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‘Giving’ and Taking

Posted on Sep 17, 2007
George W. Bush and Bill Clinton
AP Photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

By Chris Hedges

Bill Clinton has written a new book.   It is called “Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World.” He will give a portion of the proceeds to charity.  Giving, the former president informs us, gives us fulfilment in life and is “the fabric of our shared humanity.”

His book is the political equivalent of “Marley & Me” It is filled with a lot of vapid, feel-good stories about ordinary and wealthy Americans setting out to make the world a better place.  It smacks of the philanthropy-as-publicity that characterized the largesse of the robber barons—the Mellons and the Rockefellers—and has become a pastime for our own oligarchic elite.  Clinton’s call for charity is the equivalent of well-scrubbed prep school students spending a day in a soup kitchen, doling out food to the people whose jobs were outsourced by their mommies and daddies.  It does little to alleviate suffering.  But it is a balm to the conscience of the oligarchic class that profits handsomely from the impoverishment of the working class, globalization and our anti-democratic corporate state.  The rich love to dine out on their own goodness.

  The misery sweeping across the American landscape may have begun with Ronald Reagan, but it was accelerated and codified by Bill Clinton.  He sold out the poor and the working class.  And Clinton did it deliberately to feed the pathological hunger he and his wife have for political power.  It was the Clintons who led the Democratic Party to the corporate watering trough.  The Clintons argued that the party had to ditch labor unions, no longer a source of votes or power, as a political ally.  Workers would vote Democratic anyway.  They had no choice.  It was better, the Clintons argued, to take corporate money and use government to service the needs of the corporations.  By the 1990s, the Democratic Party, under Clinton’s leadership, had virtual fund-raising parity with the Republicans.  In political terms, it was a success.  In moral terms, it was a betrayal. 

The North American Free Trade Agreement was sold to the country by the Clinton White House as an opportunity to raise the incomes and prosperity of the citizens of the United States, Canada and Mexico.  Goods would be cheaper.  Workers would be wealthier.  Everyone would be happier.  I am not sure how these contradictory things were supposed to happen, but in a sound-bite society, reality no longer matters.  NAFTA would also, we were told, staunch Mexican immigration into the United States.

“There will be less illegal immigration because more Mexicans will be able to support their children by staying home,” President Clinton said in the spring of 1993 as he was lobbying for the bill.

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But NAFTA, which took effect in 1994, had the curious effect of reversing every one of Clinton’s rosy predictions.  Once the Mexican government lifted price supports on corn and beans for Mexican farmers, they had to compete against the huge agribusinesses in the United States.  The Mexican farmers were swiftly bankrupted.  At least 2 million Mexican farmers were driven off their land from 1993 through 2002.  And guess where many of them went?  This desperate flight of Mexicans into the United States is being exacerbated by large-scale factory closures along the border as manufacturers leave Mexico for the cut-rate embrace of China’s totalitarian capitalism.

Clinton’s welfare reform bill, which was signed on Aug. 22, 1996, obliterated the nation’s social safety net. It threw 6 million people, many of them single parents, off of the welfare rolls within three years.  It dumped them onto the streets without child care, rent subsidies and continued Medicaid coverage.  Families were plunged into crisis, struggling to survive on multiple jobs that paid $6 or $7 an hour, or less than $15,000 a year.  But these were the lucky ones.  In some states, half of those dropped from the welfare rolls could not find work.  Clinton slashed Medicare by $115 billion over a five-year period and cut $25 billion in Medicaid funding.  The booming and overcrowded prison system handled the influx of the poor, as well as our abandoned mentally ill.

The growing desperation provided a pool of broken people willing to work for low wages and without unions or benefits. And while Clinton was busy selling out the poor, he lowered the capital gains tax from 28 percent to 20 percent, a reduction that permitted the wealthiest 1 percent of the population to derive 80 percent of the tax savings.  Clinton, like George W. Bush, also provided lavish government funding for his corporate backers, including in 1998 a $200-billion highway and transportation package for the big construction companies and a $17-billion increase in the military budget. This was the largest increase in military spending since the end of the Cold War.  Corporations, flush with government aid, saw their taxes dwindle.  Amway, for example, had its taxes cut during the Clinton years by an estimated $280 million. The Clinton and Bush administrations, through tax breaks and corporate bailouts, have squandered billions of our tax dollars on corporate welfare. 

The appreciative oligarchs and corporate class have made Bill rich.  He is fond of boasting in public about how wealthy he has become.  Hillary raised $26 million in the first quarter of the year, almost three times as much as any politician previously raised at that point in a presidential election. 

We face the prospect of having two families govern the country for 16 years.  The system is rigged.  Our democracy is a consumer fraud.  The government has given up any pretence of serving the interests of citizens.  The corporations rule.  And for all Clinton’s charm and talent for self-promotion, he is largely to blame. 

Half a century ago, corporations paid 45 percent to 50 percent of the income tax.  Today they pay 6 or 7 percent.  This is why our infrastructure is crumbling, there is no universal health care, our public education is in crisis, regulatory agencies are impotent and our poor and working class are desperate. 

The bottom line is that the Democrats, including John Edwards, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, will never govern on our behalf.  They are hostage to those who put them in power.  And it is not us.  Until we throw our weight behind fringe candidates such as Dennis Kucinich or Ralph Nader, if he runs, we will continue to be fleeced by corporate pawns such as the Clintons and the Bushes.  It is no longer possible to argue between the lesser of two evils.  The corporate state, which is carrying out a coup d’etat in slow motion and has already shredded most of our constitutional rights, is an unmitigated evil.  We do not need charity.  We need justice.  And all of Bill Clinton’s heart-warming stories about giving are not going to save us from the corporations who sucked out his soul and seek to imprison the rest of us.

Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt, By Chris Hedges, Truthdig Columnist and Winner of the Pulitzer Prize -- Get Your Autographed Copy Today Also Available! Truthdig Exclusive DVD of Chris Hedges' Wages of Rebellion Lecture The World As It Is: 
Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress: A collection of Truthdig Columns, by Chris Hedges -- Get Your Autographed Copy Today

Keep up with Chris Hedges’ latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/chris_hedges.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, October 10, 2007 at 8:59 pm Link to this comment

It has been brought to my attention that you felt lamed by my post.  Not being able to see your comments, I must apologize if I offended you in anyway. 

You post seemed to be complaining about complaining, since your post was lacking in substance, admittedly I basically did to you what you did in your post.  First of all you think we have a depth of hatred, it should be brought to your attention, speaking for my self here;  frustrations toward our political so called leaders, continuing their ineptitude   and response to feelings towards the needs of the people.  You assumed hatred, I call it strong dissatisfaction.

You wonder how much action the writer and the posters have committed to doing anything.  Seeing that you have posted one comment, your question seems out of place and a little cheeky. 

Lobbying, a pet-peeve for me, I picked that because Congress was supposed to rid the halls of their romantic relationship with lobbyist, seems the halls of Congress are still full of special interests, owning the ear of government and the people be damned.
S
o spouting off on the internet seems to disagree with you, but you have just done the same?  Which reminds me of hypocrisy,  another problem in our government, Bush the chicken hawk Vietnam evader has almost 4000 troops dead and 20 something thousand wounded,  these notches in his belt,  seems the pot is calling the kettle black.

What do you not like about Mr. Hedges?  You never said except that you did not like him to have supporters? 

What you call complaining is concern for the failings of our government to be responsible for it’s actions, accountability would go a long ways to bridging the gap.  Lack of integrity seems to be in need of address.  Ethics defined by whom, the people abusing them?  If you feel this complaining, then so be it.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, October 10, 2007 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

irk, your comments attacking the article, because of the word used by the writer is the Ann Coulter approach to disagreement.  Attacking the messenger is always the easy way out and not even an argument, if you disagree with the article why not give your point of view, why? 

Since you like to pick key words out of context,  I will pick one in your post, “Lobbying” me suspects you may be one.

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By irikk, October 10, 2007 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment

I think the depth of the hatred and negativity displayed in both the article (“review”?) and the comments that follow, show conclusively that we are our own worst enemy. And just for the record, I find it hard to buy into anything a guy writes that has to use the word “oligarchic” no less that three times in a short piece like this. Aside from that, I just wonder how much action the writer himself takes. Does he give? Time? Money? Anything? Is he (and most of the others that commented) doing anything to change things? Working for any candidate? Lobbying their senators & congressmen to change campaign finance laws? Anything at all, other than spouting off on the internet. Life must be pretty friggin’ dismal when out of all the people in America, Mr. Hedges (and his friends, cronies & supporters) don’t seem to have anyone they like. At least not as president. Hell, if I had their outlook I think I’d just shoot myself. Get over the finger pointing and move on. Read a Harry Potter book or something. Sheesh.

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By simon, October 9, 2007 at 9:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

the superpower elite have used the national security state (neocons now make its permanent dirty war public, used to be “secret” or “covert” to americans only, rest of the world long knew all about it) for 60 yrs now. the neoliberals (clinton/dlc etc) have peddled globalization as the solution to our economic growth problems (used to be called de-industrialization before they developed the positive spin trumpeted by the likes of fools like thomas friedman (the world is flat-yea right?!), and it serves them well to go back and forth (now the neocons, then the neolibs and back and forth they go…

let’s take mexico. first the NAFTA, then the war on drugs (militarize the entire society just when NAFTA forces them to release some tension in the system (economic crisis, social chaos, mass immiseration etc) through elections…they still steal elections down there, but our media lets us know loud and clear they were “free and fair”...

clinton militarized the border with mexico months before NAFTA became law. the us government knew mexico was becoming the center of accumulation for the inter-american narco economy, and the privatization of mexican banks (first sold to the mexicans, then flipped to the globalists (now 85 percent foreign owned) were drowning in laundered drug money (read sec of treasury rubin and citibank (now owns banamex, which was sold to the leading narco in mexico from the gulf cartel…

so a right wing corporate deal negotiated by bush 1 is sold by all the us presidents still alive and thinking clearly (reagan was already out of commission) to the american people and congress (mainly with republican votes) passes it.

