February 19, 2001
2:14 PM   Subscribe

yesterday the times printed an op-ed by clinton in which he made a case for his controversial pardons. [mefi partisans went at it] -- today the times editorial attacks that very piece AND prints a safire op-ed attacking it as well.
posted by palegirl (13 comments total)
Damn, Ford was a presidential pardon machine.
posted by Brilliantcrank at 2:46 PM on February 19, 2001

All you really need to know about Clinton's op-ed piece is that after certain parties mentioned therein saw the piece in the early editions of the Times and said he was lying about their involvement, Clinton had the Times go in and change a line for the later editions. And even then the three said it's still not true. (That link contains other negative reaction to the piece; worth reading to get caught up to speed.)
posted by aaron at 3:07 PM on February 19, 2001

All you really need to know about Clinton's op-ed piece is that he shouldn't have bothered writing it. The Republicans have demonstrated that they are so maniacally fixated on Clinton that they won't let up even when he's not President any more, which makes them look even stupider, because unless they're planning to retroactively change the law with regard to Presidential pardons, there's not an eff-ing thing the Republicans can do except hop around Washington with their metaphors up their butts, screeching, "Where's the outrage? Where's the outrage?"
posted by m.polo at 3:22 PM on February 19, 2001

One might think that. If one were obsessed with the idea that everything is a vast conspiracy. This must be one hell of one, at that, given all the complicity of people such as the news media, Congressional Democrats, Clinton's own cabinet secretaries, etc.
posted by aaron at 3:26 PM on February 19, 2001

At the end of Safire's piece is:

"I got huge contributions from my Asian connection, then reversed my China policy — and got away with it, didn't I? So why are you whining about bribery now?"

To be honest I've never heard about this-- I remember some Indonesian donations that were supposedly illegal, and some hint of Chinese donations, but did Clinton really change US policy? Anyone have the scoop?
posted by cell divide at 3:57 PM on February 19, 2001

After reading the article I have only one reaction: The power of the president to pardon is absolute...period. Those attacking Clinton are also eroding the power of the president.
posted by Bag Man at 3:59 PM on February 19, 2001

hey, if we really want to get into "eroding the power of the president", we can also bring up the impeachment talk. attacking him is one thing, but even saying impeachment is really pretty awful. i know that clinton isn't a perfect guy to say the least, but by no means is he so much worse than any other president since johnson. i'm 17, and the only president i've ever really known in my time has been impeached once and had it threatened once more. will my generation grow up thinking that every single time you don't like what the president is doing, you can impeach him on some technicality that really has nothing to do with his abilities as a leader (monica lewinksy)? i just can't wait till bush messes up. i wonder if we'll get some quid-pro-quo impeachment action.
posted by pikachulolita at 4:11 PM on February 19, 2001

All getting tedious as far as I am concerned. After Nixon pardoned for a serious crime against our contituion, then I don't get upset about such things. I spotted something today that said that the Mayor of New York ought to be careful in attacking an art show as anti-Catholic since his church is also seems oppossed to adultery, something he seems to have slyly overlooked.
posted by Postroad at 4:36 PM on February 19, 2001

good point, pikachu. i've often wondered what this whole mess must look like to someone your age--having never known any other president. here's a history lesson (at least back to the early 80's, which is as early as i remember): reagan did worse, but got away with more.
posted by jpoulos at 6:11 PM on February 19, 2001

cell, during the 92 campaign Clinton criticized the Bush policy of promoting trade with China in order to encourage democracy as being a sop to the business sector. After becoming President he reversed his position ... and began promoting trade with China in order to encourage democracy.

The Democratic party researched its files and returned all illegal donations. Some were over FEC limits, some were obtained by coercing employees, and some came directly from Chinese businesses. (The Indonesian connection is that much of Indonesia's business community is ethnic Chinese, and often acted as a conduit during less liberal trade policies.) The individuals responsible for bringing introducing their clients to the politicians were convicted, partly on the testimony of Democratic party officials.

The Republicans would have you believe that after having been severely embarrassed, having returned all the money and having helped convict the law-breaking middlemen, the Democratic party was so indebted to these people that it cravenly changed its policy ... to match the previous Republican policy.

They never mention that last part. Wonder why?

*cough* *smash* Whoops. I guess with all the smoke in here I smashed a mirror.
posted by dhartung at 9:07 PM on February 19, 2001

Thanks Dan, appreciate it.

THAT is why I come to MetaFilter... the whole "arguing thing" gets pretty tiring, but information doesn't-- although I'm sure someone will respond to that. Oh Well.
posted by cell divide at 9:38 PM on February 19, 2001

William Safire gives me another reason to hate him nearly every day.
posted by rklawler at 9:54 PM on February 19, 2001

I wonder if the republicans realize that by going after Clinton so vehemently and publicly over this that they're making a perfect case for campaign finance reform.
posted by alana at 10:43 PM on February 19, 2001

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