Bill Clinton: Backseat driver

  

Last week the Democrats got together for a convention, the theme of which was something like “George Bush Bites Heads Off Bunnies.”  Not surprisingly, former-president Bill Clinton was there, once again loudly trumpeting his successor’s many flaws.

   

It’s sad, s uch animosity. Clinton and Bush are the same age. In another world they could have been buddies. After all, Clinton had that 1970 El Camino-with-Astroturf thing going, which might have appealed to a drunken frat boy the IQ of a doorknob like Bush. (The consensus last week at the convention. Personally, I doubt your typical doorknob could earn an MBA from Harvard, but what do I know? )

  

Think about it, though. Wouldn’t you love to ride along on that one? Clinton is at the wheel, the sun is shining, the road is straight and clear… except, knowing Clinton, he probably breezed past a few signs that read, “Warning! Danger ahead!”

  

Then, after Bush takes the wheel, things would get bumpy, which I would imagine might make Clinton testy (doesn’t everything?), so he starts poking Bush, calling him stupid and incompetent, until someone points out all the warning signs that Clinton passed up, which really riles Clinton, and he denies ever seeing them, and then it turns out it can’t be proved because Sandy Berger stole them all and stuck them in his pants.

  

So, like I said, Clinton and Bush could have been friends. But back to Clinton’s address at the Democratic convention last week, a speech that somehow reminded me of other former leaders in other times and places in history.

  

Like James Buchanan – who earned the distinction of being our worst-ever president by trying to placate the pro-slavery southern states with the following strategy: “We’ll pass the fugitive slave act, toss the Missouri Compromise, and allow new territories to own slaves just like you do. Just don’t secede from the Union…. pretty please?”

  

That plan worked for maybe five minutes, but by the time Lincoln took over, the Union was a seething cauldron. What a shock.

  

Nevertheless, while Lincoln wrestled with his inherited mess, at least Buchanan didn’t have the Clintonian gall to blame him for the Civil War.

  

Similarly, Clinton could only fantasize about achieving the integrity level of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, the foreign policy genius best known for telling Adolph Hitler, “You can keep Czechoslovakia if you cross your heart and promise to be nice from now on.”

  

 At least Chamberlain didn’t taunt his successor, Winston Churchill, after the London Blitz and say, “I had achieved peace in our time! This mess is all your fault!”

  

Saddam Hussein could have won an Oscar for acting like the guiltiest man on earth when he threw the arms inspectors out of Iraq, but Clinton did little, even as Hussein flagrantly violated the terms of the first Gulf War cease-fire, violated multiple U.N. resolutions, shopped for uranium in Niger (Yes he did, calm down.), and played benevolent sugar daddy to al-Qaida and al-Qaida wannabesall over the world.

 

Clinton similarly coddled Osama Bin Laden, but why rehash that?   

  

Even though Clinton didn’t take effective action while he was president, you gotta give him credit for being a good talker.  He clearly stated that Saddam Hussein was a grave threat that needed to go– just before he kicked the problem down the road. 

  

 So, of course, nowadays he spends his time pronouncing loud, frequent, and public judgments upon Bush for actually dealing with the threat.

  

What a guy.   

  

 

(Originally posted at OregonLive.com)

 

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