1/1/94 mayan indian uprising in chiapas, since NAFTA means death to all small farmers in mexico….

clinton signs off on johns hopkins wall street adviser professor of latin american studies recommendation that the international investment community believes it is important to “eliminate” the zapatistas. dirty little low intensity war unfolds, us military begins its massive surge, under the cover of fighting the war on drugs. president zedillo (yale phd and now director of their center for the study of globalization) signs off with clinton on their new war against the poorest of the poor. despite human rights criticisms for zedillo’s massive repression of new social movements in mexico, he holds a few free elections and becomes the hero of the Washington Consensus globalists, and is showered with praise by such institutions as the Council on Foreign Relations as the “architect of Mexico’s political revolution.” so the neoliberal in mexico and washington militarize mexico in the name of fighting the war on drugs all the while the entire government and military and the new bankers are neck deep in drug money…now we learn the usa is gonig to give mexico 1 billion per yr in new military aid to fight the drug war. again, clinton and bush, good cop bad cop routine for public consumption, while serving the same crony capitalist mafiosos runnnig a global protection racket with the Pentagon as its enforcer…it is indeed, a beautiful system they are constructing…

like the elephant in the room during those secret NAFTA negotiations was not mass immigration ???????? never touched the most obvious consequence of de-nationalizing mexico’s economy…

oh, and the mexican people absorbed all the bankers debt from their debt crisis (clinton 50 billion via executive order jan-feb 1995)...

the mexican case was critical in order to start the process of “integrating” the rest of latin america into our “hemispheric unity” .....

and people wonder why leftists are coming to power in latin america? do they have any clue
what neoliberalism and prior to that, decades of right wing us sponsored coups and dictatorships have done to their sense of political justice and economic fairness?

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By Conservative Yankee, October 2, 2007 at 6:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

103898 by Gary on 10/01 at 6:12 pm

“Now I would vote for Dems over Bush in a heartbeat because Rethug culture includes a family extremely linked to the Third Reich—no kidding—AND the clique of American fascists and Nazi-lovers around them.  This is REAL, it’s financial, it’s free trade!”

Ahh, but check out who Prescott’s partner was at Union Banking.  The premier Demo-crit of all times Averill Harriman, and his Demo-fund-raising wife Pam.

There is no party-line here. you got it right when you pointed out the capitalist thing, and the D’s are out raising the R’s about 2 to 1 this election.

“The Republic will fail when people find they can vote themselves money”  - - -  Ben Franklin

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By Gary, October 1, 2007 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bill Howland #101010
I don’t understand why you guys don’t support Ron Paul.  He is the ONLY candidate who will not be subserviant to the Corporatists.
———
Because Ron Paul IS a PURE corporatist. Mont Pelerin Society. Freidrich von Hayek. Milton Friedman.  Pinochet.  Coup in Chile, on 9-11-73.  Look it up.  Ron Paul’s buddies.

Also look up the history of Libertarianism and William Volker.  There’s an article on progressiveindependent.org. Sure, they’re far left but the facts about Volker and how he CREATED Libertarianism, Trickle Down, supply side, and the religious right, are stunning.

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By Gary, October 1, 2007 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fascist government will continue to rule in America as long as capitalism is calling the tune.  We are and have been fascist since the government started corporate welfare.

Google “Nazis Parading Down Main Street”

Now I would vote for Dems over Bush in a heartbeat because Rethug culture includes a family extremely linked to the Third Reich—no kidding—AND the clique of American fascists and Nazi-lovers around them.  This is REAL, it’s financial, it’s free trade!

But the Dems are “codependent” on the Rethugs, it’s been shown over and over. Yet at least the Dem party members tend to be moderate or even maybe genuine liberals. (But if Hill outlaws guns, it’s all over but the chorus.) (And I don’t even have one.)

Clinton years were ‘good’ in a sense, for many ppl, but it was the SETUP for Bush, like in basketball, including—IMO—the fake Monica “scandal”.

Hitler dissolved the Reichstag and all the German trade unions. After a point, they could not stop him. Dems barely even try.

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By Conservative Yankee, September 22, 2007 at 6:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

101818 by WorkingMan on 9/21 at 12:08 pm

“We’re sinking, and it’s not from lack of working, I’ll tell you that.
I grew up with working men all around me, wives generally not working. They owned their homes, worked 40 hours, and got their little vacations, health care, and clothes for the kids.
This is now a misty dream of yesteryear, and that same neighborhood is now packed with commuters headed for the big city skyscrapers.
The working man has not been this desperate since around 1910. Wages have plummeted, executive pay has soared.
Are you blind? We are dying out here.”


    WARNING NON-OBJECTIVE COMMENT BELOW!

Jeez WorkingMan you must be reading my mail!!

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By WorkingMan, September 21, 2007 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A message from the bottom:

God Bless Chris Hedges.

We’re sinking, and it’s not from lack of working, I’ll tell you that.
I grew up with working men all around me, wives generally not working. They owned their homes, worked 40 hours, and got their little vacations, health care, and clothes for the kids.
This is now a misty dream of yesteryear, and that same neighborhood is now packed with commuters headed for the big city skyscrapers.
The working man has not been this desperate since around 1910. Wages have plummeted, executive pay has soared.
Are you blind? We are dying out here.

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By John Borowski, September 21, 2007 at 5:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The professed mission of the SEC is to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets while facilitating capital formation. Claiming to be an advocate for investors, the SEC proclaims on its website: “As more and more first-time investors turn to the markets to help secure their futures, pay for homes, and send children to college, our investor protection mission is more compelling than ever. As our nation’s securities exchanges mature into global for-profit competitors, there is even greater need for sound market regulation.”
These folks on Wall Street can now rest at ease for misleading investors because the high court of the land has declared “corrupt persuasion” to be legal, that persuading someone to engage in an act with an improper purpose even knowing an act is unlawful is not criminal behavior. Can you see why right wing Republicans will pack the Supreme Court with right wing fanatics? How can a fanatic be objective in making decisions that will have a devastating effect on the average American?

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By John Borowski, September 21, 2007 at 5:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To show you how Chris Hedges is a charlatan. (The British Trojan horse) This propaganda picture is probably taken when he sent his father and Bill Clinton to the Middle East. Did they cut out his father’s picture and only show Clinton’s picture? Clinton went to the Middle East as his duty to the country. If you can’t trust a lousy picture, how can you trust Chris Hedges.

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By Conservative Yankee, September 20, 2007 at 6:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

101492 by cyrena on 9/19 at 7:30 pm
(1030 comments total)

#101446 by Conservative Yankee on 9/19 at 3:32 pm
(Unregistered commenter)

101410 by cyrena on 9/19 at 1:13 pm

“(and, try to be objective):)”

You are joking right?


You underestimate yourself Conservative Yankee. I wasn’t joking, because I honestly thought that you might be up to the task.

The joke I had in mind was in a different vein. I’m through discussing the Clintons and their unfortunate sojourn in the white house. 

When I asked if you were joking, it was more of a “pot calling the kettle black” thing.  You have been less than “objective” in your discourse, understandable for a self-identified “lefty”

I am under the assumption that folks with any self-interests at all are patently unable to be completely objective. For an instance, would you be able to advocate effectively for a person who executed your mother? Even if he was “just doing his job?”

I am not objective. I have friends in Lawrence Massachusetts who have lost their homes and livelihoods due to outsourcing and lack of decent government over a period from 1987 to now. I fostered children during the 1990’s when our “child friendly president” (as he was billed in 1992) dismantled one of the steps needed for these children to return home, AND while he did (as the other poster said) pay down the national debt, no one talks about where he got some of the money. One place was that foster parents were forced to pay .50 for foster children’s prescriptions. in another area, they cut off dental care (where it was not medically indicated) and they halved the clothing allowance which was already too small.

I was amazed in 1992 to learn that not one in 10 foster parents in Massachusetts or Maine knew that the Democrat (for whom they intended to vote) had decimated the foster care system while governor of Arkansas. By the time Clinton left office in Arkansas that state had the second lowest rate of reimbursement for foster parents in the USA. It showed. fully 33% of foster children from Arkansas wound up in adult prison within five years of their discharge from foster care.

You are correct. I’m not objective….AND I don’t intend to become so!

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By RICHARD SHADE, September 20, 2007 at 6:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

THIS PICTURE OF BUSH AND CLINTON TELL A HOLE STORY
THE MASS DECEPTION BY THE MEDIA, CFR ,AND GLOBAL ELITE MUST BE EXPOSED TO THE UNWITTING PUBLIC. ONLY WHEN THE CONTROL OF THE CFR IS FULLY EXPOSED WILL THE VOTERS HAVE A REAL DEMOCRATIC CHOICE. LOOK AT THE CANDIDATES FOR THE 2008 ELECTION, ALL THE TOP TIER CANDIDATES FROM BOTH PARTY’S ARE EITHER MEMBERS OF THE CFR, OR ARE BOUGH AND PAID FOR BY THE GLOBAL ELITE. THIS ELECTION IS A FIXED GAME AND THE CFR CONTROLLED MEDIA LETS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE “THINK” THEY CAN PLAY. THE CFR ARE THE PEOPLE WHO WANT OPEN BORDERS AND THE FORMATION OF THE NORTH AMERICAN UNION. AN DESTROY AMERICA’S SOVEREIGNTY, AND DELETE OUR CONSTITUTION. IF YOU VOTE FOR ONE OF THE TOP TIER CANDIDATES BETTER LEARN SPANISH.

