September 14, 2003

True Lies, and the Truly Lying Liars Who Tell Them

A have a friend from Iowa who tells me that I-O-W-A stands for Idiots Out Walking Around. I don't wish to slander the populace of an entire state, but their does seem to be something attracting the loony left to their great state:

Former President Clinton touted a field of Democratic contenders he said was the strongest in decade, and launched a spirited assault on a Bush administration he said governs through "ideology, enemies and attacks."

Ex-presidents used to honor a decorum that proscribed attacking and criticizing their successors. The great shame isn't that Bill Clinton casts aside tradition and civility so easily, after all we've learned to expect that from him, but that there is a vast crowd of people that eat it up and beg for more.

"The last election was tight as a tick," Clinton told a party rally Saturday. "That election was not a mandate for radical change, but that was what we got."

Actually, the last election produced a net gain for the Republican Party in Congress. That result is highly unusual for a president's party in an off-term election, so maybe that was something of a mandate. Certainly a better argument can be made for that being a mandate than getting a solid 43% of the vote. Twice. And as far as ticks go, well, that sucking sound is ... no, I'm not going there.

Clinton brought thousands of activists huddled on a rain-soaked field to life, repeatedly by assaulting Bush.

Ohmigod! He is the Antichrist!

He ripped into Bush's tax cut and handling of foreign policy and joked he was now the beneficiary of tax cuts for the wealthy.

Gosh, that's a hoot!

"Don't tell me about class warfare," Clinton said.

Since Bill wrote the book, I doubt there is anything I could tell him about class warfare.

"I'm all for wealth and business. I just think we all ought to go up together."

Well, as Reagan said, a rising tide lifts all boats. But given all the heated rhetoric about the richest 1%, this one is a little tough to swallow.

The former president told activists that he has become rich since leaving the White House, largely based on a big book contract: "I never had a nickel until I left the White House.

A nickel, what is that? Slang for five interns at once?

"What's the sacrifice that's being asked of people who make more than $1 million a year?" Clinton asked. "It's the energy they have to expend opening the envelopes containing their tax cuts."

Eat the rich!

Clinton spoke after seven of the Democratic presidential contenders on hand praised him.

Well, at least we know why he bothered to go to Iowa.

He said Bush was given great opportunities but has largely fumbled them. "Instead of uniting the world, we alienated it," he said. "Instead of uniting the country, he alienated it."

Don't mention the war! Bill royally screwed the pooch on this one, but he thinks he got way with it.

While some have warned that the field of nine Democratic candidates will have a tough time ousting Bush, Clinton dismissed those worries. "I like this field, and I'm tired of people saying that this field can't beat an incumbent president," he said. "This is the best field of candidates we have had in decades."

No comment.

"The American people, not 5 percent of them know they gave me a tax cut and then kicked children out of after-school programs," said Clinton. "They are not putting those things together. All we have to do is make it clear what our differences are."

Maybe Bill got a tax cut since by his own admission, he never had a nickel until two years ago. But can we please dispense with this meme of Republicans wanting to hurt children?

The exchanges came at Sen. Tom Harkin annual steak fry Saturday at Indianola, 20 miles south of Des Moines.

Steak fry?

The campaign's early, and surprise, front-runner, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean said he would welcome Clinton's help in campaigning should he win the nomination. Clinton is "a larger-than-life figure," Dean said. When you look at what's happened to the country economically since then, Clinton looks pretty good."

And I thought it was Republicans who were only concerned about money.

At the rally, Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt decided not to make a speech but mingled briefly with activists. "Bill Clinton was a great president for the economy," said Gephardt, who said he would eagerly campaign with Clinton if he gets the nomination. "Absolutely, he's going to help me beat George Bush," said Gephardt.

Bill fiddled, or is that diddled, will the flames of terrorism burned.

Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina said Clinton campaigned for him in 1998 when he entered the Senate. "I stood with Clinton, and it worked," he said. "He led the greatest period of economic expansion in history and we ought to be proud of him."

Are you catching the theme here yet? Unfortunately, I found it profoundly depressing that anybody still believes the President controls the eceonomy, or worse, that we should want them to.

Another candidate, Sen. Bob Graham of Florida, praised Clinton's political intuition and skills, which he said he would welcome as part of his campaign. "Aren't we proud to have Bill Clinton as an American and a Democrat," said Graham.

To paraphrase Howard Dean, I guess his being a Democrat is a good thing.

Former Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley Braun made a gender-based pitch. "We are all in the same boat and a woman can guide this ship of state," she said.

Non sequitur of the week.

Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich made the case for his single-payer health insurance plan, saying: "We are paying for universal health care, we're just not getting it."

I thought Dennis the Menace had left the Democrat Party and joined the Monster Raving Loony Party.

In Saturday's opening speech, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry compared the 1990s Clinton economy with today's and said he is looking to restore Clintonian ideas, which he said still resonate with the voters.

I think the proper word here should have been oscillate rather than resonate.

Kerry said middle-class taxpayers benefited by Clinton's focus on working Americans. "With George Bush in the White House, the middle class has been forgotten all over again," Kerry said.

Isn't there a particular psychosis or neurosis named for people who deperately want to be lied to too?

I don't think I'm going to respond to articles like this much longer. It's just too painful to contemplate how much energy so many people put into remaining ignorant and how willfully stupid they choose to be.

Posted by Charles Austin at September 14, 2003 09:23 AM

I know how you feel, Charles. The sense aliquot in political speech has been reduced to an infinitesimal residue, while the cheerleading and demonization of the opponent has swelled to unbelievable heights.

See also this.

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at 10:49 AM

Hee-yikes! If the Dems think they can focus on the economy and ignore the war, or just say that Pres. Bush has "alienated" other countries as their foreign policy, then they will be soundly beaten. It sickens me to see Clinton bad-mouth a sitting president, and then trying to advance the notion that the nominees even resemble presidential timber. Clinton's house of sticks will be coming down around him.

Does it seem like he is desperately trying to shape his legacy, hoping that he can rally the troops to nominate a Demoratic president so that he can take the credit?

Posted by: MarcV at 01:04 PM

I agree with you, MarcV. The Democrats seem to think that it's not normal for the economy to dip a little bit after the worst terrorists attacks in history, and two subsequent wars! Christ... thank god the economy is picking up so we can all laugh and point, haha!

Posted by: Colin at 12:10 AM

Did you catch the woman they interviewed at the rally; who said Clinton is "just like Elvis"?
An enlightened constituancy.

Posted by: Charles Iselin at 10:03 AM