Volume 74 - Fighting Fire with Fire

Clinton: Not a Flicker Of Moral Life
 By Andrew Sullivan

November 3 1996
The Washington Post

>How does one oppose the reelection of Bill Clinton?
>Not easily, as this president has shrewdly calculated.

You think it's unusual for a politician to successfully deploy a re-election strategy, Andrew?
By the way, Mr. Senior Editor, it's "re-election."

>His legacy is a solid one:
>lower deficits, lower inflation, a stable world, freer trade, modest
>health care reform and a historic reordering of the welfare system.
>If voting is a simply utilitarian act, next Tuesday is an easy call.

Yes, it's not only easy, it's wise and correct.

>But voting, of course, is not simply a utilitarian act.
>It is also a moral act, something that sends a statement
>to ourselves about who exactly we are.

What a crock of shit!
Did we flog ourselves for electing a doddering, old fool
whose morals were measured by the size of his tax cut?

>It is not simply a reflection of whether we are "better off" than four
>years ago; it is a reflection of the fundamental values we hold.

What kind of crap is that?
We're better off than we were, and old Andrew thinks we should
look PAST being "better off" and whine about our choices?
Von Reagan's Wars and Depressions weren't all that much fun.

>Which is why I have qualms about supporting Bill Clinton
>and extreme fears about the consequences of his reelection.

So, don't vote for him, dumbass.

>Some have called this the "character" worry.

Yes, Rush Limbaugh calls it that.
BartCop calls it horseshit, cause that's what it is.
Gordon Liddy calls it character.
Dole tried screaming "charaker, charaker, charaker."
Look how far it got him.

If we want "feelgood-ism," more than peace and prosperity,
I suggest we reverse the 1980 election results and let
Jimmy Carter make America's moral decisions from now on.

>But this is misleading.


>This is not a matter of private morals.
>We're all human.
>Clinton's troubled personal life doesn't concern me.

Clinton's "troubled personal life."
Gee, Andrew. How gratuitous of you to work THAT in.
...and how gracious of you to forgive his "flaws."

>And it's not even a dislike of his compulsion to compromise.
>Political bargaining -- even vacillation -- is often an honorable and necessary thing.

So, political bargaining is "often honorable,"
..and you have a problem with Clinton because....

If you'd like to get specific, Andrew,
I'll tear you a new one, like I tore for Jacoby.

>No, what rankles with Clinton is something deeper than that.
>It is his facility not for private immorality but for public amoralism;

I just can't get over your graciousness, looking past Clinton and his mountain of
"private immorality," and drawing the line at his "public amoralism."
If I'm ever arrested, don't help me, OK?

>His way of dealing with profound moral issues as if nothing is ever
>achieved at the expense of anything else, and as if nothing of any
>consequence is at stake -- except how things appear,
>or how they turn out or how they can be explained away.

You're getting dangerously close to offering examples, Andrew.
Are you sure you want to do that?
I'll smack your ass!

>Whitewater, as the public intuits, is the least of this.

Christ, you have a tender heart.

>So is the president's blithe unconcern for campaign
>finance sleaze and the abuses of his subordinates.

(Two points for using Clinton's middle name as an adjective.)
Hey, Andrew, you know this for a fact?
Or are you "guessing" which crimes Clinton has broken?

Ummm.....any chance you own some horses, Andrew?

>These are symptoms of a deeper -- and more chilling -- pattern.

You're so right, Andrew!
I can feel that chilling mother down here in Oklahoma!
I think what you're sensing are the symptoms of a hack writer trying to make a name for himself,
like that Jeff Jacoby idiot.  I guarantee Limbaugh and Liddy and the rest will be calling.

Where WILL you find the time to go on all those shows?

>Clinton, one recalls, likened Serbian aggression to genocide, then stood by for two years
>and allowed it to continue -- and then claimed credit for calling it to a halt.

Take a stand, Andrew.
Are you saying it was NOT genocide?
Or are you saying it WAS genocide, but Clinton was hesitant to jump into a land war in Europe
with 60,000 troops at the first signs of a potential disaster?

I guess space doesn't permit your mentioning that Bush failed to commit those same trops on HIS watch?

Then, after Clinton "finally" takes your advice, and puts an orderly halt to the genocide, Candidate Clinton
DARES to remind voters that it was HE who took the political risk?
The chutzpa of the man...

Andrew, you're such a wise political guru.
Tell us what Dole and the GOP would've said if Bosnia blew up.
Would the GOP have taken the high road?

No, they'd use it as a political hammer to show
that Clinton shouldn't be allowed to govern again.

Clinton stops a major land war in Europe, without firing a shot,
and he has the gall to mention it?  That makes him bad?
Are you really, really new to politics, Andrew?

>He touted civil liberties, while gutting some of  the most basic in the Constitution.

