A recent poll by the New York Times shows that while President Bush still enjoys generally popular support on the whole, there is a deep, seething hatred for him among the far left. This isn’t mere disagreement or a divergence of viewpoints on policy; it’s acidic, and it’s personal. In fact, it’s the very same kind of deep-seeded loathing that the far right had -- and still has -- for President Clinton.
Clinton was hated by the far right because they found him morally unfit for the office of the presidency. A common refrain among conservatives was that President Ronald Reagan so respected the honor of the presidency that he never removed his suit jacket while in the Oval Office. Clinton, we all know, removed far more than his jacket. The right thought Clinton a moral midget, and so developed an unrelenting, gnawing disdain for the man, and for the idea that he could have somehow found his way to Washington.
Similarly, Bush is hated by the far left because they find him intellectually unfit for the office of the presidency. We heard throughout the campaign how he lacked the intellectual curiosity we should all be looking for in our policy makers. We have since seen Bush's malapropisms and mis-turns of phrase regularly rehashed and replayed on late night television. The left thinks Bush an intellectual midget, and so has developed an unrelenting, gnawing disdain for this man, and for the idea that he could have somehow found his way to Washington.
The similarities go on...
While I do think that W Bush is not smart enough to be president, my main gripes with him lie almost entirely in his actions rather than his percieved lack of intellect. He invaded a country that we STILL have no even mildly defensable reason to believe was a threat to us - this is anathema to me as an isolationist. And by doing so, he massively prolonged a recession that has kept me and many of my friends out of work - so I have a very personal reason to hate him. And his administration has handed out an unprecedented amount of corporate welfare in the form of a no-bid contract for Dick Cheney's company Halliburton to control the oil coming out of Iraq.
Of course, the source of this article is "fair and balanced" Fox News, so what exactly did I expect?
Still, the article makes a good point. Clinton was more conservative economically than Bush, except for Bush's self-serving tax cuts that will do nothing real besides send our government even deeper into debt. Clinton also has other flaws that the article didn't touch on. For starters, he bombed Iraq. (Not many people remember that, but he did.) He also led us nearly full-charge into Bosnia. Luckily that turned out quite well. The completely unjustified slaughter of the Branch Dividians, who had commited no real crime other than apparently being a bunch of jesus-freak whackjobs, also happened under his watch. So much for defending the constitutional freedom of religion there, Bill. Of course, all anyone ever remembers about him is that he got a blow job. As if that did any measurable harm to the US government or people. :P
Which is not to say that I dislike Clinton, of course. He balanced the budget without raiding Social Security for the first time in decades, and his last two or three years in office we even had a economic surplus. If you have no other reason to remember anything positive about Clinton, at least acknowledge that if only through good timing and intelligent appointment of Alan Greenspan, he at least put the US government in the black briefly. Nobody will be able to claim fiscal responsibility as one of the virtues of the W Bush administration...