Bill Meets Jon

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Of all the 20th century's presidents, I think we can safely say of Bill Clinton that he was the most recent. He's on The Daily Show tonight; make some popcorn, round up your snarkiest friends, and entertain the terrifying thought that, relative to our 2004 choices, he doesn't seem all that bad anymore.

NEXT: This Old House

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  1. If only we could get George W. Bush to agree to an interview with America’s finest news anchor.

    I mean, damn! Bill Clinton! Most entertaining President EVER! On my favorite news show!

    Whoo-hoo!

    I mean, the guy’s awesome. No, not his policies. Just his incredible aura of invincibility and good dirty fun 😉 He has an affair, he lies under oath, and the next thing you know Republican Speakers of the House are resigning, Ken Starr is the least popular man in America, Bill’s popularity is soaring, and everybody’s like “How’d he do that? Damn he’s good!”

    If I’m ever on trial for my life, I’ll want Bill Clinton as my lawyer. Cuz you know I’ll get off. And I’m not just talking about with the strippers at the victory party after my acquittal! 😉

  2. Oh, that was good Thoreau! I thoroughly enjoyed the imagery!

    😀

  3. Yeah, he doesn’t look so bad now. He proposed draconian surveillance laws, engaged in social engineering, and bombed countries that posed little threat to us on false pretenses. He was just like Bush, only less so. Ahh…the good old days…

  4. He was just like Bush, only less so. Ahh…the good old days…

    The key word being less so. That’s the best we can hope for at this point.

  5. Sandy, don’t leave out the fact that the “less so” that you pine for, at least in the area of anti-terrorism, opened the way for the murder of 3000 of your fellows. Just imagine, if we were still engaging in “less so”, how many more would be killed!

    Ahh, the good old days – when Islamist nutballs could plot the murder of Americans unmolested.

  6. Clinton’s alright as far as perjured raping traitors with a wake of unsolved deaths behind them go.

  7. RC and GC,

    I belive there are support groups for Clinton-rage that you could attend…

    STeve

    🙂

  8. Naturally, if anyone ever thinks to criticize Clinton, it’s labeled “Clinton rage” (as it has been here at Reason). However, Bush-bashing, hey, it’s just good clean fun to make fun of that dumb but oh-so-evilly-intelligent Nazi, right Steve?

  9. Clinton Rage (adj): (1)term used to describe conservatives who despise the fact that the former expresident could beat the pants off any Republican presdential candidate in a presidential election and get a blow job from their politically aspiring daughters.

    (2)term used to describe a pot smoker arrested between 1993 and 2001.

    Usage: Besides the bible belt, Clinton rage individuals can be found in many US prisons across the country.

  10. There are dozens of Mobile Execution Units roaming the landscape of China that exist thanks to Clinton’s blind-eye policy.
    Yes, his domestic policies were favorable to W’s, but he still has a lot of dead American bodies on foreign soil under his belt.

  11. “but he still has a lot of dead American bodies on foreign soil under his belt.”

    And Bush doesn’t? As far as I’m concerned both of them can rot in hell.

  12. Clinton might well not have been sucked into attacking Iraq since he rejected previous determined entreaties in 1998 to do so from the neocons; including Perle, Kristol, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and others who wound up in the Bush administration:

    http://www.onlinejournal.com/Special_Reports/022003Leopold/022003leopold.html

    But, on domestic considerations, Clinton would have surely expanded government to a greater extent had the Republicans not restrained him. The Republicans held majorities in both houses after the 94 elections.

    There is evidence that the GOP congress is starting to apply some of the fiscal discipline to Bush’s big government agenda as they did with Clinton’s. This can’t come soon enough as government has grown at a stunningly fast rate (29%) under Bush. Much faster than it did under Clinton.

    However, even left to his own devices, there is good evidence that Clinton would be far more moderate than a President Kerry would be.