Gee, could you be any LESS specific?
Are you talking about the "massive federal government intrusion"
of searching planes and luggage before 300 innocent people board it?

>He said he wanted to make abortion rarer, then vetoed the
>weakest measure to curtail the most morally troubling kind.

Andrew, you're a lying bitch.
Where'd you get your integrity?

The religio-wackos in Newt's Army wrote that legislation NOT to be signed into law.
They wrote it with specific language they KNEW Clinton wouldn't sign.

How many times must he explain that he would've signed it if the GOP
bothered to INCLUDE language allowing the woman to live?

You have a wife, Andrew?
(When I wrote this, I didn't know Andrew was gay.)

It was never MEANT to be anything more than a campaign issue, and Clinton did the right thing.
He TOOK the heat, even from wacko-Catholics who now preach "It's a SIN to vote Democrat."

If Clinton is the lying scum you claim, why didn't he just sign the bill and be everyone's hero?
Can you explain that, Mr. Know-It-All?

>He claimed to be an apostle of AIDS compassion, then signed a
>bill that fired all HIV-positive personnel from the military.

You lying, Nazi exaggerator.

Clinton's ONLY alternative would've been to stand firm and let Bob Dole paint Clinton as "Queer-boy,"
giving Dole the White House. THEN, we'd have cavemen like Helms, Inhofe and Lott writing legislation
that Dole would be too spineless to veto.

How do you think gay Americans would do under Helms?
(Not knowing he was gay at the time... isn't this amazing?)

>He portrayed himself as a champion of feminism, while ruthlessly
>stifling a legitimate sexual harassment suit against him.

Is this the king of all "Eat Me's?"

"Ruthlessly Stifling," as though a President Dole would WELCOME the chance to "clear the air"
with presidential penis photos?   Christ, Andrew.  You're a sick bastard, you know that?

You think Clinton should welcome the chance to testify that he'd never met the dirty tramp?
That's your idea of a smart President?
Paula's lawyer would ask, again and again and again and again
if Clinton was CERTAIN he didn't ask her to kiss it.

You say Paula's lawsuit is "legitimate."
You were a witness to these events?
Were you born on Krypton, Mr. X-Ray vision?

Tell me, Andrew.
What kind of horses DO you own?

>He said he was against racial quotas, then racially
>micromanaged the staffing in his own administration.

Translation: Clinton allowed blacks in his cabinet.

Andrew, do you think racial bigotry is a choice?
Or is it genetic in the Republican Party?

>He described the Defense of Marriage Act as "gay-baiting," then signed it
>and boasted about his position on Christian radio stations.

Clinton played Catcher in the Rye on this one.
You heard "boast" in that radio address?
A recitation of his voting position was "boasting?"

>I could go on.

You never fucking STARTED.
Look at what you've written:
You want FEWER blacks in the cabinet.
You want FEWER rights for gays.
You want MORE lawsuits without a shred of proof.

Are you what they call a media whore, Andrew?

>And on any one of these issues of principle, a case could be made to exonerate the president:
>He was forced by circumstances;

What a dumbass!
Name one decision ever made by ANY president that didn't take into account "the circumstances."

>the Congress made him do it;

Andrew, it's called "being put in a box."
That's the principle that caused Dole to abandon 35 years of fiscal responsibility to turn supply-side whore.
He HAD to, to have a chance at winning the election.

Do you know anything at all about politics, Andrew?

>everyone does it;

Your weakest point so far...

>he'll fix what's wrong later.

Where are you going with this?
SHOW ME a better man!
SHOW ME a better candidate!
SHOW ME a better politician!
Andrew, there are THOUSANDS of qualified people in America.
We, the voters, choose Clinton!

It seems YOU'RE the whore here.

The rest of America is voting their conscience, while you, in your ivory tower of self-importance,
see fit to assassinate with a word processor.

>And on any one, a liberal or a conservative could cheer or cry.
>But, whatever you make of each, you cannot mistake the pattern.

Andrew, one pattern I see is that of an unstable bottom-feeder
who doesn't like it when a voter makes a free decision.

If you're a professional writer, why can't you make
some kind of point that can be better understood?
That other pattern you see is called "success!"
The first Democrat to win re-election in 50 years.

>This president will say anything and do anything to suit his
>short-term needs, and manipulate some of the most profound moral
>issues of our time with no other thought than his political interest.

Compared to whom, Andrew?
Name for us the big risks Nixon, Reagan, Bush and Dole made
when they sacrificed political power for a greater cause.

C'mon, Andrew.
Compared to whom?
Give us some names, Andrew.

Nixon claimed he was the "Law and Order" president.
Red-Ink Reagan spent more money than all previous presidents COMBINED!
Butch had to pardon Reagan's cabinet to stay out of jail.
Bob Dole has the integrity of a woodchuck.

