Clinton's Surprise Fans

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I remember one of the first times my then-girlfriend and I left our apartment for any sustained period—our offices were both closed for a couple of days—after September 11. We were strolling around Greenwich Village, surveying the still mostly empty shops and restaurants, when she—a lapsed anarcho-capitalist, and still a harder-core libertarian than I—turned to me and said, a little surprised to find herself saying it, "I wish Clinton was still president." I was shocked and a little horrified… not because she'd said it, but because I suddenly realized that I did too.

All of which is to say, I think I have a sense of how conservative Bruce Bartlett felt when he penned this little encomium to the 42nd president. Of course, Bartlett's probably just taking the opportunity, what with all the media buzz around the new Clinton bio, to take an oblique swipe at George W. for his deficiencies on some key conservative issues, but I've been surprised in conversation at how many D.C. conservatives who railed against him during his time in office now find themselves saying (usually quietly) that he wasn't so bad after all. Though maybe that's just the power of contrast.

NEXT: This Land Is Mine

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  1. i’ll have to admit here that i wasn’t really thinking about presidents when i was wandering around the w village The Day After. iirc i was spending more cycles trying to figure out how far i’d have to travel to get out of the smoke.

  2. Me too. I find myself missing Clinton – and the gridlock of a split congress and executive branch – more and more every day.

  3. We’ve also been recently treated to the spectacle of some liberals saying semi-nice things about Reagan. In retrospect it seems like nobody is either as good or as bad as people say.

  4. Except for, you know, Stalin and stuff.

  5. I’m with Mark! What gives?

  6. I’m not sure that the comparison between Clinton and Reagan and their respective critics-turned-apologists is all that useful. I mean, Reagan’s been out of office for 15 years and recently died. Clinton’s been out of office (but still very much in public life) for 3 years, and is acting more or less like he’s always acted!

  7. The other night is was trying to recall anything Clinton accomplished in his terms. The balanced budget wasn’t a goal of his, but I had some vague memory of “welfare reform”.

    Did he lead us anywhere, on anything? Or was he all about sex?

  8. I’ll grant you that Clinton is not one of my favorite individuals on Earth, and there was a lot of legislation he signed I find repellent. However, in comparisson to the dimwit we have in the Oval Office now, Clinton was not all THAT bad.

    However, you’ll never convince my father of this. To him George W. Bush is damn near the Second Coming, and the war in Iraq is a Holy Crusade against the “evil doers.” Clinton on the other hand was a “draft dodging, adulterous, lying, dope smoking, mother fucker who spat on God, our Military, and America.”

    Sigh… Needless to say, our dinner conversation are interesting.

  9. um, libertarian = sausage party.

    i’ve never actually met (in person) a non left-anarchist, female or male. they sound fun.

  10. Sausage party, you say? I knew there was a reason I liked coming here!

    (XX)

  11. My girlfriend has recently made similar comments.
    I’m certain the Chinese dissidents ushered into the mobile execution vehicles that roam the provinces all miss Clinton soooooo much.
    He was a smug Trotskyist prick who believed he was above morality. Fuck him.

    (His needless body count was pretty high, too.)

  12. Clinton? Hell I’d feel better if Carter or Ford was still president.

  13. Clinton is a morally bankrupt, glad-handing attention whore. His narcissism and shameless self-centered behavior represents the very worst qualities of his generation, and his outright contempt for the presidency was an insult to every American.

    Reagan had class. Bush has a little class, but you have to look for it. Clinton has no class, and what’s worse, he’s proud of it. You’d have to work pretty hard to beat that level of scumminess.

  14. well, it is the dungeons and dragons of political leanings, you know.

    i think i’ve heard mark s. lament the failure of many women to pass his political smell test. i’ve never found that to be a problem, personally, as the “not fucking crazy” smell test is much more important.

  15. My politics are a weird mix, so I’m typically at least vaguely annoyed by whoever is in office. I never much liked Clinton, and I never considered the Dems to be any more palatable than the repubs.
    I’ve always been a 3rd party guy.

    However, I now feel like the Clinton era was some lost etherial paradise, and have vowed (and follwed through on) giving money to whoever won the Democratic nomination.