    The Dems have gone to the ultra left with Kerry who is among the top five biggest spenders in the senate!

    http://www.ntu.org/misc_items/rating/VS_2003.pdf

    An analysis of his agenda reveals:

    If Sen. Kerry’s policy agenda were enacted in full, annual federal spending would rise by at least $226.125 billion during the first year of a Kerry Presidency alone, on top of the 29 percent spending run-up under George W. Bush’s term.
    :

    http://www.ntu.org/main/press_release.php?PressID=629&org_name=NTUF

  13. Jeff,
    As opposed to President Bush’s hardline stance on China?

  14. Of course, this argument also applies to critics of Bush that say he’s too cozy with the Sauds.

  15. Jeff,

    “There are dozens of Mobile Execution Units roaming the landscape of China that exist thanks to Clinton’s blind-eye policy.”

    What is a “Mobile Execution Unit” ?

  16. Correction: Not dozens of execution vans, just 18: http://www.sciscoop.com/story/2003/3/16/81842/3854
    (that’s the only non-registration-required link I can find.)
    I KNOW that Bush is an idiot who is ignoring the real threats around him, not to metion an anti-science fanatic and every other claim levelled against him. I agree wholeheartedly. I’m just fed up with this romanticized memory of Clinton as being “not so bad.” He should have been impeached for repeatedly shaking hands with the murderous fucks running China. The only reason they are still operating with the level of impunity they enjoy is the Clinton administration.

  17. RC Dean:
    “the “less so” that you pine for, at least in the area of anti-terrorism, opened the way for the murder of 3000 of your fellows”

    That just misses the whole point! The best way to prevent terrorism against US citizens is to stop our government from doing needless things that increase the risk that those who use terror as a weopon will attack us.

    The overwhelming evidence is that then 9/11 happened as a direct result of our government’s hyper-interventionist foreign policy vis a vis the Mid-East. Specifically, its support of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. Note that the 9/11 commission findings reveal:

    Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the man who conceived and directed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was motivated by his strong disagreement with American support for Israel, said the final report of the Sept. 11 commission.
    http://www.kentucky.com/mld/heraldleader/news/nation/9222612.htm

    RC Dean:

    “Ahh, the good old days – when Islamist nutballs could plot the murder of Americans unmolested.”

    There are a lot of nut balls in the world. Letting our government provoke them for no good reason needlessly endangers Americans. The problem is our government’s funding of the Israeli government’s brutal occupation, an occupation which is driven by nut balls as well, religious nut balls who influence the Israeli government and who actually believe that the “Great Realtor is the Sky” gave them the West Bank and Gaza.

    To understand the background of the racist, fundamentalist Jewish religious extremism that Israeli polity is currently gripped by, see the fascinating: Jewish History, Jewish Religion by Israel Shahak and also Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel by Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky. Shahak was a non-leftist human rights activist and a Nazi concentration camp survivor.

    Note also that there are those on the Israeli right, albeit a much more free market oriented right than Sharon represents, who plead the case that the US support of the occupation does great harm to the Israeli people, as well as the Palestinians.

  18. “relative to our 2004 choices, he doesn’t seem all that bad anymore”

    I understand the sentiment and the tongue in cheek, but IMO everything’s relative, like incest.

  19. …”The problem is our government’s funding of…” should have read… One of the problems is our government’s funding of…

    Preview Button…I will learn to use it…

  20. Mike,

    I think that there is evidence that backing our government off from its interventionist approach would indeed be ?enough to get the Islamists off the United States?. Consider the fact that the chief exporter of pornography into the Arab world is Scandinavia. The Islamic clerics complain bitterly, but there were no 9/11 attacks on Sweden or Denmark.
    Also, beside the critical 9/11 commission findings, which I cited; more evidence is that in his 9/11 Fatwa, Bin Laden told us the three reasons for the 9/11 attack:

    1. The American military in the Arabian Peninsula too close to Mecca. (This idiocy has at last ended)

    2.The blockade if Iraq.

    3. American government support for the Israeli government’s occupation of Palestinian land.

    http://www.ict.org.il/articles/fatwah.htm

  21. Just finished Jon Stewart’s 20 minutes of soft money campaigning for Kerry and realized that Julian is as full of crap as a Christmas turkey.

