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Clinton Fires Back at Republican Accusations
July 28, 2002 4:19 PM   Subscribe

Clinton Fires Back at Republican Accusations "There was corporate malfeasance both before he took office and after. The difference is I actually tried to do something about it and their party stopped it. And one of the people who stopped our attempt to stop Enron accounting was made chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission." He also talks about the Middle East and the related "Blame Clinton" movement. I can hear the teeth gnashing already.
posted by owillis (60 comments total)

 
Hmmm....did the former President ever mention "Monica Missles"?
posted by Oxydude at 4:38 PM on July 28, 2002


I will admit that I never did like Bill Clinton (in office - I don't know him personally, and suspect that he would be a fascinating dinner guest).

And, yes, I'm more than willing to admit that Bill's time in office saw the beginnings of the SEC as a rubber stamp, a total lack of foresight when it came to military and national security matters, etc.

However... can we just fix the problems and stop trying to assign blame? How is assigning blame going to actually solve anything? I mean, if you're planning on prosecuting him that would be one thing, but I fail to see the advantage of this tactic.

Oh, wait. It's an election year. Never mind.
posted by hadashi at 4:53 PM on July 28, 2002


it is an election year...
posted by priyanga at 5:14 PM on July 28, 2002


priyanga, what was the point in that?

Three of those links were from 2000 and early 2001.

And hadashi -- thanks for summarizing the link for us.
posted by dogmatic at 5:36 PM on July 28, 2002


Someone really needs to explain to Mr. Clinton that his presidency is over and the continued spin doctoring is not going to help maintain the "legacy" he seems so mightily obsessed over preserving.
posted by ljromanoff at 5:56 PM on July 28, 2002


Someone really needs to explain to Mr. Bush that Clinton's presidency is over and the continued blame-throwing is not going to help him build the "legacy" he seems so mightily obsessed over creating.
posted by dogmatic at 6:11 PM on July 28, 2002


Hey, isn't Robert Rubin the chairman of citigroup?
posted by insomnyuk at 6:13 PM on July 28, 2002


It seems like the finger-pointing and blame game is starting to backfire. I sure am tired of hearing about how everything wrong in this country is the fault of Clinton two years ago.

My favorite quote from the article: "These people ran on responsibility, but as soon as you scratch them they go straight to blame"
posted by rks404 at 6:16 PM on July 28, 2002


What's that old story about Kruschev handing his successor two letters?

The first letter says: blame all of your problems on the last rulers. If this doesn't work, read the second letter.

The second letter: Get two envelopes...
posted by insomnyuk at 6:30 PM on July 28, 2002


This was not an attack, it was a parry.

A week or so ago Bush blamed the economic problems on the Clinton years. That was the famous speech that he made as the dow numbers dropped.

Clinton is in his rights to point the media to the fact that Pitt was a critic of Levitt's reforms.
posted by brucec at 7:03 PM on July 28, 2002


I see no reason whatsoever that Clinton ought not to answer the many charges tossed at himn--from failure to bring peace to ME to the current economic mess (in passing: he got rid of the huge federal debt and gave us a balenced budget).
That he is out of office ought not silence him. After all, the current president we are told often enough gets advise from a former president--his father.
As for constantly bringing up the Monica thing--this was for sure a terrible weakness on Clinton's part. Equalled no doubt by that moral exemplar, Newt. But that moral issue has nothing to do with discussing CEO immorality and misconduct--example: many people suggest that Clinton;s mnoral weakness was a signal to GOP CEOs that screwing over 401 plans and taking money before the company goes under was caused by a blowjob in the White House.
In my understanding such dalliance with tongues is nice but does have its limits as to effecting the large corporations. The difference: Clinton got oral sex; lots of Americans got fucked.
posted by Postroad at 8:06 PM on July 28, 2002


Hey, isn't Robert Rubin the chairman of citigroup?

Robert Rubin is not the chairman of Citigroup. He has lately done some ethically questionable things, but joining Citigroup can not be one of them.
posted by justlooking at 8:34 PM on July 28, 2002


I shudder with rage everytime the suggestion is made that Clinton's hummers created "an environment of immorality" that told CEO's it was okay to loot their companies. Put more people in cuffs and the economy will get better. How many points did the Dow go up the day Rigas was shackled? Oh yeah, 490 points.
posted by McBain at 8:49 PM on July 28, 2002


Clinton actually tried to do something about it? Funny, I can't remember his raising the issue of tighter accountability in 8 years.

He was working in the background? Hardly. The only thing Clinton did in the background was get hummers. He conducted his entire foreign policy as a huge photo-op and was more than willing to play hardball publicly with Congress whenever he WAS defying them. Next thing you know he'll tell us he didn't really mean to pardon Marc Rich... oh wait, he's already done that.
posted by clevershark at 10:53 PM on July 28, 2002


Clinton actually tried to do something about it? Funny, I can't remember his raising the issue of tighter accountability in 8 years.

