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Tuesday, October 04, 2005



When I see those pix of DeLay, it's almost enough to make me question the theory of evolution.

Also, picking a nit, the Somalia intervention wasn't Clinton's but W's dad. Clinton inherited it.


Clinton's lying about a blow job, even if it took place in sex harassment court case, is not comparable to Bush's lying to start a war, to help drug companies boost profits at the government's expense, to protect energy companies from environmental regulations and to protect his "brain trust'' from the legal and political consequences of outing Valerie Plame.

What are the motives of people who present these lying incidents completely outside of their historical, moral and political contexts in an attempt to blur those rather large distinctions?

Josh Legere

Bunkerbuster - You Clintonoids MUST stop defending the guy, you only open up the flood gates for the same kind of rationalization by Delays fans.

I can't wait to read this board a day from now. All of the excuses by Republicans. "innocent until guilty, he can get charged but conviction will be impossible, etc..."

Bring it on. Bring on the fun.

Marc Cooper

BB: What Bill Clinton lied about is indeed not comparable to some of the things Bush lied about. I would think that is obvious.

But AT THE TIME Clinton got caught fucking a little girl (under color of authority by the way) that was not the debate. What a spectacle! Feminists (Democratic Party feminists) and PC Liberals of every stripe defending, as you did just now, a most powerful man lying in sworn testimony as a defendant in a sex harrassment case. Would that have been your position if Clinton had been a Christian Conservative? Like, who gives a fuck? It's just a sex harrassment case. Everybody lies. Who gives a shit if he's lying, even if this is the only legal recourse women have when they're being abused???

Give me a fucking break. Democrats would have BEEN hysterical if Clinton had been a Republican. And the same NOW feminists who were politicalll fellating Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal would have been screaming -- if he were a Republican-- that his lying under those circumstances was some sort of "assault against all women." LOL! Out would have rolled Reverend Jackson to piously ask this abuser of women to step down. As it was, if you care to remember, on the very same day Clinton intiated Operation Desert Fox (i.e. the unprovoked, unilateral mass bombing of Iraq), the Reverend and a gaggle of other dopey liberals indeed came out to walk in a prayer circle in Washington -- to defend Bill Clinton! What a disgusting, nauseating and revealing sight!

Of course, the ultimate betrayal Clinton committed was not or Hillary, but of the 100 million saps who voted for him.
Here they were -- fighting a Republican Right that precisely was using moral and family values as a bludgeon to gain power-- and that douchebag of a President couldnt exercise enough disicpline, for the common good of the country, to keep his pecker in his pants. Some guy!

Everytime you gag looking at Bush, remember how he got there. You can thank the Dems who didnt have the integrity to force this guy to resign in 1998 as soon as his stomach-turning grand jury testimony became public. If had stepped down, admitting his betrayal of his own constituencies, and let Gore succeed him, you'd have never heard of GW BUsh after Nov 4 2000.

Now you can only claim your liar is a little better than theirs. Pathetic, man.

Dan O

Yeah I don't get the obsession with Clinton. Despite his rhetoric he was exceptionally conservative, at times manuevering to the right of Nixon. He sold out labor with NAFTA, he took a dive on legitimating gay service in the military, he fumbled health care because he was taking care of his industry pals, he ignored the poor and fed the bottom most safety net to the Republicans, he finally did the right thing in Kosovo, but then could only be persuaded to bomb them for a month rather than actually end the genocide when it was happening, he was fully aware of what was happening in Rwanda and let it go on, he expanded the Federal death penalty. In all these cases we had to listen to his obsequious pouting-lip rhetoric falsely claiming he was doing the opposite of what he was actually doing--what has come to be known as triangulation, and which some people call lying. The guy was brilliant at politcs, it just would have been nice if he had brought a few principles along for the ride.

Let's face it, he was the architect of the eclipse of the Democratic party. In pursuit of his personal successes he eviscerated the base of the Democratic party so that it's core issue of economic fairness can't even be on the table any longer. We finally have in reality Gore Vidal's quip that there are only two wings of the business party. Clinton's personal success and survival is all that mattered to him. We got some more national parks and Maya Angelou reading poetry. In the mean time the Democratic base got outsourced and downsized, and sold out to DLC. It would have been better for the Democrats if Bush Sr. had been re-elected. At least the knife wouldn't have come in the back.

