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The Royal Wedding

john.halle's picture

Two War Criminals

Have come to the town next to mine
For the marriage of their daughter.

Various felons
Convicted and otherwise
Will be in attendance.

Where is the SWAT team?
Where are the paddy wagons?

Or at least,
Where are the protestors

Assembled at the gates

Poised to make a citizens arrest?

No votes yet


chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on


i enjoyed your comments more than most others, john. but you know, i really don't care. rich people throw expensive parties all the time, and as someone pointed out elsewhere this morning, we'd not be talking about this if the last name was 'bush.' there are like, a million of bush spawn in the marriage-age years right now, i'm sure some of them have thrown an expensive party or two. or a hundred. with your taxdollars. where's the progressive outrage about that?

i worked in the service industry for many years, and i've been busy following the marriage equality movement closely for some time. the whole point is: it's none of your fucking business what two (or more) adults consent to do. the state, population, church and businesses have no right to know nor care about what is other people's private business.

i have a rich, republican girlfriend. she's totally in the Closet, like most of her kind, but anyway, i stood up in her first and second opposite marriages. i could tell you stories about the $ that got spent, and why. but you know what? i won't. cause it has no meaningful impact on your life. and i'm sure the servers and cleaners and landscapers and dressmakers, americans all, that day were happy to have a good paying job.

i'll get really upset about illegal wars of choice, the death of net neutrality, lying 'progressives' and their apologies for power... but a wedding? hell, no. it's her life. and theirs. it's a "special day" for reasons we just don't need to know. or it's not and is a total sham! as a permanent non-monogamist, i really don't care. did they kill people to do this shindig? no? then let's move on. progressives have better subjects with which to critique the Clintons. CC hasn't really done anything yet, other than marry someone who worked for Golden Sacks. and you know, this is amurka: innocent until proven, etc.

to me, it's an interesting meme and i'm marking all the people who are talking about it for more than a para. it's a "human interest story," but it's also interesting to me how it is an effective distraction. what banks got eated yesterday and what about those afghan wikileaks? etc.

Submitted by Anne on

and, lest we forget, it isn't about the parents or the guests, but about the two people exchanging vows and making what they intend to be a lifetime commitment to each other.

And that's why, in all families, it's important to remember that weddings are not the place to air the dirty laundry, act out years of stupid sibling rivalry or punish Granny for some perceived slight that no one else even remembers. And, on a larger scale, the same holds true.

Crabbing about war criminals and felons - even in the most poetic way - on the occasion of the marriage of two people who are neither, seems petty and small and angry; you are certainly entitled to get worked up about it to whatever degree you like, but my reaction to this post is along the lines of "Really? This is what upsets you?" A wedding?"

I mean, come on.

john.halle's picture
Submitted by john.halle on

Hi CD,

Point taken. Lord knows if I imposed a political litmus test on my friends, I'd end up being a complete misanthrope.

In my darker moods, however, sometimes I think that we (as a movement) have made a mistake in not personalizing politics sufficiently.

Public shaming can be a powerful social motivator. And it's not as though "working within the system" has worked all that well-to put it mildly.

For the kind of thing I'm thinking about, have a listen to Doug Henwood's interview with the british anarchist, punk rocker Ian Bone.

As for the matter of appearing "angry", I would respond that if the presence of a mass murderer doesn't elicit a reaction on our part we have begun to loose our humanity.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

murderer attended the wedding. There is a massive gulf between what George Bush and what Clinton did. There's an even bigger gulf between what they do now. Bill Clinton's AIDS foundation works with 3rd world governments to provide AIDS medication, free of charge, to 3 million HIV patients. They also provide medication for 2/3rds of the world's children who are HIV+. And that's just one facet of what the Clinton Foundation does.

You'll never move the discussion to the left if you qualify both Clinton and Bush as war criminals.

john.halle's picture
Submitted by john.halle on

Mass murder:

Leslie Stahl: "We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?"

Madeline Albright: "We think the price is worth it."

As for war crimes, and the complicity of the current Secretary of State, two words: predator drones.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

Hussein is the reason children weren't fed and were dying. The sanctions never prevented the importation of food or medicine. Odd that you don't know that or won't admit to it. The UN sanctions started in 1990, before Clinton took office, and ended after Bush's invasion. There were billions of dollars that went unspent by Hussein that could have provided a great deal of food and medicine.

So weird the way certain lefties ejaculate that Albright quote like a Tourette's victim swearing.

john.halle's picture
Submitted by john.halle on


"The sanctions never prevented the importation of food or medicine."


From Andrew Cockburn's review of Joy Gordon's Invisible War: The United States and the Iraq Sanctions (the definitive work on the Iraqi Sanctions.

Resolution 661 prohibited the sale or supply of any goods to Iraq (or to Kuwait while it was under Iraqi control) with the explicit exception of ‘supplies intended strictly for medical purposes, and, in humanitarian circumstances, foodstuffs’. However, every single item Iraq sought to import, including food and medicine, had to be approved by the ‘661 Committee’, created for this purpose and staffed by diplomats from the 15 members of the Security Council. The committee met in secret and published scarcely any record of its proceedings. Thanks to the demise of the Soviet Union, the US now dominated the UN, using it to provide a cloak of legitimacy for its unilateral actions.