His SEC chairman, Arthur Levitt, proposed changes in accounting practices acknowledging the conflict of interest between auditors and consultants. Pitt and company opposed the changes. Pitt is now the SEC chairman. Does that clear up your memory or was Clinton's wacky English too much for you?
posted by McBain at 11:14 PM on July 28, 2002


Read the transcript of the recent Frontline episode, Bigger Than Enron, for the details of what Arthur Levitt (Clinton's appointee) tried to do to clean up the dirty accounting, and how he was stopped by the big business thugs.

Clinton has a point, but people are more interested in rehashing what went on in his pants than looking at what went on during his administration (and what's going on *now*).

Way to go, people. Great use of your time, attention, and energy. Feh.
posted by beth at 11:34 PM on July 28, 2002


hadashi, what you said is true in so many arenas. Assigning blame is just one form of activity, and there's nothing like activity to make people feel they are doing something productive, when all they are doing is flapping their gums.

Blaming others does no good, solves no problems, and is just a big waste of time and energy. War, for example...

on second thought, I probably shouldn't get into that--thread hijack sensor started beeping like crazy on me. Sorry.
posted by Bixby23 at 12:17 AM on July 29, 2002


"That he is out of office ought not silence him". But the fact that he perjored himself under oath should. Clinton is a certified liar. GW has not received his certification yet. It is disengenous to pretend that Clinton is discredited by getting a blowjob. He was impeached for lying under oath, and his record in office will be forever marred by Waco, Ruby Ridge, Chinagate, and his last minute pardons, to name a few. He has no creditibility if you are willing to examine the record.
posted by Mack Twain at 12:34 AM on July 29, 2002


He has no creditibility if you are willing to examine the record.

He got elected twice by the voters and made it to the White House without shady family connections.

He was railroaded and impeached because they couldn't beat him on Election Day.He still served two full terms.He beat the rap and kicked sand in their face.

I can't wait to see the list of scumbags that line up for a last-minute Bush pardon.I also guess it doesn't matter that Poppy Bush has been a China buddy for decades.

etc. etc. etc............
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 1:20 AM on July 29, 2002


Not mention a Saudi buddy for decades.
posted by y2karl at 2:24 AM on July 29, 2002


Clinton's presidency is over and the continued blame-throwing is not going to help him build the "legacy" he seems so mightily obsessed over creating.

Of course he leaves a legacy of bad mistakes, bad management, terrible cynicism toward many traditional Democratic constituencies, cheap sad office sex and petty, bald-faced lies -- all tied together with a huge economic boom he didn't create but at least did all he could to nurture (I guess only Tom DeLay in the universe thinks the 1995-2000 economic boom is Reagan's work)

But you know, George I doesn't have much to his credit either.
And right now George II only has in his pocket a peculiar electoral victory, the most devastating attack on American soil basically avenged by a strange war that neither did remove the terrorist threat nor killed the chief terrorist, appalling corporate scandals (the whole Vanderbilt-Morgan-Gould-Schiff old fraternity shenanigans amount to a century-old unfunny joke compared to Enron-style book-cooking and shareholder ass-fucking)

Add to the mixture some curious SEC decisions not to investigate the sitting vice-president nor to question the president's past business deals (the Clintons were not that lucky), and an all but certain future war against Iraq that could provoke (among other things) heavy American losses, a new untested and possibly weak CIA-installed regime in Baghdad, and maybe also chemical retaliation Iraqi attacks against Israel leading to possible Armageddon and other very bad shit coming down

All this, to kill a leader George I didn't take the trouble to unseat when defeated. I can't imagine what some of you guys would say if it was Clinton who didn't take out Saddam after the Gulf War leaving that mess to sort out to somebody else
posted by matteo at 3:07 AM on July 29, 2002


Add to the litany of shame some of the shenanigans Bush I got up to, and Reagan before him, and you're looking at pretty close to a tidy quarter century of America being governed by cheats, liars, thieves and worse.

It's astonishing to me that the place isn't in worse shape than it already is.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:10 AM on July 29, 2002


Someone really needs to explain to Mr. Clinton that his presidency is over and the continued spin doctoring is not going to help maintain the "legacy" he seems so mightily obsessed over preserving.

Someone reallly needs to explain to ljromanoff that his personal standards of 'evidence' won't be used by historians.
posted by riviera at 4:16 AM on July 29, 2002


Interesting statements by Clinton:

...They have to have a negotiated peace. And in the end it will look pretty much like what Mr. Arafat walked away from before, which is why he now says he would take it.

This is in consonance with statements by his negotiator Dennis Ross.

These Palestinians are in danger of creating a cult of suicide among young people, which would be devastating to them. They'll never normalize society if that happens.

