Monday, April 19, 2010

Bill Clinton Tries to Spin his Record on Terror While Slamming Tea Party Protests

Clinton’s remarks are serving the salutary purpose of reminding people who and what he really was, and dispelling the glow of nostalgia for his presidency that even some conservatives and libertarians were beginning to feel.
--Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit


Is there any remark that former president, Bill Clinton makes that isn't self-serving and partisan in nature? Maybe concerning Haiti, but even that's a stretch.

Read entire article at DBKP: Bill Clinton Reminds America of Oklahoma City, His Record and Terror

I'm not the only one to notice: “Former President Bill Clinton is back to practicing one of his core competencies: exploiting the 1995 mass murders in Oklahoma City for political advantage in order to suppress criticism of himself and his political allies."

His latest spew is trying to connect non-existent dots between the Tea Party protesters--who are voicing their opinions peaceably--and Timothy McVeigh's 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building.


Clinton spins a bit of history about his administration's record--or non-record--on terror.

In the wake of the bombing, Oklahoma City prompted Congress to approve most of the proposals I submitted to develop a stronger and more systematic approach to defending our nation and its citizens against terrorism, an effort that continues today, as we saw with President Obama’s impressive international summit meeting last week to secure all sources of nuclear material that can be made into bombs.

Bill Clinton would only have responded to terror if he had thought that there were votes to be had. Since he couldn't figure out anything beyond making comparisons between genuine terrorists and those who disagreed with his policies, he was a complete failure (See US Cole, embassy bombings, World Trade Center I, etc.).

But Clinton trots out his "if you're not for us, you're a terrorist" meme for Barack Obama and this president's opponents--reminding us that Clinton's faults didn't just stop at Chinese fundraisers, a talent for lying under oath and the cigar preferences of young interns.

Finally, we should never forget what drove the bombers, and how they justified their actions to themselves. They took to the ultimate extreme an idea advocated in the months and years before the bombing by an increasingly vocal minority: the belief that the greatest threat to American freedom is our government, and that public servants do not protect our freedoms, but abuse them. On that April 19, the second anniversary of the assault of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, deeply alienated and disconnected Americans decided murder was a blow for liberty.

Glenn Reynolds points out the silver lining in the cloud of smug smog that emanated from Clinton:

Clinton’s remarks are serving the salutary purpose of reminding people who and what he really was, and dispelling the glow of nostalgia for his presidency that even some conservatives and libertarians were beginning to feel.

Count me in as one who was so disgusted with Obama I forgot the over-arching corruption of the Clinton years. My mantra was: at least Clinton didn't try to damage national defense. But he did: it was Bill Clinton who discovered the "peace dividend" that he could spend on buying more votes.

Time heals all wounds.

Reason gives Clinton a one-two punch.

Radley Balko gives Clinton a dose of awesome and most-deserved HELL for his self-serving comparisons.

The really mendacious thing about the crap Clinton spews at about this time every year is that unlike the tortured nexus he tries to build between government critics and Timothy McVeigh, his responsibility for the charred bodies at Waco is pretty damned easy to chart. He gets to gloss over all of that now.

The thing is, Mr. Former President, if I may address you directly, is there are far too may public servants who, as you put it, “do not protect our freedoms, but abuse them.” I document them every day on this site. And so despite your admonition, I will continue to criticize them for it. And when, for example, they out and out murder innocent people in the name of a senseless, wasteful, and fundamentally illiberal policy (a policy, incidentally, that you enthusiastically support, despite your admission that you yourself have broken the country’s drug laws), I’ll go ahead and, to borrow your word, demonize them for it.

And you know what? I won’t feel the slightest tinge of guilt about doing so. Nor will I feel the least bit of responsibility for acts of anti-government violence, past or future, even when they’re committed in the name of one or more ideas I might otherwise endorse.

Because fundamentally and categorically, I repudiate the use of force and violence to impose my beliefs, political philosophy, or policy preferences on other people. Until you can say the same thing, Mr. Former President (and we both know you can’t), you can spare me your goddamned lecture.

Balko's fellow Reason writer, Jacob Sullum joins in the Clinton rebuttal.

If our government is not the greatest threat to our freedom, what is? Recognizing that reality is not tantamount to believing that all government employees abuse our rights (though many of them do). Nor is it a justification for murder. Our founders constructed a system of government that was strictly limited, based on an understanding of power's corrupting influence. If it is irrational to fear overweening government, and if that fear predictably leads to violence, the Framers were loony rabble-rousers.

Note that Clinton does not have the guts to say outright that people who criticize the government too harshly have blood on their hands. Instead he strongly suggests it, then retreats to the position that criticism is OK, though violence isn't, as if anyone were suggesting otherwise. Still, he wants to draw a line between "criticizing a policy or a politician," which is "part of the lifeblood of democracy," and "demonizing the government that guarantees our freedoms and the public servants who enforce our laws," which encourages mass homicide. But since he offers no examples of either, it's hard to know what sort of speech he considers beyond the pale. For example, if I call Clinton a state-worshiping crybaby who equates opposition with sedition, is that legitimate criticism or demonization?

Bill Clinton, so concerned about his legacy, would be better off slinking away into the sunset and keeping his mouth shut about his obvious blind spot he had about terrorism.

He didn't and won't.

Those annual reminders on April 19 are the most vital service Clinton has rendered his country--both in or out of office.

by Mondo Frazier
image: cox & Forkum

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