Let's forget this guy. Sadly though, Hilary is cut from precisely the same cloth, and if she is elected President you should just expect more of the same. When are we going to get a party with some vertebrates? And this defending Clinton business is just partisan to me. Either their are standards or there are not. He deserves criticism for his actions public and personal. DeLay is a venal criminal; that doesn't mean Clinton isn't.

Marc Cooper

That's a four-bagger Dan O!


Marc's recalcitrant, if superficial, dualism here isn't helpful. One can condemn Clinton's lies without suggesting they are in the same league with Bush's. Pointing out distinctions between the two is not the same as apologizing for Clinton.

More important, Marc's notion that Bush won because Clinton was livin' libido loco is at odds with a few facts: firstly, Clinton's popularity ROSE after the Lewinsky scandal and impeachment. I don't think I'm going out on a limb here to suggest that that was because the America public by and large forgave Clinton for the BJ and appreciated his results on issues that actually affected their lives.

Secondly, until the final days of the 2000 campaign (when it was too late) Al Gore declined to associate himself with Clinton. He declined Clinton's offers to campaign for him and only rarely even mentioned Bill Clinton's name in stump speeches. Gore did this because he too was spun up by scandalized journalists and others who were understandably disappointed by Clinton's inability to check his sex drive or to accept the consequences for it in a straightforward way. I'm not sure, but I believe Gore has admitted it was a mistake not to have Clinton fully on board for the campaign. Nonetheless, it's arguable that Gore, not Clinton, is responsible for Gore's loss to George W. Bush, the weakest candidate the GOP has run in our lifetime.

Marc writes: `` Would that have been your position if Clinton had been a Christian Conservative?''

Of course not, the Jimmy Swaggerts and Jim Bakkers of America go around preaching that people who have sex outside marriage may burn in hell. So when they are caught with their dicks in an intern's mouth, the moral and political contexts are different from the Clinton scenario.

Marc Cooper

BB: Ur hopeless, pal. Clinton gained popularity among DEMOCRATS after his debacle. His general unfavorability ratings soared after '98.

You also conveniently forget that stumble-bum Clinton approved a whole packet of morality-based legislation. Can we start with his law that linked welfare payments (what were left of them after he abolished AFDC in '96) to unmarried women became linked to verifying they were not living with a man? And you don't recall that the reason Clinton was forced to answer all those "witch hunt" sex based questions in the Paula Jones case because of a law HE insisted on that opened up the sexual history of sex harrassment defendants.

You have GOT to be kidding when u assert that Clinton didnt use every pro-religious tact in the book in which to clothe his threadbare politics.

Get a grip BB. I thought you were some sort of fire-breathing radical. But now ur sounding like one more of the soft-headed saps who nosed Lewinsky out of the way to kiss Clinton's ass. Another glass of Klinton Kool-Aid to wash away the taste?


Let's try a few facts:
1. Clinton did not abolish AFDC, he merely reformed it.
2. The prohibition against live-in men to welfare recipients isn't "morality" based legislation. It's an attempt to prevent abuses by men, not to put the government in the business of regulating sex.
3. Neither is a law that mandates "opening up" the history of sex harrassment defendents "morality" based. That is, rather, an issue of workplace safety, not sexual morality. What are Marc's motives in trying to describe these as "a whole packed of morality-based legislation?''


Marc writes: ``You have GOT to be kidding when u assert that Clinton didnt use every pro-religious tact in the book in which to clothe his threadbare politics.''

Hmmm. don't see where anyone has made that assertion. Maybe Marc got that from the same place he found the "whole packet of morality-based legislation,'' the master stash of Iraqi WMDs and the account of the abolishment of AFDC.

Marc Cooper

BB: u tire me with ur insistent fantasies. But let's be clear about one FACT. One the eve of the 1996 Democratic Convention, Bill Clinton signed the "welfare reform" bill that ABOLISHED AFDC. It completely swept away the FEDERAL program established during the New Deal, implementing a fully Republican legislative measure. The abolition of AFDC turned federal welfare funds into BLOCK grants to the states... that meant (and means) that each state was given a fixed amount of money, period, and if it wasnt enough to cover everyone in need, well, then tough titty. You also might remember that the same Clinton bill imposed punitive and completely unrealistic and unfunded welfare-to-work mandates that were a long-time favorite of the Right.
As Yogi Berra said, you can look it up. But be careful, as the facts might get in ur way.

