Why I Miss Bill Clinton

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare

God
forgive me for writing it, but lately I have missed having Bill
Clinton as president. When Clinton was serving as president, I thought
he was clearly the worst president in American history. I was right
then, of course. But it is now two terms later and what I once believed
is no longer a fact.

A
few of my fellow conservatives are now moaning, wondering if I've
flipped my lid. But consider the facts and the inevitable conclusion
is that the current President George W. Bush is more liberal than
Bill Clinton ever was during his eight-year reign of terror.

Let's
look at spending and the total size of the federal government first,
which is the key measurement for conservatives who seek smaller
government. Bush says his new fiscal 2006 budget proposal is a "disciplined
budget," even though it would spend 38 percent more than Bill
Clinton's biggest budget. Can Dubya really be more conservative
than Bill Clinton if he increases the size of Clinton's biggest
budget ($1.863 trillion in 2001) by 38 percent?

Bush's
new $2.567 trillion budget for fiscal 2006 is perhaps more fiscally
restrained than past Bush budget proposals, which increased spending
on social welfare programs (which excludes defense and security
spending) by an average of more than eight percent. Bush's 2006
budget would increase welfare and other social programs by 5.5 percent,
which is the same as the average increase during the Clinton Administration.

So
this year, George W. Bush is finally as conservative as Bill Clinton.

Whoop-de-do.

You
can listen to the White House spinmeisters try to explain it all
away, but facts are stubborn things. Personally, I just read the
transcripts and don't watch any presidential speeches live. I confess
that I stopped listening to presidential addresses live during the
administration of George "read my lying lips" Bush many
years ago. Now, I only read transcripts. I made the switch because
I got tired of my wife saying that "I don't want to hear that
language in the house." (She was talking about my language,
not the president's language. I endure lies rather poorly.)

Like
father, like son, I strongly suspected back in 2000. I knew, more
or less, that when Dubya called himself a "Compassionate Conservative"
by "compassionate" he meant "not a." But I couldn't
have known then that he would place himself so far to the left of
Clinton.

On
the biggest government program of all, war, Bush is far more liberal
in his application of that program. Yes, Bill Clinton blew up an
aspirin factory in the Sudan to distract from the scandal related
to his girlfriend Monica Lewinsky, and established a radical-Islamic
narco-terrorist cult over sections of Bosnia. But, hey, at least
he didn't get 1,500 Americans killed for nothing. Clinton was a
piker on getting our soldiers killed unnecessarily compared with
Bush.

Clinton
carried lying propaganda to the next level. But during the Clinton
administration, the kneepad-wearing loyalists were worn by heterosexuals
who didn't pretend to be White House-credentialed journalists. And
Clinton didn't put so-called "independent journalists"
on the public payroll to sell a political agenda that increased
the size of the unconstitutional U.S. Department of Education.

Even
on social issues, Clinton was sometimes more conservative than Bush.
Clinton signed a marriage law that recognized what all civilizations
throughout history have recognized, that marriage is between a man
and a woman. Clinton's law respected the conservative principle
of states' rights, and didn't tinker with the U.S. Constitution.
Bush has cynically backed a constitutional amendment that all of
his aides admit privately could never be adopted (and no true conservative
would ever want adopted), but has ignored legislation that would
have denied appellate jurisdiction to federal courts on state marriage
laws.

I
don't miss Clinton in the sense that he traded America's nuclear
secrets to China for $3 million in campaign contributions from the
Chinese military, but at least you knew where he was coming from.
At least Clinton was the devil we knew.

And
I guess that's what I miss mostly about Bill Clinton. He made big
government and military imperialism a scandal, and that limited
the damage he could do. But George W. Bush has made the same thing
– and on a grander scale – respectable and even "conservative."

And
if George W. Bush redefines "conservative" as something
embracing big government with unending imperial wars, then conservative
is not something I choose to be.

February
22, 2005

Thomas
R. Eddlem
[send him mail] is
a freelance writer and a radio talk show host. His website is located
at www.dangeroustalk.com.

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare
  • LRC Blog

  • LRC Podcasts