The 661 Committee’s stated purpose was to review and authorise exceptions to the sanctions, but as Gordon explains, its actual function was to deny the import of even the most innocuous items on the grounds that they might, conceivably, be used in the production of weapons of mass destruction. An ingenious provision allowed any committee member to put any item for which clearance had been requested on hold. So, while other members, even a majority, might wish to speed goods to Iraq, the US and its ever willing British partner could and did block whatever they chose on the flimsiest of excuses. As a means of reducing a formerly prosperous state to a pre-industrial condition and keeping it there, this system would have aroused the envy of the blockade bureaucrats derided by Keynes. Thus in the early 1990s the United States blocked, among other items, salt, water pipes, children’s bikes, materials used to make nappies, equipment to process powdered milk and fabric to make clothes. The list would later be expanded to include switches, sockets, window frames, ceramic tiles and paint. In 1991 American representatives forcefully argued against permitting Iraq to import powdered milk on the grounds that it did not fulfil a humanitarian need. Later, the diplomats dutifully argued that an order for child vaccines, deemed ‘suspicious’ by weapons experts in Washington, should be denied.

john.halle's picture
Submitted by john.halle on

Your claim:

"The sanctions never prevented the importation of food or medicine."

This was shown to be false.

A retraction and apology is in order.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

Salt was apparently denied in the early nineties, but other than that, it doesn't prove that any other food or medicine was denied. it does make the claim that Americans argued against importing powdered milk, but doesn't say that they were successful. You're fantasizing about what is there.

And you are still the guy that didn't know that Clinton wasn't president in 1991.

Christ, man, even Clinton isn't a fan of those sanctions. But you can't use them to make him out as a war criminal. That's infantile.

Here's a guy who gets up everyday and goes to work raising money for the poorest people in the world. Three million AIDS victims are alive because of his work. Haiti is being completely revamped. Farmers are being returned to subsistence farming. Markets are being built for them to sell their goods. Housing and sanitation are being completely rethought. What they're focusing on is creating an economic world where poor Haitians can build their businesses and grow their own food, so that they aren't dependent of other nations for support. He learned a lot about how to prevent money from being coraled by corrupt governments and he's putting all that to work in Haiti. His foundation is retrofitting the governments buildings with environmentally productive resources to bring energy costs down in third world nations. All of this good stuff is going on, making life better for the poorest people in the world and you're bitching and whining about a wedding that, by the standards of wealthy Americans, was modest.

I don't get people like you. I just don't think you value life. I don't think you think it matters when the lives of people in third world nations improves. I just see a humanity gap with you and some of the others in this thread.

leea's picture
Submitted by leea on

You're rightness and your anger does not mean you get to be an asshole without well deserved push back.

Get some couth to go with your anger and righteousness so more folks will listen to you when you have something in their self interest to express.

If that's your real goal.

ms_xeno's picture
Submitted by ms_xeno on

When U.S. soldiers stop killing wedding parties in the Mid-East, I'll start getting all worried about how mean it is to call them war criminals, or how mean I am when I say, "Oh, Shut up about the Clintons! I don't give a damn about their daughter's quasi-Royal Wedding."

With all due respect to Chicago Dyke, I have my doubts that the Republican friends she stood up for when they tied the knot are out there beating the drums for state-sanctioned murder on behalf of Exxon and their ilk in their daily life. Also, I don't suppose that said Republican friends are out there pounding the pavement saying that the people they personally don't approve of in terms of "lifestyle" should be barred from capital-m Marriage, despite being U.S. taxpayers entitled to the same rights as other citizens.

The other thing is: too many Democratic faithful love to carry on about how their leaders are not hypocrites like Republicans because their leaders care soooooo much about Teh Poor and middle classes. Except... said leaders are out there pursuing a lavish lifestyle on our backs (often one they were already born into), with their fawning courtiers in the corporate media rubbing our noses in it. I fail to see how that's not hypocritical.

In fact, it's hypocrisy of the highest order, and well worth scrutiny and ridicule. I feel sorry for anyone who still votes for these people thinking that they care about the less fortunate in any way, shape, or form. Except as suckers to be fleeced in a perpetual con game, of course.

Another thing: anyone who paid attention for five minutes in the last eighteen years knows by now that the Big Bill and Hill are the last people who should have any say whatsoever in how other people choose to pair off and live together. Yet Bill has NEVER apologized for DOMA or DADT, much less has either member of the Royal Couple taken any steps to have these opportunistic sops to the Right undone. Not to mention Bill's sadistic and nasty "welfare reform." The latter essentially was his punishment to any woman who was out there having sex that he and his fellow oligarchs didn't approve of.

Having continuously exploited the very people they rode to success making empty promises to, and having been immune from the start from any damage they might thus have caused, this family must now in addition be cosseted and loved and adored as they throw away the combined earnings of a small nation on a big romantic party for their Royal Daughter? Uh, how about no.

Really. I don't give a damn about the feelings of royalty. They've done nothing to earn my respect and so I won't be giving them any.

ms_xeno's picture
Submitted by ms_xeno on

The party of, "It's Never My Fault! They MADE ME treat my constituents like crap!"