Practically a warblogger.
posted by dhartung at 4:24 AM on July 29, 2002


The president in office always gets blamed for a downturn in the economy, no matter whether the seeds were planted before he arrived (which I think is a rather difficult notion to prove in this, or almost any other, case).

Bush knows this -- there have been several examples in the last few weeks where he's basically told his staff to cut the Clinton chatter. Historically, that's just a waste of time and nobody but the loyalists buy that sort of thing.
posted by Phaedrus at 5:49 AM on July 29, 2002


MackTwain: Clinton is a certified liar. GW has not received his certification yet.

Oh, Really?

And since I don't mind assigning blame, my finger points squarely at Newt Gingrich. His "Contract With America" completely hijacked Clintonian reform and created the "we'll leave you alone and trust you to not screw up because we're all fundamentally good people" atmosphere that enabled crooked businessmen to get away with economic murder.
posted by mkultra at 6:22 AM on July 29, 2002


(I guess only Tom DeLay in the universe thinks the 1995-2000 economic boom is Reagan's work)

If you're going to give credit to the sitting president for the economic expansion of the 1990s, then Bush I gets those honors. The economic expansion started in 1991.
posted by ljromanoff at 7:21 AM on July 29, 2002


Leave it to "conservative" Republicans to start discussing genetilia and its activities in order to thwart a completely logical argument. feh.
posted by adnanbwp at 8:32 AM on July 29, 2002


ljr,
Have you ever had a lucid moment when extreme partisanship didn't totally engage your energies? Ideology only goes so far and you crossed the line a looong time ago. Ask yourself this: Has any Republican ever done anything wrong? You diminish your arguments by your total lack of objectivity.

Let me make sure I have your premise correct: Bad stuff= blame Clinton, good stuff=reward a publican. Is that pretty close to your eternal argument?
posted by nofundy at 8:39 AM on July 29, 2002


Does the fact that Bush (the first, and probably, by inheritance via some complicated tax-free trust, the second) is making a fortune on this war affect his legacy in any way?
posted by troybob at 8:43 AM on July 29, 2002


Let me make sure I have your premise correct: Bad stuff= blame Clinton, good stuff=reward a publican. Is that pretty close to your eternal argument?

Are you insane? Did I say that Bush I should be credited with the 1990s economic expansion? Let me answer that for you - no I did not.

Furthermore, you seem too be operating under the false belief that I am a Republican. Sorry - wrong. But being wrong is something with which you appear to be fairly comfortable.
posted by ljromanoff at 8:56 AM on July 29, 2002


Of course, none of this is particularly new. Michael Moore's Roger & Me documented the decision by General Motors to lay off 50,000 workers in spite of posting $19 billion in profits during the 1980s. The motives for fuzzy accounting to prop up stock market prices just appears to be an extension of the same reasoning that led to the hack and slash downsizing of the 1980s. A Wall Street Journal editorial from Friday suggested that part of the problem is declining dividends. Over last 25 years the goal has shifted from providing a stable source of income for investors to inflating the market value of company stock at any cost. This allows stock value to be considerably insulated from actual earnings or return to the investor.

But on the other hand, this really isn't anything particularly new. Critiques about the fact that capitalism minimizes accountability are more than two centuries old.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:18 AM on July 29, 2002


I see no reason whatsoever that Clinton ought not to answer the many charges tossed at himn--from failure to bring peace to ME

as long as the middle east has been in conflict, it's almost ignorant to blame clinton for not putting a stop to it.

and besides, I don't understand why the conservatives are so vehement about trashing the democrats. september 11th has pretty much guarenteed bush II re-election, so just sit tight, guys!

of all our living presidents, I'd say the one deserving the most blame would be bush I. gulf "war" anyone? and it's kind of funny how everyone tries to paint clinton as this intensely immoral sex addict, considering that bush II is a former coke head and felon, alcoholic (like his daughters), and deserter.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:34 AM on July 29, 2002


Lefties have been blaming Nixon for their car-engine trouble for 30 years, it's only fair that righties have a boogeyman in Clinton (blaming FDR for everything is getting kind of tired, but still works for some.)
posted by Ty Webb at 10:38 AM on July 29, 2002


>considering that bush II is a former coke head and felon, alcoholic (like his daughters), and deserter.

"Felon" is inaccurate. "Convicted drunk driver" is accurate.
posted by McBain at 10:40 AM on July 29, 2002


Children! Children!

You're both awful little pricks, and mommy hates you. Go to bed now.
posted by Skot at 10:44 AM on July 29, 2002


But being wrong is something with which you appear to be fairly comfortable.

