TCS Daily

Hillary Clinton and the Politics of Resenting History

By Lee Harris - January 30, 2007 12:00 AM

When Abraham Lincoln decided to run for a second term in the midst of the Civil War, he used a homespun analogy that nearly everybody could relate to: "You don't swap horses in the middle of a stream." In 1864, after all, people still rode horses to go places. Often they had to take their horses across streams, and all knew perfectly well that a stream was no place to be swapping horses. Later, in 1940, Franklin Delano Roosevelt revived the same image, in order to justify his bid for an unprecedented third term as president. Even though by then most people were driving automobiles, the analogy still had an impact.

Both Lincoln and FDR had the gift, so necessary for success in democratic systems of government, of offering simple and homey analogies to justify their policies. But the same gift can be used to attack one's political opponent as well, as Hillary Clinton demonstrated last Sunday in Iowa. In essence, Senator Clinton declared: The war in Iraq is Bush's mess, and it is his job to clean it up before I become President and have to do it myself.

More precisely, Senator Clinton argued that it was Bush's "decision to go to war with an ill-conceived plan and an incompetently executed strategy." That is, the Iraq war is Bush's mess. "We expect him to extricate our country from this before he leaves office." That is, we expect him to clean up his mess. Bush has said that this cleaning up the Iraq mess was "going to be left to his successor," namely, Senator Clinton herself, a prospect which explains the Senator's final outburst, "I think it is the height of irresponsibility and I really resent it." (Italics mine.)

And why shouldn't she resent it? Would you like to wake up one day, find that you are the President and that it is up to you to bring stability and order out of the chaos and bloodshed in Iraq?

The moral punch of the Senator's underlying analogy is obvious. We can all grasp it just as readily as Lincoln's compatriots could grasp his conceit about swapping horses in the middle of a stream. If someone else has made a mess, it's his job to clean it up—not yours or mine. For example, if mom comes home one day and finds that her sons have been playing paintball in the dinning room, it's their duty to clean up the mess they've made—not mom's. Nor could we blame mom for being resentful if, despite the obvious right and wrong of the situation, she ended up, as she often does, with the task of removing the splattered paint all by herself. Indeed, it is possible that Senator Clinton's analogy will have an especially potent appeal to women voters, since women have traditionally been assigned the thankless task of cleaning up the mess their men folk and boy folk leave in their wake. What woman can't say, "Been there, done that?"

There is, however, a problem with Senator Clinton's analogy—a problem so serious that it forces us to wonder if she genuinely understands the nature of the office that she is currently seeking, and to see what I mean let us go back to the case of Mr. Lincoln.

When Abraham Lincoln was sworn in as President, he inherited a mess in comparison with which Iraq pales to insignificance. The states in the Deep South had already left the Union. The previous President, James Buchanan, had not lifted a finger to keep the vast majority of Federal forts and arsenals from falling into the hands of the new Confederacy. Buchanan's position was that the Constitution did not allow for states to secede, but at the same time, neither did it allow the Federal government to use coercion to keep them in the Union against their will. So what to do, except to do nothing?

The biggest mess of all, however, arose from the fact that the newly inaugurated President's government was still in control of two remaining military outposts in the Confederate States, Fort Moultrie in Florida and Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Had Buchanan given the order to evacuate both forts while he was still President, then Lincoln would not have been faced with the dreadful decision of whether to abandon them or to re-supply them when it was his turn to be President. By abandoning these forts, Lincoln knew he might avoid a civil war; by re-supplying them, he knew he would almost certainly begin one. Yet by abandoning the forts, Lincoln also knew that he would be abandoning the Union. Thus the choice that confronted Lincoln on obtaining the office of Presidency was the hideous alternative of disunion or civil war—in short, the mother of all messes.

Historians have, by and large, been exceedingly harsh on Buchanan. He should have done something decisive, the way Lincoln did. Yet Buchanan himself had no more choices than Lincoln did. Yes, Buchanan in theory could have acted decisively: he might have decisively let "the erring sisters" go in peace, or else he could have decisively started the blood bath that became known as the American Civil War. But in either case, Lincoln would have inherited the horrific consequences of Buchanan's very decisiveness—a raging civil war already in progress or a Confederacy of Southern States whose legitimacy had already been recognized by the North. In other words, no matter what Buchanan did or didn't do, Lincoln was bound to become President with an enormous mess on his hands. But that, we must remind ourselves—and Senator Clinton--is the nature of the American Presidency. If you become President, the chances are very good that you will have to start by taking responsibility for someone else's mess.