I love his smug implication that anyone who doesn't unconditionally adore him belongs with the Tea Party.

Thank God I haven't voted for any of these people in the last fifteen years or so. >:

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

The reason Clinton signed DOMA is that the right was organizing anti-gay marriage referendums all over the nation and winning. It was a vastly successful fundraising issue for them as well. Next, they were moving on to introduce a Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage and considering how successful they had been on this front, Clinton felt action was necessary.

So, he sheltered a progressive goal in seemingly hostile legislation. He signed DOMA which immediately took the wind out of the sails of the constitutional amendment movement. A bill, like DOMA, can easily be undone. Undoing an amendment to the Constitution is very, very difficult.

Perhaps you prefer a Democratic president who looks the other way and does nothing to prevent such amendments from gaining steam and possibly being added to the constitution. You have to admit that the left had a long losing streak on that issue and in the nineties, we were at the beginning of the losing streak. Undoing DOMA requires one vote of Congress. Undoing a Constitutional amendment involves 3/5s of the state legislatures agreeing that they now oppose the amendment. I'm assuming you prefer dealing with a constitutional amendment rather than a simple bill. I have no idea why someone would prefer that, but apparently you do.

The genesis for DADT was a political trap by the blue dogs and the GOP to deal Clinton a massive political loss at the beginning of his presidency. The votes were in place to override any order he gave to integrate the service. The generals in the military, by and large, are in favor of losing the restrictions against gays serving. The middle management, though, is hostile to the idea. DADT was seemingly the only way to move on. That it's failed is a sad thing, but a Clinton loss on an order would have dealt gay rights a real blow.

As for your outrage over welfare reform, it falls on deaf ears when you prefer Reagan's welfare reform that put mothers all over the nation in jail for babysitting to earn money for Christmas presents. At the time Clinton's welfare reform passed, I was in the thick of it. helping transition mothers off of welfare and into the workforce. Things immediately became easier for most mothers because they could keep their grant, and work, without fear of prosecution. That's not to say that some of the states didn't introduce pretty odious requirements for the moms, but for the first time in many years, a mom could survive and not fear landing in jail. That's a very big deal when you have kids.

I'm puzzled by your hostility to people who work hard to move the marker down the board of human rights. It does involve strategic action - it's that simple. The simplistic choices you seem to advocate would have moved us backwards by allowing the right to dominate, even more than they now do, the cultural dialogue and provide them with huge political wins.

ms_xeno's picture
Submitted by ms_xeno on

...on the Big Dog's behalf until you're blue in the face.

It doesn't cut any ice with me. A family of panderers and opportunists. The best thing I can say about them is they made it abundantly clear to me early in his first term that there's no place for me in their "movement." Aside from one stupidly hopeful look back in the 2002 mid-terms, that was the end for me. I've never regretted it.

Clinton was instrumental in moving along the right-wing ratchet in this culture that continues apace under Obama. I will make no excuses for these people. Far from doing anything substantive to fight the Right, they use the Right to keep their own constituents penned up and hooked on the constituents' own fear. They also coldly shut down any movement on their own left flank towards a more representative form of government.

I have more respect for people who don't vote at all after years of enduring the likes of Big Bill than for people who keep buying into his smarmy, self-congratulatory excuses and then tithing to the two-party machine all over again.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

I report the facts and you apparently can't incorporate reality into your world view.

The fact of the matter is, at the very least, 3 million people are alive and thriving because of the work he does. In my world, that matters. Life matters. Rising wages matter. Low unemployment matters.

You can ignore reality until the cows come home, but that doesn't mean that the Clintons aren't actively engaged in making life better for one helluva lot of people.

ms_xeno's picture
Submitted by ms_xeno on

...comparing how many people they've killed, comparably speaking.

Mostly the people who the Clintons have made life better for are the Clintons-- and others of their own political class.

I remember the Nineties very well, Thanks. The joke back then went: Look at all the awesome new jobs that are being created! I'm working three of 'em at once!

What else did we get: a continuation of a ruinous foreign policy in the Mid-East, bombing in the former Yugoslavia at the behest of Haliburton and its ilk, Hillary's pathetic attempt at a sop to wealthy insurance companies, perpetual caving in to the archetypal "angry White male" conservatives, the list is endless. Special bonus points for the acceleration of media deregulation and further consolidation of news outlets brought to us by his cronies-- even as Hillary whined about the "vast Right wing conspiracy" that such policies were instrumental in bolstering.

Like I said: the biggest favor Big Bill ever did for me was showing me just how corrupt and destructive his party is to anyone who really believes that the job of an "opposition party" is to oppose. I bailed and I'll never go back. Can't thank him enough for that.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

and not because people were working three jobs. In California, fast food restaurants were paying $10 - $12 per hour. They aren't any more. How do I know this? I had two teenagers at the time. I think you're confusing the Reagan years with the Clinton years. Lots of rightwingers do that too.

It's always hard for me to take anyone seriously who thinks that Milosevich's slaughter of Muslims was acceptable. Is it okay to kill brown people in your world? It isn't in mine. I think we should take a stand with bullies and shove them back into their own little ghettos. I'm not sure why people like you prefer rampaging armies slaughtering people, but you do.

