Monday, May 26, 2008

Unreasoning hatred of Bill Clinton

In addition to the pervasive misogyny directed at Hillary Clinton, further documented in New Stateman (h/t to my lovely wife) there's an additional irrational and self-destructive idea going around in liberal and progressive circles that Bill Clinton is some sort of demon.

Now, Bill Clinton is not a progressive and barely a liberal (wars in Somalia and Serbia, welfare "reform", the Communications Decency Act). There are a lot of substantive reasons to criticize his work. But in comparison, to say that he stands head and shoulders above his Republican contemporaries is to damn him with faint praise.

Bill got a blowjob and lied about it. Whoop de fucking do. His lie — which is primarily what those on the left criticize him for — is excusable because his sex life is nobody's business but his own; the question should not have been asked. A relentless conservative/Republican campaign, predicated itself on gross mendacity, intentionally forced him into a situation where he would have to lie. Everyone knew before he was elected the first time that Bill Clinton was not the poster boy for marital fidelity, and we elected him anyway.

The latest example of this sort of idiocy from the ordinarily intelligent vjack:
In my humble opinion, Bill Clinton's apology for getting a blowjob and then lying about it was a low point from which we have still not recovered.
He's talking about insincere apologies, but for Christ's sake, let it fucking go already. As low points go, Clinton's bullshit about lying about a question he never should have been asked isn't even in the same fucking galaxy as... oh... let me dig deep here... torturing people, detaining American citizens without trial, looting the treasury, domestic spying or starting an actual war and killing thousands of Americans and a million Iraqis. Even if we're just talking about lies and insincere apologies, how about the lies about Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction? And that's just Bush; Reagan and Nixon aren't pulling the average up much.

If Democrats, liberals and progressives were actually concerned with Bill Clinton's actual and real conservatism, the two serious candidates would not be Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, both of whom are just as conservative — if not more — than Bill Clinton. We'd be talking about Bill Clinton's welfare "reform", not his blowjob.

Why are still talking about Clinton's goddamn blowjob? At all?

Because liberals are fucking stupid.

As Tim Kreider notes, we can't really fault the Republicans. They are who they are, utterly amoral sharks who can't help but act according to their nature. We can't really fault the 30% of the country so mired in fundamentalist Christianity that they've completely lost the ability to reason. "Against stupidity, the very Gods themselves contend in vain*."

*Friedrich Schiller

But we can blame the liberals, both the intelligentsia and the rank and file. The Republicans have been shoving this bullshit propaganda down our throats for forty fucking years. And liberals, who ought to know better by now, fall for the propaganda time and again. Dumber than a box of hammers, they are.

Pay attention, people, it's very simple: The hatred of Bill Clinton is the result of conservative propaganda. The misogyny against Hillary Clinton is the result of conservative propaganda. The racism and other lies that will be directed against Barack Obama in the general election — obscuring the fact that he's precisely the sort of sane conservative president that a lot of Americans (myself excluded) seem to want — will be started by Republican propaganda... and large numbers of so-called liberals and progressives will swallow it whole.

Not only are we too stupid to nominate someone actually liberal (such as Edwards) or even actually progressive (such as Kucinich), we're too stupid to avoid tearing our sane conservatives to shreds on the basis of Republican propaganda.

They know it worked on Hillary Clinton, and they know, therefore, it will work on Barack Obama. Obama will will be swiftboated and brownsuited, and he will lose to McCain. Even if he wins, he will be lewinskied and rendered completely ineffectual, paving the way for someone who will make George W. Bush and Dick Cheney look like geniuses and saints.

And liberals have no one to blame but themselves.


  1. I can't argue with your analysis. As you know, however, I am more hopeful than you that the Democratic Party has learned some lessons and will not repeat the mistakes of the past. Mind you, I'm not very hopeful, but I am more hopeful than you.

  2. I am more hopeful than you.

    That's not surprising. If you have one hopeful neuron left firing, you're more hopeful than I am.

  3. ...or even actually progressive (such as Kucinich}


    That was a much needed dose of humor today. Thanks BB!

  4. Fuckin A Larry,

    Bill is regarded by everyone I know as the best American president in recent years. Of course I come from Europe where sanity and reason are still fairly well respected ;)

  5. Whoa there, tell us how you really feel.

    It is unexpected such a talented philosopher such as yourself writing a post about unreason would make such sweeping generalizations and presumptions.

    Perhaps credit to your genius delving into delicious irony?

  6. ...wars in Somalia and Serbia, welfare "reform"

    Let's be a little fair: Somalia and Serbia were classic liberal internationalism in action and welfare reform did a lot of good along with the bad... though I think Clinton deserves some chastising for signing the Republican version (which, FWIW, was way less generous than the Clinton version) because re-election was looming and it was a major campaign promise left unfulfilled.

    But you do make a good point most people don't seem happy to land upon. The differences between Obama and Clinton are personality-driven. Both are centrist Democrats. Obama is not a corporate-reform crusader (indeed, he's raked in so much money from the financial sector, I worry about much-needed reforms in that area of the economy should he be elected). He's not as good as Clinton on health care. They're very similar on foreign policy nuts-and-bolts. And he's far more socially conservative than Clinton.

  7. Found this via

    Well, this was a heck of a post to be introduced to a new blog with. I _think_ I agree with a lot of what you wright, though I haven't read enough of your other posts to see where your heart is.

    I think one of the biggest problems we have with our political groups these days is that the tags we give them no longer work. "The Conservatives" are really anything but that. What about a "Liberal"? Does any one remember what that used to be?

    Personally, I'm a sort-of-kind-of Libertarian, except I like going to the library and driving on roads. I'm also an avid target shooter. Some time before the second Bush election, a guy at the firing range asked me if I'd volunteer for the local "W" re-election campaign. When I said "No", he wanted to know if I was at least voting for him. "No". He was shocked and taken aback. When he asked why, I told him that I was a conservative. Big surprise, he didn't get it.

    People get snowed by labels, even if those labels are completely incorrect.

    For the record, I liked Bill. I voted for him twice. Wish i could have a third time, too. This time, I'm actually thinking about not voting. I will, you understand. It's just that maddening to watch the process.

    BTW, right on about the BJ being no one's business. I elected him to do a job and he did it to my satisfaction. For all I care, he could have a weekly naked disco in the rose garden.

    Turkish Prawn

  8. I think the real reason people hated Bill Clinton so much is that he came from humble origins and fought his way to the top. He dared to prove true "Study hard and one day you may become president".

    I think some people are much more comfortable with leaders from the wealthy elites, including a great many not so wealthy people. They'd rather blame others for their problems instead of believing that to a great extent they have the power to change things. They'd rather have some jerk who never worked for a thing he had and messed up most of what he was given.

    I think only Obama has worked for what he has. McCain is an Admiral's son and married megamoney to get a seat in the House. I appreciate his servce and sympathize with what he went through, but he got his political career handed to him. Hillary got her legitimacy from Bill's fame. Obama fought for what he has.

  9. I think only Obama has worked for what he has.

    Oh, that's bullshit. Would you people at least read Wikipedia for chrissakes? Compare and contrast Barack Obama's history with Bill Clinton's.

    Furthermore, choosing (or condemning) a president based on only his history is monumentally stupid. I'd rather have Franklin Roosevelt over Richard Nixon any day of the week.

  10. I tend to think Hillary Clinton would have been a Senator or similar powerful figure without marrying Bill Clinton. Being his wife didn't hurt, but if we're talking pure intelligence and drive, that woman is a badass.


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