Skip to comments.Clinton and Bush (Dum Bass Alert!)
Posted on 06/28/2003 6:50:39 PM PDT by fightinJAG
Clinton and Bush
First published: Saturday, June 28, 2003
Comparisons between Bill Clinton and George W. Bush persist. I don't ever recall the specter of the last president looming so large over the incumbent as Clinton looms over Bush.
The nation must be close to evenly divided over which one has been the better president. If you are going to argue their merits as leaders, you have to exclude their personal shortcomings. George W. had a drinking problem and now his opponents are accusing him of being a liar. Bill Clinton's appetite was not for alcohol but he lied and he may have ruined his reputation with the shortcomings in his character.
One reason we keep drawing comparisons is their age. They are both 56. The other reason we're having a hard time forgetting Bill Clinton is that there's no outstanding Democrat forcing him out of the limelight. All good Democrats are waiting for a candidate to emerge about whom they can become enthusiastic. They don't see one yet.
For the first time, President Bush is beginning to look vulnerable. His approval ratings are still high but his critics are louder. It seems likely those ratings will slip if the economy doesn't improve dramatically and if efforts to achieve peace in Iraq don't progress as quickly and favorably as the war did.
Bill Clinton is easier to be enthusiastic about and easier to detest than George W. Bush. Or so it seems to me, anyway. George W. has a simple likability about him. He doesn't seem like a Phi Beta Kappa but neither do we. Clinton is bright but confusingly complex.
Democrats are accusing the President of lying to us about the reasons for the war in Iraq, about a connection between Saddam and Osama bin Laden, about ``leaving no child behind'' and about who will benefit from tax cuts.
The President's justification for going to war with Iraq was always the threat Saddam Hussein posed to the United States with his weapons of mass destruction. There's been so much talk about those weapons that newspapers are even referring to them as ``WMD.'' I'm not an apologist for the President but his critics see evil that I don't see. I believe he honestly thought Saddam had nuclear or biological weapons that were a threat to us. I believe he believes the tax cuts will help everyone, I believe he believes his plan for schools will help every child. The fact that he may be wrong about all these things doesn't make him a bad person.
Maybe we ask too much of politicians. We expect them to be nice, intelligent, honest and of good moral character. That's a lot to ask. We don't demand that of any of our other heroes or public figures. When we look for a doctor, we don't check into his preferences in matters of religion, sex, exercise or food. All we ask is that he be a good doctor. If a politician is experienced in government and expert at leading us, maybe we shouldn't expect him to be of sterling character, too.
Maybe we could agree that Bush and Clinton are both OK -- but different.
You got that right!
I think "I'm OK You're OK" was '70's but what's the diff?
Not so with Bush. Even Bush's critics have to admit that Bush pushed through at least two major tax cuts, educational reform, and prescription drugs (with a privatization option for all of Medicare).
Ever notice that writers have a difficult time naming any treatied foreign policy accomplishments of Clinton's own doing (though he did sign GHWB's NAFTA)?
Not so with Bush. Even Bush's most wild-eyed critics have to admit that Bush killed the Kyoto Treaty, the International Criminal Court, and the U.S. - CCCP ABM treaty.
So what did Clinton *DO* in his 8 long years in office?!
No, I'm afraid that's just not possible.
Unlike this anonymous author, I am old enough to remember Clinton's so-called "presidency". I have studied Bill Clinton for almost a decade, and probably know more about him than most people that have known him, let alone voted for him.
Bill Clinton is NOT okay. Aside from that glaring faux pas, the author does make some good points.
In 1993, Clinton gave working American's the largest tax increase in history and raised the Social Security tax on American seniors and the elderly poor. After opposing it for years, Clinton finally signed the GOP version of welfare reform, contained in the Contract With America. In fact Clinton signed 65% of the CWA into law, like the $500 per child tax credit; allowing Social Security recipients to earn $30K per year before any retirement benefits are lost, up from $11k; an anti-crime package that limited death penalty appeals, along with more money for prisons and law enforcement; enforcement of child support laws, tax incentives for adoption and an elderly dependent care tax credit.
Clinton also did wonders for the US military. He cut the Defense Dept budget roughly 37.5% in eight years. The sad thing here is, the GOP controled Congress for six of those eight years and let it happen without putting up a fight.
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