Skip to comments.BUBBA CLINTON: A Bloated Irrelevancy
Posted on 10/16/2001 12:01:36 PM PDT by Liz
On top of all the other things I'm obliged to fret about nowadays -- anthrax in my morning mail, suitcase nukes, real pestilence and real plague -- now I find I must worry about Bill Clinton, too.
In case you've forgotten, he was the president of the United States, before and after one Mr. Bush or another. He had all sorts of clever nicknames, hatched and poll-tested for him by whole squadrons of political operatives -- "The Comeback Kid," "The Man from Hope," each sobriquet an eerie blend of Capra and Kafka.
He was cozy with a lot of folks in the press and Academe and Hollywood, and he became famous for having a kind of sex in the Oval Office, although according to official testimony under oath he was pretty sure it wasn't really sex at all.
According to a nice young woman named Meryl Gordon (I feel sure she must be a nice young woman, although, on the other hand, I could be utterly wrong on all counts), writing for "New York Metro," the former president is practically beside himself with angst because he finds that he is out of power at the very moment when events have conspired to create the conditions for greatness.
Like Marlon Brando in "On the Waterfront," he coulda been a contender, if only -- if only. (Instead, alas, like Marlon Brando in real life, he finds himself reduced to a bloated irrelevancy.)
Think of the frustration: it must be an especially fiendish kind of torture. What with Americans dead by the thousands, and the nation at war, and mysterious packets of toxins popping up all over the place, and the nation locked in an ominous waiting game, and despite his own best efforts to thrust himself front and center, he really doesn't matter in the least. Not even a little bit. Not even at all.
It is his own pain Mr. Clinton feels now, most deeply and most acutely. He has been robbed -- he seems so sure of this -- of the opportunity to demonstrate his brilliant grasp, his diplomatic genius, his healing touch, his inspired leadership (all those things he never had a chance to flourish before an admiring world during his eight years of unblemished peace and prosperity, from Waco to the Camp David meltdown, from Somalia to the USS Cole).
Poor man. It's an opportunity he is touchingly certain should have been his. It belonged to him by rights, and not to some Texas yokel who's never even been to a Renaissance Weekend or enjoyed an overnight with Barbra Streisand or been hailed as a sex object by left-feminist reporterettes.
According to Ms. Gordon, "The World Trade Center attacks have catapulted the former president -- who was just starting to mellow out and revel in his post-Oval Office life as a New Yorker, senatorial spouse, and money-making private citizen -- into the unfamiliar and frustrating role of action figure in search of action."
The passion of this action figure is tinged with gall, Ms. Gordon notes, with endearing sympathy. "Interviews with nearly a dozen Clinton confidants reveal a man struggling to find a way to be useful and worrying that his peace-and-prosperity presidency will be recast as a footnote to the Bush-family dynasty," she writes, adding, with an almost-audible sigh, "Right after the attacks, Clinton admitted to a friend that he wished, for the first time, to be back in the White House. And he couldn't resist bitterly telling an ally that if the FBI had spent as much time chasing terrorists as it had investigating his behavior, perhaps things would have played out differently."
Mind you, there's a sweet kind of forgetting, in that. (I suppose we must forgive him, though.) The Executive Branch rules the Justice Department, after all, just as the former president -- in theory, at least -- ruled his own appetites. There's a cornucopia of obvious retorts to Mr. Clinton's implication that the FBI robbed him of his Really Big Chance.
Still, it seems excessive (indeed almost cruel) to confront such a man, at such a moment, with anything so blunt and cold as a matter of fact. Here's a curiosity. After eight years of experiencing revulsion and alarm and an often-strident anger at this strange presidential stick-figure, this bizarre combination of noise, and shadow, and lethal vanity, I suddenly feel mostly pity. Weariness and pity.
This is a man who gazes on the corpses of his fellow-beings, his fellow-citizens -- thousands upon thousands of them -- and thinks of how miraculous it would have been, this cosmic horror, this flaring-up of the fires of Hell, if only it had happened in time for him.
