I was reading an article from Yahoo today about the death of Eleanor Mondale, daughter of ex-Vice President Walter Mondale, and in the comments section underneath the piece I saw two entries that irked me. The first one said that even though Eleanor Mondale was a Democrat, it’s a shame she had to die. Now isn’t that a sweet sentiment? Excuse me while I wipe away a few tears. The second comment, for some reason, brought up former President Clinton, and the fact that the republican led House of Representatives voted to impeach him in 1998. What that had to do with Eleanor Mondale escapes me, but it made me wonder . . . why do republicans still hate Bill Clinton?
Clinton has been out of office since January of 2001, yet he is held in utter contempt by republicans. It can’t be based on his job performance, because during the Clinton Presidency America enjoyed the longest economic expansion in history. In his first two years in office six million new jobs were created (that’s an average of 250,000 jobs per month.) He cut taxes on 15,000,000 low-income families, and gave tax breaks to 90% of small businesses, while raising taxes on the wealthiest 1.2 % of Americans (in direct contrast to what republicans are trying to do today.) Obviously this approach worked, as Clinton took the largest budget deficit in history up to that time, $290 billion in 1993, courtesy of George H. W. Bush, and turned it into the largest budget surplus in history, $237 billion in 2000. He also reduced the national debt, so recently in the news, by $363 billion between 1998-2000. And he did this while being hounded by the republicans for extra-marital affairs that were none of their business in the first place. The impeachment proceedings mentioned above were directly related to those affairs.
Now lets look at the Presidency of Clinton’s successor, George W. Bush, son of George H.W. Bush. George W. had a rather difficult time as President, starting with the attacks on September 11, 2001. Many republicans still blame Clinton for those attacks, but it was George W. who was in office. Because of those attacks, George W. invaded two countries, neither of which actually had anything to do with 9/11. Sadly, this led to the death of over six thousand Americans, double the number of people lost on 9/11. And we are still mired in both places. George W. also presided over the largest hike in the national debt up to that time, dwarfing those of even his record-setting father, raising the debt from $5.7 trillion to $10.7 trillion during his tenure. And lets not forget that George W. ruled over the second worst financial collapse in our history, and avoided an actual depression only by bailing out our financial industry to the tune of $700 billion. This was all done while lowering taxes on the wealthiest members of society, the very opposite of Clinton’s approach, and watching while we had a record number of corporate scandals and bankruptcies. We are still reeling from his economic policies, yet republicans to a man will claim that he was a better president than Clinton.
My own opinion is that republicans hate Clinton because he was such a success as President, and his policies were polar opposites to what the republicans are preaching today. Republicans are fighting to keep taxes on the rich as low as possible, in the insane belief that it spurs economic growth, when we have had these same policies in place for the last ten years, and seen no economic growth. In fact, we have seen the exact opposite. I think it was Einstein who said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is insanity. I know I’m paraphrasing, but you get the idea.