    Glad I’m apparently not the only one.

    I’m looking forward to the world returning to normal where I can hate both parties equally.

  16. dhex says:
    “i’ve never actually met (in person) a non left-anarchist, female or male. they sound fun.”

    At http://www.anti-state.com, you will find several right anarchists, a couple of them even of the female persuasion

  17. I missed him and his cute, smirky, amused smile immediately, on Shrub’s inauguration day. (But then, I am an animal-rights kook — no sausage for me, thanks.) I think that smile is one of the biggest reasons for his charisma. Contrast with stony-faced Gore’s lack of both.

  18. Julian,

    I admit to not comprehending your point, or perhaps just the scene you depict. I can imagine non-Democratic partisans missing the Clinton era, or perhaps even missing Clinton himself, with regard to a number of issues. Ditto for free-traders of various stripes. But why would the 9/11 aftermath in NYC conjure this emotion? I don?t understand ? is the idea that the Islamists wouldn?t have struck with Clinton in the White House?

  19. i’ve never actually met (in person) a non left-anarchist, female or male.

    You’ve never met anyone who isn’t a left-anarchist? :>

  20. A lot of us liberals, who called Clinton “the best Republican president in history,” have had to revise our views as well.

  21. A lot of us liberals, who called Clinton “the best Republican president in history,” have had to revise our views as well.

    So now you think Bush is the best Republican president?

  22. (Christ, I must have taken an overdose of smartass pills this morning. Apologies, everyone…)

  23. I was 200 yards away when I saw, on TV, the hijackers crash the second plane into the WTC. Immediately, a flurry of papers and debris came rushing by the window.

    My first reaction was, this is a deliberate terror attack. My next reaction, about a second later, was, this is Clinton’s shortcomings coming back to hurt us in a very dramatic way. It was only then that my third reaction, “What should I do!”, hit my brain’s bulletin board and became the focus of my attention.

    Now, I didn’t go blabbing this insight of mine around then, or even later. I didn’t think it was appropriate to speak ill of anyone who hadn’t actually committed or willfully abetted the murders. But since Mr. Sanchez brought the topic up, I thought this was a good forum to share my opinion.

    Since the attacks, I have, like millions of others, carefully considered how such a thing could have happened. And while I’ve learned it was unfair to hold Pres. Clinton for certain things, I’ve also learned new things that he was responsible for and didn’t do very well on.

    So on balance my initial “Thank you Bill Clinton!”
    reaction has only been strengthened (with the very important qualification that he is not primarily to blame: only the terrorists are guilty of murder).

  24. I was 200 yards away when I saw, on TV, the hijackers crash the second plane into the WTC. Immediately, a flurry of papers and debris came rushing by the window.

    My first reaction was, this is a deliberate terror attack. My next reaction, about a second later, was, this is Clinton’s shortcomings coming back to hurt us in a very dramatic way. It was only then that my third reaction, “What should I do!”, hit my brain’s bulletin board and became the focus of my attention.

    Now, I didn’t go blabbing this insight of mine around then, or even later. I didn’t think it was appropriate to speak ill of anyone who hadn’t actually committed or willfully abetted the murders. But since Mr. Sanchez brought the topic up, I thought this was a good forum to share my opinion.

    Since the attacks, I have, like millions of others, carefully considered how such a thing could have happened. And while I’ve learned it was unfair to hold Pres. Clinton for certain things, I’ve also learned new things that he was responsible for and didn’t do very well on.

    So on balance my initial “Thank you Bill Clinton!”
    reaction has only been strengthened (with the very important qualification that he is not primarily to blame: only the terrorists are guilty of murder).

  25. I was 200 yards away when I saw, on TV, the hijackers crash the second plane into the WTC. Immediately, a flurry of papers and debris came rushing by the window.

    My first reaction was, this is a deliberate terror attack. My next reaction, about a second later, was, this is Clinton’s shortcomings coming back to hurt us in a very dramatic way. It was only then that my third reaction, “What should I do!”, hit my brain’s bulletin board and became the focus of my attention.

