When will the Clinton hate end?

Published February 21, 2001 2:10PM (EST)

Singing the blues

I can't believe the depth of the hatred the Republicans feel for Bill Clinton. Actually all he did was bring this country out of a recession and pay down the deficit and give the middle class (which will disappear under this administration) tax breaks and a lot of other advantages they didn't have before he got to Washington. I don't see the reporters rushing to defend Clinton. I just see them piling on.

The Marc Rich pardon aside -- which he was perfectly within his rights as president to do -- I think Bill Clinton has been the greatest president in my lifetime.

I was here through Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Bush -- now which one of these gentlemen were half the president Clinton was? I know that Ronald Reagan was beloved by most Americans, however dumb he was -- how much did he take from contributors? How about a ranch in California? How many dresses did Nancy Reagan borrow and never return? Never mind the Iran-Contra affair. Never mind the consulting with the astrologer to make decisions for our country. Never mind that Nancy Reagan was actually the ruling authority of that administration. We know how evil Richard Nixon was. (I voted for him.) There's not enough space to tell you about him.

George Bush Sr.: Didn't he pardon Caspar Weinberger, who could have testified against him?

Gerald Ford: Didn't he pardon the biggest crook of all time in the White House?

As for Bill Clinton, I, for one, appreciate him and always will, regardless of the relentless Republicans trying everything in their power to bring him down, even now when he is no longer president. They are trying to render him incapable of making a living for his family -- to take away his pension and strip him of Secret Service protection. Of course the "village idiot" who is now president waited until the story about the looting of Air Force One and the vandalism at the White House was two or three weeks old, and everybody had read it and retained it in their mind, before he said there was no truth to that.

Bill Clinton will be standing after all these junkyard dogs have faded into oblivion.

-- Bobbye Holleman, Texas

Submit your own rant or direct us to a good political online discussion by e-mailing us at redvsblue@salon.com, or jump right into a Table Talk discussion about Red vs. Blue.

Anger management

"Madonna proves she's an idiot. Bashes Dubya and praised M&M" [Free Republic]
In a short letter to the Los Angeles Times, Madonna defends Eminem, writing: "Since when is offensive language a reason for being unpopular? I find the language of George W. much more offensive." Drudge is all over the story. Question: What does the right wing enjoy more, defending W. or bashing Madonna? On Free Republic, it looks like the latter: "Madonna! I've met women of better character in a whorehouse in [Bangkok]. And, I have!" writes timydnuc.

Meanwhile, on most forums, there's a strange silence (neither outrage nor giggles) over a gossip column alleging that Nancy Reagan thinks Bush is a "village idiot."

BuzzFlash, the left's high-pitched rip-off of Drudge, leads with a story from the Associated Press about Democrats questioning Bush's suspension of a law, passed by Clinton, "that prevents the government from awarding contracts to bidders who have broken environmental, labor, tax and other laws." Bush authorized federal agencies to suspend the law until after July 19, alarming labor groups and top Democrats. BuzzFlash also links to a story in the Palm Beach Post that quotes Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., at a gathering of 1,200 at a temple, saying that he felt like the "vice president of the government in exile" and "I think we won Florida."

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From Tuesday:

Anger management

"WOW!!! What a great Freep of the creep!" [Free Republic]
While most media outlets gave only glancing attention to the protesters who gathered outside former President Clinton's $100,000 appearance at an Oracle conference in New Orleans Monday (On CNN: "They were mostly ignored by everyone but the television cameras"), posters on Free Republic recognized placard wavers as their own. On a Free Republic thread, the protesters are trading stories ("Saw the gang on Fox cable news this morning," writes bmwcycle. "It was a nice sight to see in the morning"), and have even posted an online photo album of their public displays of aggression toward the 42nd president or, as they call him, the "X42."

Meanwhile, Clinton's Sunday Op-Ed in the New York Times explaining his pardon of Rich has set off a chain of handwringing, including:
"Clinton Blames It on the Jews: How Low Can He Go?" [Free Republic]
"No 'Quid Pro Quo,' Says Clinton" [Plastic.com]
"NYTimes issues statement on 'errors' in Clinton's Op-Ed Article on Pardons for Fugitives" [Table Talk]

Now, if anyone still thought that wild-eyed Clinton hating was on the wane, National Review online's John Derbyshire came through last week with stomach-turning evidence to the contrary, confessing that "truth will out, I will be heard. Brace yourself: I hate Chelsea Clinton." As ludicrous as it sounds, the column wasn't a joke, and it prompted fellow Brit (hardly a Clinton apologist) Andrew Sullivan to condemn it in his online journal as "simply beneath contempt. National Review owes its readers and Chelsea some sort of apology. It makes Mary Eberstadt's neo-McCarthyism look positively enlightened."