Dan O


I'm gonna jump in with a fact, "The bill replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) with block grants to the states, or Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF). People were required to find employment as quickly as possible or be placed in unpaid jobs for 20 hours per week in order to receive assistance (Dollars and Sense, 1/99). If families did not comply with the welfare rules, they would lose all or part of their assistance." This refers to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act that Clinton went with in 1996.

I think you're on loose ground trying to defend Clinton's record.


The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program was created by the Welfare Reform Law of 1996 and replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).

Like I said, Clinton reformed AFDC. If you want to claim he abolished it, you're wasting your time lost in a meaningless semantic debate. The facts are clear: families with dependent children are still eligible for aid and the program has been reformed and renamed, not eliminated.

Marc Cooper

Thanks for the assist Dan O. I actually was out getting paid to accurately report this stuff on Clinton (rather than making up shit) but frankly I now find it far too wearisome to start looking up the links. SO again, thanks.
I love BB's fulminations, I ough to be paying him for so much amusement. It feeds right into my curiousity about a new breed of Internet Radical... it's an odd fusion of militant-sounding radicalism and total Democratic hackery. They pose as revolutionaries but in the end are toadies for the Corporate Democrats. Lovely!

I also love the insinuations about my "motivation" along with such gloriously constructed innuendo: criticizing clinton = apologizing for bush= pretending there really were wmd's! Fantastic. Straight out of the Stalin School of Falsification: "Isn't it true, Comrade Trotsky, that even as you were building the Red Army and leading the Bolshevik troops against the White Armies you were, in reality, an agent of the Kaiser's regime?" LOL.

I confess BB! I Confess! I criticize Clinton because I secretly want to bolster Bush. You got me, you genius! Now go to bed, wouldya?

Dan O


I think you're missing the point, and it seems you're willfully missing it. It's not the same, it's not just a name, and it's not reform, it's the abandonment of safety net support that has been expanding in limited form since the New Deal. The new bill is a hard cutoff, something not seen since before 1939 when there was no Federal aid of this kind to the poor. In short, Clinton dismantled a key part of the New Deal reforms designed to help the poor and the destitute. If that's reform you can keep it, but I suspect you are unpersuadable as important and telling facts turn into "semantics," which they decidedly are not.

Marc Cooper

Oh No.. just when I thought I could go to bed, BB draws me back in. Hey, BB, did u hear the man? CLinton reformed AFDC by replacing with Block Grants. Apparently you dont know what they are. They mean that some families that used to get welfare didnt get it anymore. DId you hear that part about work rules? It meant that some families who used to get welfare didnt get it anymore because pinhead Clinton imposed work rules that could not be achieved. I wrote a long piece for the Village Voice about these folks getting churned out of the system by your Hero Clinton. Funny thing, those welfare moms I met in Milwaukee who had been left destitute by this nifty little reform didnt quite agree with your willfully ignorant view of Big Bill.
May I suggest you READ about stuff before mouthing off?


Like I said, Clinton reformed welfare, he didn't abolish it. It still exists. Poor families still get assistance paid for out of the federal budget.

It is certainly worthwhile to discuss whether the reforms produced the desired outcome of reduced welfare dependence and continued help to families that really need it, but I don't think it's helpful to assume that any change, even a drastic one, is necessarily bad.

To be honest, I don't know whether the reforms were good for the country and the economy. If Marc and Dan O think they were bad or wrong, perhaps they'll see fit to explain how and why.

But I do know that describing the reforms as the "abolishment" of AFDC is misleading.

As for Marc's fevered characterizations of my political stances: He could make it a lot easier on himself by refraining from them. They don't become him at all.



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天声人語 は おめでたいやつだ!!

Jim Rockford

Marc and David --

I think you do Clinton a disservice. While certainly not without flaws or considerable baggage, and unable to keep his appetites under control, Clinton DOES IMHO deserve credit for understanding that his job as both Party Leader and President was to keep public safety under control and a booming economy going. Yes NAFTA was a disgrace, Rwanda and Kosovo also, and let's not forget his failure to act against bin Laden or his run-away strategy in Mogadishu that encouraged bin Laden to attack. However Clinton's domestic genius was to realize that a booming economy and tight labor market was a better option than permanent welfare for poor people. Many poor people had better lives cause they moved out of poverty through Clinton's economic policies. His failure as a husband and father must be measured against this massive and remarkable peace-time labor market expansion. I profoundly disagree with Clinton as eviscerating the Democratic Party, he IMHO revitalized it with the emphasis for the first time on economic growth in wages. Clinton believed as I believe that the best welfare program is a well-paying job and made that happen. I'm proud to have voted for him twice.