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By cyrena, September 19, 2007 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

#101446 by Conservative Yankee on 9/19 at 3:32 pm
(Unregistered commenter)

101410 by cyrena on 9/19 at 1:13 pm

“(and, try to be objective):)”

You are joking right?
.....................

You underestimate yourself Conservative Yankee. I wasn’t joking, because I honestly thought that you might be up to the task.

I’ve learned that the average person will take your arguments a lot more seriously if your bias isn’t so obvious. So, this would have given you an opportunity to do that. You could have dissed the Clintons as much as you wanted, if you had also acknowledged that there were some things that he did get right.

So, I wasn’t joking, because I thought you might be able to do that, (at least as a conservative). I’ve always thought Bill Clinton was the best Republican president we’ve ever had.

Now of course I say that as a far leftie, (and he would be VERY offended by that) but the bottom line is that Clinton IS a centrist, and always has been. Both of them.

Still, if you were willing to look at the thing objectively, instead of the routine cherry picking of things that people like you choose to engage in, you’d almost have to confront some pluses from that administration.

So, that’s what I had in mind, when you thought I was joking. I wasn’t then, but I am now. So, you can go back to proving that Slick Willie assassinated MLK.

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By Conservative Yankee, September 19, 2007 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

101410 by cyrena on 9/19 at 1:13 pm

“(and, try to be objective):)”

You are joking right?

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By Anonymous, September 19, 2007 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Although I agree with much of your article, I would differ on at least two of the points you made.

1. Yes, Clinton cut welfare. But it was replaced with the Earned Income Tax Credit that gives thousands of dollars to working mothers with children and others. You make it sound as though he threw the poor into the streets, and that is simply inaccurate. In fact, poverty declined for 7 out of 8 of Clinton’s years in office.

2. Putting our support behind fringe candidates, as you suggest in your conclusion, could have bad consequences, too. Remember the 90,000 Floridians who “voted” for Nader in 2000. If even 1,000 of those Nader voters had voted for Gore, then Bush would have lost and the country would be a lot better off today.

Just my 2¢.

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By cyrena, September 19, 2007 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

#101319 by Conservative Yankee

•  1993 World Trade Center bombing Clinton response?

There’s quite a bit of information on Clinton’s response to the 1993 WTC bombing, if you’re interested. He used the law, as it was written and intended, and they caught the guys, and prosecuted them, and now they’re locked up. So, THAT was his response. Would you have preferred that we had invaded/bombed and occupied some other unrelated nation? Any Arab nation would do?

•  “1993/1994 Clinton nominates two centrist Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg in and Stephen Breyer. Both of them later vote that Americans do not own their own homes, they simply use them until local communities want them for a Walmart, or development for folks who are able to pay more in taxes.”

Ah, here we have the issue of eminent domain, and a pretty nasty issue at that, I would agree. And, Clinton is responsible for this…BECAUSE? He nominated two centrist Supreme Court Justices? He KNEW how they were gonna vote? And, did it occur to you that they obviously weren’t the only ones who voted that way. He TOLD them to? And, who appointed the scourge of the Supreme Court, (right under Scalia) Clarence Thomas himself? The devil in a black robe? I remember it was the first Shrub that appointed him.

You’re right about NAFTA, but the Chinese didn’t get into the act enough to OWN us, until the Bush/Cheney team came along. (we weren’t billions of dollars in the hole, when Clinton left office) We are now. What the Saudis didn’t own (of us) from the first Bush admin, the Chinese now own from the second. Same culprits involved. A Shrub and Dick Cheney.

•  I could continue for another six years, BUT my fingers are getting tired, and I have a feeling that I could write and prove that Clinton assassinated MLK, and you would still support him.

I think you SHOULD continue for another 6 years, because this isn’t yet an argument for prosecuting either of the Clintons, so your project is very incomplete. And, there’s no way that Clinton could have assassinated MLK, because and I’m sure he can account for his whereabouts at the time. (probably doing the Rhoades Scholar thing at the time) So, you can’t write and prove that Clinton did it, but you could write more on the crimes of the Clinton presidency if you want.

I would suggest a “compare and contrast” (Clinton admin v. the ones before and after his) argument though, so you can give us the full flavor.

(and, try to be objective):)

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By 1drees, September 19, 2007 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

” ‘Giving’ and Taking ” yeah with the two DEVILS pictured here its only a matter of understanding what they are giving and wehat they are taking. they are the champions of givign pains and deatha nd taking lives and whatever is worth any money.

Exactly as their Zionist masters want them to do.

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By Blagnarok, September 19, 2007 at 11:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m not sure that America as most people envision it has ever really extisted.  Have we ever had a good 8 year stretch where foreign, domestic, and humanitarian policies are concerned?  Maybe while George Washington presided… but considering slavery and westward expansion that is a BIIIG “Maybe”.

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By Conservative Yankee, September 19, 2007 at 8:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The wonderful years of Clinton:

1993 Clinton left Somalia allowing that country to pass to Radical Muslims.
1993 Clinton Signs NAFTA shifting jobs from the USA to cheaper countries
1993 Clinton signs MFN for China precipitating the largest shift in labor and wealth in the planet’s history.  This also led (with GWB’s continued support for Chinese trade) to a enormous military build up in China using US funds provided by Walmart (among others) Where Hill-the Business-shill was a former board member.
1993 World Trade Center bombing Clinton response?
1994 with one of the worst political flame-outs in US History, Bill&Hill;‘s health care plan bites the dust, and an accompanying disaster precipitated by man in way over his head, the House goes Republican for the first time in 40 years.
1993/1994 Clinton nominates two centrist Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg in and Stephen Breyer. Both of them later vote that Americans do not own their own homes, they simply use them until local communities want them for a Walmart, or development for folks who are able to pay more in taxes.

I could continue for another six years, BUT my fingers are getting tired, and I have a feeling that I could write and prove that Clinton assassinated MLK, and you would still support him.

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By Eric Barth, September 19, 2007 at 7:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What a revolting photograph to go with this great article. All this stuff about ex-presidents having to be polite and appear with whoever is currently in the White House should have stopped with G.W. Bush and his gang. I guess Jimmy Carter has quit meeting with Bush, but no future Democratic President should ever intentionally meet with or discuss anything with George W. Bush, because of the unprecedented assault on the Constitution and economic well-being of the American people undertaken by the current administration.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 19, 2007 at 7:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Max Shields on 9/19 at 4:24 am
(141 comments total)

Inherit the Wind
“If you DON’T think they were the best 8 year stretch since 1929, then go ahead and name a BETTER 8 year stretch for America—and explain why, if you can.

Anything else is just internet macho bullshit posturing.”

I asked you to specify what made the Clinton years the “best 8 years” and this is how you answer?

Simple question and you’re completely without a reasoned response.

I answered it in my original post.  Since you chose not to read it (pretending I wrote something else), AND you can’t (or won’t) point to a BETTER 8 year stretch, I stand by my statement that you are engaging in internet macho bullshit posturing.

Unless you identify a BETTER 8 year stretch since 1929 (and you can even define your own standards), I not going to indulge your IMB posturing.  There’s nothing to discuss or debate.

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By Max Shields, September 19, 2007 at 5:24 am Link to this comment

Inherit the Wind
“If you DON’T think they were the best 8 year stretch since 1929, then go ahead and name a BETTER 8 year stretch for America—and explain why, if you can.

Anything else is just internet macho bullshit posturing.”

I asked you to specify what made the Clinton years the “best 8 years” and this is how you answer?

Simple question and you’re completely without a reasoned response.

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By Conservative Yankee, September 19, 2007 at 5:14 am Link to this comment
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101146 by Inherit The Wind on 9/18 at 1:18 pm

Nice Try, CY.  Full marks for effort.

I enjoy folks who believe they must give grades for everything others do… It usually means they were retained in the fifth grade multiple years.

You missed my point. and somehow reading your other missives, that is not a surprise.

I’ll try again.  Those years were good (FOR ME!!) and I believe that is the way most working folks judge time periods.  occupancy of the white house makes for great bar-room conversation, however if the paycheck keeps arriving, and the children are not sick or in trouble, things look pretty rosy! When GHWB, Clinton began shipping jobs offshore, and assured no future for average people from small towns, the bloom fell off the American rose.  AND fewer than half the US voting population selected Clinton both in 1992 and 1996, so I guess their opinion differs from yours about him being our greatest post war president.

AGAIN so you do not miss this important point THIS IS MY VIEW” you may get different mileage depending on how you drive.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 19, 2007 at 4:16 am Link to this comment
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cyrena on 9/18 at 8:29 pm
(1015 comments total)

Inherit the Wind..(#101146)

Based on your latest and greatest post, I’ve got your number!! You’re one of my favorite history professors, aren’t you? Fess up, ‘cause I know it’s you. You gave yourself away when you put yourself (birth) in the timeline. (and oh what an excellent timeline it is…which is standard fare for your lectures! – I love it!!