Brazile: Clarence Thomas a "role model for black Americans" [American Spectator online]
That's the surprising gist of this Spectator interview with former Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile, who is not the only one who can contain herself about Thomas these days. Back in the National Review, Ramesh Ponnuru stomps his foot over the rough treatment the Supreme Court justice received last week by "liberal critics" at the New York Times, Slate and the Washington Post who criticized his highly political and angry speech to a conservative think tank last week. "It takes a curious lack of empathy not to see why Thomas would say what he did," Ponnuru writes. "What [Slate's Tim] Noah, [the New York Times' Maureen] Dowd et al. are saying, in effect, is: Who is this cretinous jerk to be complaining about people calling him names?"

Ponnuru conveniently avoids mention of a Salon piece critical of Thomas' speech, written by a fellow conservative, the Weekly Standard's David Skinner. But it certainly riled readers, many of whom missed the fact that Skinner is a conservative -- labeling him as just another "liberal" writer -- or were simply angry that Skinner, like Thomas, is a conservative. Some examples:

While David Skinner "found it easy to see the qualities that have made [Clarence Thomas] a conservative hero, ... [Skinner found himself] wishing [Thomas] didn't show them to the whole world."

And why not, Mr. Skinner?

Would it simply be that the "whole world" would find Judge Thomas' views to be every bit as abhorrent as they truly are?

-- Thomas E. Turpin

Actually, it was supposed to be "pinup":

"Actually, one can hardly imagine a better picture of moral courage -- or a better *pinup* for liberal outrage." You misspelled "pimp."

-- Guy Teague

No, really, it was supposed to be "pinup":

Really, Mr. Skinner. I am not at all troubled by Clarence Thomas becoming a "pimp for liberal outrage." Frankly, after the gut-twisting stress of living in a state of more or less constant outrage throughout most of the last eight years, hearing liberals wail is positively cathartic. I find myself incapable of becoming angered anymore by the usual redistributionist, politically correct, sanctimonious, veracity-challenged nonsense that used to drive me up the wall. All I seem to be able to do now is smile. Indeed, I never realized how beautiful the word "former" could be until I began seeing it preceding the titles of the endless parade of Clintonistas appearing on TV regarding the Marc Rich pardon or some other nascent scandal. Whatever happens in 2004, I must admit that smiling is a much more pleasing sensation than tooth grinding. Tell it like it is, Clarence. For just a little while anyway, who cares what they think?

-- Mark Stephenson

Did "Yet Another Good Show [Fall] Prey to Gay Agenda"? [Free Republic]
The culture wars rage online over gay story lines in TV sitcoms and dramas. On Free Republic, Monday night's "Everybody Loves Raymond" has Texaggie79 angry because "Ray is persecuted for not wanting his two 5-year-old sons to play 'fairies' in a school play." This, the poster says, "perturbs me ... the message portrayed of horrible homophobe dads, [who] should see the light of allowing their kids to pursue any lifestyle that makes them happy." The posting is met sympathetically: "Now the only TV I watch is 'Iron Chef' and old 'Card Sharks' reruns on the Game Show Network. And of course Fox News," writes StrictTime. And fullchroma helpfully points out that "Raymond" costar Patricia Heaton is a spokeswoman for Feminists for Life.

Another poster, Texanared, complains: "'ER' has always been one of my favorites. I enjoyed reruns of the reruns -- watched faithfully until a few weeks ago when one of the main characters kissed another woman on the show. No more 'ER' for me!" But the show's burgeoning lesbian romance between two women doctors has sparked a whole world of online admirers and obsessives, from a forum devoted exclusively to charting the twists and turns in the relationship to an ongoing discussion on PlanetOut.com (click under "Popcorn Q Queer TV"), where posters squabble over topics such as "I think that Dr. Kim is wayyyy too cute for Dr. Weaver."

By Salon Staff

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