    Now, I didn’t go blabbing this insight of mine around then, or even later. I didn’t think it was appropriate to speak ill of anyone who hadn’t actually committed or willfully abetted the murders. But since Mr. Sanchez brought the topic up, I thought this was a good forum to share my opinion.

    Since the attacks, I have, like millions of others, carefully considered how such a thing could have happened. And while I’ve learned it was unfair to hold Pres. Clinton for certain things, I’ve also learned new things that he was responsible for and didn’t do very well on.

    So on balance my initial “Thank you Bill Clinton!”
    reaction has only been strengthened (with the very important qualification that he is not primarily to blame: only the terrorists are guilty of murder).

  26. Sorry, didn’t mean to post three times…

  27. If you ignore the whole Hillary-driven socialized healthcare, Clinton was more or less a conservative Democrat. That, or a liberal Republican, is the best we LP folks can hope for.

    Monkey-boy, on the other hand, is a born-again right-winger. He and his fascist band of goons are driving us back to the dark ages.

  28. I’m no fan of Bush, but at least I can have an iota of respect for him simply because he at least believes he’s doing the right thing. Clinton just didn’t give a flying fuck about what was right or wrong, a trait I’ve already grown to hate because it’s so common in my (20-something) generation. So no, I don’t miss Clinton, even if I do wish Bush would go on a three hour tour and never come back.

  29. dhex:

    Well, I wouldnt’t call it a “smell test” so much as it just that dating someone with the same values as you have takes away a major point of conflict that can ruin a relationship. If I ever do find another lover (highly unlikely) I want to spend my time with her having fun together, not bickering over our political differences.

  30. Miss Clinton? Does integrity mean anything? How quickly we surrender our noblest values for a pacifier! Somalia, Haiti, forget, we’ll just remember him playing sax. Pathetic.

    “Clinton just didn’t give a flying fuck about what was right or wrong, a trait I’ve already grown to hate because it’s so common in my (20-something) generation.”

    Right on. And not limited to the 20-something generation.

  31. I find it truly incomprehensible that anyone could feel positively about George Bush – or for that matter the Cheney/Rummy/Wolfie/Condi cabal who are the real problem.

    Our current president can’t even pronounce the names of the places where he’s gotten us into trouble (“Abu Garef”, anyone??).

  32. Just after 9/11, I heard the “thank god Gore isn’t president” a few times. I probably said it myself, although I’m not sure why. Maybe I just didn’t want to hear Gore *talk* about whatever was happening. As Bush Jr. can’t talk at all, that wasn’t a big concern.

    As for Clinton, it would’ve been interesting to see his response to 9/11. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have spent that day hiding in his goddamned plane like a cowardly child while his VP called the shots from the WH. Clinton doesn’t seem the type to take orders from his supposed underlings. A slave to polls, perhaps, but there’s little doubt Clinton was actually in charge of his administration.

    As for elective wars, it is pretty easy to compare Clinton’s handling of Kosovo with the Bush Administration’s handling of Iraq. Both were allegedly for the Greater Good, and both involved hard-to-love tyrants and threats to neighboring countries and ethnic cleansing.

    One was quick and relatively painless (that would be Kosovo). While that rotten chunk of land is never going to be confused with Switzerland — except for the large ethnic Albanian population in both places! — Milosevic was removed and caught and the genocide against the ethnic Albanians was mostly stopped. U.S. losses were tiny, the U.S. scandal was fairly easy to explain away (the Chinese Embassy bombing), and it set an example in the region by calming ye olde Balkan Powderkeg (FYRoMacedonia v. Greece, Kosovo v. Macedonia, Serbia v. Everybody, etc.) that was still very hot in the mid-late ’90s.

    The other (Iraq) is a goddamned disaster not even a majority of *Americans* support, let alone the Iraqis. The war was built on lies and cooked books, U.S. losses are large and still growing, we’ll be there forever, the scandal is repulsive and impossible to explain away, a third-rate Saddam will surely seize power this year (or four or five third-rate Saddams will seize power in four or five regions), the only clear winners are Halliburton and the luxury hotels of Kuwait, and the “example” learned is that terrorist groups in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan and beyond can now murder Americans, aid workers, contractors and other such foreign devils with impunity, because our invasion was inept, corrupt and amoral.