*********************

Thank you for the complement, Cyrena, but that particular selection of timeline (8 year stints starting in 1947) was picked by Conservative Yankee, not me—and it was an odd choice since I would have started with 1945-53 to parallel presidential terms.

No, I wasn’t your fav prof (sorry)—my favorite professor and I used to argue unmercifully because he was very conservative (in the old, rational sense of the term) and I was raised in the anti-Viet Nam War movement. But he taught us to skeptical, and warned us not to be cynical, teaching us the difference.

But, no, I’m not a professor.

Names and dates, and timelines are the alphabet of all history. The WHEN is as crucial as the WHO and the WHAT.

For example, this thread has a picture of Clinton and President Mussolini together. The inference the article wants you and me to draw is that the picture is contemporaneous.  But is it? I can’t see any indication that this was taken this week or 2 years ago.

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By CJ, September 18, 2007 at 9:48 pm Link to this comment
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Good to see members of the ruling class enjoying themselves. I’m pleased as punch. Hillary’s presented a new plan (see other article here). Naturally, it includes, as all but Kucinich’s does, insurers, hospital-chain owners and employers (small businesses to get yet another tax break, after having gotten one already when the so-called “minimum wage” bill was passed, laughable as actual minimum wage is to be), who mostly couldn’t care less whether you live or die, since there’s always another sucker in search of a lousy job at half the price.

Awhile back, here at Truthdig, there was heavy discussion regarding religion. America’s only true religion is worship of the God, “free market.” NOW WE’RE TALKIN’ ‘BOUT GOD, THEE ONE AND ONLY. Chris and Christopher.

My mom’s laid up in a local hospital owned and run by a pack of frauds. (I know ‘em to be frauds, since the company I used to work for had them as clients. I read their financial statements before I was “downsized.” Take my word for it, I know ‘em to be frauds.) Ten thousand bucks per day, and she had to clean up her room this morning, while wearing an oxygen mask. No one there to help, with so much as brushing teeth or changing gown, never mind pick up. She’s 80, as in EIGHTY!

I don’t want to hear it; I don’t want to read it. Any of it. It’s time to stop listening and reading. They got theirs, don’t give a f__ about any of us. They’re all frauds. All with plans, first taking care of shareholders/owners, then maybe, sorta us. Or not. Whatever. Long as it all sounds good.

So it’s good to see George and Bill having a good time, like Louis and Marie did. Market soared today when what’s-his-name cut interest rate, once again providing for the already haves at the expense of the never-hads, never-will-haves. But hey, you might score, if you get a little lucky, never mind all that “hard-work” crappola, which ain’t going to get most of you there. No one ever got rich working hard, so much as by being willing to exploit. Helluva an ethic, one well known to George and Bill, and to Hill too, all three of whom have practiced that “ethic” all their miserable, worthless lives. None ever put in a serious hard-day’s work, ‘cept for George, a course, who once put a chain saw to an already felled tree. Okay, so that took five or ten minutes. Then, nappie time. “Eye-raq? Ah…yeah, furgot fur a sec. ‘t’s all gud, peeple, rilly, rilly. Heeheehee” Indeed it is, for him and his class, same as Bill’s and Hill’s, newcomers though they be. While Johnnie—recent entrant to owning class—enjoys 22,000 square feet of hew house, which he no doubt really needs. Don’t we all? And while Elizabeth enjoys the best of care, I’m sure.

Breaks my heart.

No wonder they’re all forever smiling and laughing. When are ya’ll gonna get wise? Writers, readers, posters, alike? Death is everywhere, careless death. Just WHAT does it take to get attention? DO NOT GO TO THE POLLING BOOTH! Not until you’re presented with a real choice for a damn change. Well, unless you too are planning to cash in, in which case, best a luck to ya.

P.S. Remember too to never take anything personally.

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By ocjim, September 18, 2007 at 9:44 pm Link to this comment

What bothers me most about the picture is Clinton smiling in close vicinity with Shrub. It suggests approval. Then there is the disparity of the two portrayed: intelligence vs mediocrity; vacuousness vs. substance; sanctimony vs. lack of pretense; megalomania vs. popular; self-deceived vs. self-aware. Clinton has many blemishes but next to Shrub he looks like a genius. I wouldn’t want to be within 20 feet of Shrub so even smiling in his presence denotes approval.

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By cyrena, September 18, 2007 at 9:29 pm Link to this comment

Inherit the Wind..(#101146)

Based on your latest and greatest post, I’ve got your number!! You’re one of my favorite history professors, aren’t you? Fess up, ‘cause I know it’s you. You gave yourself away when you put yourself (birth) in the timeline. (and oh what an excellent timeline it is…which is standard fare for your lectures! – I love it!!

Not to ignore the rest of you, since I feel like I could place Outraged (#101191) in this same community of thinkers, just intuitively…no particular other reason than that I generally think the same way as the posts convey. Yes, poor people are more than well aware of the fact that they are poor, and they also know that it “ain’t necessarily their own faults”!! And, everybody knows that there is just something grossly out of balance when 1% of the whole owns 99% of the resources.

That makes us a Monarchy/Theocracy way more than anything remotely connected to a Democracy. Now, it was never that way here, before the Euros “discovered” us. And, to be fair, even after all of the dastardly deeds that were undertaken in the original American Holocaust, the Euros didn’t set this system up to be either. I don’t think they ever set it up to be necessarily “equal”, in terms of capital wealth. But, it was decidedly NOT what we’ve wound up with.

This kind of imbalance, (you all know, - it’s my favorite simplistic way for explaining things that cover all universes) is bad business. When stuff is out of balance, (like 1% of the population controlling 99% of the wealth) then…it crashes, and EVERYBODY winds up in the same spiral…including the 1% and all of the wealth).

#100871 by felicity
Bill’s subterfuge is to sell us Hillary hoping that we don’t find out until it’s too late that we’re actually buying him - a third term.  She’s the elixer, he’s the sugared water.

I’ve been thinking on this one, and it could be true. But…I don’t know. I don’t see Bill as selling us Hillary. I see Hillary as selling herself, because she’s ALWAYS been as politically ambitious as him, if not more. So, even though he would probably like another term for himself, I think he’s too smart to assume that he’d get it through her. I don’t see her relinquishing any power to him, anymore than she’s willing to concede. Actually, that’s always been the complaint of the radical right…they hated her from the git-go, just because she could talk, and read and write, and do more than needlepoint and gardening, like all respectable First Ladies are expected to do.

She had even been in that law firm, so ya know that made it even worse. That’s how long ago they coined the phrase “Billary”, and posted Chelsea jokes like her teacher supposedly calling to speak to her mom, and she says that her mom is really busy, but her dad’s home, so maybe the teacher could speak to him instead. Stupid stuff like that. I still get the same types even now, that demonize her as being a model for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe”.

Still, it wouldn’t bother me if Bill had a prominent place in a new administration, just because in spite of all of these crimes of his term, (and the one I mostly hated was NAFTA) he’s actually a very smart guy. I mean, even without the Sugar coating, the guy is smart. He knows a lot of stuff, and maintains his intellectual health. I’ve had the opportunity to hear him speak more or less spontaneously (as in discussion rather than lecture form) and he’s just a really smart dude. So, there are more than a few positions he could competently cover, within ANY administration. Of course the same could be said for other former officials, although there aren’t any former presidents still alive that could do it. (Aside from Jimmy Carter, and I’m sure he doesn’t wanna be on the top of any letterheads at his age…he has every right to relax and enjoy the view).

Anyway…just my two cents. I thought it was a good piece from Chris Hedges though. And, I already know that he and Chris Hitchens are not the same. Not even twins.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 18, 2007 at 8:59 pm Link to this comment
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Again, read my post, I won’t repeat it here. It’s pretty clear. It has to do with facts, neither partisan nor left/right. Just the historical facts, and they aint pretty, just a little less obvious than the hell we’re going through now.

MS, I read it, and re-read it, and nothing changed.

The way to prove me wrong is simple and clear.

If you DON’T think they were the best 8 year stretch since 1929, then go ahead and name a BETTER 8 year stretch for America—and explain why, if you can.

Anything else is just internet macho bullshit posturing.

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By GodSend, September 18, 2007 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

Brilliant, JimBob - now take it 1 step further. Who, do you think, owns and/or controls those corporations?

Time’s up. Yup, you got it! - it’s those self-same Zionists who ‘did’ and covered up 9/11. SEE! how it all fits together! smile A child could figure it out.

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By Max Shields, September 18, 2007 at 7:06 pm Link to this comment

#100937 by Inherit The Wind on 9/17 at 4:24 pm

“It amazes me how the extreme Left so hates the Clintons that they actually seem to PREFER Republicans in power because then they can write and say ANYTHING about them…But about Dems they don’t like they’ll feel stifled.

Face it: The 8 years under Bill Clinton were the best 8 years this nation had since Jan 1965, when LBJ started his second term.”

This is what you said, Inherit the Wind. Maybe you should read it and then re-read (assuming you read it the first time) what I wrote. Also, I was responding to you and the other Clinton-was-a-wonderful-president poster.

What exactly is your idea of the “best years”? What makes Clinton’s years “the best”?

Again, read my post, I won’t repeat it here. It’s pretty clear. It has to do with facts, neither partisan nor left/right. Just the historical facts, and they aint pretty, just a little less obvious than the hell we’re going through now.

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By JimBob, September 18, 2007 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment

Putting our weight behind a Kucinich or a Nader will be ineffective as long as the same corporations that support the candidates of their choice own the media.  It’s that plain and that simple.

