Reader Mail

The Clinton Time Warp

Don't stop thinking about yesterday. Also: Giuliani's critics. Civil unions, east and west. Plus much more.

2.12.07

Send to Kindle

HILLARY'S TAP DANCE
Re: Andrew Cline's Party Like It's 1992:

What utter nonsense! No economic progress? Whence the promise of America? Pardon me, but on what planet does the putative "she who must be president" live? Not unlike her supposedly (on both counts) popular husband, she parrots whatever the polls and the Democrat media flunkies say. We are experiencing the best economy in my lifetime, bar none, in the midst of a war and sky high oil prices. Wages/earnings are growing nicely, there is no inflation about which to speak, for all practical purposes we are at full employment, and the stock market -- all those 401(k)s-- is at or near record levels.

But, alas, the "deficit" is a problem, despite its significant reduction in real terms owing to Dubya's tax cuts (the only good thing that he has accomplished), if one listens to all the Cassandras or to those who would be queen. Recall, please that the deficit reduction of the nineties was accomplished almost solely on wrecking defense. One could also make a very good case that 9/11 was the culmination of a series of events that were not addressed by the putative first husband owing to....fill in the blanks. Recall also that, unlike Nixon (who had the sense to resign rather than drag the country through a likely impeachment process, not to mention his decision not to challenge the election of 1960 -- whatever one thinks of Nixon), he who never received 50 percent of the vote did not have the sense to resign (probably because Al Gore would have ascended to the throne among, other reasons). So, return to the nineties -- as Camille Paglia would say -- puhlease! Spare us our version of Josephine.
--P.A. Melita
Charlottesville, Virginia

I can feel for HRC, I really can. The primary season is that she was supposed to be a shoo-in -- a brisk run-up to the general election. But, nearly 2 years until November 2008, she finds herself being flanked by a supposed has-been (Edwards), and a political neophyte (Obama). Her left flank, while not breaking, shows some cracks. All that work the past 6 years is going down the drain as she must now show her liberal bona-fides. She must contend with this threat and spend gobs of money much earlier than she wished.

Since 1980, liberalism has had to hide, reinvent itself, spin itself, morph itself, and evolve. That is, liberals had to lie about who they are. The Hillary of 1968 became the cookie baking soccer mom of 1992. When the real Hillary showed herself in 1993, ol' Bill took a beating. Since 2000, Senator Hillary donned the cloak of middle-of -the- road respectability, but her party continued to slide farther Left. HRC now has a 6-year voting record in which she voted more times than not with Bush 43 and McCain. On the one hand, she must defend her record of tax cuts, the Iraqi invasion, and the Patriot Act, and on the other, she must attack the same record. She must defend the economy, and demean it. Good luck.

I cannot believe her handlers cannot come up with something better than revisiting 1990s. Most Americans have put all that behind them. If anything, the voters will remember Monica as much as they remembered their fat stock portfolios. Many will also remember vivid photos of Osama firing an AK-47 in the wastelands of Afghanistan. For every Microsoft, there was an Enron; for every Cisco there was a Global Crossings. It's better not to go there. So now we must watch HRC do a tap dance around her voting record. She must convince not only Iowa Democrats she is one of them, but also California's glitterati. A Vote For Hillary, is a Vote For Bill. Let The Good Times Roll. Before you know it, she will be pulling Fleetwood Mac out of their retirement homes in order to treat her adoring fans to Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow.
--Jerome Koch
Indiana

Hey, just think, if she is elected President, maybe it would not be so expensive to furnish the White House to her liking. She could just bring back all the things Billary stole after their last stint.
--Elaine Kyle

Ah yes, the good ol' days of the Clinton presidency...let me think now...how many attacks were there on Americans during those glorious times????? And Hillary wants to take us back to that.