Maybe you just ought to stop with the cynicism because its incredibly destructive. You wind up supporting policies, as you do above, that lead to slaughter and poverty. Surely that's not who you want to be.

ms_xeno's picture
Submitted by ms_xeno on "Bipartisan" exploiters.

Wages don't exist in a vacuum. Cost of living for most Americans has continued to rise inexorably since the 1970s. Unless you're willing to take that into account, your assessment that income rose in the Nineties is useless. I might add that much of our supposed wealth came because of the dot com bubble. It had as much to do with sunspots as it had to do with any saintly impulses on the part of Big Bill. And now it's allllll gone.

I won't even go into the fact that while $10-$12 is a nice wage for a young kid living at home with the parents, it wouldn't suffice for anyone I know: adults with adult responsibilities.

Both the Guardian UK and Antiwar dot com have written quite a bit about U.S. foreign policy in collusion with companies like Haliburton; how they acted to help destabilize the very region they later decided it was okay to plaster with bombs. So I think it's pretty pathetic to claim this as some kind of humanitarian triumph for the U.S. Acting to create a fertile ground for violent ethnic strife --in the name of corporate profit-- and then righteously marching in to commit further violence in the land in which you've already meddled needlessly, uh- no. That's not my idea of "humanitarian" anything.

I support non-intervention, as a general rule. In that, you're correct. I'm pretty horrified at how much time we spend overseas propping up amoral dictators and the corporations they serve while our own country literally falls apart around us. I'm sick of the bloated military budget and the worship of militarism as the solution for problems that nine times out of ten we were instrumental in creating in the first place.

Your sig line is instructive. Shit is shit, especially when it's being thrown at you. I'm not interested in voting for anyone who shits on me. The argument that I'll be shit on a lot worse if I don't kowtow to the nearest donkey is a nonsensical argument.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

place is for teenagers - it's not for adults. But nowadays, there are a lot of adults in California, with degrees and experience, who aren't earning that much. In Cali, in the 90s, housing costs stayed stable and rose in conjunction with wages. I manage rental property so this is something I'm intimately familiar with.

All I'm suggesting here is that you incorporate the positive as well, because that's the only way you'll get good people willing to go to work. Both Clintons have done a tremendous amount of good in the world for ordinary people - much more so than for wealthy people. I don't understand how anyone can ignore 3 million people being alive. I don't understand you turning your nose up at 200,000 HIV+ kids getting their medication free of charge. I don't understand why you think it was acceptable for Milosevich to slaughter people - I don't get that.

I find cynicism to be a very limiting world view. Someone can always come up with a reason why an action may not be sincere on the face of it, but what does that prove? Good people, working on behalf of others, don't want to be regarded that way. it's incredibly destructive to morale.

I always try to take people at face value and usually find a consistency when I do. Demeaning human accomplishment just makes more accomplishment more difficult. To what end, I ask? To what end? So you ignore that 3 million are alive because of Clinton's efforts. How does that make the world a better place?

ms_xeno's picture
Submitted by ms_xeno on

...I always try to take people at face value and usually find a consistency when I do...

I always find that taking the powerful at face value is a surefire way to make oneself a tempting target for the political version of 3-Card Monte. No thanks.

There are far too many people out there who continually cut the Clinton's slack only because they have "D" after their names. The same attempts to use charitable works as a sop for misdeeds, in describing a Republican's conduct, would net scorn from the very people who only want "accentuate the positive" when it comes to their own team.

I'll pass. In my life, most of the biggest liars, manipulators, frauds and con artists I've dealt with have come bearing the doctrine of not-to-be-questioned "positive thinking."

...I don't understand why you think it was acceptable for Milosevich to slaughter people - I don't get that...

I don't get your absurd oversimplification regarding U.S. foreign policy. By whose authority does the U.S. Government get to decide which dictator's atrocities are "acceptable," and which are not? By whose authority do they manipulate the world's people like chess pieces on a gameboard, causing untold misery and destruction to line the pockets of their wealthy friends? By whose authority do they waste American lives and resources that by right belong to us here at home?

Maybe you should use your search engine on the phrase "War Is A Racket" sometime.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

1. when i said "rich" i mean the real thing. yes, her parents are directly responsible for the deaths of working Americans, poor people, brown people... again, just trust me on this one. the details aren't important, but rather the question: do you think big american/multinationals corporations kill people for profit, and that their executive decision making class knows about that? if you answer yes, then you make my point.

2. she's all about giving money to marriage equality groups, these days. it's funny. since she started sleeping with another closet case thug woman in a similar situation, the two of them revel in giving and support of pro gay causes, while their respective hubbies are oblivious of that, and the sex their wives are having with each other. duplicity! it's what thugs do!

3. i guess i wasn't clear enough. i do think both clintons have blood on their hands; i didn't and won't work for either of them, politically speaking; and i still don't care about their daughter's wedding, except how it reflects the propaganda stream liberals absorb. were the clintons "as bad as bush?" frankly, i have little interest in questions like those these days. i care about who is affecting my life and the world now. that may be CC and her new hubby soon, it's still true for the parents. but this wedding isn't the measure by which i understand that, except as it reflects that they are rich and i am poor, and they've been responsible for mass suffering and i haven't.

and of course, yes:

4. i hate celebrity worship, "royalty" and all the trappings that go with both of those. for "one of ours" as well as anyone else. famous rich people bore the shit out of me almost as much as liberals who obsess with it.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

that's something very few people can say. His AIDS foundation, in conjunction with 3rd world governments, provides AIDS medication for 3 million HIV patients, free of charge. They also provide the medication for 200,000 of the 300,000 HIV positive children in the world. That matters.

