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From time to time I've run across diaries that bash Clinton for not being a liberal or for triangulating. I understand the frustration on things like DADT and DOMA, but I also remember the circumstances that brought about those pieces of legislation. I'll call those the results of a bad hand and one is gone and the other is heading out the door.

But I really want to remind people of two great things he accomplished while in office. The first was in 1993 he got Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. The second is in 1994 he got Stephen Breyer on the Court. He had help because the Dems held the Senate when they were placed on the Court. So that is a word of warning.

Say what you will about Clinton and what he did or did not accomplish. Imagine the Supreme Court without these two voices advocating against the conservative blowhards on the Court.

The NY Times has this great chart of how often the conservatives crossover and vote with the liberal block.

I did everything I could back in 1992 to get Bill Clinton elected. Last night he reminded me of why I like him so much despite the disappointments and the policy disagreements. He delivered a body blow to the GOP in ways few could. And now it is time to make sure the liberal wing of the Supreme court stays at least 4 strong and hope it can grow soon.

He was by no means perfect but in one of the places it really matters, Bill Clinton got it right. Just look at his two Supreme court appointees.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Repeal of Glass-Steagal! (2nd term achievement) (0+ / 0-)

    NOW SHOWING
    Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
    Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

    by The Dead Man on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 04:37:23 AM PDT

    •  and that would be one of the policy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Farkletoo, Wee Mama

      disagreements I have with him. But we could have ended up with the opposite of Souter. On the Supreme Court he gets an "A" from me.

      The Spice must Flow!

      by Texdude50 on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 04:41:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The would have been the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wee Mama, Wednesday Bizzare

      authored by the 3 republicans who's names are in the title. The one that was passed by a veto proof majority with the GOP in control of both houses.

    •  My thoughts while watching Clinton (0+ / 0-)

      As I watched Clinton talk about the importance of government in helping the less fortunate, I couldn't help but think that here was the man who signed Gramm-Leach-Bliley act into law, repealing Glass-Steagall.   Of course, in a little more than ten years' time we had a banking crisis of historic proportions.

      And that law remains in effect today, even as we see clearly the ruinious effect on our economy.

      To his credit, Clinton has said signing that bill was a mistake that he regrets

      But when I think of the Clinton legacy, that's the first thing that comes to my mind.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 05:59:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As mentioned above, written by 3 republicans and (0+ / 0-)

        passed  by a veto proof majority with both houses of congress under GOP control..

        •  So that makes it OK? (0+ / 0-)

          First off, I don't believe that the GOP ever had a veto-proof majority in both houses during Clinton's time in office.  I will check, but I don't think that is right.

          Regardless, if Clinton thought it was a bad law, he should not have signed it.  

          But sign it he did, no doubt because the wealthy and corporate interests that help put Clinton in the WH were widly enthusiastic about the bill.

          And notice that the law has not been repealed or changed since, even as Obama has enjoyed a majority in House and Senate.   No doubt because the wealthy and corporate interests that help put Obama in the WH want the law to stand.

          "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

          by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 09:43:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Again, a veto proof majority passed the bill. (0+ / 0-)

            Even if Clinton refused to sign the bill it would have passed anyway.

            http://www.davemanuel.com/...
            In 1999, the Republicans held a majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

            The final version of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act passed the House by a vote of 362-57 and the Senate by a vote of 90-8. This made the bill "veto proof", meaning that if Clinton had decided to veto, the bill would have been passed anyways.

            •  Good!! Let the cons pass it! (0+ / 0-)

              1) A majority is not the same as a "veto-proof" majority.  

              2) You make an assumption that had Clinton initially vetoed the GLB act, it would automatically have been voted into law by both houses.  This is an assumption and we can not know with certainty "what would have happened if".  Of course, in 1999, having just been impeached by congress, Clinton had little support and  was in a poor position to put up a fight; sadly we all suffer because of Clinton's earlier hubris.

              3) It is really poor form to pass a bad piece of legislation and then claim a decade later that "they made me do it".  I used to vote democratic because at one time the democrats were more than law-makers to the rich and corporate interests.  Let the conservatives pass these dogs, and then at least the dems can say "we opposed it".  Sadly, dems can't say that about GLB.

              4) Clinton has a lot of appeal, and indeed I sit up and take notice when he speaks.  I also recognize with pride that Clinton passed balanced budgets, the only president in my lifetime to do so.    My main point is that the passage of GLB comes first to my mind when I think of "the Clinton legacy".  GLB is a big stinker, and Clinton shares responsibility for it.

              "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

              by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 10:57:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Clinton's Accomplishments (3+ / 0-)

    http://clinton5.nara.gov/...
    " The Clinton Presidency:  A Historic Era of Progress and Prosperity    

        Longest economic expansion in American history
        The President’s strategy of fiscal discipline, open foreign markets and investments in the American people helped create the conditions for a record 115 months of economic expansion. Our economy has grown at an average of 4 percent per year since 1993.