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By Outraged, September 18, 2007 at 4:42 pm Link to this comment

“The corporate state, which is carrying out a coup d’etat in slow motion and has already shredded most of our constitutional rights, is an unmitigated evil.  We do not need charity.  We need justice.”

Excellent point Chris.  If things were FAIR there would be no need for charity.  Until that happens, I think the rich should give their “alms” to the needy.  Yes, I know the rich are the REASON the poor exist however until there is at least some semblance of fairness, they should pay up.

To assume that the poor don’t KNOW that they are poor because of the rich, is to have never met a POOR person.  I don’t think it’s the poor who don’t know what’s going on.  I think it’s the rich who delude themselves into thinking that the poor haven’t figured it out.

————————————-
RE:#100890 by TAO Walker on 9/17

The plutoligarchy, corporatism, entertainment ad-nauseum, religion, etc., are all structural components of the contraption.  It’s driving force, its basic rule, however, is fear itself.  Which is why we’re seeing, here in the most critical phase of the things attempted “installation,” mere chronic fear amped-up to a “global” reign-of-terror.

Perfectly Put!  And it’s an old tactic, for the ruling class it’s like some old worn out pair of slippers you just hate to part with.

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By John Patterson, September 18, 2007 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment
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But with Bill, we had the Peace Dividend…

I admit it doesn’t make up for the beginning of that great transfer of wealth to the top that he oversaw, (Bush finished the process) but it did give us a hint of future promise.

It proved that a peace economy outroars a war economy everytime.  But there just has never been a long enough time between wars to make it permanent.

Permanent Peace?

Isn’t that a refreshing thought.

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By menot, September 18, 2007 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment
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Comment#101025

Hey JB, the commie, atheist Brit is Christopher Hitchens, not Christopher Hedges.  Then again, the two Christophers are both intellectually dishonest and overly self-important opiners, so maybe they really are the same person.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 18, 2007 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment
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Nice Try, CY.  Full marks for effort.

But…

47-55: Post-war recession followed by Korea. Truman leaves an extremely unpopular President (until he dies). 1949 HUAC begins a major assault on American freedoms and liberties leading to the hideous McCarthy period that murders the Rosenbergs and destroys many great careers.

55-63—starts off GREAT—I am born (joke!) Civil Rights movement goes through one of the deadliest and most dangerous times as Southern rednecks back the KKK in its terrorism. Ike leaving warns us and coins the term “military industrial complex”. JFK comes in with promise but does little on civil rights, institutes a minor tax cut that Reaganites will blow out of proportion. The Cuban Missile Crisis nearly brings a nuclear exchange, and the Bay of Pigs is a major embarrassment, not to say disaster. Political assassinations begin with Diem, followed by the worst: JFK.

63-71: Three defining horrible things: Viet Nam and the violent reaction to the anti-war movement. Political assassinations—Medger Evers; Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman; Viola Liusa; Malcolm X; George Lincoln Rockwell; MLK; RFK.  James Meredith is shot but survives. Violence churned by racial tensions explodes across America. College students are murdered by Nation Guard troops at Jackson State and Kent State. The economy is tanking and inflation is spiraling. Abe Fortas hounded off the USSC, Blackmun appointed.

71-79: Viet Nam going on and on, and Watergate are the bookends on corrupt policies by the White House. William Rehnquist on the USSC. For the first time in history a US President leaves office before his time still breathing, in deserved disgrace. Economy keeps tanking worse and worse. The ecology gains a foothold in 1972, loses it, regains it in 1977 (Jimmy Carter). The decade ends with hostages taken by “students” in Iran.

79-87: The phony Reagan “recovery” exists by robbing Peter to pay Paul—and fails 2 years in. Nixonian fascist tactics creep back into government, and the religious right tries to force their American Taliban on the rest of us. Secret deals are cut to finance terrorists in Latin America that are expressly forbidden by law. Oliver North becomes a hero rather than rotting in jail like the cynical traitor he is. Homeless appear all over the capital city, Washington, like mold on bread. Meanwhile Reagan kills Patco and makes our skies less safe, and gives OUR gates to the airlines for free, while decrying “welfare queens”. Economic “miracle” of Reagan’s is foundering again. Scalia on the Supreme Court, Rehnquist named CJ. Both John Lennon and Ronald Reagan are shot.  Only Reagan survives.

87-95: George HW Bush tries to avoid the “hard” economic decisions. David Souter and Clarence Thomas on the USSC.  First Gulf War slaughters 100,000 Iraqi soldiers trying to flee, as they flee, but is successful. 93: The Clinton 8 Year Cycle of peace and prosperity begin.

95-2003:
The Clinton 8 years continue marred mainly by the cooked-up impeachment and his problems with his zipper. Otherwise we are at peace and the few military actions have losses in the ‘teens, rather than the thousands. But the election of 2000 is stolen and the Chimp becomes President, and begins by alienating the Candian Prime Minister, blowing off Kyoto (and all environmental issues), trashes the surplus, has an energy policy planning meeting under the VP that solely has the Oil companies saying what they want. Legal attacks begin on TRUE civil rights and on abortion rights from the DOJ, Bush shafts his head of the EPA (Whitman) and proves to be an incompetent pawn—all before 9/11. Then 9/11 and the ensuing screwups and massive losses of life, liberty and wealth, ALL DUE TO GEORGE W. BUSH—Arrogance, Ignorance, Incompetence and Cowardice all rolled into one.

BTW, I do acknowledge that from 1954 to 1961 may have been as good as the Clinton years—but only those 7 years…nothing else comes close.

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By (The Other) Katherine Harris, September 18, 2007 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment
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I agree with almost all you say, but feel it’s very unfair to paint John Edwards with the same brush as the Clintons. He made his career by successfully standing up to the corporate types, certainly not by pandering to them.  His positions are very much like those of Kucinich but, unlike Kuchinich, he could actually win.  Edwards is the candidate who scares the corporatists terribly, which is why they’re so out to smear him.

Keeping focus on electability is extremely important; look what happened in 2000.  Everyone I know who supported Nader then has been in abject apology mode for years.

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By John Borowski, September 18, 2007 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment
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Instead of collecting cans for the skunked poor, they should have taken their cans to the voting booth and voted out the Republicans. (Aka Conservatives right-wingers) Now it’s too late to vote since we are now living in a dictatorship.

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By Leefeller, September 18, 2007 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

Trickle Down theory under a new face, crumbs for the poor.

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By hollywood, September 18, 2007 at 11:07 am Link to this comment
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I think you are basically correct.  But here’s what so sad about this:  as I type this, 2 blocks away there’s a long line of folks queued up around a building hoping to meet Clinton and buy (at full price) signed copies of his book.  If everybody’s drinking the kool aid, what do we do?  They won’t elect Nader or Kucinich.  They’ll just keep voting us into the hole.

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By John Borowski, September 18, 2007 at 11:00 am Link to this comment
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Inherit the Wind, are you sure, you don’t have your left and right hand mixed up? Except for that, I agree with you in your comment #100891.

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By Yorick, September 18, 2007 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

There is nothing hypocritical or ironic about Clinton’s advocacy of charity. Charity always requires a polarized economic conditions and, rather than ameliorate economic inequality, it always reinforces the difference between rich and poor. It allows the Bill Gateses of the world to appear as saintly, generous people, while displaying their economic superiority. But if the same wealth was redistributed by the state, the rich wouldn’t get to feel good about themselves and flaunt their generosity. Isn’t this the world that Bush and Cheney et al. want—a world where the rich only have to give as much as they want and only to whom they want? True social justice would eliminate or greatly reduce the need for charity. Charity can only exist when there is economic disparity, so it is totally fitting that someone who unraveled some of the mechanisms by which the state (minimally) alleviated the disparity between rich and poor would advocate charity as well.

I don’t mean to suggest that charity is a bad thing and that those who are able to give to others shouldn’t give as generously as they can. The desire to help others in need is obviously a wonderful sentiment that should be encouraged. There will always be economic disparity, and thus there will always be a role for charity. But in the long run, relying on the generosity of a few is an inadequate solution to our country’s and the world’s economic disparity.

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By tim howe, September 18, 2007 at 10:11 am Link to this comment
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Hedges is just another comfortable whit upper middle class fake revolutionary.  Holden Caulfield would quickly ID him as one big “phony”.

I work in the labor movement band let me tell you Mr.Harvard, no one that fights full time for working people believe that the answer to today’s problems is voting for frigging Ralph Nader.

Things were bad before yes - and I fought Nafta and unfair trade full time from 96 to 2000 - but it was our former friend Ralph who KNOWINGLY helped elect Bush to the WH.

In 2004 - the majority of his maxed out contributors also gave to Bush.

A person need not have gonr to Harvard to understand what that meant.

What a fool wrote this piece.  A fake and a real enemy to working people.

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By Sharon Ash, September 18, 2007 at 10:10 am Link to this comment
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There are no highly desirable candidates (who actually have a chance of being elected) on the Democrats side,in my opinion, and for me, and there is no one on the Republican side I would consider, until they do a complete and total overhaul of their party, which will take several years to accomplish.  But I do believe we have a highly qualified candidate in Hillary and she can get in and begin, immediately, to work on the very long list of problems which face this country. I am not interested in supporting the fringe or the longshots, as our country is in far too precarious conditions at this time. I like Obama, but this is not, in my opinion, the time for someone to be learning how to steer our country.  I want someone who can get behind the wheel and go, and for me that is Hillary. So, until someone else with her kind of intelligence and experience steps up to the plate, and I do not see them anywhere on the horizon, she is my choice.  It should be noted that Bill Clinton is her husband, not who is running for president, so people need to focus on the person who is actually running for the office.  This article and the posts are perfect examples of how this started out as an article about Bill Clinton and rapidly turned into Hillary bashing.

