When historians sit down to write the sad, tattered, corrupt legacy of President George W. Bush, let’s hope they do acknowledge his singular accomplishment as President – the redemption, at least in the public eye, of another corrupt, morally-flawed President: William Jefferson Clinton.
It is ironic that Clinton, who brought immeasurable amounts of shame and disgrace onto the White House and the Presidency, is now viewed in favorable light when compared to the shenanigans of Bush and his gang.
That’s the flaw of the American political system: Excellence is neither demanded nor expected of our elected leaders. All we want is a politician who is less corrupt, less dishonest and less flawed than the other side. Call it grading on the curve, political relativity or situational ethics.
George W. Bush will go down as one of the worst Presidents in American history. He will be viewed as a corrupt, dishonest, politically-motivated leader who put his personal agenda above the needs of his country, the Constitution and the American people.
Bush is, and always will be, a disgrace to the office of the Presidency, a monument to a failed political system and a rallying cry for all those who feel our system of government has fallen beyond the point of redemption and must not be repaired but perhaps even replaced by something that will prevent such despots from ever again taking over such complete control of our government.
There is no doubt that Bush has inflicted serious harm on America. Our economy is in chaos. We are mired in another unpopular and unnecessary war launched for questionable reasons. We are despised on the world stage.
But this is no reason to give Bill Clinton a pass for his many crimes in the White House. Forget the partisan whine that Clinton’s only sins were ones of the flesh, that he only screwed interns while Bush screwed the country.
Bullshit. Bill Clinton is, always has been, and always will be, scum. So is his wife. Like Bush, he manipulated the system to avoid serving his country in time of war. Bush hid out in the Texas Air Guard while Clinton backdated documents to save his student deferment. Both lied about their reluctance to serve their country.
Both men are serial liars. Bush lied about the reasons for invading Iraq, among other things. Clinton lied under oath about his affair with Monica Lewinsky, among other things. Bush sent Americans to die in Afghanistan and Iraq. Clinton sent Americans to die in Bosnia. He bombed a pharmaceutical factory to divert interest from his sexual dalliances.
Bush uses the power of the federal government to discredit his enemies. So did Clinton. Just ask Katherine Willey about what happens when you speak out against the Clintons.
Bush surrounds himself with crooks and con-artists. Same for Clinton. Clinton cronies went to prison too.
Claiming Bush is worse than Clinton when it comes to corruption and scandal is like saying Britney Spears is more of a slut than Paris Hilton. Trash is trash and both men disgraced the office they held and the Constitution they swore to uphold.
Now Democrats want to nominate Hillary for President. Given the damage Bush has inflicted on the Republican Party, a $50 whore from the French Quarter of New Orleans could probably take the race if she ran on the Democratic ticket.
Hillary shares her husband’s moral ambiguity and putting her in charge at 1600 Pennsylvania will not restore dignity or honor to the Presidency. She lied openly in the Whitewater investigation and the recent scandals over some of her fundraisers shows she, like Bill, will wink and look the other way when someone walks in with a suitcase full of cash.
This political game of redemption by using Bush as a moral yardstick reminds us of an old story about a confrontation between playwright George Bernard Shaw and Lady Astor.
At a fancy London dinner party, Shaw is reputed to have asked Lady Astor, in front of others, if she would spend the night with him for a million pounds.
“Why yes Mr. Shaw, I suppose I would,” she replied.
To which Shaw responded: “Well then, how about five pounds?”
“Mr. Shaw,” the suddenly indignant Madame Astor retorted. “What do you think I am?”
“I’ve established that,” Shaw replied. “What I am trying to establish now is the price.”