Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Bill Clinton vs. The Smirk

Even now, two days later, Bill Clinton's outrage is being celebrated around the Far Left edges of the blogosphere. It makes me wonder how these same folks who say George W. Bush "lied" about WMDs in Iraq can dismiss -- even extol -- Clinton's obvious and deliberate omissions in Sunday's interview. While he went on to defend his record of trying to get Osama bin Ladin, it was his bluster at reporter Chris Wallace that's being celebrated by the great bulk of leftist bloggers (and being derided by the great bulk of rightist bloggers.) Perhaps it should be neither derided nor celebrated.

It seems to me that if you cheer over Clinton's disproportionate response to Wallace's question, you can't really complain about Israel's response to Hezbollah being disproportionate. And there are a lot of similarities, including the possibility that Clinton was justified in his anger if not his facts. OK, a remote posibility, but still ...

Columnist Debra Saunders of the San Francisco Chronicle -- not a bastion of conservative smirking -- wrote a marvelous column today, exploring what a difference a decade makes for Democrats:
"THE SMIRK is the new angry. Remember the '90s, which Dems spent putting down 'angry white men?' Now the Dems are angry. They've been hopping mad for six years. Sunday, their biggest star, former President Bill Clinton, embraced his angry side during a Fox News interview with Chris Wallace, as he turned his ire to the new target of Democratic sensibilities, the smirk.

"Since 1999, Dems have been dreaming about wiping the smirk off President Bush's face. Sunday, Clinton expanded the smirk zone when he chided Wallace for having 'that little smirk on your face and you think you're so clever.' ...

"Bubba looked silly dismissing Wallace, his 'nice little conservative hit job on me' and the Fox News network as conservative tools. Sorry, Fox News mogul Rupert Murdoch donated $500,000 to the Clinton Global Initiative last week and hosted a fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton this summer. ..."

My mind conjures an image of Clinton looking us in the eye and wagging his finger at America, saying, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman ..." only this time he's saying, "I did everything I in my power to get Osama." Plainly and simply, Clinton has a proven track record of fudging the truth in his own interest.

By the same token, I don't mind Fox News being called on its openly conservative leanings. Chris Wallace is a good journalist, even if his network lets its conservative slip show with regularity. It simply isn't lady-like. Wallace's question was appropriate; Clinton's response was understandably pissy ... but unstatesmanlike and unhelpful to a nation trying to sort out a complex pickle.

And Clinton's response shows that neither the Right nor the Left has a corner on the Market of Mistakes and Mendacity. I truly believe Bill Clinton would have taken a clear shot at Osama, but only if it was clear and there would be no political repercussions for him; I also believe that George Bush would take a shot at Osama that wasn't so clear and damn the repercussions. Both have American interests at heart, but will ultimately be carried away on a gurney of their own hubris and ego.


Anonymous said...

Interesting perspective. The reason your mind conjures up an image of Clinton denying the Lewinsky stuff is that the look on his face and tone were exactly the same. If you're going to be intellectually honest, when you point to Fox News' conservative orientation, you should acknowledge the liberal orientation of CNN, MSNBC and the major network news operations (not to mention the Beaumont Enterprise, by the way). Having watched the interview and much of the media coverage that followed, I think Clinton's response was calculated. I say that because the Dems came out strong defending him. It could have been Lou Dobbs on CNN (not that he would have ever asked Clinton such a question) and Clinton's reaction would have been the same. It was intended to back the media off of quizzing Clinton. It apparently worked.

magilla said...

I am so sick and tired of "smirk-gate" that I had to turn off Hannity & Colmes tonight, which by the way is how I came across your most recent entry.If I hear one more Susan Estrich wanna-be say how brilliant a politician slick Willy is, I am going to puke. Everyone knows that politicains lie.But every time I see Clinton's smarmy, condescending face I wish Lee Harvey could send him to join his hero. But I digress. The fact remains that Chris Wallace asked the same questions that I would have, albeit in a more respectful manner. Clinton's reaction was totally out of line. Especially for the "elder statesman" of the Demoncrat party.

lilfeathers2000 said...

Funny it brought back the same thoughts to me. Clinton looked us in the eye throgh the "boob tube" and lied sevral times. That little interview with Wallace was not any different.
He is up to his same ole calculated tricks

lgvernon said...

Clinton's outrage is proof-positive that he who screams loudest is right--always. Most pundits, because of Billy-Bob's hissy fit, have switched focus from the discussion which caused it to the fit, itself.

Clinton's strategy was right-on. What WERE they talking about, anyhoo?