This is a man who sees blood and terror and grief and war's devastation merely as a kind of glossy theatrical backdrop, dragged out by the clumsy stagehands of History too late to ornament his turn before the footlights.
This is a soul so small God Himself cannot perceive it without a magnifying glass.
I'm sorry, I'm still laughing at that part about you being a conservative.
And in the case of Clinton, no, it counts for nothing.
I have respect for those who earn it (and I do not have to agree with every opinion they may hold). Since 9/11, all I have heard from him was "ME TOO!!" "I did it, too" II tried, but no one would help me." "I coulda done it, but the FBI was too busy investigating me" (Last I heard, he stopped many (most) FBI investigations in their tracks.
He is bloated...in his opinion of himself, in his supposed contribution to the country, in his worth to the world.
He is an ex-president who is trying to be someone important. Well bubba, I have one thing to say....BFD.
I hope to God his daughter doesn't have political aspirations......
By Liz Smith in New York When asked if he's seeking a movie career in Hollywood, Clinton just laughed and said jokingly, ``I'm looking at scripts right now. I'll do whatever they'll put me in.''
This is Clinton - he has done what anyone anywere has wanted him to do and be. Hillary plays a big roll in this.
Maybe we have now learned character does count.
After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six and injured 1,000, President Clinton promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished.
After the 1995 bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed five U.S. military personnel, Clinton promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished.
After the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, which killed 19 and injured 200 U.S. military personnel, Clinton promised that those would be hunted down and punished.
After the 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Africa, which killed 224 and injured 5,000, Clinton promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished.
After the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole, which killed 17 and injured 39 U.S. sailors, Clinton promised that those responsible would be hunted down and punished.
Maybe if Clinton had kept his promise, an estimated 7,000 people would be alive today
This question was raised on a radio call-in show. Without casting stones, it is a legitimate question.
There are two men, both extremely wealthy. One develops relatively cheap software and gives hundreds of millions of dollars to charity. The other sponsors terrorism.
That being the case, why is it that Clinton spent more money chasing down Bill Gates than Osama bin Laden?
And you are right. Clinton was never in the Oval office enough to do the nation's serious business, he was too intent on getting his sexual perversions satisfied in his washroom and in his hallway. Clinton was a media invented president. He was a dud as a human being and as a president, and his media friends are liars when they pretend he wasn't.
Get my point?
It seems us setting aside our principles aside for the sake of expediency, political or otherwise, is responsible for many of the problems we suffer today.
Besides, its not my fault that so many liberals are so morally adrift they can't discern the difference between a decent and just leader and a corrupt & perverted tin-pot politician. It's up to them to see the light, not me to accomodate their ignorance.
Like you, I was raised to respect certain offices -- like the Mayor of my city, the Governor of my state, and the President of the United States. I can remember my parents telling me that a person stood when a Governor or the President entered a room, and that if you applauded a President with whom you disagreed, you were applauding the Office and not the man.
Had Bill Clinton been a President with whose policies I disagreed (and I did), that would have been one thing.
I still could have respected him. He had, after all, occupied the highest office in our land.
But he actively dishonored the office itself.
He had a young intern give him a blow job in the Oval Office while he was on the telephone discussing troop movements in Bosnia.
He lied to the American People. Worse than that, he attempted to use his powerful intellect to disceive us. He played word games and manipulated the language. I'm sure he thought it was great fun -- having sex in the Oval Office and then showing the rubes how clever he was.
No, Bill Clinton deserves not respect. He deserves unending scorn.
The scorn he deserves is reserved for those who tarnish something that deserves respect.
That, I would guess, is why so many of us conservatives keep the issue of the Clintons alive. It is not simply that we disagrre with their polcies. It is that they actively dishonored something very special to all of us -- The Presidency of the United States.
We won't forget it.