As for killing people, he is the only US president that has a statue in a Muslim nation because of his willingness to use American military might to defend Muslims against slaughter.

The Clintons' aren't perfect but if you look at what they've done in their lives, they are constantly innovating ways to make life better for the less fortunate amongst us - especially Hillary.

I don't get the hostility.

ms_xeno's picture
Submitted by ms_xeno on

What can I say? I've lived a sheltered life. o_0

I used to go 'round with some hardcore Dem loyalists back in the day on various Good Causes that their leaders seemed to be barely committed to on paper, much less in the physical realm; about how trotting out these Good Causes in a vacuum in which class, corporate hegemony and the like were to be ignored made no sense. Because then, whether the defenders of people like Clintons I and II intended it or not, the message being sent was, Equal Rights and Full Citizenship are for those who can afford to pay for them. Even a law defending these things, had the people in charge shown any will in that direction, would at best be of extremely limited use to anyone who couldn't, when backed into a corner, hire themselves a good lawyer and take a week off work to go to court and defend what should have been their unassailable rights all along.

Sounds to me like these friends you mention are taking Good Causes In A Vacuum to a whole new level. Or maybe not so new.

Thanks for your response, though.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

you have to understand: i'm an extremely Tolerant person. like, to a fault. also: we went to school together, have a long history, i've seen it from the Inside, etc. so i tend to excuse her. oh, there's so much drama there, but then again, that's what lesbians specialize in, in truth. (complicated emoticon)

anyway, yes. what are my two rules from long association with thugs and their rich females?

The only behaviors they know and can perform are:

1. Projection
2. Hypocrisy
3. Willful, Self-Motivated Blindness, Denial and Ignorance about what makes them uncomfortable.

that's really all you need to know about them. just treat them all as if those were their first and only commandments, and you'll understand and get along with them fine, and never be fucked over by them, cause you can see it coming and avoid it.

heh, why don't you come up with three for the dems? /naughty/

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

why it is people like me have greater contempt for obama and clinton(s) than i do the bush clan. let me try to explain.

our job is to push to overton window to the left. almost more than anything else, if we fail to do that, we guarantee our loss, perhaps in a really bad way, like "hitler" bad.

our enemies are two-fold. one set includes the obvious ones, the haters and the bigots and the superrich. but our other set of "pretending to be, but not really on our side, and actually making things worse?" well, you know what i'm going to say.

was clinton the preznit a worse leader than others? yes, and no. but that's not the point. like obama, he resided in the WH at a crucial time, when real change could've occurred. but he didn't for the sake of immediate political gratification. in the Village, for all we didn't call it that back then. the result? millions of new americans in poverty, permanently. and millions dead all over the world. again: bush was worse. but... so? i can still call clinton out for all his caving. on my rights, even. don't expect me not to do that. i'm a Shrill, angry radical queer. Clinton failed us, spectacularly, for nothing.

more importantly: who cares about this "dynasty?" he's done, over. a bankster class overlord, for life. HRC likely too. good for him, and her, and CC. i'm sure they'll live well. but they aren't helping me, right now, or millions and billions like me. in fact, they're hurting me, and us. i can't and won't deny that.

again, i ask you: defending clinton(s) gains you what, exactly? right now? being caught up in the 'eternity' of a brand never pans out, in the long term. they will cease to be a force, and sooner than you think, in the political mind of people who participate in "democracy."

let your worship of them go, i say to all clinton fans. history won't record him as very great, or even memorable. there's so much he could've done, and didn't. obama is hardly different. that's why people like me don't defend the legacy parties. it's patently obvious that their "accomplishments" will pale before their many failures. people who tell me not to say that right now earn, well, my contempt. i don't mean to be bitchy, just honest. HRC is in the same category, imho, and CC is moving in that direction, afaik. oh well.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

It's all of our jobs to move the Overton window left. But other than that, you get nothing right.

I notice you can even admit that he's saving millions of lives. Why is that?

Clinton gets up every day and goes to work raising money for HIV patients, and now for average Haiti residents. He's taking a stand, and using his resources, to change how Haiti runs. Right now, he's working on returning farmers to subsistence farming rather than commercial farming - and he admits he got this wrong during his presidency and that it costs lives. How many former presidents admit stuff like that publicly and go to work to fix it?

I don't worship the Clinton but I do recognize people who made progress on human rights issues. Maybe you ought to stop being angry and ask yourself what progress looks like. Would it have been better had Clinton failed on the executive order, and instead, a permanent ban on gays in the military is reinforced? How would that have been an improvement? If a constitutional amendment on gay marriage passed, how would that be better than DOMA which can be voted down in one move of Congress?

In the end, we had our lowest unemployment rate in history, and highest wages under Clinton - the only time in the past 30 something years that wages rose. Those gains were quickly wiped out during the Bush admin. So, yes, he did quite a lot for average Americans.