    Yeah, Clinton should’ve done more to stop Bin Laden & the Taliban. And if it was really the crisis situation the neo-cons always say it was, then the Bush administration sure as hell should have toppled the Taliban and caught Bin Laden in their first year in power. But they didn’t. And after 9/11, they still blew it. They chased Bin Laden around Afghanistan and Pakistan, they let our military topple the Taliban and then washed their hands of it and sent 140,000 of our troops to … Iraq?

  33. I find it curious how several people brought up Clinton’s personal qualities (good and bad) in evaluating him as a president. I care infinitely more about how he affects the country than whether he has “class”, whether he believes he’s doing the right thing, how he smiled, or whether he’s a narcissist. Some of these things may have predictive power in whether he’ll be a good president, but given that we’re evaluating in hindsight, shouldn’t we use results rather than predictions?

    They may both be far from libertarian, but on the two main axes (social policy and economic policy), Clinton is closer. Bush is a spendthrift and a religious nut. Sounds like an easy comparison to me.

  34. I find it curious how several people brought up Clinton’s personal qualities (good and bad) in evaluating him as a president. I care infinitely more about how he affects the country than whether he has “class”, whether he believes he’s doing the right thing, how he smiled, or whether he’s a narcissist. Some of these things may have predictive power in whether he’ll be a good president, but given that we’re evaluating in hindsight, shouldn’t we use results rather than predictions?

    They may both be far from libertarian, but on the two main axes (social policy and economic policy), Clinton is closer. Bush is a spendthrift and a religious nut. Sounds like an easy comparison to me.

  35. Just have to my two cents in response to czar’s comment that he has some respect for Bush just because “he believes he is doing the right thing”…as the terrorists themselves illustrate, most of the really horrible atrocities committed throughout history are committed by people who “believe they are doing the right thing”.

  36. Ken Layne,

    So you’re crediting Clinton with keeping al-Qaeda out of Kosovo? It did help that aQ didn’t have much support in the neighboring countries, whereas Iraq borders Iran, Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

    It also helped that Clinton hadn’t done much to tick aQ off, which is not necessarily a good thing in retrospect.

  37. >I find it curious how several people brought up
    >Clinton’s personal qualities (good and bad) in
    >evaluating him as a president.

    I don’t care if he was directly responsible for eradicating poverty, curing cancer, and building a theme park on the moon. The man was an embarrassment to the presidency, and as far as I’m concerned his behavior was a direct insult to the people he was supposed to be representing.

    I have no love for Kerry — he strikes me as a yes-man for the Ted Kennedy wing of the Democratic party — but I have infinitely less trepidation about seeing him in the Oval Office than I would if I were facing a third Clinton term (Bill or Hillary).

  38. Jesse,

    I still occasionally chuckle at your response to my remark about the pope drawing a line across South America.

  39. While I was all caught up at the time in anti-clinton fervor, I do absolutely recall at the height of monicagate a dinner conversation with my father (where I got my lib blood after all) that I was delighted, absolutely delighted that the newspaper was using 40 point font for… blowjobs. I was born under Ford, I don’t think I’ve had it better.

    I’ve come to find split legislative and executive control as the best I can hope for. Here’s to hoping Congress is projected to stay Republican so I can vote for Kerry in good conscience.

  40. When this subject comes up, why is Clinton always presumed to have been soft and ineffective? It was that great republican saint Reagan that couldn’t haul ass out of Lebanon fast enough after terrorists blew up 240 or so marines. He also shipped weapons and intelligence to Saddam and all kinds of crap to people like bin Ladin in Afghanistan. Lebanon was where the terrorists learned that America couldn’t take casualties.

  41. Jason,
    The funny thing is people elected him a second time. Apparently, they weren’t as embarassed by you. At least he could speak properly.