[I cannot disagree Marc with your comments about the political reaction to Clinton's sexual misconduct, however I disagree completely with Desert Fox which was IMHO justified by Saddam's violation of the cease-fire agreement and kicking the WMD inspectors out after he'd been caught concealing the extent of his Nuke, Missile, and biochemical programs. Clinton as usual did the absolute min in response to foreign threats and kicked the problem down the road. See bin Laden, North Korea, Iran, etc]

I agree with the political cost of Clinton's scandals, but will point out that though Bush's Administration has been marked by cronyism, so far no one has been indicted, which is not the case for Clinton's Admin. Tom DeLay and Bill Frist are well, LEGISLATIVE leaders. Bush HAS mostly kept a clean Admin, no Whitewater or Cattle Futures or Web Hubbell problems. No Ron Brown problems, etc. Guys like Kerik are quickly booted from nominations. I'd further agree that BB is correct, Gore ran against the weakest GOP candidate in generations and lost due to being, well Al Gore.

You're also ignoring the Ronnie Earle problem. He's known to indict political enemies (Bob Bullock against ally Ann Richards, rival Jim Mattox, and Kay Bailey Hutchinson). His record in those cases: all dismissed or losses. In addition, he's making a movie about his attempt to convict DeLay, which raises serious questions about fairness and publicity seeking. He's also made political statements about the case to political fundraising meetings of Texas Democrats; which also raises serious questions. Even that Right-Wing Rag the WaPo had serious concerns about Earle's pursuit of the case in light of his conduct. Earle should recuse himself but won't.

NY State's AG Eliot Spitzer on the market timing issue (cases dropped for firms contributions to the AG's cause) and many other cases shows the danger, in that the DA can be seen as a political extortionist or publicity hound if pursuit of the cameras goes too far.

NYT Sunday Magazine says "Spitzerism" is what's needed for Dems (IMHO it's a disaster):

"Attorneys general are, by definition, law enforcers. But Spitzer expands this template: he casts himself not just as an enforcer of the law per se, but also as an enforcer of a broader social compact between ordinary people and large institutions like government and business."

Social compact? That's for politics IMHO not the law. Most Americans I'd argue would agree. That's why you have elections. Not trials. This sounds awfully like Earle's description of himself as "holistic" DA and his refusal btw to the anger of the local NAACP to file against the Austin PD for deaths in custody of African Americans.

The re-indictment was because the statute of limitations was about to run out (sloppy lawyering). The laws under which DeLay is indicted may or may not apply to the 2002 election in question because they were amended a year later in 2003 to make the conduct a felony. Earle has said DeLay is part of a criminal conspiracy even though each act was legal in and of itself (and Dems have done the exact same thing, raise money from corporations, donate that money into the DNC, and transfer the exact same amount from the DNC to local Texas PACs). Tellingly, Earle has NOT INDICTED the Corporations that donated to the National RNC. Nor ANYONE in the RNC. A similar lawsuit was thrown out in MN.

That to me says Earle knows he won't win. DeLay without question did the things he is alleged to have done. If it's a violation of the law is another thing entirely, and given that Earle has not filed on Dems who did the exact same thing nor the Companies that gave money the chances of winning in court given the irregularities are IMHO not great. That matches Earle's record too btw.

I am not a fan of campaign finance laws the way they are structured generally (and particularly McCain-Feingold). Full disclosure rather than a Canute like attempt to keep money out seems the way to go. To me Spitzerism is dangerous when the law merely becomes a partisan tool to pursue enemies and the Party is seen abusing that law for that very purpose. Republicans paid the price for overly-politicizing the Independent Counsel and Ken Starr's non-stop attempt to get Bill Clinton (that's what Spitzerism is IMHO). Clinton lost his law license under his perjury plea, but not his office and that sounds about right to me. Nancy Pelosi was fined for the same behavior as DeLay, and so likely will be with Harry Reid.

