Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Clinton Co-Opt. Version 2.0

Bill and Hillary Clinton are the ultimate political opportunists.

While the Bush and Reagan presidencies were essentially guided by ideology and core beliefs, the Clintons have shown that their political philosophy is far more flexible and can be bent and molded in order to maintain popularity and win elections. Whether or not you think this willingness to abandon principle for power is a good quality for “the leader of the free world” to have, is an argument for another time. However, if Hillary is elected president we will see political opportunism as we have never seen it before. While George W. Bush refused to sink to such a level in his administration’s infancy, we shouldn’t expect similar courtesy from Hillary towards her predecessor.

When George W. Bush first came to power, the economy had been well on its way into recession for several months. While it technically fell into recession within the first month of the Bush presidency, no serious economic analyst blamed Bush for the downturn. He had not passed a budget, nor had any of the president’s economic policies taken effect. It was essentially a recession that the president inherited from the Clinton years.

President Bush could have tried to make political hay out of the economy early on and blamed his predecessor for the slow rate of growth and in turn built support for his pro-growth tax policies. He did not. His supporters know that this president has never been the type of mudslinger that the Clintons were. It’s simply not in his nature. Hillary will not be as kind.

Despite Robert Reich and Paul Krugman’s insistence that a recession is right around the corner (a claim that they have been making since 2003) the economy remains strong and stable. However, recessions cannot be avoided forever. Even if a recession occurs a year or two into a Clinton presidency, Hillary will not hesitate to heap the blame on President Bush, especially if it advances her political goal of raising taxes. That kind of political move was beneath Bush, but Clinton will jump at the chance.

In addition to this, at the rate that federal revenues are pouring into the government's coffers, the budget will likely come into balance by 2009 or 2010. While the deficit has been dropping dramatically throughout the Bush presidency, due in large part to expedited growth because of the tax cuts, Hillary will find a way to take credit for yet another “Clinton Surplus.” She will most likely attempt to connect the inevitable balanced budget to a tax increase or allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire. The truth of course is that, a third Bush term would result in a balanced budget as well, but the mainstream media should be more than willing to adopt the Clinton narrative on the coming Bush surplus.

The Iraq war will likely provide another opportunity for Hillary to accumulate some undeserved political capital. Although you wouldn’t know it from reading The New York Times, the situation in Iraq is improving rapidly.

Civilian and Iraqi military deaths are down nearly 75% since late August. Al Qaeda has been decimated, and the Iraqi people are finally starting to realize that America is in Iraq to help, not to colonize.

Despite the long, bloody march towards success in Iraq and the mistakes which have defined the campaign up until the surge strategy was implemented, will Hillary Clinton give credit to President Bush for the miracle of eventually creating not one, but two democracies in a region that has never seen one before? Not to mention overthrowing two brutal and tyrannical regimes? Of Course Not!

As long as there are still troops in Iraq, Hillary will attempt to take credit for success in the region, even if her policy is only a continuation of Bush’s policies. As soon as the last troop is pulled from Iraq, Hillary and the Democrats will claim that they achieved what the Republicans never could.

While President Bush is likely to oversee a size able American exodus from the nation towards the end of 2008, Hillary will still be more than willing to take credit for the incredible accomplishment which up until this point, Democrats have insisted was impossible.

Bill Clinton's administration took credit for a multitude of accomplishments which he had very little to do with.

He signed a Republican welfare reform bill after vetoing it twice and today takes credit for the bill's incredible results.

He took credit for an economic recovery that was already taking place when he took office. The reality is that Clinton postponed real economic growth by raising taxes when he came to power.

The Clintons fondly reminisce about peaceful days. That borrowed time was cashed in on September 11, 2001, by Al-Qaeda, which had been ignored during the Clinton years despite numerous attacks on American interests around the world.

The Clintons are masterful politicians and will do anything to gain power, keep it and build a legacy around the narrative which they build for themselves, often at the expense of others.

They will not hesitate to do so again and their allies in Congress and the media will aid and abet them in this endeavor. It will be up to historians to sift through the rhetoric and find the real story behind America's economic prosperity and success against terrorism in the 21st century.

- Dan Joseph

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Progger said...

Get real! Remember Oliver North? They were importing cocaine to buy weapons.

Shannonymous said...

I agree for the most part. If Hillary is the Dem. nominee, I might just have to NOT vote Dem. for once!!?!?! The horror... ;)

Anonymous said...

Make no mistake - she will take credit for everything good and nothing bad. It is a style that has been very successful for her and her teammate. Blame is their game. Why change now?

Anonymous said...

I see the latest poll has Bush at 25% approval. And Hillary is going to take credit for "his accomplishments." Are you guys real. This jerk with a bit of help from the Republican congress has probably destroyed the Republican party for a generation quite apart from the damage he's inflicted on US interests around the globe. It's this total denial of reality that is going to doom us.

mike volpe said...

There is one way to avoid your scenario and that is to make sure Hillary isn't President when all of this happens. Hillary won't be able to take credit for all of these things while she is campaigning, and thus, as they are happening, it will be the Reps. and Bush that will get the credit as long as the story gets out. We, the bloggers, must be the ones driving the story on Iraq. I hope everyone noticed what Michael Yon is trying to do and I hope everyone blogs about it because it is important.

I would like to just add one thing. I don't believe that Clinton was responsible for the recession but rather Alan Greenspan. I believe this is one of two huge errors that he made that will color his legacy and here is how I saw it...

Anonymous said...

Just for the record, that 25% poll by the American research group is at odds with just about every other poll out their by about 10-points.

I don't believe they are a reliable polling firm and their findings are never included in the national averages at Real Clear or anywhere else.

Godzillasterd said...

Dude, I can't belive you spent that much time writing something that long, although I dont like Liberals either (go republicans)