Friday, January 25, 2008

More reasons why Hillary's claim that Obama praised Republican ideas is bullshit.


It turns out that in the past, both Bill and Hillary had very nice things to say about Ronald Reagan. And that means their sharp criticism of Obama for his comments about Reagan (which, as shown in the previous post, they twisted and misrepresented) shows yet more hypocrisy.


I cannot provide independent confirmation of this fact, but for years I have called Bill Clinton "the best Republican President we have had." And I have never meant that as a criticism, by the way. Clinton pursued policies that were opposed by many liberals and were not part of traditional Democratic party policy. For example, I think Bill deserved then and still deserves now a lot (but not all) of the credit for the economic success that occurred during his administration. But the policies that were implemented then were, at that time, more Republican than Democratic in nature. So I smiled demurely when I read the following paragraph in an MSNBC report:
Of course, one could very well argue that many of the accomplishments from Clinton's presidency were based on GOP ideas. Welfare reform. NAFTA and free trade. And an emphasis on tax cuts.
Indeed. And recall that for much of Bill's administration, the House was controlled by Republicans, meaning that many things done during Bill's administration were at the least ideas approved by Republicans.

Also, back when Bill was first running for President, he had a pretty favorable view of Reagan, as described here.
Under the headline, "Clinton Credits Reagan For Fall of Communism Policy Speeded Soviet Collapse, Democrat Says," the Washington Post [on October 17, 1991] wrote, "Gov. Bill Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate who has tried to differentiate himself by tacking to the center on some key issues, said yesterday that former president Ronald Reagan's defense buildup had hastened the collapse of Soviet communism. Breaking with the widespread position of liberals that Reagan's military program had little to do with the Soviet system's collapse, the Arkansas governor also praised Reagan's 'rhetoric in defense of freedom' and his role in 'advancing the idea that communism could be rolled back.' Clinton made his comments during a meeting with editors and reporters at The Washington Post. 'The idea that we were going to stand firm and reaffirm our containment strategy, and the fact that we forced them to spend even more when they were already producing a Cadillac defense system and a dinosaur economy, I think it hastened their undoing,' Clinton said. Clinton was careful to add that the Reagan military program included 'a lot of wasted money and unnecessary expenditure.' He also noted that former president Jimmy Carter already had begun to increase military spending before he was defeated by Reagan in 1980, and that the nation's containment strategy was the product of 'four and a half decades of bipartisan foreign policy.' Still, he said Reagan deserved credit for 'the idea that he wanted to stand up to them.'" [10/17/91, Washington Post]
Wow. Bill not only credited Reagan's policies, but his ideas. But now Bill criticizes Obama for giving Reagan some recognition for ideas. That's hypocrisy, folks.

Now I know what some of you Hillary supporters are thinking...But Bill also said that 1) Reagan engaged in unnecessary and wasteful spending, and 2) the policy of containment that had been in place for decades was key, so Bill really wasn't praising Reagan. Well, if you want to stick to that reasoning, then explain how that is any different from what Obama said about the Republican ideas being played out and that some of the policies being touted by today's GOP candidates are those same ideas. If you want to defend Bill, then you have no business criticizing Obama.

And neither does Bill.

There is another angle to this story. In the previous post, I had a quote from Bill, but I left out part of it. Here is the first part of the quote, with the part I left out italicized:
Her principal opponent said that since 1992, the Republicans have had all the good ideas. It goes along with their plan to ask Republicans to become Democrats for a day and caucus with you tomorrow, and then go back and become Republicans so they can participate in the Republican primary.
(emphasis added). In other words, Bill was accusing Obama of citing Reagan just so he could get Republicans to vote for him. And just what was Bill doing in 1991? The exact same thing, and anyone who doesn't think so is at best clueless. Bill was the master at moving toward the center in order to get votes, and his praise of Reagan in 1991 was an example. And now he thinks Obama is doing the same thing, Bill thinks that is wrong.

Shut up, Bill.


Ah, but Bill is not on the ballot, so let's see what Hillary her ownself has said about Reagan.

On Hillary's own website, she has this article which trumpets the endorsement she received from the Salmon Press newspapers in New Hampshire. Here's the good part:
Her list of favorite presidents - Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln, both Roosevelts, Truman, George H.W. Bush and Reagan - demonstrates how she thinks.
(emphasis added). Oops! Of course the Hillary campaign responded:
That then prompted Clinton's campaign to issue an e-mail stating that the item, although published on her own campaign Web site, was incorrect. The item came from an interview with Salmon Press Newspapers in New Hampshire, the campaign said.

"In fact, Senator Clinton only complimented President Reagan’s communications skills – an attribute of his that has been widely praised by Americans of all ideological stripes – and did not list him as one of her favorite presidents," Clinton's campaign said in a statement.

Her campaign provided a statement it said came from David Cutler, co-owner of the Salmon Press Newspapers:

"The question posed was originally what portraits would you hang in the White House if you were president...She listed several presidents that she admired and mentioned she liked Reagan’s communication skills. She did not say Reagan was her favorite President. She didn’t say anything close to that."
That's fine, but why is the article STILL on her website? Why is this explanation not listed on that specific page??? I just find it funny--and indicative of Hillary's arrogance, hypocrisy, and lack of good judgment--that she blasts Obama for praising Reagan and has something ON HER OWN WEBSITE that says Reagan was one of her favorite Presidents!

Let's move on to something that Hillary did in fact say about Reagan...

Tom Brokaw's latest book is entitled Boom! Subtitled "Voices of the Sixties," it examines how that era has impacted today's society. The book contains some discussion of Hillary. I found this discussion the same place I found the description of Bill's 1991 comments about Reagan. Anyhoo, here's an excerpt from Boom!:
As for the political climate in America, she (Clinton) understands that America has historically tilted toward the conservative side, with intermittent periods of what she calls "progressive energy." She also believes that modern conservatives such as Karl rove are "obsessed" with defeating her. She prefers the godfather of the modern conservative movement, Ronald Reagan. He was, she says, "a child of the Depression, so he understood it [economic pressures on the working and middle class]. When he had those big tax cuts and they went too far, he oversaw the largest tax increase. He could call the Soviet Union the Evil Empire and then negotiate arms-control agreements. He played the balance and the music beautifully." In 1969, who would have imagined that the Hillary Rodham on the Wellesley commencement stage would find herself thirty-eight years later paying tribute to Ronald Reagan? [Boom, p. 404]
(emphasis added). And who would have imagined that Hillary would in 2008 would turn around and blast a political rival for seemingly praising Reagan? Well, I certainly would have. Everything about Hillary's character and tactics shows that such action was to be expected. And there is only going to be more, folks. That's who Hillary Clinton is and what she is all about. If she gets the nomination, I guarantee she will change her tune--again--and start saying nice things about Reagan in an effort to get Republicans and "Reagan Democrats" to vote for her.


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