        More than 22 million new jobs
        More than 22 million jobs were created in less than eight years -- the most ever under a single administration, and more than were created in the previous twelve years.

        Highest homeownership in American history
        A strong economy and fiscal discipline kept interest rates low, making it possible for more families to buy homes. The homeownership rate increased from 64.2 percent in 1992 to 67. 7 percent, the highest rate ever.

        Lowest unemployment in 30 years
        Unemployment dropped from more than 7 percent in 1993 to just 4.0 percent in November 2000. Unemployment for African Americans and Hispanics fell to the lowest rates on record, and the rate for women is the lowest in more than 40 years.

        Raised education standards, increased school choice, and doubled education and training investment
        Since 1992, reading and math scores have increased for 4th, 8th, and 12th graders, math SAT scores are at a 30-year high, the number of charter schools has grown from 1 to more than 2,000, forty-nine states have put in place standards in core subjects and federal investment in education and training has doubled.

        Largest expansion of college opportunity since the GI Bill
        President Clinton and Vice President Gore have nearly doubled financial aid for students by increasing Pell Grants to the largest award ever, expanding Federal Work-Study to allow 1 million students to work their way through college, and by creating new tax credits and scholarships such as Lifetime Learning tax credits and the HOPE scholarship. At the same time, taxpayers have saved $18 billion due to the decline in student loan defaults, increased collections and savings from the direct student loan program.

        Connected 95 percent of schools to the Internet
        President Clinton and Vice President Gore’s new commitment to education technology, including the E-Rate and a 3,000 percent increase in educational technology funding, increased the percentage of schools connected to the Internet from 35 percent in 1994 to 95 percent in 1999.

        Lowest crime rate in 26 years
        Because of President Clinton’s comprehensive anti-crime strategy of tough penalties, more police, and smart prevention, as well as common sense gun safety laws, the overall crime rate declined for 8 consecutive years, the longest continuous drop on record, and is at the lowest level since 1973.

        100,000 more police for our streets
        As part of the 1994 Crime Bill, President Clinton enacted a new initiative to fund 100,000 community police officers. To date more than 11,000 law enforcement agencies have received COPS funding.

        Enacted most sweeping gun safety legislation in a generation
        Since the President signed the Brady bill in 1993, more than 600,000 felons, fugitives, and other prohibited persons have been stopped from buying guns. Gun crime has declined 40 percent since 1992.

        Family and Medical Leave Act for 20 million Americans
        To help parents succeed at work and at home, President Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act in 1993. Over 20 million Americans have taken unpaid leave to care for a newborn child or sick family member.

        Smallest welfare rolls in 32 years
        The President pledged to end welfare as we know it and signed landmark bipartisan welfare reform legislation in 1996. Since then, caseloads have been cut in half, to the lowest level since 1968, and millions of parents have joined the workforce. People on welfare today are five times more likely to be working than in 1992.

        Higher incomes at all levels
        After falling by nearly $2,000 between 1988 and 1992, the median family’s income rose by $6,338, after adjusting for inflation, since 1993. African American family income increased even more, rising by nearly $7,000 since 1993. After years of stagnant income growth among average and lower income families, all income brackets experienced double-digit growth since 1993. The bottom 20 percent saw the largest income growth at 16.3 percent.

        Lowest poverty rate in 20 years
        Since Congress passed President Clinton’s Economic Plan in 1993, the poverty rate declined from 15.1 percent to 11.8 percent last year — the largest six-year drop in poverty in nearly 30 years. There are now 7 million fewer people in poverty than in 1993. The child poverty rate declined more than 25 percent, the poverty rates for single mothers, African Americans and the elderly have dropped to their lowest levels on record, and Hispanic poverty dropped to its lowest level since 1979.

        Lowest teen birth rate in 60 years
        In his 1995 State of the Union Address, President Clinton challenged Americans to join together in a national campaign against teen pregnancy. The birth rate for teens aged 15-19 declined every year of the Clinton Presidency, from 60.7 per 1,000 teens in 1992 to a record low of 49.6 in 1999.

        Lowest infant mortality rate in American history
        The Clinton Administration expanded efforts to provide mothers and newborn children with health care. Today, a record high 82 percent of all mothers receive prenatal care. The infant mortality rate has dropped from 8.5 deaths per 1,000 in 1992 to 7.2 deaths per 1,000 in 1998, the lowest rate ever recorded.

        Deactivated more than 1,700 nuclear warheads from the former Soviet Union
        Efforts of the Clinton-Gore Administration led to the dismantling of more than 1,700 nuclear warheads, 300 launchers and 425 land and submarine based missiles from the former Soviet Union.

