marc, I think your characterization of her borders on the absurd and the primary responsibility of her father, or anyone else who cared about her, was to sit her down and try to have a long talk with her about inappropriate behavior with married men. Clinton isn't innocent in this scenario, but I think you have a remarkably unbalanced view of the power relationship here. There is absolutely no evidence that Clinton harrassed or coerced Lewinsky and considerable evidence that she had him in her sights. Twenty-one year old "girls" can wield considerable power over weak-willed, narcissistic middle-aged men.

marky48

Marc,Monica was a serial crotch-hunter.

bunkerbuster

Marc wrote: ``Not that the GOP has any monopoly on this sort of hypocrisy. Democrats are just as adept; millions of them spent the last two years of the Clinton administration rationalizing away Big Bill’s sleaze.''

``Just as adept.''

So how is it now a strawman to say that Marc claims Clinton's BJ coverup was somehow equivalent to Bush's lies.

Marc subsequently agreed that Bush's lies are felonies to Clinton's misdemeanors, but I think he should acknowledge that his "just as adept" formulation left the door wide open for misinterpretation.

Jim Russell

BB, Clearly you have no daughter, or certainly one old enough to be preyed upon by a powerful old man and left her and her family name equated to what he got from her. Pathetic.

At long last have you no sense when it is time to just shut the F up!

Marc Cooper

Reg.. let me see if I got this right... JFK was able to resisit the entreaties of his own military and hard line advisors as well as stand firm in the brinksmanship with Kruschev to avoid nuclear war over Cuba... but Bill Clinton could not resisit the wiles of a 21 year old 'ho and was willing to risk all of the political capital invested him by 10 millions of Democrats! Standing up to Saddam is one thing, but of that thong! Now tell me, did Syd Blumenthal coach you on those lines, or did u make them up all by yourself?

If in fact, you are right.. and Bill and his pecker were rendered seneless by the comely Ms Lew, than all I can say is thank God such a self-centered, mindless, will-less, frivolous man is no longer able to access the nuclear button. What a concept... Clinton as victim of his INTERN!

Let me tell you something as a FATHER.... Lewinsky may be a gold-digging, overweight, easy to mock skank. But make no mistake... she is the victim here. And she will pay dearly the rest of her life, while CLinton (who got disbarred over this) will sell books and $200,000 a pop speeches.

It is ipso facto absurd to characterize the power relationship between Clinton and Lewinsky as anything less than about 1000 to 1.

I cant believe you're off on this crap Reg. Should Mr. Lewinsky have also sat down his daughter and told her not to wear thongs or short skirts because some other weak-willed narcicisstic man might be tempted to rape her? Or as Marky48 says, to my horror, that SHE was the "serial crotch-hunter?"
I dont care if she was School Whore, she'd need another thirty years of sleeping around to even achieve half of scum-bag Clinton's crotch-hunting. The 21 year old intern is a crotch hunter and the 50 year old President of the United States is just a weak-willed middle-aged man? I finally get it. (And Tom DeLay is just an aggressive advocate who pushes but doesnt break the rules!)

You guys need a shock Feminist Consciousness treatment! I dont know whether to laugh out loud or to wretch.

I can tell you as a lowly college adjunct prof that I measure and monitor every movement and every conversation and contact with my female grad students (all over 21) to make sure they do not feel intimidated or coerced or manipulated or harrassed by the measly power I exercise over them. Guess Im lucky (or is it unlucky) that none of them are "serial crotch-hunters." Jesus, how disgusting.

Bunkerbuster: I have decided to not click you off from this website only because with each post you demonstrate a flagrant and rather amusing ignorance. "Just as adept" you bet, mofo. I certainly did say that democrats and republicans are equally adept at going into denial over the sins and omissions of their respective party "leaders." you have proven that point about ten times in this thread, thank you. How you think that phrase equates the errors of Bush and Clinton is beyond me. If it makes you feel better to keep putting words in my mouth, even as I clearly define and clarify what I meant... by all means go ahead. If you continue at this pace, I will be forced, however, to send you the private email Im getting about you... You've become quite a little sideshow! Sort of like the bearded lady--or the man with no head. In the meantime, I suggest you invest in a football helmet and some ear plugs because you have clearly been in one busted bunker too many... what a trip you are!

bunkerbuster

Marc: if my posts are so ignorant and amusing, why not simply debunk them as I and others have of yours?

Your heavy reliance on ad hominem surely leads some readers to believe it's all you've got.

And for the record, I am not in denial about anything Clinton did.

My point has been that you have exaggerated his transgressions, failed to put his presidency into historical and political context and refuse to measure his weaknesses against his strengths.

And you really give your game away by declaring that you ``decided'' not to kick me off the web site.

We now have it in your own hand that, while you feel free to drool goober after goober of juvenile insult and bargain basement belittlement, when someone responds, you feel justified to "click them off the web site.'' What's worse, the small mindedness this shows or your compulsion to brag about it?

richard lo cicero

Marc, JFK may had stood up to mr K but I really think his history of "standing up" to attractive women is not where you want to go. And I don't think they were all his age either!

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