Don't forget that Ronnie Earle indicted Texas AG Mattox under campaign finance violations and saw Mattox acquitted on all charges. He dropped the charges against Hutchinson right before trial. That hardly inspires confidence.

I believe Rahm Emmanuel's prescription for universal College and health insurance is the right way to go and winning politics. Not this circus but that's just me. Sorry for the length of the post but Bill Clinton IMHO deserves a defense. On balance a good though not great President.


Most JR's bill of goods on Clinton is bogus--a collection of exaggerations, misrepresentations and outright fabrications--but the part that is most in need of easy debunking is: ``and let's not forget his failure to act against bin Laden''

Clinton captured, tried, convicted and imprisoned those responsible for the 1993 WTC bombing. Ramzi Yousef, Abdul Hakim Murad and Whil Khan Amin Shah are still behind bars and have confessed to involvement in plots to blow up 12 airliners, an attack directly thwarted by the Clinton team.

Clinton tripled the FBI's counterterrorism budget and doubled counterterror funding overall. The administration sponsored a series of simulations to see how local, state and federal officials should coordinate responses to a terror attack. (I don't know, but I have a feeling his college buddy's roommates were not in charge.)

In 1998, Clinton ordered tomahawk missile attacks in Sudan and Afghanistan after Al Qaeda attacks in Kenya and Tanzania. I disagreed with those attacks and still do, and history shows they failed to deter further attacks and, most likely, only served as good PR for Al Qaeda in the region and elsewhere. But the fact is, Clinton did respond to the attacks. After them, he also issued presidential authorization for Osama bin Laden's assassination. If JR wants to argue that Clinton should have ordered an invasion of Iraq in response to AQ's attacks, he's free to do that, but he can't credibly say Clinton did "nothing."

As for the claptrap on welfare: indeed, the devil's in the details. I think we can all agree that the government serves its citizens by helping people who can't help themselves. The consensus supporting that is broad and deep, though has been eroding in recent decades. Surely, the most interesting discussion is how to provide that support most efficiently and with the minimum of unintended consequences like dependency and disincentive to work.

Maybe the Clinton/GOP welfare reform did not achieve those goals, but I don't think it makes me a mindless Clinton-worshipper to say that his track record on other issues convinces me that it was probably the best doable deal at the time and was better than doing nothing about welfare...

Abbas-Ali Abadani

bb, you don't need to respond to Rockford with a serious post. It's just not worth it.

Marc, this is probably the first time in about a month that I can say this but I agree with every word of your initial post, as well as your replies to bb.

Especially that third post in the comments section.

Clinton has become an icon for a whole lot of people who really should know better.

And bb, the draconian anti-terrorism legislation that Clinton passed in the wake of OKC helped pave the way for the Patriot Act and Ashcroft's reign. He also signed into law more executive orders than any other president in history (I think, more than any two presidents combined, actually). As far as taking us down the road to a police state, eviscerating the constitution and the bill of rights, constructing more prisons (while at the same time privatizing many already existing prisons) Clinton was **the worst president ever** ... until Dubya came along.

Before you come to Clinton's defense every time someone voices any uncomfortable truths about him and his legacy, you should really read James Bovard's "Feeling Your Pain: The Explosion and Abuse of Government Power in the Clinton-Gore Years".


I also recommend Hitch's "No One Left To Lie To", which Marc has conveniently placed an Amazon link to in the margins of his blog.


It's funny...DeLay is such a transparently sleazy, politically rabid, unloved - but ultimately boring - little shit that the guy who's been out of office for nearly five years is still a more compelling figure to argue over.

Abbas-Ali Abadani

With regards to DeLay, maybe now that he's out of work he finally will make aliyah.


Jim Russell

If it were not for the FECkless gov't agency we pay for(what's new, eh) to enforce campaign law, then it would not be necessary for states to do it for FEC. We know it is politics that keeps the FEC impotent. Niether side wants their campaign financing looked at, so FEC is just a fake store front.

I don't care if this indictment is partisan or not. If it takes partisan political fighting to point out and prosecute each others law breaking, and other shady dealings, then what is wrong with that from the people's point of view??

Nothing. So let's stop being partisan ourselves and cheer along this indictment, or at least stop attacking the messenger. Let's not forget the Texas DA didn't indict Delay, a Texas Grand Jury made of ordinary people like you and I, did.

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