2.18.2004

Response

I solicited a response to the letter in the entry Let's Get That Blogging Love... from a friend of my mother's. She is an amazing woman, a model for all us lefties--on fire and working for real change since before I was born. I didn't tell her that the original email was passed on by my mom. BTW, there are a lot of additional good responses (including this one) in the comments section of the original post.

Dear Squid:

It has always amazed me how much some people hate the Clintons. I didn't like Reagan's policies very much and most Democrats didn't but I don't remember such venom. I don't feel qualified to respond to every point but these are a few of my comments.

1) Unfortunately, many presidents had mistresses and extra-marital affairs, going way back but they were not discussed and many of our recent presidents were protected by the media. I'm thinking of Roosevelt and Eisenhower, for example. (Probably Nixon, Carter, Ford, and Truman did not.) I would not defend their actions, nor say it is right to do so; I would say look at the whole picture and their contributions versus their weaknesses when determining their place in history. Clinton did many good things: appointed more women and minorities to government positions, expanded health care, issued more environmental protections, expanded national parks, moved to alleviate poverty, balanced the budget, reduced the deficit, expanded employment. I would say that reducing the military is a good thing. It frees more money for health and human services and forces us to rely upon diplomacy rather than military might.

3) not OK.

4) The impeachment was overkill and hypocritical. The chair of the House Judiciary committee (Hyde) which investigated Clinton and several of its members were themselves having extra-marital affairs. It was merely an attempt to get rid of Clinton and I don't believe it was an impeachable offense. We would have impeached Washington and Jefferson and many others if held to the same standard.
Wag the Dog efforts were also not limited to Clinton. Many people believe that George W. Bush invaded Iraq to divert attention from domestic economic failures.

6) Again, the Democrats have no monopoly on campaign fund-raising irregularities, which does not make it right. We have so far been unsuccessful in passing really good campaign finance legislation because all congress people benefit from the situation as-is. They always seem to find loopholes. I give credit to Senators John McCain and Russ Feingold for their attempts to make politicians honest.

8) I believe in military reduction. We are the largest producers and sellers of military weapons in the world, producing more than the next 10 producing countries combined. In addition we should stop selling to all these third world countries. All of us should be spending more on health care, education, housing, etc. Costa Rica, which disbanded its military, is a great example for the world.

Vacations, what about Cheney's duck hunting expeditions? Should the taxpayers be paying for these as well?

9) Again, the Clintons have no monopoly on globe-trotting. History will record whether it was beneficial or not. Clinton did have some success in mediating the conflict in northern Ireland altho' he was unsuccessful in Israel/Palestine. Nixon's trip to China was certainly a good thing. What about Reagan's trip to Japan where he was paid megabucks and traveled courtesy of the US taxpayer?

10) Yes, probably too many pardons too quickly without thorough investigations.

13) They wouldn't receive those advances if people didn't want to read their books. A good many presidents have written books and have been paid well.

Double dipping pensions are wrong and should be corrected. Politicians should feel guilty for accepting the kind of health care the rest of the country yearns for.

This deserves a more thorough response but this is what I have time for today and what I believe. Do you want me to research any of these more thoroughly? How are you and your family? We had a good time with your parents and brothers Saturday night.

Love, S

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