Wednesday, September 27, 2006
See when Bill loses his temper-which is reputed to be quite easy-he is judged as having "lost it", "overstepped his bounds", and "guilty of an ego trip".
However when Bush does it, which seems to be anytime any reporter from any network has the termerity to ask how getting shot at in an Arab hell hole, full of religious nutjobs arguing about the successor to the prophet who died 1300 years ago, somehow contributes to the American security in the world and he gets every bit as feisty; its considered strong, powerful leadership.
Lets face it. People either love or hate Clinton. If you hate him, then you feel that he lost it. Could he have done more to stop OBL? Hell yes, even he admits that. However, I applaud him for sticking it to a Fox news reporter, who decided a long time ago to go to the dark side, simply because Rupert Murdoch pays a few more bucks.
If you like him, well you will be like some in the Democratic party who see this as a rallying cry. My problem with that line of thinking is: "A rally cry behind whom? With the exception of James Webb, the Democrats have no one of stature to rally behind." Hillary? - give me a break. Nancy Pelosi? Not a chance. Ted Kennedy? -Now I need a drink!
I always felt Clinton could never make up his mind which type of Democrat he wanted to be- Scoop Jackson or Bella Abzug. If he tried to be like the former, he would have had to renounce the two "f's"-Fags and Feminism. If he gave in to trying to be like the latter, well that did not quite fit in with "retaking the center".
Which brings me to one key observation one should bear in mind, no matter which party you belong to. As I said to the Phibian the other day:
There is an issue of context. People are looking at what Clinton did in a pre 9-11 world through the lens of a post 9-11 world. Should he have firebombed Aden killing as many Yemenis as possible after the Cole? Yea he should have. But with the election 2 weeks away and no clear proof of who did it? Bush was able to invade Iraq because of 9-11. If that event had never happened, there would have been no way Bush could have invaded, no matter how much he wanted to. I remain convinced that was one reason Bush chose to go (into Iraq) as early as he did, because he felt the stars would not be aligned properly the longer he waited. Short strikes on selected targets? Reagan and GHWB did the same thing. It was the accepted paradigm. Putting troops on the ground after Somalia was just not in the public vocabulary.
So many of these back seat drivers forget that, but for 9-11, much of what we are doing would be unacceptable in the world of 9-10. That does not mean there were a lot of things that to like about Clinton, but in this area, would Bob Dole have done anything differently? Or GWB's Dad? No. We just were not ready for anything different. And at that, what has GWB's really aggressive tactics bought us? 2600+ Americans dead in Iraq, the place still a mess and Bin Laden dying in his sleep. Afghanistan still in tatters, and the world just as unsafe and paranoid as before.
I'm no Clinton fan. But we need to remember the environment he worked in.
Now lay into me! But remember, I watch real news-NHK...............