    Seems to me more embarassing behavior is talking about the horrible situation in I-P and then asking reporters to watch my golf shot or not taking the time, effort or caring enough to learn to pronounce the Anglicized version of Saddam’s torture jail, that we used for much of the same or sitting there frozen for 8 minutes during the first attack on the American mainland in over 180 years while the VP runs the show. Then again I have pretty high standards and lying about a bj is pretty low on the things I care about.

    I could care less if my president has the decorum of Thruston Howell the III as long as his presidency leads to the improvement of the welfare of my country and more freedom (not saying Clinton did or didn’t do this, this is all hypothetical). You judge ineffectual monarchs by decorum, presidents are judged by their execution.

    P.S. Clinton wasn’t the first prez to cheat or get caught, usually the media just kept quiet.

  42. was the giant sucking sound:

    a) how clinton lucked into office when a bunch of us abandoned the GOP for a third-party type

    b) monica in the oval office while clinton feigned interest in the world leader on the other end of the phone

    c) REASON’s legacy swirling around the drain in sycophancy of a forgettable timewaster who’ll never have one

    d) all of the above

  43. “most of the really horrible atrocities committed throughout history are committed by people who “believe they are doing the right thing”

    I don’t know that this really tells us anything, unless you are also suggesting that not believing you are doing the right thing is preferable.

  44. Mark and Well et al, give it up, there are exactly seventy-three libertarian women on the planet. Sausage Party Indeed–VBG

    I’m married to one, Julian apparently set one free sometime back, and of the remaining, a scant few are unattached, but you’ll never find them. Except there is that absolutely stunning…no, this is way too public a forum for that.

    Back in the really old days, maybe even before Jesse Walker worked at Liberty Mag, those guys did a survey of libertarian types and came up with a serious male/female ratio of about 93 to 1.

    Why is that?

  45. I don’t know that this really tells us anything, unless you are also suggesting that not believing you are doing the right thing is preferable.

    It’s not. What’s preferable is a willingness to to question whether or not you’re doing right thing. (As opposed to making it clear up and down the chain of command that you don’t even want to know that other opinions exist.)

  46. Mark S you are absolutely right

    “just that dating someone with the same values as you have takes away a major point of conflict that can ruin a relationship”

    I lived with a liberal dem chick for four years. We had plenty to fight about but the political stuff was just insane. And she wasn’t terribly bright either (okay, she was blond, and well, you know).

    I have been married to a libertarian chick for eons now. Let me assure you that it definitely smoothes things dramatically when your shared values are a given.

    As for Clinton? I didn’t think the picture on the cover of Time even looked like him at all. When was THAT guy president?

  47. I might miss Clinton if the bastard would just go away for a while.

  48. If there are only 73 libertarian women on the planet, I think I know about half of the other 72 of them. I’d offer to introduce you, but come to think of it, they are almost all in committed relationships… except me, and I’m not looking. 🙂

  49. “Back in the really old days, maybe even before Jesse Walker worked at Liberty Mag, those guys did a survey of libertarian types and came up with a serious male/female ratio of about 93 to 1.

    Why is that?”

    Some of it may be due to socialization, but a lot more, judging by gender roles in the animal kingdom, may be biological. I know that this is a bit of a generalization, but I’ve noticed that many women demonstrate a pronounced proclivity to feel the same way libertarians do in one regard. They don’t differentiate between civil rights and property rights, which is to say that they feel free to violate both our civil rights and our property rights without a second thought.

    Even if I was starving, I wouldn’t ask any of my friends, family or girlfriends for money, but many women aren’t bothered by taking money from fathers, boyfriends or husbands at all. Every guy I know has a story about a girl they used to take out and blow a week’s pay on, only to be addressed later as a “friend”. Oh yeah, that’s right, I spend that much money on my poker buddies every weekend too ’cause that’s the way I like to treat my “friends”!

    I’ve pounded on this desk before, so don’t get me started on civil rights. Well okay, you already did. Have you ever lived with a woman? Then you’ll know that the right to free speech is a joke to them. The right not to be forced to testify against yourself is even more funny still. Forget the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. You do have the right to assemble, at least, right up until Poker Night or, God forbid, Monday Night Football.