    Oh yeah, boy do I miss Bill Clinton.

    I was looking forward to naked pictures of Monica, sax playing, or some good jokes, but no, we learned that Haliburton is crooks but Travelgate was no beeg ting, mon. Whitewater didn’t come up cuz it’s all lies anyway.

    He’s funny but Jon is just one more on a long list of friggin’ liberal media guys who equate freedom with being able to say ‘fuck’ without getting arrested.

    Friend of liberty? Don’t kid yourself as to what side of the barricades Jon’s on when the Night of the Long Knives comes.

  22. Hey, don’t insult Jon Stewart. Yes, he is decidedly in the bag for the dems – but the man is damn funny. I loved the piece on the swift vet doctor writing home on minor injuries. Snort.
    And did you see Steve Colbert piece on the Dem convention? ROTFLMAO. “Okay, Arab-Indian guy, okay Lesbian, okay peace-nik – your killing this party you know that? Okay, jew your next …”

    I spit my drink all over the TV.

  23. Mike-

    I don’t know if terrorists will immediately back off the moment our government stops sending money to the governments of Israel, Egypt, and Jordan every year on April 15. What I do know is:

    1) It certainly won’t make them MORE likely to attack us (first, do no harm…)
    2) The American people will have a little more money in their pockets because a few billion dollars were slashed from the budget. Not a huge bite, but every little bit helps.

  24. I blame the Arabs for the occupied territories.

    I mean, come on, all you have to do is kill all these immigrants in one fell swoop 50 years ago and there would be no problem. How can a culture that outnumbers it’s enemies 50 to 1 lose…

    and lose again…

    and lose again?

    Thank God for their ability to get stuff back at the bargaining table.

  25. Be nice to see one of these guys on TV who actually has to, oh I don’t know, say something funny before he gets a laugh.

    Sorry, I always feel like I’m seeing a rehearsal when I watch that Stewart guy.

  26. I saw the John Stewart interview of Clinton last night. Stewart had his facts wrong on Kerry Swift Vet guys (for clinton to say they are Bush plants). Then Stewart then kissed up for bill on how our economy was the best for 8 years (Dot com bomb and Enron style corruption flourished). Clinton of course said we were safe, prosperous and united under his administration. I thought Stewart was going to perform a Monica right then at the end of the interview! In the end I just felt dirty after watching it. Oh yeah, the best clinton line was when Clinton said that “Nixon had obviously broken the law and that he (Bill clinton) had not”! This is the splitting of hairs for he is saying that he had broken lwas but in not an obvious way to the public or the prosecutors. It is nice to know that admitted to his felonies in the most oblique way. It is one of those what is the meaning of “is” is mind games.

  27. opened the way for the murder of 3000 of your fellows.

    oh fucking please.

  28. Politics aside, am I the only one who doesn’t find Stewart all that funny?

  29. I KNOW that Bush is an idiot who is ignoring the real threats around him, not to metion an anti-science fanatic and every other claim levelled against him. I agree wholeheartedly. I’m just fed up with this romanticized memory of Clinton as being “not so bad.” He should have been impeached for repeatedly shaking hands with the murderous fucks running China. The only reason they are still operating with the level of impunity they enjoy is the Clinton administration.

    while i agree with the sentiment, i have to ask: how would you engage china? invade? ignore? christianize? sanction until they adopt PC doctrine?

    it must be said: the left (through philosophies just like this) is as guilty of the right of arrogantly forcing american morality and culture onto foreign governments and peoples through leverage — the right prefers military and the left economic. how sad.

    regardless of which it is, THAT is the reason “islamist nutballs” — who, you narrow-minded fuckers, are in their *hundreds of millions* not nutballs at all but members of a cultural tradition as honorable as our own concerned about what is becoming of it (as opposed to us westerners, who do anything we can nowadays to ignore or dismantle our own civilization, much less others) — can revile the west and even find a way to support people who do their best to turn manhattan into, oh, say, baghdad. they are being invaded — as we haughtily like to say, by “progress” (which is really a sophmoric euphamism for American Surperior Culture) — by western ideology and armies in their measure in what must appear an effort to wipe out the muslim cultural tradition and replace it with our nihilistic “no-rules” anticivilization.

    christ, *i’m* afraid to be living in the west, and i’ve been here all my life. i can’t imagine the cathartic fear many good muslims must have of becoming the gomorrah that we are.

    i’m sure these words are useless here. i’m coming to find that this board, like so many others, is populated by far too many american jingoists with their red, white and blue cocks out. please — didn’t your parents teach you that it’s obscene to be so proud?

