I get sick when I hear Bill Clinton criticize Obama... and then I read all these people's posts about how they miss the Clintons and how great it will be if Hillary gets in. I know I have not been living in an alternate reality. I remember the Clinton years. I can't imagine any true progressive that wants this again. Let's see, what do I remember?
I don't remember progressive.
I don't remember a government standing up for the people.
I don't remember better economic times.
What I remember is...
I remember a charming personable man promising change. We were so hopeful, weren't we? Weren't we excited? Well, no, not really. I remember he barely won against Dole with only half the population voting. I've heard people compare Bill to Barack. Uh, no. Barack is going to be a blowout. Bill was a small sneeze.
What else? Well, how about corporatism ascending to an all time high? He moved the party to the center...right. He pandered to the white conservative voters with being tough on "crime", revamped welfare, (hey, remember that?), and hey, who who were his key appointments to Treasury and Commerce? What happened to Lani Guinier? (look that one up!) He had an opportunity to appoint strong liberal judges to the Supreme Court, like Thurgood Marshall. What did we get? Ginsburg and Breyer. Not horrible, but they both defended the constitutionality of capital punishment and voted repeatedly with strict conservative decisions. Well, can't get those two appointments back. Gosh, how central will the Hillary appointments be? To the left of McCain...maybe. Or maybe, she'll want to align herself with those "blue collar working men" and maybe pick some nice conservative centrist - to the right - judges.
Speaking of capital punishment, remember when he couldn't wait to get back to officiate over the execution of a mentally retarded man, Ricky Ray Rector, to prove he would be a President who would be "tough on crime". Yep, Bill Clinton at his finest. Hey, remember Janet Reno and Waco? Gosh, what happened there again? Oh, yah, 86 men, women, and children died through a pretty tragic chain of events. Oh, by the way, do you remember Clinton ever apologizing for that? I don't. Those memories just disappeared.
Remember the "Crime Bill" of 1996? Wow, that was progressive. Not.
Welfare. Reform. What was that exactly? Oh yah, benefits were cut after two years, lifetime benefits were limited to five years, and childless persons could only receive food stamps for only three months in any three year period of time. Pretty progressive, huh?
Let's not even get into all the foreign policy fiascos... Somalia, Rwanda, Suharto, arms sales, pharmaceutical bombings?
He LIED when asked direct questions about something. I personally don't care what it was, sex or whatever, but he LIED. All he had to do was say "whoops, yah, that's personal, none of your business, whatever", but he didn't. He lied. Under oath.
Remember the protest at UCBerkely over Madeleine Albright's honorarium?
Remember the Telecommunications Act of 1996?
Remember Newt Gingrich? How did he EVER get the upper hand? Oh, maybe, watching Bill and the Hillary campaign - now we remember.
Remember the shifting of liberalism to centralism?
Remember Don't Ask, Don't Tell? (thanks Hannibal)
No, the Clinton years were not good ones.
Let's not go back with the sequel.
I want a change. I want a President who may actually do something this time. I have no idea what people think the Clinton years were like, but let's not pretend that they were as described by Bill and Hillary.
Because I remember.