Sunday, December 05, 2004

I have a question that's been weighing heavily on my mind for a while now. Unfortunately, I'll never know the real answer, and I likely won't understand at all any explanations that I'm given.

But here's the question: Why is Bill Clinton still afforded revered status by Democrats?

The Democratic party has suffered one resounding defeat after another since the day Clinton waltzed into the Oval Office. The ONLY people to benefit from Clinton's presidency have been Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton. Yes, he managed to win reelection (by fewer votes than Bush enjoyed in his reelection), but he spent his second term with a Congress that he handed back to the Republicans.

It seems that he's regarded as a genius, but his only real genius is in self-promotion. In retrospect he accomplished little in his tenure other than to burst the Reagan economic bubble, present us with the largest tax increase in history and get a few bills passed which were long in style and short in substance. Midnight basketball, anyone?

To give him some credit, in between photo ops and podium thumping speeches, he did manage to score an intern and get some unusual cigar action.

I'm told that Bill is incredibly intelligent (but so what, if it's an undisciplined intellect?). If he was, indeed, one of our most intelligent presidents, he shares honors with Richard Nixon. Nixon was one of the top three presidents in IQ, but is reviled because he resigned in disgrace--a step Clinton would have taken in he had any honor whatsoever. Nevermind that Nixon got us out of an unpopular war which his Democrat predecessor had gotten us neck-deep into.

Remember the "crime bill"? The Republicans voted to extend debate on the bill for a few more days. It's Republican trait to want to understand things before we vote on them. Knee-jerk emotional decisions are Democrat territory. At any rate, it was voted to extend debate. The bill wasn't voted down. Clinton appeared on TV, chewed his bottom lip for a while and pounded the podium as though he expected to drive it into the stage. He had a figure, I don't know how it was derived, but he announced that "X" number of children would die every day that the bill languished in Congress. Thoroughly cowed, the Republicans rushed back to DC and immediately passed the bill. Clinton took that opportunity to take a vacation on Martha's Vineyard, staying at the home of yet another wealthy Friend of Bill. The "crime bill" laid on his desk, waiting for his signature, for another week while he yucked it up in Martha's Vineyard. Wonder how many children died that week...

I digress a bit. Some of the above are my own reasons for relegating the Clinton presidency to the executive dustbin. But the original question remains. Clinton has led a period of time which is historic in the defeats that the Democratic Party has suffered. Simply put, he's the worst thing that has happened to the party in decades. Possibly ever. Yet he remains revered.

I'm utterly baffled.

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