Bush looked the other way as terrorists plotted to attack our nation, and used that assault to invade a nation that he knew to be unarmed and unable to defend themselves. In the process, thousands of Americans died and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

Millions are dead because of Bush and millions are alive because of Clinton - and you can't tell the difference. I'd say that's a huge moral failing that does not value life. Maybe it's time to stop being so self-absorbed and move on to what it takes for real change.

john.halle's picture
Submitted by john.halle on

"Bush looked the other way as terrorists plotted to attack our nation, and used that assault to invade a nation that he knew to be unarmed and unable to defend themselves. In the process, thousands of Americans died and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis."

Completely irrelevant to the subject under discussion, needless to say.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

re: "like obama, [Bill Clinton] resided in the WH at a crucial time, when real change could've occurred" ... Obama entered the 2008 campaign and the White House with a massively stronger hand for leftward reform than any president had since FDR.

The American zeitgeist of 1993 vs. that of 2009 were light-years apart. Fans of speculative fiction can opine on whether either Clinton would have been one jot better as president in 2009 than Obama has been, but it's a stunningly different opportunity in almost every regard.

Clinton was elected substantially because Perot pulled more votes from GHWB than he did from the Dems. He snuck into the presidency with Third Way rhetoric.

Obama took a slam-dunk opportunity for leftward progress and immediately (on the campaign trail and ever since) started shooting toward the other basket, with rhetoric that brought new hope to the then-waning politics of Reagan.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

is cynicism and lack of historical awareness. There seems to be a reflexive belief that anyone who gets elected is thoroughly corrupted, and has no interest in the lives of ordinary people. Yet if you look at what the Clintons actually do (as opposed to what the media talks about), you find two people deeply engaged in making life work better for ordinary people. Hillary, as senator, had a huge list of accomplishments which almost entirely about making education more accessible, and finding ways to make profitability easier for small businesses - things like providing federal funding for more farmer's markets in New York, and creating new ways for merchants to move their product to new markets. If you look at her record in Arkansas, you see the same kinds of policies - she started a legal aid clinic for low income families, rounded up federal funds to build health care clinics in rural locations, started a program to help parents of toddlers that couldn't get into Head Start teach their kids to read and a micro-loan program for rural entrepreneurs. These are all practical things that make life better for average people.

The media doesn't need that kind of help so they don't talk about it. And because the media doesn't talk about it, people don't know about it.

Clinton's legacy will be viewed in light of his actions once he left office, and no other president has the kind of accomplishments out of office that he does.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Perot's candidacy weakened Bush's re-election narrative and put the election in play.

Of course, the MSM picks our presidents, and when they smell (or want to smell) blood in the water, that has a profound effect on the outcome.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

the way people differently remember the 90s. they certainly weren't great for me, financially. but then again it's hard to say how much of that is "my own fault" for making certain choices. anyway...

my point injecting race into this is that Clinton, despite nice speeches and the support of many folks of color, didn't do such a great job helping those communities. and a lot of us are painfully aware of that, looking back on the 90s. which were great! compared to right now, hell yeah i'd go back. but "right now" isn't exactly the standard i'd prefer to use.

i've always felt that the 90s were two decades, or rather, there were two classes of americans in them. those who were able to take advantage of the bubble( s) of those days, and those who weren't. i was one of the few people in my set calling the bubbles "bubbles." i distinctly recall a couple of conversations with my fellow Little People in the mid to late 90s, people who were convinced at the time they were being enrolled in the (democratic) Franchise that seemed to be the dominant economic model. they were so sure permanent wealth and opportunity would come from those times.

myself, i said things like "this tech bubble won't last" and "i'm not so sure the markets are as stable as you think they are" and "nafta is a really bad move, along with all this other pro business stuff they keep passing" etc. back then it was mostly considered bad form to be "so negative," at least in my circles. clinton was our generation's JFK, or something. never mind that the MIC only grew, and our ruinous military/occupation policies around the globe did as well. that the drug war was expanded, the social safety net reduced, gay rights made a bipartisan kicking post, aids around the world spread mostly unchecked, so many lost opportunities to do alt energy quickly and cheaply, global climate change mostly diddled over, instead of addressed seriously...

it's hard for me to talk about the 90s. i loved them, i hated them, they were good and bad to me. it is easy for me to compare myself to people who had a different experience during them, esp from the perspective of race. which is to say: well, we're all pretty much fucked now, aren't we? personally, and not speaking of anyone on this thread, i find the hostility i get from some clinton fans today, very amusing. it's sad, too. i pity people who invested in an idea or dream, not realizing that the political culture in this country took an anti-democratic turn back in the 80s (or sooner, depending on your argument) and and has never recovered.

and BA: i would argue that NO american president perhaps in all our history has not been responsible for mass deaths. native americans, cubans, iraqis, people in central and south america, chinese, koreans, africans of every stripe and time... this country is built on the blood of slaves and the conquered. i never pretend otherwise.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

unemployment in history, highest wagest and falling incarceration levels for males. That means something.

What I find amazing is that you can't acknowledge the good stuff that happens. You're so locked into a world view, that you deny positive things that a lot of people's lives better.

Submitted by Anne on

which seems to reduce to "I hate these people and I will not listen to anything that might soften my hatred."