  30. Stewart treated Clinton with the same deference he gives to Daily Show regulars Bob Dole and John McCain. I wish he’d pull a Harpo Marx on one of his political guests — and occasionally he does, as with that Republican congressman from Texas who tried to snow him during the DNC — but this is par for the course. I’m not surprised the Republican loyalists are offended, but again, it’s no different from the way he treats the GOP’s ’96 nominee.

    On the other hand, the Stephen Colbert bit before the interview was hilarious.

  31. Sorry, let me try that again:

    Stewart treated Clinton with the same deference he gives to Daily Show regulars Bob Dole and John McCain. I wish he’d pull a Harpo Marx on one of his political guests — and occasionally he does, as with that Republican congressman from Texas who tried to snow him during the DNC — but this is par for the course. I’m not surprised the Republican loyalists are offended, but again, it’s no different from the way he treats the GOP’s ’96 nominee.

    On the other hand, the Stephen Colbert bit before the interview was hilarious.

  32. “The Daily Show” interviewer’s first question to Joycelen Elders: “So…I understand you grew up on a cucumber farm.”

    Asked with such a straight face, Dr. Elders answered it as a straight question.

  33. That’s good stuff, gaius. “Islamist nutballs” was in reference to those who commited an atrocity against innocent people, not against Islamic culture. If that label seems close-minded, you are beyond reasoning. Surely one will claim that the US did the same in Iraq. Perhaps that is a non-sequitor.

    “becoming the gomorrah that we are.”

    Again, this is good material.

  34. What kind of downers was Clinton using during that interview? Stewart’s interviews, even with uninteresting people, are usually pretty funny. I was expecting Clinton to come out there and work the crowd like it was Arsenio in 1992.

    Instead Clinton kind of sat there glumly lamenting those mean Republicans. Stewart seemed taken aback by it too.

  35. Agreed on both the Colbert bit (You! Arabtino!) and the interview; if I wanted to watch softball I’ve had flipped to ESPN. I just assume (1) Stewart was a little starstruck (he was similar with the appalling Henry Kissinger) and that Clinton’s people had set a list of no-go topics as a condition of his appearance.

  36. …”The problem is our government’s funding of…” should have read… One of the problems is our government’s funding of…

    Rick,

    Putting aside the larger debate on whether or not Israel is one of the causes, (and also putting aside another debate regarding if we’re right to support Israel), your statement begs the question:

    Is ending support of Israel enough to get the Islamists off the United States? At this point, I don’t think it is. It’s gone on too long, and the hatred, be it irrational or not, runs too deep.

    It’d be wonderful, I guess, if all we had to do was to end US largess to Israel and states like Egypt, but I’m afraid we’re well past the point where that would accomplish anything.

  37. And remind me not to have Christmas dinner at twc’s house…

  38. Kevin:

    “No, Rick, that (our government’s hyper-interventionist foreign policy vis a vis the Mid-East) was, at best, an indirect cause…”

    OK Kevin, then given the fact that…

    Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the man who conceived and directed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was motivated by his strong disagreement with American support for Israel, said the final report of the Sept. 11 commission.
    http://www.kentucky.com/mld/heraldleader/news/nation/9222612.htm

    …I will say that this decision was the direct result of our government’s idiot foreign policy. This is why libertarians should lead the way in criticism of our government’s support of the Israeli government.

    It’s not the Israeli people that I hold responsible for the brutal occupation of Palestinian land. In fact, as I pointed out; many in Israel including those on the Israeli right, albeit a much more free market oriented right than Sharon represents, plead the case against the occupation and US government support of it.