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By Conservative Yankee, September 18, 2007 at 9:41 am Link to this comment
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101033 by Susan on 9/18 at 5:14 am

“NAFTA was engineered by Poppy Bush, dear Hedges.  Clinton merely signed it into law.”

Even if one believes the DLC did not fully support NAFTA (and there are reams of documents showing they did…long before Bush became President) Clinton saying he didn’t believe in it, but signed it is something like saying “I smoked it, but didn’t inhale.”

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By mrtshw, September 18, 2007 at 9:32 am Link to this comment
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Bill and Hillary have been a tandem act throughout their political careers. They have separately and individually been allowed to practice the most egriegious hypocrisy, unchallenged, for decades.
Arkansas never benefitted from the Clintons’ contributions…until Bill’s rich friends and thousands of brain dead contributors of modest means enabled him to build a monument to his ego fittingly shaped in the form of a mobile home and called The Clinton Presidential Library which overlooks the Arkansas River in my homestate…. and which also overlooks the profound ethical shortcomings of the Clintons.
Chris Hedges’ accurate depiction of the Clintons’ amoral lack of charity pales when compared to his enabling the sale of blood drawn from inmates in the Arkansas Cummins Prison during most of his administration; notwithstanding his full knowledge most of this blood was HIV and hepatitis contaminated. Briefly stated, Bill Clinton, while governor, knowingly authorized and protected “Friends of Bill” in an appalling scheme to harvest and sell contaminated blood and plasma from Cummins prison farm near Grady, Arkansas.
The prisoners were bled nearly daily and paid $7 per unit, while the units brought $70 per unit to the ” Friends of Bill “.
The scheme continued throughout his governorship in defiance of sound medical practice, numerous warnings and flagrant violations of FDA regulations. Tainted blood from Cummins infected literally millions of people with HIV (the AIDS virus) and potentially lethal Hepatitis C (20%-25% fatality rate) all over the world—Canada, Japan, England, Ireland, Denmark, Switzerland, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, and not least, the United States. Clinton and his partners netted millions from it annually. I bet no one is surprised Bill Clinton now devotes much of his “charity” energy to alleviating the devastation of aids in Africa…probably the only continent his tainted prison blood has not infected!
Numerous other unreported and/or underreported scandals during the Arkansas Clinton years still dot our landscape here in our state….along with Clinton’s multimillion dollar eyesore.

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By CitizenE, September 18, 2007 at 9:10 am Link to this comment
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No one has more aptly broke down the nature of warfare than you, Mr. Hedges. And to anyone paying attention, it was always clear that Bill Clinton was the best damn Republican President at least since Eisenhower.  Still there is a difference between going to hell in a hand cart or on a bullet train. An inconvenient, but dire, reality.

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By xyzaffair, September 18, 2007 at 8:40 am Link to this comment
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The article said NAFTA cut government price supports for corn and beans in Mexico.  Can someone answer this question:  Aren’t government price supports, at least on corn, still in effect in the US?  If so, why were they not also cut under NAFTA?  It is creating a helath crisis in Mexico because less affluent people are forsaking corn products and buying cheaper, less nutritious substitutes such as instant ramen noodles.

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By Leefeller, September 18, 2007 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

If not already a member, how does Clinton fit in with the neocons? , Clinton did the right moves to qualify,  especially with his master, NAFTA move.  Guess if Hillary wins, both her and Bubba will become another powerful member, they could one up Bush as a the super duo.  They could pass it into law that only Mexican Trucks can haul freight on US roads. We have become nothing more than consumers of their crumbs. 

If you have not read Tao Walkers post below,  it is a great synopsis of the whole shooting match.

Pawns and cannon fodder, (road bomb now)  a destiny to continue, which I find most unpleasant.

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By s, September 18, 2007 at 7:23 am Link to this comment
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Watch this and just see if it doesn’t get you out of your chair to the phone.

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/26912


President’s office U Florida:
1-352-392-1311 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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By Susan, September 18, 2007 at 6:14 am Link to this comment
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NAFTA was engineered by Poppy Bush, dear Hedges.  Clinton merely signed it into law.

The corporate lobby, once called “bribery and graft,” until legalized in the late 1950’s, is wholly responsible for the failure of American democracy.  Obviously, this is not taught in school anymore, or you all would know this fact.

Every politician from the 1950’s to the present is guilty of perpetuating this fraud against the American people;  no one politician can be singled out as the cause.  Making laws that declare the “lobby” illegal again is the only way to stop it.  Don’t hold your breath.

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By Conservative Yankee, September 18, 2007 at 5:46 am Link to this comment
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“Prove me wrong by finding a BETTER 8 year stretch, not by calling me partisan.

Only eight years huh?”
47-55 Unemployment at 3.4% We began to make amends to the the African American folks in our society (Brown vs Board) world loved us, the people were happy, Gas cost .26 a gallon, and milk was delivered to our door.
55-63 We didn’t know where Vietnam was, the economy was rosy, people were beginning to get second homes as the WW II generation matured and got more financially secure.
63-71 We passed the civil rights act, saw the evil in our midst and began to do something about it. Began to understand the poor needed help with heaalth care and gave it to them in the form of Medicaid and Medicare. We had the best musicals on Broadway since the 1890’s, Theater tickets were in reach of average families. Our National parks were free, jobs were still plentiful, and A person who worked hard could still own a home almost anywhere in the USA.

71-79 Began the environmental movement, many people saw the diminishing farm land crisis as an opportunity to “return to the land.” Young folks pushed for change in a society that had begun to isolate college graduates from working folk, and it was not unusual to find a P.H.D. driving truck, or flipping burgers as their CHOICE. Although manufacturing jobs began to disappear, and the interest rates skyrocketed, there was a feeling that this was just a tough hump, and we would come out the other side OK. Massachusetts led the reform of reform schools, Republican Governor Frank Sargent closed all of the Commonwealth’s 150 year old reform schools and replaced them with a system of foster-care. The result was a decade long drop in juvenile crime in Massachusetts. There was a sense that the country still needed us, and our energy. That sense is not present today.
]79-87 Ronald Reagan came to office, and while I wasn’t thrilled at having a man for president who had called my generation “irresponsible derelicts” the era did bring down the price of gas, and heating fuel interest rates fell, and houses and automobiles became more affordable.

In my experience living through a time has very little to do with who controls the White House. Most folks in White Plains, Charlottesville, South Bend and Culver City make their own “Good times” or bad times. Some of the best years of my life happened to occur during the Vietnam War. I was living in Worcester, and fostering delinquent children. Have to say, made me feel damn useful…didn’t have much time to “think globally”

Even now during the reign of King George the second, most things are pretty good in my personal life… I don’t credit GWB for that, any more than I credited Clinton for an up-tick in the business cycle.  I just wish he had used all that “found money” to shore up Medicare and Social Security, instead of paying down the debt which (in hindsight) gave GWB the money he needed to change everything.

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By KISS, September 18, 2007 at 5:18 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges is on track with Bubba. William Jefferson Clinton was a very good republican, he ushered in ways to capitulate the wealth while committing the poor to extreme strife.
William Jefferson Clinton also ushered in the beginning of ” The American Fascist-Republic”.
William Jefferson Clinton did to the American public a devastation no repug could ever do before.

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By John Borowski, September 18, 2007 at 5:18 am Link to this comment
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Chris Hedges is an impressive Trojan horse. He knows that Bush’s popularity is at an all time low so he disassociates him from the Republicans. (Aka Conservative right-wingers) Judging by the propaganda picture at the top of his article he falsely implies that Clinton has a symbiotic relationship with Bush. He probably knows that he can’t inveigle the twenty-five percent of intelligent Americans, but there is a fertile field in the seventy-five percent that exists in the ocean of ignorance. This is why I believe he is a Trojan horse; this was my comment in his previous article “Religion Poisons Everything”.                                                                    I purchased the CDs in reference to Religion Poisons Everything. At the time, I was impressed by his courage to use verity to analyze religion despite the harm (Physical and economic) that could come to him. In retrospect, my opinion has changed. I saw him on C-span2 and discovered a few flaws in his make-up. In his past, he was a commie and now he is an atheist. (To be his worst enemy, be his best friend) He showed his Washington DC apartment facing the avenue that is used for presidential parades and in full view of the important buildings in Washington DC. Do you really believe that an apartment like that (An assassin’s fantasy dream nest) would be rented to anybody without a thorough background check by the FBI? His track record of being an ex-commie, and an atheist would prevent him from ever renting that type of apartment. (It’s rented to him because he isn’t a real commie or atheist and the FBI knows it) The supposition I now have is that he is a Trojan horse. Most likely, he feels that the classes below on the pecking order that he considers as garbage threatens the ruling class in Great Britain (He is from there). His game plan is to attack the leaders of this “garbage” to emasculate them. Many British have a low opinion of Americans. In World War 2, Hitler felt that the one hope he had of winning the war was that the British and American generals would go at each other’s throat. This almost happened when the British general Montgomery pissed off the American generals. General Eisenhower told London either Montgomery goes or he goes. After London took Montgomery to the woodshed, the shaky peace was restored. It was nearing the final act in World War 2 and the British didn’t want anything to circumvent it.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 18, 2007 at 3:49 am Link to this comment
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Meantime, I have to agree with Inherit the Wind on this one. All things considered, the majority of us experienced our best years under the 8 of the Clinton administration. That doesn’t mean it was like “Good Times Were Had By All”, but it seems like heaven now.