Auto-riposte #33, Teflonologic ®

ljromanoff, the King of Making Himself Right By Making You Wrong...
posted by y2karl at 10:56 AM on July 29, 2002


I don't make anyone wrong, y2karl, I just observe it.
posted by ljromanoff at 11:41 AM on July 29, 2002


i know you are, but what am i?
posted by das_2099 at 12:08 PM on July 29, 2002


"Felon" is inaccurate. "Convicted drunk driver" is accurate.

actually, in 2000 bush II was quoted as saying he hadn't committed a felony in the past 25 years.
posted by mcsweetie at 1:57 PM on July 29, 2002


But he'd like to "Get tough on crime", uh, now...
posted by websavvy at 2:03 PM on July 29, 2002


actually, in 2000 bush II was quoted as saying he hadn't committed a felony in the past 25 years.

Could you cite this quote? I'd sure love to see that.
posted by ljromanoff at 2:09 PM on July 29, 2002


This appears to be the "25 years" quote being referred to. He was denying using illegal drugs over the past 25 years.

Later, it looks like Gary Bauer might have put the "felony" word into his mouth:

On Sunday, conservative activist Gary Bauer said he believed the type of illegal activity discussed necessitates an answer.

"I think anything that involves a felony, I don't see how you can get away with" not answering such questions directly, Bauer said on "Fox News Sunday."

posted by Skot at 2:41 PM on July 29, 2002


He was denying using illegal drugs over the past 25 years.

Thought so. I suppose it goes without saying that "denying using illegal drugs" is not "saying he hadn't committed a felony."
posted by ljromanoff at 4:30 PM on July 29, 2002


I suppose it goes without saying that "getting oral sex from an intern" is not "having sex with that woman."
posted by dogmatic at 4:54 PM on July 29, 2002



I suppose it goes without saying that "getting oral sex from an intern" is not "having sex with that woman."


That depends on what your definition of 'is' is, dogmatic.
posted by ljromanoff at 5:42 PM on July 29, 2002


That depends on what your definition of 'is' is, dogmatic.

I suppose that's my point. It doesn't go without saying, as both your statement and mine can be bent unilaterally for political means.
posted by dogmatic at 6:07 PM on July 29, 2002


It doesn't go without saying, as both your statement and mine can be bent unilaterally for political means.

Perhaps. However, illegal drug use is in most cases not a felony and mcsweetie's "quote" is clearly inaccurate. Whether or not "oral sex" is or is not "sex" is a fundamentally stupid debate that has been done to death.
posted by ljromanoff at 6:32 PM on July 29, 2002


Whether or not "oral sex" is or is not "sex" is a fundamentally stupid debate that has been done to death.

Hopefully in practice rather than theory.
posted by y2karl at 8:31 PM on July 29, 2002


Could you cite this quote? I'd sure love to see that.

I don't have an url or anything, it was in a book.

actually, I made it up because I'm a liberal! boo!
posted by mcsweetie at 8:57 PM on July 29, 2002


Hopefully in practice rather than theory.

Hell yeah.  What better way to go?
posted by nath at 9:30 PM on July 29, 2002


Furthermore, you seem too be operating under the false belief that I am a Republican.
No, that would be putting it much too nicely.

But being wrong is something with which you appear to be fairly comfortable.

How could I possibly argue this point with the master of the art form? :-) Thanks for the expert judgement call though! There are varying degrees of acceptable comfort for each individual. For example you may consider having a plug up your butt extremely comfortable, eh?
posted by nofundy at 5:22 AM on July 30, 2002


actually, I made it up because I'm a liberal!

Well, you did make it up. I won't guess about your reasons.
posted by ljromanoff at 8:22 AM on July 30, 2002


I made it up because I'm a liberal!

Liberal's aren't.
posted by insomnyuk at 9:30 AM on July 30, 2002


Liberals, that is, not liberal's.
posted by insomnyuk at 9:30 AM on July 30, 2002


Well, you did make it up. I won't guess about your reasons.

well, my copy is on loan but if it's really that important to you, pick up your own and look. I've forgotten the page number.

actually I'm just giving you the run-around because I'm a liberal! boo!
posted by mcsweetie at 10:01 AM on July 30, 2002


well, my copy is on loan but if it's really that important to you, pick up your own and look.

Ah, so Michael Moore made it up then. My mistake.
posted by ljromanoff at 10:15 AM on July 30, 2002


Hi ljromanoff! Wow, this is a pretty good weblog you have here! I like the blue. It's also cool how you sometimes let other people post to your weblog to make it all more interactive and stuff. Keep up the good work! I look forward to reading your next post in 37 seconds or so!
posted by Shadowkeeper at 10:23 AM on July 30, 2002


I look forward to reading your next post in 37 seconds or so!

Oh, stop whining. It's not like I'm in Neale in thread 1142 territory.
posted by ljromanoff at 11:10 AM on July 30, 2002


Ah, so Michael Moore made it up then. My mistake.

whatever gets you through the night, sweetheart! *kiss*
posted by mcsweetie at 12:36 PM on July 30, 2002


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