    It’s the Israeli government, and mostly our government’s paying for it that are at fault. That our largest foreign aid expenditure, year after year, is the Israeli government is also a strong reason to oppose it.

    The corrupt PA works hand in hand with the Israeli government to repress free enterprise in the Occupied lands and benefits from, and helps enforce the requirement that the Palestinians purchase almost all of their consumer goods from a few politically well connected Israeli concerns. The result is that almost everything in occupied Palestine is about 4 times more expensive than they should be. Malnutrition for the Palestinian people is a result of this situation and it’s unconscionable that we are forced to support the maintenance of this suffering. see: How Israel Lost by Richard Ben Cramer for this and other aspects of the occupation.

    Your “who took their advice and fled their homes on the eve of battle when Israel declared independence.” doesn’t accurately describe the murderous forced exodus of 750,000 Palestinians at the founding of Israel. see: Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict by Norman Finkelstein

    And lastly, I hope your quote signs around Palestinian doesn’t mean that you are denying those people a separate ethnic and cultural identity, as leaders of the Israeli state used to attempt to do. (no longer though, due in part to the persistence of honest Israeli and Palestinian anthropologists)

    We would be far better off if we were just spared the blow back from the actions of our government when it was in the wrong.

  39. “And remind me not to have Christmas dinner at twc’s house…”

    Not Cool, Julian, now I have to clean my monitor. Never, Ever, make people LOL when they have a mouthful of coffee. It’s just not right.

    TiredofBoth: Yes, Jon Stewart is often hilarious (one of the few shows that Mrs. TWC will bother with–now there is some serious validation man).

    Yes, the Arabtino routine was pretty funny.

    Digamma says: “I was expecting Clinton to come out there and work the crowd like it was Arsenio in 1992.” Exactly.

    “So…I understand you grew up on a cucumber farm.” Joe, I woulda paid hard cash to see that. Great stuff.

  40. I was kind of surprised by Clinton’s low-key performance. There wasn’t the energy and charisma that I’d expected. Was he maybe upset that Stewart was outshining him?

    I don’t mind Stewart’s bias for the same reason that I don’t mind Reason’s or Salon’s or the Economist’s: They’re fairly open about it, they make some good points, and they aren’t afraid to poke a little fun at “their own side.”

  41. As a big Daily Show and Clinton fan I was sorely disappointed. The Colbert piece was good as was the SwiftVets piece (the letter from the doctor was classic).

    “Are you Ghandi Indian or Sitting Bull?”

    I swear that Native American girl was gonna smack him when he made the lesbian comment.

    Arabtino, heh.

  42. I have tried watching Jon Stewart and he is not funny. He comes across like Bill Maher (liberal hate speech) but not nearly as entertaining. Anybody heard of Dennis Miller?

  43. Forgive me if I don’t trust an old red like Finkelstein:

    I’m occasionally asked whether I still consider myself a Marxist. Even if my “faith” had lapsed, I wouldn’t advertise it, not from shame at having been wrong (although admittedly this would be a factor) but rather from fear of arousing even a faint suspicion of opportunism. Found at:
    http://www.counterpunch.org/finkelstein09102003.html

    That he has taken the standard lefty anti-Zionist line doesn’t surprise. I will say that his theory of collusion between Jordanian and Israeli pols to divide “the West Bank” between them fits the reality that, if the Israelis have treated some of the Arabs of the pre-independence Mandate shabbily, their “Arab brothers” have done as much or more to them. Note that I only use the scare quotes because these are controversial terms.

    Proposing that the U.S. would be better off subsidizing neither side in this fight is fine by me, too. I don’t relish getting into a slanging match about the relative morality of Israel and her essentially unliberal neighbors. I’m nowhere near as obsessed about “Zionist perfidy” as you seem to be. Still, however the U.S. has offended Arab irredentists, they have no call to attack civilians, and those killed in terrorist attacks are dead because the terrorists willed it, not because our government followed a bad policy.

    Learn to put blame where it belongs.

    Kevin

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