Especially now that we face another Great Depression, not to mention a prolonged WWIII.

******

Thanks, Cyrena—I’ve been feeling more kindly disposed to you since I discovered you were a secretly a “Zionist”!  After all, God’s self-appointed prophet, GestapoShit(GS) said so, so it must be true!  I’ll bet you didn’t even know it till God’s Voice revealed it to you!

I have lots of issues with Bill Clinton’s 8 years as President, but that doesn’t change the fact that for   almost all Americans, and the nation as a whole, his 8 years were the best run of 8 years we have seen since 1929. Sure, there are lots of things to condemn (not the least of which was the ARROGANCE of cheating on his wife when he KNEW the ferrets were watching—giving them the opening for the bizarre impeachment), but on net balance, we did better as individuals and a nation than during any other 8 year stretch.

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By Bill Howland, September 18, 2007 at 1:30 am Link to this comment
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I don’t understand why you guys don’t support Ron Paul.  He is the ONLY candidate who will not be subserviant to the Corporatists.  True Democrats take the Constitution of the United States seriously.  Ron Paul does, and therefore, so should you.

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By Mudwollow, September 17, 2007 at 10:15 pm Link to this comment

Our 2 party switch and bate love birds.

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By Louis Massano, September 17, 2007 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Many thanks to you, Chris Hedges, for this fiercely honest and impassioned and brilliant essay. It is the most potent and memorable summary of the misbegotten career of Bill Clinton - and his wife: “Billary” - I have ever read.

The “corporate state” of course is the coinage of either Benito Mussolini or his chief philosophical apologist, Giovanni Gentile.  The new and much more virulent variety of crypto-falangist corporatism, which Chris Hedges speaks of, is spreading across the world with a fearsomely stultifying effect.

Even as in the 1920s and 30s, when fascism and Soviet communism seemed like irresistable cultural tidal waves sweeping through modern history - massive movements which would never be reversed (but which in their respective times were destroyed or disappeared completely, to the world’s relief) - even as in the early 20th century fascism and communism looked like ineluctible, unavoidable futures - even so seems the modern, all-enshrouding globalized corporatism Chris Hedges speaks. But every manmade destructive power in modern history has had its ending - and the more rapid its rise and the more overblown its career, the harder its fall has been….

Today I had a taste of that stultifying effect of the corporatism which owns “Billary,” on the BBC Online Have Your Say talkboards when, for the first time, two posts of mine were rejected by the BBC’s monitors merely for being fiercely critical of Microsoft. But on another Have Your Say discussion board a few hours later, the management of BBC Online saw nothing wrong with posting a comment defamatory and even threatening to the entire Islamic faith -suggesting in effect that it should be exterminated.

I should have known better: I’d forgotten that BBC Online is now accepting video ads from major corporations and banks. But then I played a video on Microsoft’s lawyers’ response to the EU decision fining Microsoft—and a slick, phony video commercial for Citibank, full of empty pointless verbal bilge,  similar to the kind of revolting commercials aired before every Lehrer Newshour… was played before the news clip, just to set the right insipid tone….No wonder the Beeb has new standards about criticizing big financial institutions, if not about abusing the religious beliefs of a billion mostly peaceful people….

Sooner or later - one hopes before all the corporate-forged bars have been installed on our prison and the lids are clamped shut on all channels of “disagreeable” discussion - this new, but no less virulent, 21st corporatism will bred resistance, then revolt. Chrish Hedges’s essay is a clarion call to a healthy resistance against the impostures of our political system.

I feel grateful too, to truthdig, for posting Chris’s essay, which I first read on commondreams.org.

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By cyrena, September 17, 2007 at 8:45 pm Link to this comment

Hedges is right about NAFTA. It has been a horrific failure, and the cause of great misery. I don’t know if Big Willie knew how that would backfire or not, and so far, his wife hasn’t mentioned it.

But, I think he might be off on the knocking everybody off of the welfare rosters, because I specifically remember that happening -in Texas at least- back in the time of bush 41. It stands out in my mind, because at the time, it was written up in the Dallas newspapers as an “experiment”. They were just gonna take away all welfare or public assistance, (mostly for single parents and their children) and just “see what would happen”. (yeah, I know it’s been a long time, but I specifically remember it).

So, maybe Clinton expounded on it it later, but he didn’t start it.

Meantime, I have to agree with Inherit the Wind on this one. All things considered, the majority of us experienced our best years under the 8 of the Clinton administration. That doesn’t mean it was like “Good Times Were Had By All”, but it seems like heaven now.

Especially now that we face another Great Depression, not to mention a prolonged WWIII.

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By 911truthdotorg, September 17, 2007 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment

Scum and scummer.

Check this site:
http://www.millercenter.virginia.edu/academic/americanpresident/

Look at the heading that daddy bush, clinton and beealzabush jr. are under: Globalization

clinton is just as guilty as they are for the slow destruction of this country and the evolution of The North American Union.

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By Jim Goodson, September 17, 2007 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ah-ha Chris, you are slipping, It was Clinton who put a tax on Social Security. I never have,and never will vote for a Draft Dodger. I urge every-one to switch to Independant. There is better balance on a three legged stool.

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By antispin, September 17, 2007 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Try googling Mena AND Clinton to see how this great philanthropist (then governor) abetted CIA drug-running which devasted poor communities in South Central LA and elsewhere.

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By GodSend, September 17, 2007 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

Why are we grinning like Delirious Dummies? - 2 peas in a pod! Because we ARE - and because we screwed America and Americans royally while lining our pockets and looting the Treasury. The peas in the pod are all the same - Republicans and Democrats! (They’re Zionist ‘Pod People’, people!)

Can you imagine paying $$$ to hear either one of these Zionist Dummies talk - after being ‘wound up’ by the Israel Lobby?! wink

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By GodSend, September 17, 2007 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

Mutt and Jeff - Zionist perverts and AntiChrists!

Happy now, LEFTYPIG?

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By clyde, September 17, 2007 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

100891 unregistered commenter. Good for you you told it like it is .Clinton was one of if not the best presidents we have ever had.That’s why the republican’s hate him so much they have fools like Reagan(Iran/Contra and W(Iraq) both illegal. Reagan raped this country with tax cuts for the rich just like the monkey has these people are failures where Clinton is brilliant.These people who hate Clinton had rather have a moron they can have a beer with than a president who knows how to run a country.These nit pickers of Clinton never had it so good as when he was president,but then some people would bitch if things were served to them on a golden platter.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 17, 2007 at 5:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Max Shields on 9/17 at 12:57 pm
(135 comments total)

#100891 by Inherit The Wind on 9/17 at 11:56 am

#100900 by RAE on 9/17 at 12:39 pm

It’s your anyone but Bush that keeps this a preditory nation. Read some US history. Take a closer look at the million or so Iraqi (many children) who died under your idea of the “best years since 1965”. But then you probably weren’t around in those years when another Dem escalated an aggressive war on a tiny nation in the midst of a civil war. Bombed the hell of them ultimately around 3 million killed and that doesn’t count the carnage under the other war party - Nixon/Repub.

Your partisan blinders are keeping this the terriorist nation it has become. I guess as long as its a Dem and he bull shits better than the current guy who gives a “fu*ck” about the mayham.

********************

Max Shields, did you even READ my post or did you just assume that I wrote what the Re-thuglican talking points insist I must have written—becuz I’m a “lib’rul”?

Had you actually READ my post, you would have seen that I, just like you, condemned Lyndon Johnson (Dem) for Viet Nam.  You would ALSO have seen that the ONLY Presidency about which I think can be reasonably compared to the success of Clinton’s was Eisenhower—a Republican.

By any measure you will have a hard time finding a period of 8 years since 1929 when America as a whole did SO well in so many directions. Our economy grew, unemployment fell, home-ownership rose, interest rates fell, THE DEFICIT BECAME A SURPLUS, we were respected internationally, we were loved by our allies (many of whom now are disgusted with us or hate us).

And don’t throw Reagan at me—two years into his admin he had to RAISE taxes because his whole plan fell apart, unemployment and the deficit rose and the economy stagnated.  Plus, Reagan created a COLLOSAL deficit that resulted in the market crashes at the end of the 80’s.

No, Clinton’s 8 years are arguably the best America enjoyed since the Great Crash of 1929.

Prove me wrong by finding a BETTER 8 year stretch, not by calling me partisan.

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By Geo, September 17, 2007 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey, don’t forget the CIA drug running through Mena Arkansas the Clinton helped with as Governor.
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/MENA/crimes_of_mena.html
http://www.ncoic.com/clinton.htm
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8681225708920427234

How’s that for helping out the poor black folks: sell them crack for Contra money and then incarcerate them.

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By Max Shields, September 17, 2007 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment

#100891 by Inherit The Wind on 9/17 at 11:56 am

#100900 by RAE on 9/17 at 12:39 pm

It’s your anyone but Bush that keeps this a preditory nation. Read some US history. Take a closer look at the million or so Iraqi (many children) who died under your idea of the “best years since 1965”. But then you probably weren’t around in those years when another Dem escalated an aggressive war on a tiny nation in the midst of a civil war. Bombed the hell of them ultimately around 3 million killed and that doesn’t count the carnage under the other war party - Nixon/Repub.

Your partisan blinders are keeping this the terriorist nation it has become. I guess as long as its a Dem and he bull shits better than the current guy who gives a “fu*ck” about the mayham.

