Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Clinton’s Legacy and Psychic Pain

Former president Bill Clinton said this the other day: "Our paradigm now seems to be: something terrible happened to us on September 11, and that gives us the right to interpret all future events in a way that everyone else in the world must agree with us. And if they don’t, they can go straight to hell." And there is more: "We can’t run. If you got an interdependent world, and you cannot kill, jail or occupy all your adversaries, sooner or later you have to make a deal."

I found his comments to be so remarkable, if not stupid, that I put it aside--I was actually afraid to say what I really thought of it--and then saw these paragraphs from Pejman Yousefzadeh and they are worth quoting in full. The title of his note is, "It must really suck to be Bill Clinton."

"I say that because he must be in such psychic pain. Seeing his supposedly stupid successor defeat both the Taliban, and land mortal blows against al Qaeda, and overthrow Saddam Hussein--none of which Clinton dared to try--and receive the political glory that comes with such accomplishments, mut vex and embitter Clinton to no end. And it leads to an angry and self-serving denunciation of the foreign policy being pursued so successfully by Clinton’s successor--a denunciation that is outdated and rendered laughable by the rapidly unfolding news events that we see on television, or we read about inn newspapers, in news magazines, or on the Internet.

Yes, I imagine that it is a pretty awful thing to be Bill Clinton right about now. No one can envy an old and irrelevant political has-been who is reduced to trying to tear down the accomplishments of politicians on the other side of the aisle as a way to augment his [Clinton’s] own ’accomplishments.’ If this is the tactic that a former President of the United States is reduced to, then the legacy must not look very good at all."

Discussions - 1 Comment

"Yes, I imagine that it is a pretty awful thing to be Bill Clinton right about now."

Huh? I think yo might be underestimating this man. I though the late Michael Kelly’s warning about Clinton -- how at any given moment what he believes (whether it’s true or false) is truth to him -- ought sound the clarion call to all who would ever underestimate Bill Clinton.

Ordinary folks like to hear what they like to hear. This is Clinton’s must inglorious strength. While it may appear hideous to those who long to hear the truth spoken with character, Clinton’s continuing leadership of the Democratic Party strongly suggests there are many still held captive by his ability believe whatever he is saying at any given moment.

Let us never deceive ourselves about how "awful" Clinton may or may not be, until he is decidedly reject -- along with his wife -- by his party, or that party ceases to exist.

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