>Indeed, it is hard to conceive of this president -- in public ethics or public policy --
>ever calculating what is right before he has calculated what is useful.
>And at some point -- even if you like the results -- you cannot simply put this to one side,
>as so many of his fellow-travelers have. You cannot accept this premise and still vote for
>Clinton without engaging in exactly the kind of moral nihilism Clinton has perfected.

Even if we like his performance, we should hate Clinton?
Who's writing this for you?
Jerry Falwell?
How much is the videotape you're selling with "proof?"

You basically just said the last 4 Republican Presidents made decisions based on what's best
for America first, then and ONLY then did they ponder their political position.

After all that, ...you want what, ...credibility?

>And that, of course, is the twist to this tale.
>There is a cultural as well as political cost to this acquiescence.
>A country that knows this about a president and re-elects him
>in a landslide is making a massive statement about itself.

That's right, Andrew.
We "know" what we know and we STILL like Clinton.
Geez, you don't think he might be so evil as to sell weapons to the Ayatollah, do you, Andrew?

>Liberals spent a decade in the 1980s excoriating
>the culture of greed that Ronald Reagan allegedly spawned.
>Do they have no concern about the culture of expediency that Clinton
>legitimized -- and will legitimize even further in a second term?

Reagan's "alleged" greed?
You may have a point there.
All those golden years he spent helping to  build low-income housing surely offsets any...


That was Carter?

That's RIGHT!
Reagan was the greedy bastard who got the multi-million dollar payback from Japan.
He's the sick bastard who told the poor to "knock it off."

And Clinton's "culture of expediency?"

Hey, Andy, if peace and prosperity AND deficit reduction is bad,
count me in for another four years, you simpleton slut.

By the way, who did you sodomize to GET this job?
(I swear I did NOT know he was gay when I wrote this.)

>For this bottom-line president is the deepest reassurance to our bottom-line culture.
>Corporate America downsizes for the same reason Clinton dumps his principles.

Assumes horseshit NOT in evidence.
Show me a Republican with principles!
Show me someone making less than $100,000 who DEMANDS a cut in the Capital Gains tax.
Responsible taxpayers know Reagan's bills must be paid.

>The media reports cynically on process because that is what they learned from this president,
>a man whose convictions are plucked from focus groups.

I can't even tell what you mean, Andrew.
Name a candidate who doesn't listen to focus groups, and I'll show you two retired war heroes.

>The public is more interested in box-office returns than movie content for the same reason
>the president is more fixated on polls than substance.
>Political amoralism spawns cultural amoralism.
>The fish rots from the head down.

Ask President Tsongas or President Mondale what happens when you tell the truth.
Mondale tried his best to warn us of Reagan's "massive federal deficits" while Reagan
was promising we'd never have to pay for anything.

"The fish rots from the head down?"
What an idiotic, meaningless thing to say.
Tell me Andrew, have you worn the ink off your cliche key?

>Are the rest any better?
>Not much.

So, ...............what the fuck is your point?

You waste everybody's time whining about the best President most Americans have ever known then,
after 20 minutes of unsubstantiated feces, you ask "Are the rest any better?"

Clinton is an "eight" on the bad scale, but his opponents are all "sevens?"

"Clinton the eight" gave us peace and prosperity.
The Republican "sevens" gave us war and recessions.

America chooses Clinton.
Sorry, Andrew.
You're out of touch with the mainstream.

So, what was the point of your stupid rant?
"They're all bad?"

Do you get paid by the word, Andrew?

I hope you close BIG, Andrew, because your opening and your middle have been nothing but Limba-esque crap.

>And the bigotry that ate the heart out of the Republicans makes the choice an excruciating one.
>Bob Dole, as this year showed, has sold out almost as many principles as Bill Clinton --
>but his very ineptness in the act, his inability even to believe his own spin is a sign, at least,
>of some moral life beneath.  With Clinton, not a flicker is discernible.

You think electing an "INEPT, SELL-OUT FROM A PARTY OF BIGOTS"
(your words, Andrew)

...is a GOOD idea?

I think that's an AWFUL idea.
America agrees with me.

>The real question is: Are we any better?

Yes, we are, Einstein.
That's how Clinton earned his landslide.

>Because if we re-elect this president, we will not only choose the leader we deserve,
>but the culture we will live in. I'm sorry, but I can't go there.

You don't have a choice, Andrew.
America moves forward - with or without you.
I, for one, hope you don't come along.
Why don't you wallow in 1990 for the rest of your life?

>Sometimes, the lesser of two evils is actually the greater one.

Lesser is greater?
Is that supply-side math?
Is that creation math?

Andrew, you stopped making sense right after you asked
"How does one oppose Clinton's re-election?"

>The writer is a senior editor at the New Republic.

Oh, Joy!
Oh, Rapture!
So the junior editors at the Post and New Republic look up to this stupid son-of-a-bitch for guidance?

Andrew, do us all a favor and vote for Dole.
You belong in a party of inept bigots.

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