Election 2016

Bill Clinton Denounces "the awful legacy of the last eight years" Under Obama

Which of course, includes Hillary's contributions and all of Obama's presidency.


60 Minutes screen cap

Former President—and possible First Dude—Bill Clinton recently denounced the "the awful legacy of the last eight years" while campaigning for his wife to become the next president.

That would include, well, all of Barack Obama's time in office, now, wouldn't it? And wasn't Hillary Clinton part of that administration? And isn't she pointing out during stump speeches that unlike the wild-haired "democratic socialist" Bernie Sanders, she would continue many of the current president's policies? No surprise then that Bubba walked it back.

In his USA Today column, Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit is less quick to forget. He writes:

For one example of Obama's "awful legacy," we need look no further than the terror attacks this week in Brussels. These attacks, which killed dozens and injured close to 200, were perpetrated by the Islamic State, the group that Obama once disparagingly called a "jayvee team."

Well, for a jayvee team, they've done a lot of damage, in the Middle East and beyond, and it's in large part because of Obama's premature withdrawal from Iraq, which fulfilled a political promise, but which had the effect of squandering a decade of blood and treasure, and costing many thousands of lives….

Bill Clinton is right. Obama's is an awful legacy, one that has borne ugly fruit in the Middle East, in Europe and — as Islamic-State-inspired attacks strike here, too, fromSan Bernadino to Garland, Texas — in the United States.

More here.

There is no question that Obama's foreign policy has been a real clusterfuck—and not simply in the inherited wars of Iraq and Afghanistan. What happened in Libya, which Hillary Clinton still defends as a great example of "smart power" in action, is nothing to write home about. Apart from Cuba, really, Obama's FP as been a big fail all around pretty much.

And yet I'd argue that the worst parts of the last eight years are less about terrorism and war and more linked to various policies that have helped either to maintain or create a slow-growth economy and reduce innovation and forward momentum. The Obama administration has much to answer for on this score, too, but so do congressional Republicans who have spent a helluva lot of time making sure that defense spending can get goosed whenever they want it while doing nothing to stop the buildup of debt overhang that's implicated in…low economic growth.

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  1. “Jayvee”? It’s “junior varsity”, i.e. “JV team”. Glenn really needs an editor.

    1. That was the only thing Obama ever said that was correct (and he of course walked it back). Their power has come from the pants-shitting reaction, not from what they’ve actually done.

      1. Oh, I agree, I just wanted to channel Nicole there.

          1. Why not?

          2. He was briefly charming over the weekend and needs to walk that back.

            1. Did that cause actual damage?

      2. They aren’t junior varsity in the league they play in – MENA.

        1. And I hear one of their farm teams made a splash in Belgium recently.

  2. To clandestinely run ISIS arms was a major ball drop by Obama and Hillary. In Obama’s partial defense, he ain’t responsible for Belgium.

  3. Obama pulled the troops out one day before Iraq would have become a flourishing liberal democracy.

  4. All this proves is that Bush was even worse than anyone thought.

    I’m sure this will be the talking point.

  5. Cue the “What the president REALLY meant was…”

    1. Why would Obama need to clarify something said by Clinton?

  6. The Obama administration has much to answer for on this score, too, but so do congressional Republicans who have spent a helluva lot of time making sure that defense spending can get goosed whenever they want it while doing nothing to stop the buildup of debt overhang that’s implicated in…low economic growth.

    Yet every time there’s one of these budget showdown, you bitches join in with the rest of the mainstream media and say the republicans should just cave in and give Obama everything he wants.

    1. Mike has a subscription to Bizarro H&R, where all his conspiracy theories are real and nothing is what it seems. Especially reality.

      1. Epi, I dare you to find even one example of a Reason writer criticizing Barack Obama for anything.

        1. Listen Editors Fat Belch and Dick Fillhispee have done nothing but write odes to Block Insane Yomomma, and if you had a degree in STEM, Pew Askdumb, you’d see this. Dummy.

          1. *throws hat in air and huzzahs*

          2. *pops Champagne bottle, douses Swiss*

            1. *scrabbles around looking for glass, cup, bucket, anything…*

  7. What happened in Libya, which Hillary Clinton still defends as a great example of “smart power” in action

    Meaning — she’s riding it to the White House.

  8. Sometimes dude you jsut have to roll with it.


  9. Obama’s premature withdrawal from Iraq

    Oh, are we back to saying he’s responsible for that now? Since, you know, it was Bush’s timetable, and only considered premature in retrospect. MAKE UP YOUR MINDS, PEOPLE. On that note, I’m pretty sure it was the toppling of Sadam that created the opportunity, not our withdrawal. Were we supposed to babysit Iraq forever?

    1. Obama is guilty of not forcing the Iraqis to agree to a SOFA allowing the US to stay. I like to blame Obama for things as much as anyone. I agree with you that I don’t think it is fair to blame him for leaving Iraq. Iraq had and has a sovereign government. If they had wanted us to stay, they could have agreed to the SOFA. They didn’t want us to stay and wouldn’t agree to a acceptable SOFA. I don’t see how anyone but the Iraqi government is responsible for the resulting consequences of our leaving.

    2. Damn I’m good.

    3. It was “Bush’s timetable” but that doesn’t mean much. Signing a SOFA in 2008 that says you’ll withdraw before 2011 reflects the facts on the ground as of 2008. If, three years later, the facts on the ground differ, it may be necessary to negotiate a new SOFA.

