Sunday, January 23, 2005

Bill Clinton to get third term? Pray it doesn't happen... for his own sake.

This story is bat guano. It'll be a cold day in H-E-double toothpicks before the Republicans grant this concession (and they'd be showing themselves to be the biggest hypocrites after how they went after him in '98). But I'm wondering what would happen if the way was opened up for this, and if he did run and win. From NewsMax.com so take it with a grain of salt:
Saturday, Jan. 22, 2005 8:36 p.m. EST

Strategists Eyeing Deal for Clinton Third Term

Political strategists are reportedly pondering a deal that would allow Bill Clinton to run for president again by getting Republicans to agree to a change in the constitutional ban on third terms.

Calling it "a long shot," U.S. News & World Report says the deal would work like this: "Congressional Democrats will OK a constitutional amendment allowing naturalized citizens like California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to run for president if Republicans help kill the 22nd Amendment."

"Right now it's the talk among political strategists," says the magazine's Washington Whispers section. "But look for it to spread on Capitol Hill when Sen. Orrin Hatch reintroduces his plan to let naturalized citizens run for president after 20 years."

Clinton himself has boasted that he "could be re-elected" one more time...

Funny that I'm reading about this now (if it's true that is) 'cuz this morning my wife and I got into a conversation about the current state of things, and how - loathe that we were to admit it - in a buncha ways the Clinton years were a lot better time than we've got now. I shared something with her that I've really come to believe in, now that Clinton's been out of office long enough and there's been time for contemplation: Bill Clinton did a lotta things that messed up this country, and diminished our capacity for self-defense. Not to mention the maybe irreparable damage he brought to the office of President because of what he did with that intern and a cigar.

But in hindsight, I believe that Bill Clinton gave as good a performance in the capacity of President as he was able to muster. Will even go so far to say that - and this is going to become increasingly obvious as the years go by - that Bill Clinton was a very flawed man that came in the way of what might actually be a very sincere heart. What might inherently be a good heart, even.

Yes, I'm quite aware of the alleged rape of Juanita Broaddrick (he should have served hard prison time a loooong time ago if true... and there's plenty of evidence that it did occur). And selling out a lot of our national security to communist China (which in olden days would have had him in front of a firing squad for treason). And the inordinately long list of people associated with the Clintons that have died under suspicious circumstances. And the handling of the Elian Gonzalez incident. And his administration's botching the Branch Davidian thing at Waco (David Koresh could have easily been picked up anywhere on the street away from the compound: instead it had to be a "show of force" by the government). And all the other women who've come out over the years with claims and corroboration that Clinton sexually violated them. And the Arkansas prison blood scandal. And the rampant cronyism. And his use of the IRS to harass and intimidate political enemies. And his betraying his oath of office and the sanctity of the law that he long ago pledged to serve by lying under oath. And literally dozens (hundreds?) of other things that if committed by the average American citizen, would in a sane world have either landed him in prison or driven him to madness and suicide.

And let's face it: anyone who let's their Christmas tree be decorated with condoms, drug needles and sex toys is obviously suffering from a diseased mind. That would be disturbing behavior for anyone... but when it's the President of the United States doing that in our White House... well, you get the point.

On issues, I couldn't have disagreed more with the guy. I'm very strongly pro-2nd Amendment, while Clinton wanted more handgun control. He's pro-fetucide (sorry, I just don't see how it can be called "pro-choice" at all) and I'm adamantly pro-life. He supported NAFTA and I saw back then that we would come to regret it.

I do not like, or have ever approved or appreciated, the things that Bill Clinton did as President. Back in the day, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who was more looking forward to his impeachment: I'll readily admit to literally praying that if God was so willing, that He would see Clinton taken out of office. By force, if necessary.

Did I hate Bill Clinton? Yeah... yeah, I think I did. I know I did. But I don't know if that was a hatred of the things he did, or a hatred that was just projected onto Clinton out of frustration and exasperation that he'd be so stupid as to led a life like this and then let it wash over the rest of us. But so far as pure hatred or fear goes for the man himself... it doesn't seem like that was ever there, looking back from today.

Everything wrong that Clinton did, he should be held accountable for committing them. I wouldn't want to see harm come to anyone, even if called for by the rule of law... but his entire term in office was one long begging for the rule of law to be acted upon. Making him answer for his misdeeds would have reinforced the belief that ours is a nation of laws and not men. But it wasn't. It was ignored out of political expedience... on both sides of the aisle! And I can see where the failure to prosecute Bill Clinton as any other American might have been from similar acts has only served to make not just the executive branch, but the entire government far more removed and less answerable to the American people and the law that they do still adhere to.

All that said, and even knowing that he more than likely deserves more punishment than most people... I feel sorry for Bill Clinton. Because I've also seen a lot of things in his life to make me think that there's a good person in there, somewhere, that has never known how to come out.

This is a man who was born into dire poverty and grew up in a town so criminal, it never occured to most residents that it's biggest industry was illegal gambling run by the Mafia. His natural father was killed three months before Clinton was born and his step-father was an alcohol-enraged compulsive gambler who regularly abused Clinton's mother and half-brother. By every indication, Clinton was a young man bereft of any real love or chance to escape for something better. But when it did come, he poured every iota of passion and effort into its pursuit.