    Why aren’t there more women libertarians? I’m surprised there are as many as there are. The ones I’ve met tend to have been literary types in high school who got into Ayn Rand like some girls used to get into Anne Rice not so long ago. At least, I’ve noticed that there seem to be more female Objectivists than Libertarians, but the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence; I’ve also noticed that a lot of women Objectivists are into whips

  50. It should come as no surprise that some conservatives now pine for Clinton since Bush isn’t a real conservative and the results of the Clinton years were relatively so.

    Bush’s record is one of drastically expanding government. And, he has advocated even bigger government than has passed.

    Clinton faced a feisty congress and a GOP dominated one after the ’94 elections. As was the subject of a previous thread; there were departments that were actually cut during the Clinton terms, not as many as with Reagan, but Bush’s score here is zero.

    Also remember, when Clinton was first elected, Greenspan threatened to jack up the interest rates if Clinton pursued his expansive agenda.

  51. Joe

    Clinton is the guy who would have looked great for the first 15 minutes, and good for the next two weeks.

    It is the rest of it that he would have fucked up…becuse those first 15 minutes would have been a wrap, so far as he was concerned.

  52. Oh. Well, I’ll be damned. So THAT’S why nobody believes me when I tell them I’m a libertarian anarcho-capitalist atheist chick who digs engineers (and chemists, by the way) and still has her dry quart of D&D dice. I also shoot straight, know how to skin a deer, invest contrarian, and use AutoCAD. Besides that, I can gourmet cook, sew curtains, spell perfectly, and find amazing bargains. And I even wear makeup.

    See? Even YOU don’t believe me.

    Dammit.

  53. “Mark and Well et al, give it up, there are exactly seventy-three libertarian women on the planet. Sausage Party Indeed–VBG”

    I’m working on my future 14-year old step daughter. She’s very bright and achieves with little help. She comes from a conservative middle-America (more rugged individualism and self-sufficiency) and seems attracted to the progressive social views of the east coast. She’s also not particularly religious, since her mom was given a lot of shit from her Baptist community for being a single mother. The ground is fertile. My fiance and I were talking about the legal/tax challenges of our future marriage, and she, very innocently, chimed in “I don’t understand why it’s the government’s business you are getting married”. I almost cried.

  54. I am pushing fifty, so I was a full-grown man during every year Clinton was in office. 92-2000 was a pretty good time for me, and it appeared to be so for most Americans. I said so then, and I say so now…Clinton wasn’t the worst President we ever had.

    But I am completely unpersuaded that he made a better President than the elder Bush would have 92-96, or that Dole would have 96-2000. The times were good…the leader was mediocre.

  55. speedwell, you use Auto CAD? What are you doing Saturday night?

  56. I’ll be at work, doing the bidding of my engineering masters. The trains must roll.

    (that sounds better than “the oil well equipment must drill,” you must admit.)

  57. “As for Clinton, it would’ve been interesting to see his response to 9/11. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have spent that day hiding in his goddamned plane like a cowardly child while his VP called the shots from the WH. Clinton doesn’t seem the type to take orders from his supposed underlings.”

    I don’t think he would have spent 15 paralyzed with fear, reading a story about goats instead of giving orders. The only thing that mitigates Bush’s inability to do his job is that he’s not really in charge anyway.

    crimethink, “It also helped that Clinton hadn’t done much to tick aQ off, which is not necessarily a good thing in retrospect.” I thought AQ hated our freedom, existance, and power, and that our foreign and military policy was of no consequence to their hostility.

    speedwell, the spice must flow.

  58. Regarding finding “politically appropriate partners”, I feel like sometimes you can’t ask for too much. Having brains and not being a doctrinaire anything is more important than hewing to a particular set of beliefs, IMO; at least you can talk things over in a reasonable way. (Although I did have a brief college affair with a girl who was beautiful, a philosophy major, president of the Conservative Students Union (but leaning towards libertarianism)…a nice combination if you can get it!) My current long-time girlfriend comes from a very liberal Democratic background and even interned for Chuck Schumer, but since going to business school and working in the financial industry, she’s gotten much better. *g* She’s even happily learned to shoot. (Ol’ Chuck would probably have a heart attack.)

