Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Remember that for all of Clinton's success in winning two terms and in helping his Hillary win a Senate seat, the Democrats did pretty poorly while he was in office, losing control of both Houses of Congress in 1994 and losing ground in state capitals around the country. The Republicans were crowing about having a 'permanent majority'. The Democrats were playing defense on one position after another; abortion, affirmative action and welfare were just a few of the policies that were moving in a 'conservative' position.
And to top it off, Al Gore, Clinton's handpicked successor, lost to George Bush in 2000. Sure, it was close (and to some Democrats who can't count, Gore won), but no matter how one slices it, the 2000 election result have to be seen as a repudiation of Clinton personally and of the Democratic party in general.
And then comes along George Bush, who in just a few short years, has managed to not only let the Democrats off the mat but also has disillusioned and disappointed Republicans far worse than Bill Clinton ever managed to do to the Democrats.
While in doing so, he alienated a number of core Democrats and certainly p***ed off a whole lot of Republicans, Clinton's Dick Morris-inspired triangulating strategy guaranteed that Clinton was associated with a number of programs supported by the public. Clinton got on the right side of welfare reform and free trade. While he was later criticized for being too soft, his anti-terrorism steps were then seen as appropriate. He publicly called for reforming affirmative action. He called for policies to reduce the number of abortions (he did nothing of substance, but it didn't matter as the public could care less about the details).
But Bush has done nothing of the sort. There is not a single - not a single - issue on which Bush and the American people are on the same page on. They oppose his stupidity in Iraq. They oppose his immigration amnesty. And, unlike Clinton, they don't like him personally.
In 2004, there were a number of Republicans who thought of Democrats such as Howard Dean as God's gift to Republicans, that the Republicans couldn't have asked for anyone better than the likes of Gore and Dean and Kerry.
Well, as 2008 approaches, how many Democrats are now thinking that while he's been bad for the country as a whole, for the Democratic party, George Bush has been the gift that keeps on giving? I would wager most of them are...
.. which brings up the question: being that I wish someone else were sitting in the Oval Office right now, to what extent would it be impolite or improper to hope for something to happen that would result in a change in the White House?
Would, for example, it be wrong, to hope that Bush wakes up one morning in the not-too-distant future and deciding that he would just as soon be doing something else?
Would it be improper to offer him a billion dollars if he were to resign as President?
Would it be improper to hope for him to suffer an illness or injury, such as a stroke, heart attack or falling off his horse, that would render him incapable of continuing in office? And if it were improper to hope for such, would it be wrong if we didn't feel bad if something like that happened?
Now, as much as I would like to see him gone, I'm not rooting for him to be shot by a terrorist or have Air Force One crash and burn on landing. I'm not hoping for Laura or one of the twins to suffer some illness that would cause him to resign in order to spend his time with them. I'm not cheering on the Democrats who are talking impeachment. I'm not hoping for a meteor to fall out of the sky and land on his head. I'm not sure how to define it, but there is a line beyond which it just wouldn't be right.
But given how much damage he has done to this country, I can certainly imagine that there are some who would draw no such line.
What a legacy...
And, as I've said in the past, I blame Ronald Reagan. Had Reagan not taken the easy way out and had instead picked someone stronger than Bush I as Vice President, then not only would the country have very likely been spared eight years of Clinton, but Bush II wouldn't have pushed and been pushed to redeem his father's honor, saving us from the disaster his Presidency has been... and we wouldn't be facing the possibility of Hillary Clinton winning the Presidency in 2008.
Thanks Ronnie. For all the good you did in so many areas, picking and keeping Bush I was a mistake that will forever haunt you in heaven and us here on earth....