Many of you will have noticed the oddity over the last week in which Bill Clinton both defended Mitt Romney, and seemed to disagree publicly with President Obama. Dick Morris raced out to tell the world that he believes Clinton wants Obama to lose, but there are a few problems with that idea. Clinton isn’t really the sort of guy on whom conservatives should hang their hopes. If they cite him as an authority for the purposes of a tax cut argument, what will they do when the former President returns to previous positions(and he already has) arguing in favor of higher taxes? There are conspiracy theories circulating on this subject, and nearly all of them end with Barack Obama losing to Mitt Romney because Bill Clinton will “spike the election.” I believe Clinton would undercut Obama if it served his ends, but the question must be: Does it? Perhaps worse, I think some Republicans are falling too easily into citing the impeached serial liar as some sort of authority on economic policy.
Let us remember who it is we’re referencing when we talk about Bill Clinton. He’s the guy who tried to let his wife ram a healthcare plan down our throats. He’s the guy who promised to feel our pain, but instead spent most of his two terms feeling-up interns and other “targets of opportunity.” This is the guy who ignored Al-Qaeda, and who missed vital opportunities to get Osama bin Laden before 9/11. This is the wretched man who turned over the Department of Justice to Janet Reno, who in turn turned over much of the day to day operations to one Eric Holder, now serving as the Attorney General. He has a history of cover-ups that began well in advance of Fast&Furious, stretching back to the Waco operation. Bill Clinton was also the guy who blamed the Oklahoma City bombing on Rush Limbaugh, and who couldn’t wait to use the legislative impetus provided by the act of domestic terrorism to enact a nonsensical “assault weapons ban.”
Bill Clinton was the President who helped to created the Housing bubble from which we are still suffering, and he is the goon who lied endlessly, along with his willing accomplices in the lamestream media about the intentions and ultimate effects of the budget the Republicans tried to put through in 1995-6. He lied endlessly about Newt Gingrich, and the Republican Congress, and he sent his favorite congressional hatchet-man, David Bonior(D-MI,) to do his dirty work. He lied to a grand jury under oath, and only the malingering of a federal judge prevented him from facing a criminal rather than civil perjury charge. These are merely some of the highlights of his “esteemed” career in the oval office, or the anteroom in which he caroused with interns, and he lied repeatedly to the American people, waggling a finger, and chastising the people who would even dare to ask him such questions.
I offer this brief refresher up because it seems that some Republicans are gleefully referencing the Slickster’s remarks on the basis that he speaks with some authority. He has no credibility. When Clinton pointed out that he had balanced four budgets, I only saw one Republican politician willing to point out that Newt Gingrich had a substantial role in all of that: Sarah Palin. Still, it was a bit bothersome to see so many Republican rush out to refer to a guy who they ought not use as a benchmark for anything, budgetary or otherwise. The simple fact is that Clinton is and always has been out for Clinton, and while it’s true that his wife is the hardcore leftist ideologue in the family, it is also true that Clinton is himself a leftist, albeit a somewhat more malleable one. It was Clinton who insisted on referring to taxes as “contributions” or “investments in America,” if you’ll recall, so I would just as soon cease the Clinton-worship now. Still, his behavior seems curious to political observers, because it seems to clearly undermine Barack Obama. Why would Clinton do that?
I suspect that if that were his true aim, it could only have one or two possible objectives, and both end with Hillary occupying the Oval office. After all, if Obama is damaged enough, maybe he follows Doug Schoen’s advice and steps aside, leaving the Democrat convention open to somebody else, or if Obama loses in November to Mitt Romney, perhaps there’s a shot for Hillary in 2016. On the other hand, one could conclude that both Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham are Soros-shills, and that this may be part of a plan to replace Obama on the ticket with his Secretary of State should Soros find it necessary to pull the plug on a weakened Obama. Of course, these theories and all of the myriad permutations of them require that we assume that Clinton wants to undermine Obama, but is that the case, or are Republicans being sand-bagged by the Slickster[again?]
As of Wednesday, both Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader McConnell made statements referencing Bill Clinton’s remarks, and it leaves one to wonder if the pair aren’t being led down the garden path by the former cigar-aficionado-in-chief. When one considers the possibilities, one must always remember that despite any differences among them, the Obamas and Clintons are leftists, and if there’s anything they can unite on, it’s defeating conservatives. It’s probably true that the former president never quite got over Obama’s playing of the race card in 2008, and it’s probably true that Hillary views the Obama administration as a bunch of amateurs, but what of it? After all, Hillary’s record both in the Senate and in her current job aren’t exactly glistening examples of effectiveness, and while her husband is often given credit for the economic conditions of the 1990s, it’s important to note that it was the conservative insurgence in Congress that actually had built the conditions to the degree we had some fairly prosperous years.
Whether Bill Clinton is actually out to undermine Barack Obama, or is merely playing a game of cat and mouse with Republicans, I don’t think conservatives should fall into the trap of believing that Clinton would be doing much better or much different if he were in office today. Bill Clinton’s administration is not a model of good governance to which we should turn for reference. On the other hand, the active and aggressive Congress led by Newt Gingrich that put the brakes on Clinton’s escapades, and restrained the growth of government for the first time in my life is something we should reference, and while Bill Clinton poses as the elder statesman in his party, the simple fact is that if he had gotten his way, unopposed, through 1994-96, he’d be remembered with every bit as much doubt as Barack Obama faces in the electorate now, and we conservatives would do right by history as well as the political debate in this country to remember it that way.