When he was the president, we found out that he’d smoked weed as a youngster. When faced with the prospect of an American public that largely frowned upon illegal drug use, particularly after Nancy Reagan’s spectacular “Just Say No” campaign, he had to answer the allegations. He said he’d tried it – “but I never inhaled,” came the now-infamous reply. It was then that we got a glimpse into the real Bill Clinton: the consummate lawyer, willing to bend or twist anything that was said or done so that it didn’t look so bad.
Later things got worse. His philandering ways, touted to the press by two of the very women he’d victimized, were bantered about and questioned by Democrats and Republicans alike. Then a quiet rumble started that he hadn’t grown up; his misdeeds had continued right under Hillary’s nose. Rumor had it that he’d had a sexual affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office. He stood up at a press conference and told all of America, with great conviction, “I did NOT…have…sexual relations with that woman – miss Lewinsky.” Later on it came out that she’d performed fellatio on him multiple times and he’d put a cigar in a place a cigar was never meant to go – then put it in his mouth. (What cracks me up about that are all the liberal anti-Bush protest signs that called for someone to give Bush a blow job so he could be impeached…that had almost nothing to do with it. He was impeached under accusation of perjury, not for his outrageous inability to keep it in his pants.)
During his campaign, he promised to end the military’s ban on gay and lesbian soldiers serving. Instead, once he was elected we got DADT and not so much as an apology. We just got excuses. Then Clinton, that stalwart champion of gay rights, signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law, all but guaranteeing homosexuals would never see their relationships recognized legally by the federal government. Oh, but he cared sooooo much about his gay and lesbian constituents. He was just determined to see that we were no longer second-class citizens. Good G-d, Ronald Reagan didn’t sign a single piece of anti-gay legislation into law and many of the gays I knew at the time he passed on celebrated his death with champagne!
Last year, Clinton said in an interview that if he’d still been in office the financial meltdown wouldn’t have happened. He blamed de-regulation on Republican Phil Gramm. Gramm did help write and push the legislation, but it couldn’t have been signed into law without Clinton’s approval – and he signed it on the first go. It’s been argued right here on this blog that Clinton only did it because he faced a “veto-proof majority.” I say horsehockey. Where was the protest? If that was the case, why didn’t he veto it and force the Republicans to hold an override vote? When you’re the president and you don’t believe in what Congress is giving you to sign into law (or remove from law, as it were), you don’t just give up when it looks bad. You stick to your guns so that everyone knows exactly what you think. That way, later on you can’t claim that it wasn’t clear what your stance was or what you would have done.
The repeal of Glass-Steagall has been partially blamed for the current crisis we’re in. That law would have stopped banks from taking far too many risks. The Community Reinvestment Act had already put us on the path; repealing Glass-Steagall, I think, hit the accelerator. Democrats worked alongside Republicans on the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999. Nobody gave it much opposition. In light of that, I’m curious to know what Clinton would have done with Barney Frank, who was sleeping with the head of Freddie Mac at the time and dismissed then-president Bush’s speech about the perils that were about to befall us (not that I’m giving Bush a pass, he should’ve had a better contingency plan in place than TARP).
Today, Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) was laid to rest. He passed on at age 92. Bill Clinton stood to eulogize him and said, quote, “He once had a fleeting association with the Ku Klux Klan, what does that mean? I’ll tell you what it means. He was a country boy from the hills and hollows from West Virginia. He was trying to get elected.” His words bring yet more hypocrisy forth. Byrd didn’t join the KKK because he was trying to get elected; he founded the Crab Orchard chapter himself, collected dues and fees for robes, and was summarily voted the head of the chapter by the group he’d formed. THAT was when one of the new members told him that he needed to get into politics – something he himself said he’d not thought of before.
When Strom Thurmond passed away, the headline in the New York Times read, “Strom Thurmond, Foe of Integration, Dies at 100.” This week, the headline read, “Robert Byrd, Pillar of the Senate, Dies at 92.” It is a hypocrisy that we should not tolerate, yet we will. Even the NAACP gave Byrd a pass, but they never gave one to Thurmond. Byrd once wrote in a letter to a fellow senator, “I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side … Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.”
What was Thurmond’s big controversy? Well, it wasn’t the deep-seeded racism of Byrd. At least he never called another human being a “mongrel”. He, like Byrd, voted against desegregation. Get that? BOTH OF THEM VOTED AGAINST IT. Byrd was also quite vociferously against Clinton’s desire to allow us to serve openly in the military. Of DOMA, he said, “The drive for same-sex marriage is, in effect, an effort to make a sneak attack on society by encoding this aberrant behavior in legal form before society itself has decided it should be legal…Let us defend the oldest institution, the institution of marriage between male and female as set forth in the Holy Bible.” And the gay elite still call ME a self-loathing closet case for refusing to be a liberal Democrat? You must be joking.
Yet today, Bill Clinton proved as useless and as incapable of providing honest facts as he ever has been. He, along with all other Democrats, was willing to give Byrd a pass but they were never willing to give Thurmond a pass. The uproar of Democrats who harbored deep resentment of Republicans (at least in part) cost Trent Lott the Majority Leader post not long before Thurmond passed on.
Byrd is okay, though. And Clinton will never be held to account for his lies.