And do we really want to go there??
--Helen Brotemarkle
Surprise, Arizona

A VERMONT FAMILY AFFAIR
Re: W. James Antle III's Uncivil Unions:

In 1984, as a Vermont state rep, sitting in the House during debate, I introduced an amendment to a Parental Notification Bill, stating in part "family of the minor...." A Republican Representative (female, nameless for this letter) stood up and opposed the amendment stating that there were many definitions to the term "family." In other words, the accepted legal definition (blood relations, marriage) was no longer valid in this person's eyes. The change had already started. The State Supreme Court decision (Baker et al) stated in it's preamble that marriage was between a man and woman but that a parallel right had to be given to homosexuals (which was contrary to the Vermont Constitution, BTW) concerning "marriage." The Civil Union bill was merely a carbon copy of the Vermont Marriage Statutes with the word spouse in place of any reference to man and wife. All these changes were in place years before the Baker ruling and sad to say were driven by a Republican majority in the Vermont legislature. We see now the damage this moral cancer is causing.
--Pete Chagnon

Unless my geography is terribly flawed, a "small Vermont town located 15 miles WEST of the New York border" would put this couple somewhere in OHIO. But then again, Vermont, Ohio, New York, what's the difference. Liberalism is liberalism no matter the state it's in. And the state it's in now is just becoming more confused and just as hard on children.
--Joan Moriarty
Stuart, Florida

HUDDLED MASSES
Re: Doug Bandow's Punishing the Persecuted:

The Bush Administration and the State Department are more interested in allowing the hoards of illegal aliens crossing our southern borders. On the other hand, people who have risked their lives assisting the great
United States of America deserve a kick in the rear and a few words, "We don't want or need you or owe you. Hit the road Jack." What a disgrace.
--Clasina J. Segura
New Iberia, Louisiana

I seem to remember the Bush Administration interpreted the law so that the Hmong (and hopefully, the Montagnards) wouldn't be prevented from coming here.
--Peter

Amen! Hopefully, these immigrants will be welcomed to the U.S. by anti-immigration "conservatives."
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

RUDY REDUX
In response to letters about Philip Klein's Damn Yankee and R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s He's Ready If You Are under Reader Mail's Hero or Hype ?:

I'm surprised at some of the people supporting Giuliani. Are they so discouraged or afraid of Hillary they would support her male counterpart? The primaries haven't even started yet and all these 'conservatives" are ga-ga over a flaming left wing liberal disguised as a Republican. Sure he's tough on crime. That is he's tough on nanny state type crime. He believes in some of the things that are totally opposite to conservative morality, yet he says he will "appoint" strict Constitutionalists to the Court? Who's kidding whom. He's going to appoint the very people who believe as he does on the various issues period. How can a person who doesn't believe in gun rights say he'll appoint a judge who'll uphold the Second Amendment. Isn't that a matter of "interpretation"? I'm really surprised at the naivety expressed by Ken Shreve on Rudy's pledges. Ken strikes me as a hard core Yankee conservative, hardly someone who would back the likes of a New York lawyer. Yeah, let's ease back here and see what our options really are concerning 2008. Frankly, I'd rather stay home than keep voting for the lesser of the two evils because we get the shaft either way on that.
--Pete Chagnon

Mr. DiPentima nailed it, absolutely! And if Giuliani's going to be opposed by those ultra-right folk with misplaced priorities, that's it -- kiss this country goodbye. The religious right has its obsessions with gay stuff, anti-CHOICE, stem-cells and the like, but, face it, the only guy with the much-needed cojones (to reverse the policies of today, including those of our totally inept so-called president) is named Rudy Giuliani. Several of the letters following Mr. DiPentima's illustrated this virtual suicide pact the evangelical bunch have endorsed, and one must wonder what, if anything, screwed-up their priorities so badly. Pardon the expressive vernacular, but this country sorely needs a transfusion of balls. Seems that Mr. Guiliani is the only guy suited to that role.
--Geoff Brandt

STUDENTS ARE SOL
Re: Jennifer Rubin's No Classroom Left Alone:

Jennifer Rubin's article is quite troubling in its limited scope to the issue of No Child Left Behind. The best thing about the program is that the NEA/DNC apparatus hate it too. Why is that when it's the pride and joy of their merry but un-convicted murderer from Massachusetts who delivered us this program? Bottom line is schools can no longer be on the federal teat without deliverable quantifiable results. Plus all conservatives cringe at the dollar dole to make good on helping bring up the lowest of the low. But progress is being made...Real proven methods are being implemented and the results are real. It is not uncommon for poverty school in districts to outperform the schools serving the well to do neighborhoods. It's all about using proven method and materials backed up with training and support staff. This costs money but it is one of the few federal programs that does what is say its supposed to be doing. I suggest she do a little research on what is going on for real not just some Beltway neighborhood squabble. Fairfax County has traditionally been the top district in Virginia and quite conceited about it. Get past the egos and tell the folks about what is really going on.
--Paul Petersen
Hillsboro, Oregon