    The real problem, as I see it, is that even smart people like her, who don’t believe in bleeding the “rich”, don’t think gun control is particularly important or useful, and don’t particularly support the War on Drugs, will still vote a straight Democratic ticket, which baffles and frustrates me. Heck, I know people who are breaking the law who still vote for people who run on a platform of promising to put them in prison!

  59. Regarding finding “politically appropriate partners”, I feel like sometimes you can’t ask for too much. Having brains and not being a doctrinaire anything is more important than hewing to a particular set of beliefs, IMO; at least you can talk things over in a reasonable way. (Although I did have a brief college affair with a girl who was beautiful, a philosophy major, president of the Conservative Students Union (but leaning towards libertarianism)…a nice combination if you can get it!) My current long-time girlfriend comes from a very liberal Democratic background and even interned for Chuck Schumer, but since going to business school and working in the financial industry, she’s gotten much better. *g* She’s even happily learned to shoot. (Ol’ Chuck would probably have a heart attack.)

    The real problem, as I see it, is that even smart people like her, who don’t believe in bleeding the “rich”, don’t think gun control is particularly important or useful, and don’t particularly support the War on Drugs, will still vote a straight Democratic ticket, which baffles and frustrates me. Heck, I know people who are breaking the law who still vote for people who run on a platform of promising to put them in prison!

  60. Ack, now I’m a double-poster. I guess now I have to believe all those people who say “I swear I only hit POST once.”

    Addendum to my last post, though – I don’t mean to imply that inconsistent types only vote a straight Democratic ticket, it’s just that that’s about all there is here in NYC. Come to think of it, some of them probably voted for Bloomberg too, although that’s mainly because if you didn’t know already, you’d never guess he was a Republican. I’ve noticed a couple other H&R posters mentioning being from NYC; maybe we should have a H&R NYC meetup and do some unlicensed dancing or something…

  61. Ken Shultz, I found your post hilarious!

    And speedwell, _I_ believe you. I wear makeup too! And I’ll hide my whips and chains if they scare Ken.

  62. Clinton would’ve blamed Right Wing talk radio for the 9/11 terrorist attacks, for fostering an anti-government environment. Bad conservatives, libertarians and anarchists.

    Oh wait, sorry, wrong terrorist attack, that was 6 years earlier.

  63. You know, I was thinking that Libertarians were a more reasonable and balanced breed than the vocal members of the Parties. Then you started Clinton bashing – based on his image. A sad disillusionment, and now I *really* want to move to Canada. Well, I guess people are people everywhere.

    A parable:
    Years ago, I read a forward that asked, rhetorically, if I would vote for the candidate that drank, smoked, womanized, etc. or the candidate that was a non-smoking teetotaler who really got behind the idea of monogamy. The wild guy was Teddy Roosevelt, I think, and the other was, likesay, Hitler. At the time, I guess the lesson was that sometimes it’s hard to tell the good from the bad. Now, I think that the lesson shows that a leader’s personal life may not bear the obvious correlation to his public, professional life.

    In a century, will Clinton be evaluated based on some media furor late in his second term, or on Kosovo and that at least he didn’t actively screw up a good decade, even if let al Qaeda get past his guard? Should we evaluate Clinton on the basis of his adultery? I mean, you’re libertarians, right? Do you really care if Clinton broke one of the ten commandments? And kvetching about his image is as underhanded and intellectually lazy as bashing Bush for his lack of eloquence. Some things matter in a leader and some things don’t. Bush has caused the US more embarassment internationally than Clinton, he’s blown the surplus, he panders to the religious right (hello! Separation of church and state, goddamnit!), and it may not be the Great Depression, but he hasn’t been heroic on a FDR scale in economic matters, and he couldn’t be if the situation called for it.

    My mom’s yelling at me to go to bed, so that will be all. Happy 4th of July.

  64. The times were good…the leader was mediocre.

    The times would have been much worse had Clinton not been restricted from leading in the direction of his desire. The GOP congress and Greenspan are the ones to thank. To be fair, Clinton’s “New Democrat” outlook is still much better than that of most of the current congressional Dems.

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