Monday, September 25, 2006

On the Clinton Meltdown.


I have been reading some of the back and forth on the Clinton meltdown. The discussion focuses on the conservative reaction to his thumping Afghanistan & The Sudan after the East African Embassy Bombings.

The left wingers accuse us right-wingers of chanting "wag the dog" and hoaccusing President Clinton of acting tough to distract from his impeachment troubles.

To be sure there was some of this going on. To say it emnated strictly from the right-wing is disingenuous. Quite a bit of it came from the left-wing as well.

Most of the response I have seen consists of digging into various archives and seeing what was said back then. Most conservative blogs & commentators who were published back then have proof they said no such things.

While you have to take my word for it here was my take. I recall driving to Platteville and being around Belmont Wisconsin when news of the thumping reached myself (via NPR). I recall being very pumped about the news (I had just returned from the Middle East a couple of months prior). When I was certain I had a complete picture of what went down my reaction was Is that it? When hearing Wag the Dog my reaction was Well, if that is what it takes, then why don't we send him another dozen buxsome interns? That is to say, I didn't care whether or not he did it because he was trying to distract the nation from his intern affairs. You do the right thing because it is right not because you don't want to be seen as oppurtunisitc.

In fact, I defended his actions when people complained how the "aspirin factory" in The Sudan was reported to have been just that (right). In fact, remember what that was all about? IIRC President Clinton's administration claimed that Al-Shifaa was a nexus point of Al-Qaeda & Saddam's Iraq (the point here is not the connection was real but it was being argued by the Clinton Administration). I defended the thumping of Al-Shifaa on the fact The Sudan was not a nice nation.

One other Clintonian strawman is how conservatives were accusing President Clinton of being obsessed with Bin Laden. Jonah Goldberg bats this one down:
Update: A quick — and therefore imperfect — Nexis-Lexis search finds not a single story from 1998-2000 mentioning Bin Laden in which "Clinton" and "Obsessed" appear in the same sentence, except those mentioning "sex-obsessed" or obsession with his own legacy. None talk about obsession with Bin Laden, in other words.
Source: National Review Online's The Corner - Jonah Goldberg