After the death of Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton released a statement praising the former Republican President for being at the ‘
So Clinton’s adultery in the 1980s and 1990s was utterly irrelevant to his fitness for office in the 1990s… But REhqnuist’s legal views in the 1950s and 1960s are relevant to his fitness for office in the 2000s?
Can we at least have a time-period for the statute of limitations that’s uniform between left- and right-wingers?
BTW, that Peter Wilson who did the interview is not the former Governor of California.
Let me get this straight.
A sexual self-control problem (if that’s what you’re referring to, and I don’t know what else it would be) did more to debase the office of President than the murder of 600,000 Cambodian civilians?
Not to mention Nixon’s support for the Pinochet coup, or any number of other things.
I think we have a slight problem of priorities here.
how exactly did he ‘debase the presidency more than nixon’?
because he got a blojob? who cares? nixon set tens of thousands of americans to their graves. christians have a strange sense of morals.
maybe the ‘love your neighbor’ statements in the new testament were mistranslated in the greek, maybe it meant ‘arm thy neighbor’ time for more full-autos on the streets.
I agree that the “debased the sacred office of the Presidency” rhetoric is rather absurd.
But I also think, Joe, that you’ve misread the article. According to the reporter, at least, he’s making two different attacks: that Reagan and Bush are racist, and that Rehnquist is both racist and misuses his power for political ends. Before the part you quote, it says:
Speaking before his recent health scare, the former president accused Rehnquist, the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, of deliberately politicising the system of appointing independent investigators, leading to years of relentless, politically motivated inquiries into his presidency.
In an interview with The Weekend Australian, Clinton dropped the affection with which he usually discusses Reagan and the civility he affords the current President to accuse both men of deliberately using racist electoral appeals to win the White House.
Clinton said Rehnquist, Reagan and Bush were part of a far-Right branch of the Republican Party made up of the “spiritual heirs” of white southern racists, who still used the tactics of personal destruction employed by racists in their campaign to block civil rights for blacks.
He accused Rehnquist of deliberately appointing a highly partisan Republican, David Sentelle, in 1994 to chair a three-member panel of judges empowered to appoint special counsels to conduct inquiries into presidents [leading to the firing of Robert Fiske and the appointment of Kenneth Starr in his place].
Read that as two groups of two paragraphs. In the first group, he accuses Rehnquist of “deliberately politicising the system” and Reagan and Bush of “deliberately using racist electoral appeals.” In the second group, the charges are repeated in reverse order, accusing Reagan, Bush, and Rehnquist of being “‘spiritual heirs’ of white southern racists, who still used the tactics of personal destruction employed by racists”, and Rehnquist of also “deliberately appointing a highly partisan Republican.” (One good thing: apparently none of them does anything without deliberating about it first.) Thus, the charge of racism is laid to all three, but an additional charge of partisan political malfeasance is laid to Rehnquist.
In the part you quote, from later in the article, he notes Rehnquist’s racist past as part of the charge of racism, but the matter of the political appointment of prosecutors is part of his simultaneous charge against Rehnquist that he abused his office. It has nothing to do with whether Clinton is black. Rehnquist’s current partisan politicising of the office of Chief Justice is in addition to his prior denial of due process to blacks.
As opposed to northern white racists who ruled in Dred Scott v. Sanford that blacks had no rights that a white man was obligated to respect. If the south was racist, the north was its mentor and enabler.
But Bubba IS Black — he ran the country just like Detroit or Haiti or any of the African Third World hellholes.
Damn Joe…you’re losing it homie. Watergate, homie, Watergate.
Gee.. I thought what Nixon did to debase the Presidency was Watergate, or more specifically burglary, wiretapping and denial of such. Not the Vietnam war, which if I recall correctly was _ended_ by Nixon (started by Kennedy, continued by Johnson, ended by Nixon.)
I don’t know if Clinton debased it more. Many Presidents have had affairs. I’m not sure why Clinton’s became the talk of the town. And I’m also not sure why that particular point is what they chose to use to impeach him. Seems odd to me.
“Many Presidents have had affairs. I’m not sure why Clinton’s became the talk of the town. And I’m also not sure why that particular point is what they chose to use to impeach him.”
Gosh, I really hate to revisit this topic, but to clarify: Clinton was impeached for lying under oath in a deposition, not for his philandering. The first was illegal; the second was immoral.
Yes, I know it was his lying under oath that got him impeached, but why was his filandering subject of a deposition? That’s my question, and that’s what makes the charges seem so strange. People often get caught up in the filandering side of the issue rather than the lying under oath (and many people think “Well who wouldn’t (at least be tempted) lie about this?” )
My understanding that there were other issues that were also valid grounds for impeachment (book with the list is not handy on the moment.) Was this (lying under oath) just more of a clear cut case than the other activities?
Yes, when do we get to depose Bush regarding the events leading up to and immediately following the 9/11 attacks? I recall that after objecting to the 9/11 commission (and then flip-flopping and supporting it), Bush agreed to speak only if he didn’t have to take an oath and only if he his buddy Dick was there to hold his hand. I wonder why? Curious.
“If the south was racist, the north was its mentor and enabler.”
Indeed, the Wisconsin Klan was notorious for its summer training camps, which Southerners travelled hundreds of miles to attend. See Guss, Bo et al., “The True Story of the South” (Regnery Publishing, 2001).
Leah- Bill Clinton’s philandering led to a lawsuit. He was impeached for obstruction of justice in that case. He was also impeached for committing perjury before a grand jury. The article impeaching him for perjury in the Paula Jones case was rejected by the House, as was the article for lying to Congress. This link gives the full text of the articles.
It’s easy to win a game of “To My Left” [*] against anyone who says “Clinton’s only lies were about consensual sex in private”. Just quote some slabs of Chomsky about the red-nosed war criminal bombing Sudan’s only pharmaceutical factory, committing un-UN-authorised genocide against gallant Johnny Serb, and unleashing the Marines on the oppressed people of Haiti. Good grief, remember on whose watch Wag The Dog came out.
[*] “To My Left” = a drinking game invented by someone at the UK New Statesman, where each player has to make a statement even more left-wing than the person before her/him. Each round finishes when someone makes a statement so left-wing that it becomes extreme right-wing instead. Eg, A starts off with “I don’t like Margaret Thatcher’s economic policies”. B tops this with “Thatcher is an agent of the ruling bourgeoisie and her policies are an attck on the poor and the working masses”. C tries to top this with “It’s a sad day for this country when a bloody woman can tell the coal mining lads of Yorkshire that their jobs are gone!” — but gets disallowed for coming full circle to extreme right wing. Game over: B wins.
good story. i wonder how a game of to the right would go? probably end with armegeddon and everyone either goes to hell of heaven.
anyone seen the movie saved!? i laughed till i cried. a little close to home. god, it is good to be away from home.
‘Most to debase the Presidency’? What about abandoning your post when the country is attacked, running away and hiding in a nuclear-proof bunker under a mountain, and then lying to cover it up by claiming that there were ‘credible threats’ to Air Force One…which incidentally has the best pilots in the world and was considered the safest place to be if the Soviets attacked. Perspective people, perspective.
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