For me, since no president governs in a vacuum, and all have to deal with the political climate, strength - or absence - of Congressional majority, general world conditions and events, I find it much more telling to see where presidents devote their time once they are not bound by those constraints - what do they want to do now that they have the profile and have been freed from the handcuffs?

You've provided some excellent examples of what Bill Clinton has done.

And, we can look at what was of interest to Hillary in the years before she decided to seek elective office, and look at the totality of her interests while in office - not just at cherry-picked votes that are always dragged out as proof of her essential evil.

I think what annoyed me was using the occasion of Chelsea's wedding as a vehicle for putting on a virtual parade of Clinton derangement, and a super display of heels-dug-in, fingers-in-ears close-mindedness.

People feel what they feel, regardless of whether those feelings are fact-based; that's fine - I'm sure I'm guilty of it from time to time, myself.

I still don't know what any of it had to do with Chelsea's wedding - other than to provide a launching pad for what followed.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

We live in a cult of personality culture and it's becoming very disturbing, IMO. I don't just mean with Obama or the Clintons or W. Overall. It's like being famous makes everything else okay. Case in point, Condi Rice performing with Aretha Franklin, how do you think the crowd reacted? Did they think it was cool to see Condi jamming with Aretha because it's enough that Rice is famous, forget what she's famous for. Fame has become interchangable to a large degree. People get excited about seeing a famous person without thinking about WHY they're famous. I've found myself having this initial first reaction so I'm not judging other individuals, just noting a disturbing trend in the culture.

And I don't think it's okay to only attack the cult of personality trend when it's other people's bastards. Because the problem is larger than any one person's fame.

I get the issue about doing so at the wedding of the people's child. But again, I think that's part of what needs to be debated - the benefits/detriments of public shaming both in terms of who to shame and how to do it. Certainly people aren't going to agree on every person, but I for one think we'd live in a better world, generally speaking, if our elite had a little more sense of shame and a little less sense of entitlement. How to get there, I think, deserves a discussion.

Submitted by lambert on

... that the elite public shaming of the Clintons has anything to do with the fact that real wages for ordinary people increased when Bill Clinton was president?

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Most of the Village - except for the ones in their direct employ - hate the Clintons. That's partly because the Clintons had the termerity not to be ashamed of being from Arkansas, partly because they didn't give a damn about going to Sally Quinn's parties, and partly because, however, minimal, they did do some things for the working class and poor or at least talked a good game.

But just because the elite hate them, doesn't make them good people (and I say that as someone who went to NH for Hillary, but there's relatively better and truly good, those are different standards, and I'm not sure I'd go for Hillary again because of it and because 2008 seemed a moment where much was possible with the right pressure, pressure that the "left" was never going to bring against Obama, but that moment was lost and can't be reclaimed in the same way). Although I grant you, it may be an indication of some sort of sliding scale, the people the elite love are almost inevitably worse.

I'm pretty much done with both parties, but I think citizens could do worse than vote for whoever Chris Matthews hates (or vote against anyone he loves).

ms_xeno's picture
Submitted by ms_xeno on

...they'll do worse no matter how they vote. I do like the sheer bald-faced despair embodied in, "I have to vote for whoever some obnoxious hack on the news hates," though. These people all work together, after all. They always win against us, and they always proceed to divide up the spoils for themselves and their moneyed backers, while barely managing a crumb for any of their respective true believers on the ground. Matthews is nothing more than an announcer at a pro-wrestling match, in that sense. He's there to give a rigged game the illusion of being a real fight. No more, no less.

I feel more and more respect with each and every passing day for non-voters. I can never quite bring myself to join them, though. Some useless sense of outdated sentiment about the meaning of the ballot, I suppose.

ms_xeno's picture
Submitted by ms_xeno on's debatable that you will be. I spend a lot of time in places like Ballot Access News and Independent Political Report when I can absorb the wonkery. The perpetual cults of personality don't excite me much anymore, but seeing so many people on the ground struggling to provide possibilities beyond the "choice" of Elephant/Donkey could give me enough will to crack open the damn ballot one more time.

Submitted by lambert on

It's better to vote affirmatively for NOTA (None Of The Above) through write-ins or spoiled ballots than it is to stay home. Your vote gets counted. Of course, it's even better to vote for a third party.

Submitted by Anne on

taken place in an area with a higher ratio of so-called ordinary people (suppose, for example, the wedding had been in Harlem, or in Arkansas), there might have been some shaming presence there that was not present in the elite village of Rhinebeck?

Is the problem that no one reminded the media of Bill’s and Hillary’s darker and bloodier sides?

Here’s a question I would be curious to get an answer to: neither Bill nor Hillary live in a cave – they have an ongoing and constant presence in the world in some way. Why don’t we see posts calling on them to be shamed at every event where they are present? Why only bitch about them, call them mass murderers and felons, on the occasion of their only child’s wedding? Why not bitch about Bill when he is working in Haiti, or when he gives a speech on his work against HIV?

I’ll venture a guess: because it’s not personal enough. It’s better to shame when you can diminish in some way a parent’s joy at the marriage of his daughter. Because it looks small and mean to be shaming someone when he is raising millions for efforts to save lives, and helping people improve their lives.