Unfortunately, while it's one thing to escape your circumstances, it's quite another to escape your wounds. Sooner or later they must be confronted. And instead of forcing himself to do that, Clinton ran away from it and threw himself into his ambitions and abilities that much more.

And then, however much wrong he had done already was compounded by another tragedy. Perhaps the worst mistake that Bill Clinton ever did with his life: he met and married Hillary Rodham.

You'd have to be either very blind or willingly stupid to not see that Hillary Clinton only married her husband because she saw that he "was going places" and had to attach herself to him. Hillary wanted power and Bill was the vehicle she intended to ride to a helluva lot of it. And when he had outlasted his usefulness to her and she was where she wanted to be... well, how many times since he left office have we really seen Bill and Hillary together? We see plenty of Hillary nowadays: as New York's Senator, as a possible Presidential candidate in 2008... but as a "wife" at all? Can't say that I've seen that even once since his term ended (and it was pretty rare during it already).

That still doesn't exonerate him from his sins. But the longer Bill Clinton is out of office and the further he remains from the woman who exploited his good fortunes, the more he's going to finally start to grow up. And understand that he's got to face up to some things. His recent heart attack must have had some effect on him to cause reflection and consideration. Who knows, but maybe that brush with mortality made him realize that life is short, and not about pursuing money or power or sex at all. And that there is still time to make something of it that would be far nobler - and of far more lasting value - than anything he did while serving as President of the United States.

Consider a man like that, who was born into a broken home with nothing. Not even a moral compass apart from what little his own desperate and hardened conscience knew about. Whose had considerable God-given talents... and then became an instrument to be used by petty, godless despoilers who otherwise had no route toward that for which they lusted. Who obviously has a lot of human weakness and committed much unatoned-for wrongdoing. Consider someone like that who would want to be clean in his conscience before God and other men.

Now, contrast such a man to one who was born with every privilege and comfort. Whose sense of morality derived mostly from an aura of elitism and aloofness from others. Who had no desire to develop whatever talents God gave him and instead chose to "coast" through life on the charity of others and affluence of his name. Who has boasted that he cannot and will not be held accountable for anything, that he has not made any mistakes or apparently is capable of making a mistake at all. Who has also done much wrongdoing... and then let it be magnified by bringing on the deaths of thousands of his own people and countless more in distant lands. Who instead of letting his conscience be broken in the sight of God, is so brazen as to wield the name of God as a talisman against others, so that he might continue his own damnable desire for power unhindered?

One can confess sin and wrong (but could still do a lot more). The other believes he does not need to confess any wrongdoing (and has let his unrepentant heart cause misery toward others beyond measure).

I can't hate Clinton anymore. I can't hate Bush either, for that matter. Both are men who, just as I or your or anyone else, God is trying with all His might to bring Home to Him someday. But first, that reconciliation must be desired... and Jesus had some words about the kind of man it would be who would have it:

And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

-- Luke 18, verses 9-14

Something to consider.

One last thing: I just noticed that although George W. Bush won this past election by the most votes ever cast for a winning candidate and by a wider margin of victory than in his 2000 run against Al Gore, the best he's been able to muster was 1/3rd of the percentage that Clinton got in the 1996 election, when Clinton drastically increased that margin over what he got against George Bush I and Ross Perot in 1992. Clinton also was first elected with the largest percentage of turnout from eligible voters since Nixon beat McGovern in '72 (Nixon's percentage margin of victory in that race remains the biggest since Franklin Roosevelt's in the 1936 election).

When you run the numbers, Bill Clinton statistically had a greater mandate from the American people than George W. Bush has ever been able to boast, if we're gauging this by how big a slice of participating voters approve of a candidate.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I just noticed that although George W. Bush won this past election by the most votes ever cast for a winning candidate and by a wider margin of victory than in his 2000 run against Al Gore, the best he's been able to muster was 1/3rd of the percentage that Clinton got in the 1996 election, when Clinton drastically increased that margin over what he got against George Bush I and Ross Perot in 1992. Clinton also was first elected with the largest percentage of turnout from eligible voters since Nixon beat McGovern in '72 (Nixon's percentage margin of victory in that race remains the biggest since Franklin Roosevelt's in the 1936 election).

When you run the numbers, Bill Clinton statistically had a greater mandate from the American people than George W. Bush has ever been able to boast, if we're gauging this by how big a slice of participating voters approve of a candidate."

Do you even realize how much you're grasping for straws here? Since when has this percentage thing been the measuring stick as to who actually has a bigger mandate? Yes, statistically, I know what you are saying is true when you run the numbers, so you dont have to show them to me. But to claim that Clinton had the greater mandate, especially when he got fewer voters than Bush, is patently ridiculous.

Chris Knight said...

Was going by percentages. That was pretty obvious.

Either way not Clinton's elections, or Bush's, ever qualified as clear mandates.