        Protected millions of acres of American land
        President Clinton has protected more land in the lower 48 states than any other president. He has protected 5 new national parks, designated 11 new national monuments and expanded two others and proposed protections for 60 million acres of roadless areas in America’s national forests.

        Paid off $360 billion of the national debt
        Between 1998-2000, the national debt was reduced by $363 billion — the largest three-year debt pay-down in American history. We are now on track to pay off the entire debt by 2009.

        Converted the largest budget deficit in American history to the largest surplus
        Thanks in large part to the 1993 Deficit Reduction Act, the 1997 Balanced Budget Act, and President Clinton’s call to save the surplus for debt reduction, Social Security, and Medicare solvency, America has put its fiscal house in order. The deficit was $290 billion in 1993 and expected to grow to $455 billion by this year. Instead, we have a projected surplus of $237 billion.

        Lowest government spending in three decades
        Under President Clinton federal government spending as a share of the economy has decreased from 22.2 percent in 1992 to a projected 18.5 percent in 2000, the lowest since 1966.

        Lowest federal income tax burden in 35 years
        President Clinton enacted targeted tax cuts such as the Earned Income Tax Credit expansion, $500 child tax credit, and the HOPE Scholarship and Lifetime Learning Tax Credits. Federal income taxes as a percentage of income for the typical American family have dropped to their lowest level in 35 years.

        More families own stock than ever before
        The number of families owning stock in the United States increased by 40 percent since 1992.

        Most diverse cabinet in American history
        The President has appointed more African Americans, women and Hispanics to the Cabinet than any other President in history. He appointed the first female Attorney General, the first female Secretary of State and the first Asian American cabinet secretary ever."

    •  he did what he could (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wednesday Bizzare

      in the face of Democratic party internal issues and Gingrich and his henchmen. But so much of that was undone by stupid ass W. The truly lasting result of a president, I think, is with the Court and there his choices were just about perfect.

      The Spice must Flow!

      by Texdude50 on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 05:18:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bush's tax cut put us on the precipice of Grover (0+ / 0-)

        Norquist's "Starve the Beast" where out debt load qrow so large that it would force government spending cuts on on social services.

        His Successor finished the job by continuing them and has proposed a Simpson-Bowles grand bargain on multiple occasions.

    •  And (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kvetchnrelease, Wee Mama

      Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 05:27:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  WHen it came to putting food on the table... (0+ / 0-)

        Under Clinton:
        "After falling by nearly $2,000 between 1988 and 1992, the median family’s income rose by $6,338, after adjusting for inflation, since 1993. African American family income increased even more, rising by nearly $7,000 since 1993. After years of stagnant income growth among average and lower income families, all income brackets experienced double-digit growth since 1993. The bottom 20 percent saw the largest income growth at 16.3 percent.

            Lowest poverty rate in 20 years
            Since Congress passed President Clinton’s Economic Plan in 1993, the poverty rate declined from 15.1 percent to 11.8 percent last year — the largest six-year drop in poverty in nearly 30 years. There are now 7 million fewer people in poverty than in 1993. The child poverty rate declined more than 25 percent, the poverty rates for single mothers, African Americans and the elderly have dropped to their lowest levels on record, and Hispanic poverty dropped to its lowest level since 1979."

        Present:
        Meanwhile from 2009 to 2011 Incomes dropped 6.7 percent.

        The poverty rate is the highest in 5 decades..

      •  Gains from the stock market? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wee Mama

        I know my 401k in the late 90's really took off. Capital gains taxes and dividends need to be taxed at the same rate as income.

        The Spice must Flow!

        by Texdude50 on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 05:42:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Even though it was a very partisan speech... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texdude50, CentralMass

    I couldn't help but think that last night President Clinton gave a very American speech, a speech that would put him up there with Will Rogers or Mark Twain or someone that all Americans take pride in.

    I also was thinking, "Hey, there's our ex-president, bringing down the house. GOP, you didn't even invite your most recent ex-president to your convention."

    How telling is that?

    And the sight of Presidents Obama and Clinton embracing at the end of the speech?

    Priceless.

    Of course, the GOP covention did have that chair thing...

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 05:39:42 AM PDT

    •  Seriously (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Texdude50

      A "very partisan speech" at a political party's convention.

      I hope they make ads from this.  It's not as if the people who would never vote for Obama like Clinton very much either.

      -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent, and we are all Wisconsin.

      by Dave in Northridge on Thu Sep 06, 2012 at 08:00:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Please explain NAFTA to me! (0+ / 0-)

    I don't understand how he could sign it.  I understand possibly the theory of how it would help; but in reality, I always thought it was terrible legislation.  Am I wrong?

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