Thursday, July 15, 2004

Backgrounder: clinton

The exact moment the administration of William Jefferson Clinton was bitten by a snake was at exactly 1:02 PM on January 20th 1993.

An unremembered pressperson discovered the door to Press Secratary DeeDee Myers’ office was locked, somthing none of Myers’ predecessors had ever bothered to do. The press got mad, real mad and attacked Myers over the affair for the better part of the following week.

The press has had it in for Clinton and his administration ever since.

Bill Clinton's presidency hasn't been nearly as bad as most people remember it. The economy has managed to avoid reccession, the only war we've been in (Somolia) was a leftover from the Bush administration, foriegn policy has been pretty successful (except for most favored nation status for China) and government services are being given as effeciantly as they ever were despite massive budget cuts. Had it been anyone else, it would have seemed to be a pretty good record.

But DeeDee Myers locked her door and since then, Clinton could do no right. The left wing of the Democratic party demanded blind obedience, which he couldn't give, the right wing of the Republican party proclaimed him the antichrist, which he couldn't deny with a strait face. Paula Jones accused him of sexual harassment, Sen.Al d’Amato(R-NY) has been proclaiming that the Whitewater land deal in Arkansas be the worst crime since cetera, et cetera.
The press has been egging this sort of thing on.

The Left wing of the Democratic party hated Clinton almost as much as the right wing of the Republicans. As a "ten percent traitor" is more odious in their eyes than a 100% one, they happily vote against him whenever they can, witness the 1995 Senate vote on Clinton's budget when everybody, even supporters, voted against it.

Of course the Republicans had taken over Congress for the first time in decades. It might have been time for a change as the Democrats been fat and lazy.

Then the Republican Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, decided to shut down the government because he got a bad seat on Air Force One. That was Clinton’s salvation, by the end on the year he’d be back on top and reelected in almost a landslide in 1996.

But there had been a misstep and he’d fell six points, taking the Congress with him. It was a tiny misstep, and I don’t remember what it was, but it kept the Republicans in Congressional power for the rest of the 20th Century.

This also led to Clinton’s impeachment a couple of years later.

It’s the tiny things that make history.

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