I absolutely get the concept of shaming, but I don’t get the point of being pissed because people did not use the wedding as a venue for it, and assuming that had something to do with the social and economic status of the people in that community.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

it was because the wedding was in John's neck of the woods (although obviously I can't speak for John). I didn't get the impression the post advocated only shaming at weddings, but rather the fact of the wedding in his area - with all the hulabaloo and locals swooning that goes with it - made him think about it (although, again, he can speak for himself).

I thought about Condi and Aretha Franklin when I was at an Aretha Franklin concert. I wondered what I would've done if Condi popped on stage with her as a surprise guest. Would I have clapped politely or remained silent? Did I have some obligation to do more? What is a citizen's obligation when a person they believe to be a war criminal shows up where they live or just happen to be?

Even if you don't believe the Clintons fit that definition, there are plenty of people who do. What is the right response when you find yourself in a room - or neighborhood - with someone who has done unspeakably evil things? What do you do when evil comes to town? Does it matter why they've come to town or do you take your opportunities when you get them?

I tend to fall in the camp of leave the wedding alone, especially since it was for the daughter, but I can see how others might feel differently. Not to go all Godwin, but if Hitler was giving his daughter away in a couple of towns over, I don't know that I'd just let it go.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

is that they really can't substantiate their definition of Clinton as a war criminal. John didn't even know he wasn't president in 1991, nor did he know that Mrs. Clinton is SOS rather than SOD. There is some pretty egregious lack of knowledge here. And if he did know those things, then he clearly hadn't thought through what he was writing. He couldn't defend the notion of either Clinton as a war criminal with anything substantive. He just came on here and smeared two good people who are making the world a better place for millions of people, as war criminals, without anything of substance to back it up.

What was fascinating about the thread was the unwillingness to incorporate information that the critics clearly didn't possess. What Clinton is doing out of office should be very, very good news for anyone who considers themselves on the left side of spectrum. Yet, the people attacking Clinton's record knew the least about his record and apparently knew nothing whatsoever about his current actions. I would expect reality based people to spend some verifying on their own that what i said was accurate, and then incorporate that into their world view. Isn't that how adults are supposed to operate?

john.halle's picture
Submitted by john.halle on

I was responding to your claim which I will quote for the third time that "The sanctions never prevented the importation of food or medicine."

This is simply false. The sanctions DID prevent the importation of food and medicine for reasons discussed in Joy Brown's book and summarized in Cockburn's review.

If you want to make the additional false claim that Clinton to pro active steps to address those aspects of the sanctions regime which prevented the importation of food and medicine go ahead and make it and that will be rebutted.

As for your claim that I don't know that Hillary is the SOS here is the relevant quotation:

"As for war crimes, and the complicity of the current Secretary of State, two words: predator drones."

The level of intellectual dishonesty in your postings would be shocking were it not so typical.

Submitted by Anne on

I work in a firm that, during election season, often has candidates for local and national races in to talk to (usually just) the partners; I met Ben Cardin in an elevator when he was running for the Senate – I happened to approve of his work to that point, so was happy to meet him – but it could just as easily have been someone I didn’t care for. I also had occasion to meet the former GOP governor of MD, whose policies and politics I couldn’t stand, but…he was closely related to someone I worked with on a daily basis, and in the interest of office harmony, I was polite, but reserved.

Suppose you unexpectedly meet Dick Cheney – what do you do? Politely and calmly say, “I wish I could say that it was an honor to meet you, but in truth, the horror of your tenure as VP makes that impossible (and please don't touch me)?” Do you make some sort of non-threatening bodily gesture – hold up your hands and back away? I know I would probably manage to swallow my tongue before I could manage to speak something intelligible in a face-to-face meeting, but maybe it’s good to be prepared.

If I had paid money to see Aretha, and Condi showed up, I’d be ticked, to be sure. I’d be inclined not to clap – or stay seated if everyone were standing - but is silence enough if the applause from others is enough that it isn’t noticeable? IS staying seated enough if no one notices? Has it accomplished anything if the person for whom one is not clapping doesn’t’ know you’re not clapping - or standing?

I guess where I am with this is that I see a Chinese wall of sorts between people’s careers and their families – except when those families are used as political tools, I guess; I don’t subscribe to the idea that my children are responsible for who I am, and would see someone using them to get at me, even if the underlying reason was valid, on the occasion of my child’s wedding, as the cheapest of cheap shots.

I don’t know that the Clintons could have held that wedding anywhere without drawing attention, and given that they went out of their way – it seems to me – to avoid that attention, to create as much of a zone of privacy as they could around it so that it would truly be Chelsea’s day, I don’t think they can be blamed for the attention.

ms_xeno's picture
Submitted by ms_xeno on

...Why don’t we see posts calling on them to be shamed at every event where they are present? Why only bitch about them, call them mass murderers and felons, on the occasion of their only child’s wedding?...

Two possible answers for you:

1) This blog is not a representative sampling of bloggers' ability to keep track of the Clintons' doings about the globe and respond accordingly. I'm just guessing here, being just a visitor myself and all.

2) Most bloggers really don't want to take on a full-time job that doesn't pay anything, especially given how much else there is going on in the world, and how thick the competition is for powerful souls in need of a good shaming.