      However, I don’t necessarily think we should have stayed. The primary agents here are 1) ISIS and hangers on, 2) the Iraqi government. Placing blame on their squarely on their shoulders is entirely fair, although it doesn’t completely absolve the US vis-a-vis counterfactuals.

      1. To have stayed, Obama would have had to either signed a SOFA that put US soldiers at risk at being tried by Iraqi courts or strong armed the Iraqis into signing an acceptable SOFA. If he had done the former, the same people on the right that are today blaming him for leaving would be calling him a traitor for not protecting American soldiers. If he had done the latter, I don’t see how we would have been anything but an occupying force.

        Iraq had 8 years, hundreds of billions of dollars and 10,000 American lives spent to help it get its shit together. The fact that it couldn’t do that and rolled over the first time a bunch of baboons with AK 47s showed up at the border, is the Iraqi’s fault not Obama’s or Bush’s or anyone else. Maybe they want to live under ISIS.

        1. Whoa! Is the real “John”? And, Nick, why is Glenn Reynolds channeling Bill Kristol? And, given that, why are you channeling Glenn?

          1. My position on this has been consistent since day one. I never objected to withdrawing.

      2. Well, when the troops were withdrawn, Obama took all the credit for getting us out of Iraq (even though it was on Bush’s timetable).

        So, he made it his own. You can’t take credit for X without taking blame for X. I’m comfortable hanging this one on Obama.

        1. I guess. But I didn’t give him credit for it then.

    4. come on, everyone knows that’s not an effective birth control method

      1. Do not EVER pull out until you’re finished. A wise man once told me that.

  10. Both Trump’s and Bernie Sanders’ supporters would agree that it is an awful legacy, though they obviously disagree as to why and what to do about it. If you add those two groups together that is either close to or over half the electorate, depending on how you measure. On the one hand, if you are Hillary, how do you not run against Obama? On the other hand, running against an incumbent President from your own party is a pretty difficult thing to do.

    The Republicans don’t have it much better. Part of Obama’s legacy is the Republicans controlling Congress. People are not letting the Republicans in congress off the hook for this either. So, any Republican candidate other than Trump will face the same problem. This is true even for Cruz, since he is a member of Congress.

    1. This is true even for Cruz, since he is a member of Congress.

      To some extent, yes, but his voting record is stronger than the average GOP congressman’s.

      1. True. But I am not sure that is enough to escape the taint of being associated with Washington. And maybe it is just me, but Cruz comes across as a brazen opportunist. I agree with the guy and something about him makes me think he doesn’t mean a single word of what he says. Perhaps there is just something about him that hits me the wrong way and doesn’t translate to his appeal to anyone else but I really wonder if he can come across as sincere enough to escape the taint of being associated with Washington.

  11. According to some chart on wiki, defense spending is back down to 2008 levels.

    They claim “interest on defense-related debt” is ballooning.

    1. It got basically no attention whatsoever from his fawning lickspittles in the so-called “mainstream media”, but amazingly, even Obama quietly admitted a month ago that the debt is being primarily driven by health care, and not defense! Here’s the video. Even Reason pretty much completely ignored this, because now even this “libertarian” entity apparently supports the western European welfare state style of governance.

      What a far, far cry from eight years ago when Obama called Bush a traitor for running up the debt as much as he did, now that he has run it up nearly twice as much.

      1. What did Reason ignore? That Obama admitted what the CBO reported last year?

        Who cares?

        1. The CBO admitted this last year, and yet Reason, and particularly Gillespie, is still pretending that it’s defense spending that’s our biggest problem.

  12. It’s just amazing to me how these people can even try to wear the mantle of the smart policy makers. It’s purely a relative function based off republicans, like how a cowboy comes off professional and intelligent, in the presence of only rodeo clowns.

    Hell, she’s probably going to avoid prison time and gain the presidency with a defense of, “I’m not criminal! I’m just an idiot! I had no idea how my team’s shit worked, or even what the rules were! Now make me president, please!”

    Feminist pioneer, indeed.

  13. Interesting that Reynold’s example of failure in the Mideast was ” premature” withdrawal from Iraq. You know who would have withdrawn even more prematurely? Your darling Ron Paul.

    Of course, you then would have said that was the right thing to do, and you would have taken Reynolds to task. Selectivity, thy name is libertarian.

    1. Your father’s failure to not prematurely withdraw was also a mistake.

  14. As for the campaign and Obama’s legacy, you don’t exactly have to be any kind of genius to see what’s going on. When the Clintons are talking to an audience of predominantly black people, Obama is one of the greatest human beings who ever walked the face of the earth. When they’re talking to an audience of predominantly white people, he’s nothing to write home about, and you can count on Hillary to change course.

    It’s kind of pathetic that they have to resort to this, but it’s necessary for them, because Obama made a conscious decision years ago to use the “divide and conquer” style, and has been one of the most intentionally racially divisive and polarizing presidents of modern times.

    1. Isn’t that going to be hard to continue to pull off once she is the nominee and it is one on with the Republican?

      1. Yup. The media will of course do their best to help her, but she can’t really square that circle.

  15. Glenn seems to think keeping MORE troops in Iraq was the answer. Nope.

  16. Uh, guys…..

    Nobel. Peace. Prize.

    /mike drop

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