Surely Jennifer Rubin jests when she writes of the Fairfax County Public Schools, "Real learning stops in April so curriculum can be diverted to daily drilling of students and test taking preparation." If, in fact, Ms Rubin refers to the dreaded "Standards of Learning" (SOL) examinations, then her complaint proves the necessity of having not fewer but more stringent testing, for the knowledge and skills tested in the SOLs are so elementary that the necessity of cramming for them indicates that nothing has been learned by the students in the preceding eight months. They are, to be blunt, as close to a "fog the mirror" test as one can get, yet all over Fairfax County, home of the wealthy, well-educated Washington area government leech (of which I guess I must be one) is overrun with signs come spring advertising tutoring courses for the SOLs. Parents work themselves into a frenzy because Little Iodine might not be able to answer questions on par with "What color was George Washington's white horse?"

As regards non-English speaking students in the public school system, nothing I have seen in the past sixteen years here would indicate that the Fairfax County Public Schools do anything to ensure their mainstreaming, let alone their proficiency in the subject matter expected at a particular grade level. That they are not doing this is the main reason for their objection to the testing requirements of No Child Left Behind: the truth would puncture the myth of Fairfax as an outstanding public school system, which in turn would undermine the County's attractiveness as a business venue.

Rather than address the issue, the Fairfax County School Board annually comes in with unsustainable budget requests to finance a broad range of educational fads intended to win the affections of upper-middle class parents (who increasingly send their kids to private schools in any case). In recent years, it has been "Year-Round Schooling" (actually, free day care for the wealthy) and free laptops for every middle schooler.

Meanwhile, the flagship magnet school of Northern Virginia, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, falls into ever deeper decrepitude and overcrowding, making do with antiquated computer and science laboratories, students crammed into trailers in the parking lot, and a physical plant that constantly breaks down. But for private fundraising efforts by the parents of the students, the place would cease to function altogether. It is last on the list of priorities for repairs and modernization (at some undisclosed time in the future, the school is supposed to move to the campus of George Mason University), while schools with far less academic achievement are given all the latest gizmos with all the bells and whistles (that largely go unused, since neither teachers nor students know how to use them), since this kind of spending represents a "metric" showing the County's commitment to learning.

Such a joke! One would laugh if one didn't want to cry.
--Stuart Koehl
Falls Church, Virginia

POWERGRAB
Re: Christopher Orlet's Don't Worry, Be Vigilant:

Christopher Orlet's Feb. 7th review of John Mueller's book Overblown is reminiscent of similar, left-leaning arguments for the Emperor having no clothes.

I refer you to Adam Curtis' BBC documentary "The Power of Nightmares," which details the influence of Leo Strauss and Sayib Kotb upon the current war on terrorism.

Perhaps the right and left can finally agree upon one thing: statistically (and by extension, ideologically), the concept of a war on terror is nothing but a smokescreen for power-grabbing elites and extremists.

The more important subsequent question: dare we admit it?
--Joe Middelkoop

DIFFERENT STROKES
Re: Ben Stein's The Lynching of the President:

I don't know who Ben Stein is, but whoever he is, he is just a tad stupid. We don't have full employment by a long way; gas prices are higher that they have been the past 50 years; education is a joke because of its cost. Man, I would like to have a few drinks of whatever this joker is having.
--Floyd Vinson

Regarding your second point, at the end, I think we DO elect the media all the time, by listening, reading, watching what they have to say. Those that don't get heard, read, or seen go out of business.
-- Paul Nugent
Los Angeles, California

I am a registered Republican for over 45 years, but I am NOT A BUSH FAN!!!! He has gotten us into so much debt to the Chinese, Saudi's, Japan---if they ever decide to call in their bonds, we are sunk. I cannot believe anyone anywhere could trust this administration. Lies, lies, lies and more lies. God help us!
-- B. Smith
Beaverton, Oregon

Like this Article

Print this Article

Print Article