I’m sure you’ve seen the Chris Wallace interview with Bill Clinton by now. The blogs were already talking about it last Friday, it was on-line as soon as it aired on Sunday, and the Daily Show wasted no time in lampooning it tonight. The press have tried to paint the picture of Clinton as out of control and irrational. They’ve used terms like “crazed,” “meltdown,” and “irrational.” Make sure you watch the video before you make up your mind about the whole thing.
Try to remember that FoxNews invited Clinton to discuss the Clinton Global Initiative, his philanthropic, nonpartisan organization. The mission statement for the Clinton Global Initiative reads, “The Clinton Global Initiative is a non-partisan catalyst for action, bringing together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.” From what I’ve read, the Initiative has made some real and meaningful contributions to those in need around the world, and ”˜ole Bubba has been traveling around the globe organizing supporters from all walks of life.
So FoxNews tells Clinton that the interview will be about his organization, and out of nowhere Chris Wallace asks him why he didn’t do anything to catch Osama. In my mind, he was perfectly justified in addressing Wallace contemptuously.
I think the thing that shocked people the most was the fact that we just aren’t used to seeing politicians display genuine emotion. They project a stoic faÃ§ade, and even in debates they rarely loose their cool. Clinton doesn’t have to play that stupid role anymore, so he reacted as a human being and not like a robotic partisan-puppet.
Predictably, the Republicans have desperately tried to combat Clinton’s refutations. They first resorted to their go-to defense in any tumultuous situation and attacked his character. They called him crazy and tried to dismiss him as a crazed and bitter Democrat. Some of the more brave ones have futilely tried to attack him by going through Richard Clarke’s book and finding contradictions between Clark’s words and Clinton’s assertions in the interview.
Byron York, a National Review White House Correspondent, wrote an article attempting to do just that. He finds that mostly Clinton told the truth in the interview, and he did in fact attempt to go after Osama. But his partisan bridle demands he place blame for 9/11 firmly on Clinton, so he concludes his article by saying;
But the bottom line is that Bill Clinton, the commander-in-chief, could not find the will to order the military into action against al Qaeda, and Bill Clinton, the head of the executive branch, could not find the will to order the CIA and FBI to act. No matter what the former president says on Fox, or anywhere else, that is his legacy in the war on terror.
That’s his concluding paragraph. And why couldn’t Billy Boy get the CIA and FBI to act? York explained that earlier in his piece:
So Clinton couldn’t get the job done. Why not? According to Clarke’s pro-Clinton view, the president was stymied by Republican opposition. “Weakened by continual political attack,” Clarke writes, “[Clinton] could not get the CIA, the Pentagon, and FBI to act sufficiently to deal with the threat.”
Republicans boxed Clinton in, Clarke writes, beginning in the 1992 campaign, with criticism of Clinton’s avoidance of the draft as a young man, and extending all the way to the Lewinsky scandal and the president’s impeachment. The bottom line, Clarke argues, is that the commander-in-chief was not in command.
How can any rational person not see the hypocrisy between that statement and York’s conclusion? How is 9/11 Clinton’s fault if he tried his best to convince the CIA and FBI to hunt down Osama, but was stymied because the Republicans were too busy attacking his personal life?
How is it Clinton’s fault that the Republicans allowed irrelevant activities to affect their job performance? Maybe, just maybe, the Republicans should have worried a little bit more about international affairs and a little less about chubby interns and sloppy blow-jobs.