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By RAE, September 17, 2007 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

Because I don’t wish to spend even a small part of whatever time I have left researching the pros/cons, strengths/weaknesses, vision/blindness of Presidents past, I don’t pretend to be knowledgeable on the topic.

I just wanted to state that if, as a citizen, I must be screwed, I’d rather it be by some leader with class, style, intelligence, personality, ability to use the English language and just a hint of being a sexually viable, sentient, thinking human being!

Guess that rules out George W. Bush.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 17, 2007 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It amazes me how the extreme Left so hates the Clintons that they actually seem to PREFER Republicans in power because then they can write and say ANYTHING about them…But about Dems they don’t like they’ll feel stifled.

Face it: The 8 years under Bill Clinton were the best 8 years this nation had since Jan 1965, when LBJ started his second term.  By my count that’s 42 years, of LBJ expanding Viet Nam, Nixon continuing it and sinking the economy, Ford fumbling, Jimmy Carter STARTING the Draconian measures needed to fix it only to be sunk by Reagan/Bush41—who made a mess of everthing they touched, to Clinton, pulling us out to health, to Bush43 sinking it all again.

Yet Bill Clinton, arguably the MOST successful President in the last 42 years, even by extreme Left-wing standards, is sliced and diced for remembering and acting by the adage that “politics is the art of the possible.”

In fact, if you ask the question: was JFK a better President than Clinton? Was Ike? (maybe, maybe not) How about Truman?, You’ll rapidly come to the conclusion that Bill Clinton was the BEST President America has had since FDR died in 1945—that’s 62 years, folks! The BEST 8 years of the last 62, by a DEMOCRATIC President that you vitriolically condemn.

Just what the HELL do you want?

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By TAO Walker, September 17, 2007 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges’ unflattering word portrait of Bubba Clinton, accurate enough as far as it goes, might be helpful if it exposes to the still mostly gullible masses the hollowness and clay feet of yet another media-made allamerican idol. Domesticated people haven’t a snowball’s chance in hell unless they can break free of their programmed habit of looking for some “leader” to save them from the mostly self-inflicted dead-end predicament they’re in today.

This dire condition is NOT, at its roots, political or economic or ideological or philosophical or institutional….and it’s not “personal.”  It IS, at its roots, biological and existential.  Tame two-leggeds lack the organic integrity necessary to their effective participation in the performance of the natural function of Humanity within the Living Body of our Mother Earth.  “Civilized individuals” are essentially artifactual constructs….a species of retroviral by-products turned against the actual Living Arrangement from which they’ve been fatally isolated, by an intentional process of immuno-suppression….commonly called hereabouts “civilization.”

The purpose of the process is to force the Living Earth to accept the transplantation of an alien, non-living form….one that is lethally parasitical in its own essential nature.  This un-dead species persists by degrading Vitality into various kinds of “energy.”  The co-optation and manipulation of captive humans is what enables these hyper-refined “entities” to quite literally suck the life from Earth.

The plutoligarchy, corporatism, entertainment ad-nauseum, religion, etc., are all structural components of the contraption.  It’s driving force, its basic rule, however, is fear itself.  Which is why we’re seeing, here in the most critical phase of the things attempted “installation,” mere chronic fear amped-up to a “global” reign-of-terror.  The likes of Bill Clinton, and their name is “legion,” cannot and will not do a thing to stop this….they are in fact just cogs in the institutional and electro-mechanical apparatus set-up to accomplish it.

This thing must be arrested at its very roots, by depriving it of the captive human component whose half-life it exploits to attack the rest of the Living Earth.  This is even now going on, as She moves to either rid Herself of “individuals” or transform them back into free wild natural Human Beings.

So of what possible “value” to any of ‘em are all the empty labels with which they slaphappily consent to “identify” their own silly selves?  This old Savage suggests, respectfully, all such make-believe is worse than worthless….it is terminally toxic.

HokaHey!

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By John Borowski, September 17, 2007 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When will we ever see the Republicans (Aka as Conservatives right wing) praying for the poor. The Republicans (Aka Conservatives right-wingers) trashed everything that helps the poor. They were instrumental in conning the poor to buy homes that they knew the poor couldn’t afford and now most of them are probably living in their twenty year old cars) Clinton was in London to be examined by the British lords to see if he was qualified to be president of the US. Supposedly studying there, he passed with flying colors. The British discerned only one weakness. A woman would only have to wiggle and down would come his pants. When the Republicans (Aka Conservative right wing) heard about this weakness, they probably prayed for Clinton. The oxymoron of the story is the backfiring of this weakness. Never in the history of human kind has a great leader ever achieved the love, admiration, and idolization of the Americans like Clinton achieved. It was all because of a handful of blowjobs!

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By Bobbie, September 17, 2007 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Until we remove all private money from political campaigns, there is little hope of changing the system.  The private financing of elections virtually requires candidates to sell themselves to the highest bidders.

The electoral college system is another blot upon democracy in that it insures that a small minority of voters get to determine who will be president.  Who knows what the popular vote would be if candidates were forced to campaign in all the states, rather than just in the swing states?

Until we have meaningful reform in both of these areas, the United States will be a democracy in name only.

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By Max Shields, September 17, 2007 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

As usual a much needed reality check from Mr. Hedges.

#100853 by Jeanine Molloff on 9/17 at 7:51 am

Jeanine excellent points. I have often thought that Bush’s greatest enabler has been the many precedents laid down most recently by his predecessor - William Jefferson Clinton and his administration.

Clinton put the finishing touches on Milton Friedman and Rondald Reagan’s handy work (obliviating social safety nets and injecting corporate preditory capitalism with a life heretofore only worshipped by the neoliberals and elite) and through his military incursions solidified the means for Afganistan and Iraq invasion and occupation.

Both have thus far gotten away with it, but in Clinton’s case it was masked by the Lewinsky affair.

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By felicity, September 17, 2007 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

#100834

“Our target must be the corrupt political system” is right on.  Years ago Clinton and Gingrich stood arm-in-arm before the American people and declared compaign finance reform front-and-center, ahead of all other legislative/executive business.  And of course that was the end of it.  Just like any other peddlers of cure-all elixers, all they have to do is sell you the stuff and make sure to be out of town before you find out they sold you sugared water.

Bill’s subterfuge is to sell us Hillary hoping that we don’t find out until it’s too late that we’re actually buying him - a third term.  She’s the elixer, he’s the sugared water.

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By Jeanine Molloff, September 17, 2007 at 8:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

AMEN!  This report hits the nail on the head.  Let’s see more reports like this one.  How about the way Hollywood has lavished praise on Al Gore for his ‘environmental leadership,’ and his criticism of the mainstream media.  Conveniently forgotten is the HUGE role Gore had in ramming through Congress the Telecommunications Act of 1996; the same telecom act that allowed greater media consolidation of the same five or six corporate oligarchies.  This monopolization of the media has created the news blackout we live under today.  This monopolization of the media has transformed the ‘news’ into crass, obvious PROPAGANDA.  Bush/Cheney were able to lie to the public, the world and Congress on Iraq BECAUSE THE CORPORATE MONOPOLY MEDIA BECAME THE PROPAGANDA ARM OF THIS ILLEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT INSTEAD OF BEING THE FOURTH ESTATE OF A DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC.  GORE’S NO HERO.  Read the paper trail.

Jeanine Molloff

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By Conservative Yankee, September 17, 2007 at 8:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have never in my almost 60 years found a article which so closely parallels my view.  Only one small criticism, The greed did not begin with Reagan, it was here long before that.

Great piece!

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By Rodney, September 17, 2007 at 8:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Jeez, Hedges, what do you really think?
Don’t hold back.
If we are waiting for Kucinich to save us;
we are in for bumpy ride. Even though I would
like to see that little squirrel perched in the White House; let’s face it, love him all you want, but he ain’t ever gonna bark out commands from the oval office. Get Real.
  What if Hillary wins the Democratic primaries;
would it be possible for her to appoint husband
Bill as VP running mate? Double horror. Nightmare
on Pennsylvania Avenue.
My head hurts.

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By ocjim, September 17, 2007 at 7:37 am Link to this comment

Hedges, like most of us, has a very bitter taste in his mouth for leadership, Bush being the worst. Even Reagan has started to look good next to Bush. And in spite of Clinton’s many failings, he looks like an absolute saint compared to Bush. Hedges’ snipes at Clinton in absolute terms are justified but in comparative term, they are not. Our target must be the corrupt political system that brought us a succession of plutocratic grovernment leaders, some eternally worse than others like Bush. The system is what we need to fix, and of course it’s difficult to get beyond the corrupt leadership, including the members of Congress who take corporate money and will be loathe to reform the campaign fincnace system.

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By mediamouse.org, September 17, 2007 at 6:52 am Link to this comment

Thank you for this piece! The “progressive”/“liberal” movement really needs to get over the idea that the Clinton presidency were “glory days” when things were swell. As the article points out with NAFTA and welfare reform—and including other issues from the environment to Iraq—Clinton’s legacy is nothing to be proud of and indeed refusing to critically engage it hampers social movements that will otherwise continue to operate under the illusion that the Democratic Party is a close ally.

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By weather, September 17, 2007 at 6:50 am Link to this comment

Bill spare us, you took the brown bag too.

How much did Marc Rich journal into your off-shore acct. when you exercised your 11:59pm forgiveness privledges before leaving office and going on the perfunctory ‘book tour’?

You’re a fraud at the end of a microphone w/a very large peer membership.

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