Sunday, September 24, 2006

Bill Clinton Embarrasses Fox News Host

I look back on the Clinton presidency as a pretty good time for most Americans, although we saw the Gingrich Revolution and the impeachment and all the rest. That was tawdry and truly harmed our democracy, but it was nothing compared to lying and torture and invasions and huge catastrophes that shake our convictions to the core. I would eagerly go back to partisan witch-hunting and abuses of power on the 1990s scale, because sex scandals are preferable to war profiteering and a conspiratorial lack of oversight.

I don't think, in retrospect, Clinton did a ton of great things as president. From 1992 to 1994 he had a Democratic Congress to pass more or less whatever legislation he wanted and the chance fizzled. He's a very good speaker, and I believe he's sincere in his convictions, but he made a huge hash of the response to the Cole bombing -- attacking a Sudanese pharmacy? -- and seemed to be too interested in tinkering at the margins rather than taking on Republicans full force on big policy issues.

That having been said, watching him run circles around Chris Wallace on Fox Sunday Morning just made me think a lot more of him.


Blogger stephanie said...

Good series of posts. I think what is most striking about the Clinton interview and perhaps what has been most lacking in the Democratic party (save for Howard Dean) is the unabashed passion we see in this man. It is downright refreshing to see someone fight back and defend himself, and at the same time be man enough to admit his own mistakes. He has nothing to lose at this point, and he is doing important work for the party. But I'm left wanting to vote for him, so why isn't there anyone in the running that can demonstrate the same level of reasoned passion?

1:27 AM  
Anonymous mikeswanson said...

Haha Clinton's passion, I get it. Five letters spell I hate Clinton: NAFTA. If he knew what it would do to Mexico, he's at fault, if he didn't, he's at fault. I wonder sometimes if he's better than Bush, his policies prove how much the "well loved" Dems of his administration supposed liberalism is really the neo- variety. One can see why Pelosi is such a blind "leader in a new direction" in light of Clinton's similar "leadership." I think your comment about the cruise missle strike on a Sudanese pharmaceutical plant is a callous understatement. You sound like you're a Clinton fan, so you're OK with that particular executive decision?! Let's not forget that the late 90's were still Imperial salad days for this empire. Or are you no longer an "unreconstructed 60s liberal idealist?" I also think I should have more sarcastic quotes in my comments next time...

3:10 AM  
Blogger charvakan said...

While I agree with your condemnation of the al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory attack, it was in response to the African embassy bombings, not the Cole attack.

Clinton is scary-smart and has amazing charisma. It's not easy to find another like him.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Lapp said...

Mike --

I don't support the bombing, never did and don't see where my post leads you to that conclusion. If anything, I was being a little too cute with my words.

Charvakan --

By all accounts, Harold Ford in Tennessee is the next Clinton. I read an article in The American Prospect following him on the campaign trail that made it clear he's got the brains and the charm people saw in Clinton, whatever you think of his politics. I think he's going to win his Senate race this year.

There's a really good analysis piece waiting to be done on what it will mean when more western and populist Democrats get elected. Social policy may tilt rightward while economic policy will shift to the left, which will be a tradeoff Democrats will have to reconcile for themselves.

11:53 AM  

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