Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Will the real Bill Clinton please stand up. 

Further thoughts on the loyalties of Bill Clinton. I could see that he would lend much hope and enthusiasm to the thought of Hillary winning the White House in 2008. However, there may not be the 2008 that he dreams of, in quite the way he dreams of it, if Bush wins re-election.

I also have to wonder, though it is still early, why we don't see Clinton encouraging the current crop of democratic candidates?

Why don't we hear Clinton stressing the importance of trust, in terms of the presidency? Well, I guess I might have answered my question on that issue.

Not that Clinton hasn't criticized this administration.

In April, he criticized Bush's foreign policy, in essence, taking on our tendency to snub our nose at our detractors these days.:

Our paradigm now seems to be, something terrible happened to us on September 11, and that gives us the right to interpret all future events in a way that everyone else in the world must agree with us. And if they don't, they can go straight to hell," Clinton was quoted as saying in a Tuesday AFP report.

Clinton also went on to declare that "you cannot kill, jail or occupy all of your adversaries, sooner or later you're going to have to make a deal." The report also noted that Clinton had suggested the administration was unable to balance foreign and domestic issues, and that the White House had overreacted to French and German opposition to the war.

Clinton, in July of 2002, criticized Bush for trying to pin the corporate malfeasance issue on his two terms in office. He threw a jab in at Bush's Middle East Policy as well:

Clinton said Republicans on Capitol Hill had impeded his proposals for protecting investors. Referring to Bush, Clinton said, "There was corporate malfeasance both before he took office and after. The difference is I actually tried to do something about it, and their party stopped it."

In April, Bush said that Clinton's failed efforts at peacemaking had resulted in more Palestinian violence. In the interview, Clinton criticized Bush's initial disengagement from the Middle East. "I think it was a mistake to get out for a year," he said. "The important thing is that, right now, that they be involved. I always thought that Secretary [of State Colin L.] Powell wanted to do that."

In February of 2003, Clinton criticizes the tax cuts and our decision to not allow the inspectors in Iraq more time:

Clinton said President Bush "deserves a lot of credit for saying we can't just ignore (Saddam's defiance of United Nations resolutions) forever." But he said the United States should give inspectors "a little more time" to look for weapons of mass destruction if that might persuade France, Germany and Russia to support military action to disarm Iraq...

...Saying he would get political on only one issue, Clinton said the 2001 tax cuts were a bad mistake. He said the latest tax cuts proposed by Bush would compromise America's goals of making this country and the world better.

"We cannot meet these commitments and keep giving tax cuts to people of my income bracket," he said.

In an interview with the Guardian.co.uk, he seems to support Blair and Bush, particularly Blair, in their efforts to gather the international community in support of the war, in an article titled Trust Tony's Judgement:

I wish that Russia and France had supported Blair's resolution. Then, Hans Blix and his inspectors would have been given more time and supprt for their work. But that's not where we are. Blair is in a position not of his own making, because Iraq and other nations were unwilling to follow the logic of 1441.

In the post-cold war world, America and Britain have been in tough positions before: in 1998, when others wanted to lift sanctions on Iraq and we said no; in 1999 when we went into Kosovo to stop ethnic cleansing. In each case, there were voices of dissent. But the British-American partnership and the progress of the world were preserved. Now in another difficult spot, Prime Minister Blair will have to do what he believes to be right. I trust him to do that and hope that Labor MPs and the British people will too.

And I know a good, used car salesman. If I could see the hype in Tony Blair's rhetoric...perhaps Clinton suffers from a case of over-identification with those now in power, as though he were the one still making the decisions.

Here, you wish Bill Clinton had kept his mouth shut. I'm also convinced he's living in a parallel universe of some sort, in which he see events through the rosy glow of his own glasses:

I thought the White House did the right thing in just saying 'we probably shouldn't have said that,' " Clinton told CNN's Larry King in a phone interview Tuesday evening.

"You know, everybody makes mistakes when they are president," Clinton said. "I mean, you can't make as many calls as you have to make without messing up once in awhile. The thing we ought to be focused on is what is the right thing to do now. That's what I think."

What he seems to gloss over, is that we are dealing with intelligence exaggeration, even possibly falsification, throughout the administration's rationals for this war. This is war, for the soul of the country, and Clinton wants to forgive an exaggeration or two, that led to the deaths of thousands of innocents.

What Las Vegas world is he living in?

Then I have to wonder if he isn't withholding harsh criticism of the band of thugs running the White House, in hopes for a Hillary run for the White House in 2008:

Bill Clinton: Not If, but When for Hillary Run
Phil Brennan, NewsMax.com
Sunday, Aug. 18, 2002
Former president Bill Clinton has confirmed NewsMax.com's exclusive reports that his wife is hot on the trail to the White House.
Clinton speaks about his wife's run for the presidency as a matter of "when," not "if," say people who have discussed it with him, according to Associated Press reporter Ron Fournier. And several of her associates said she is eyeing 2008 as the year to run.

And the senator is wasting no time gearing up for a run to take her husband's former job in the White House Fournier writes, revealing that she's been busy trying to play down her image as a flaming liberal, hitting out at President Bush, and going to the aid of fellow Democrats who will be in her debt and obliged to come to her aid when she makes her bid for a White House run in 2004 or 2008.

At the moment it seems to be 2008, if, that is, she honors her pledge to serve out her six-year senatorial term which ends in 2006.

"I have no plans to run for president," she told Fournier with what we assume was a straight face during a telephone interview.

Everything she's doing, however, betrays her claim that she is not running hard for the White House and the chance to be America's first woman president. Fournier listed her actions in this regard:

She's given almost "$600,000 to 73 Democratic candidates across the country through her political action committee (PAC) and has raised even more money by headlining fundraisers.

She lent a helping hand to candidates in key early presidential primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire. Her PAC has given about $15,000 to New Hampshire candidates in tight races and about $21,000 to those in Iowa
She also attended a fundraiser in February for Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and helped raise $20,000 at a New York fundraiser for New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, who is running for the Senate, according to Fournier. Moreover, on Sept. 18 she'll stage a fundraiser at her Washington residence for Julie Thomas, a congressional candidate from Iowa.

She's vigorously defended her husband's largely indefensible record as president in the face of attacks from Republicans, at the same time sharpening her criticism of President Bush.

She wooed the party's moderate wing by giving a keynote speech to the so-called "centrist" Democratic Leadership Council.

She has sided with Republicans or centrist Democrats on bankruptcy, welfare and anti-Hollywood legislation.
"It used to be that Democrats came to Washington hoping to work for Ted Kennedy," Donna Brazile, Al Gore's campaign manager told Fournier. "Now they want to earn their stripes with Hillary."

Funny, but Ted Kennedy seems more aware of the relevance of the seriousness of the mess we're in as a result of this war, than Bill Clinton. Clinton appears to greatly underestimate the importance of trust between the president and the rest of the country. It appears Bush can't be believed when it comes to the intelligence used to justify the war. Isn't this important, and not just a minor matter of making a mistake with 16 words?