It is the Constitution, after all, that forces us to consider swapping horses on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November every four years; it is the same document that, after FDR, forbids us to keep any horse for more than eight years. It is the Constitution that requires that our elections come like clockwork, despite the fact that sweeping and traumatic historical events, such as wars foreign and civil, seldom re-arrange their schedule to fit in with ours. It is, in short, the Constitution that makes it utterly inevitable that Presidents will often be forced to pass on their own messes to their successors and that these successors will be compelled to handle them as best they can—and to do so with the best grace they can manage.

No one is under any obligation to run as a candidate for the Presidency; but those who elect to do so are under a high and serious obligation to understand the nature of the office to which they are aspiring. If, like Lincoln, a future President Clinton finds herself confronted with a mess made by her predecessor in office, it will not be enough for her to blame Mr. Bush for his incompetence and mismanagement. It will avail her naught to continue to declare that Iraq is Bush's responsibility. By then, whether she likes it or not, Iraq will be her responsibility, and no one else's. If she refuses to recognize this unpleasant truth now, while still a candidate, how prepared will she be to recognize it when she is President and it is too late to throw the responsibility on someone else?

"We cannot escape history," Lincoln once said sadly and solemnly. We cannot undo what has been done; we cannot wish it away or blame it into oblivion; we cannot arbitrarily decide which parts of the past shall influence our future. We are stuck with what has been, and are constrained to make the best of it. History may or may not agree in blaming the mess in Iraq entirely on George Bush, as Senator Clinton has done; but history will not absolve his successor for refusing to take his—or her--responsibility for cleaning up the mess, regardless of who made it, or how it came about.

Is this fair? No, of course not. But then, history isn't fair, and those who resent this fact, as Senator Clinton appears to do, are well advised to steer clear of it.

Lee Harris is the author of Civilization and Its Enemies.



every president has inherited messes
some big, some small. The world is not ordered on a 4 year time scale.

The fact that Clinton believes she has a right to a mess free world is just more indication of how incredibly unfit she is to lead anything.

Yes but.
He should be the one to clean it up. After all its just good manners.

We can for see that it won't be completely resolved, but it still is valid to criticize he about the mess. How else can we start a dialog about sollutions?

If every thing is ok, then no sollutions are required. But, if there are problems, then you bring those problems to light by criticizems.

Bush has tried clean up Carter's and Clintion's 'legacies'.

How typical of her generation.
Not to accept responsibility for her actions, or to accept responsibility for anything.

After all, SHE did supported attacking Iraq and removing Saddam from power, once.

Nothin she said actually
indicated that she was not accepting responsibility. She only targeted The President.

She is a US Senator who voted to support the President.
Now she is running away from her vote.

Yes, thats a different point.
well duhhh...

do you honestly believe that there have been no criticisms to date?

her words condemn her
back in 2003, she stated that she examined the evidence, talked to people in the know, and voted based on what she learned and thought.

Now it's the presidents problem and only his.

claiming that the president is the only one responsible, is hardly claiming responsibility

of course there have been...
I miss your point.

The president is the one who owns this.
President Bush stude up and owned this issue... Did you miss that speech?

IT IS is responsibility, ultimatly. Even if it IS out of his control.

quite true, for now
But there is little reason to expect this to be over by the 2008 election cycle. Even if we pulled out now, the mess would continue. Iraq is now a situation with no quick resolution, there is no easy decision here.

Hillary just wants the near perfect world that existed when her husband was president so she can have a wonderful legacy. What she seems not to notice is that having that did not give Bill any place to go but down; which is exactly what happened. She would be better served to have a plan in place to fix the mess IF she is elected (a big if, I personally doubt she will win the democratict nomination).

Hillary's "criticisms" are nothing new, and nothing courageous. They aren't even accurate.

The buck stops here
I agree that ultimately, the president is always responsible.

However Hillary, and by extension, the other Democrats attempts to pretend that they are innocent dupes in this affair, are to be kind, silly.

Secondly, it behoves one who complains to come up with how they would have done better.

5 year olds stand around whining that things aren't going the way they want. Adults propose alternative solutions.

To date, the Democrats have been acting more like 5 year olds, than adults.

"near perfect world "
When was this?

near perfect world's
the only thing that was near perfect in the world when Hill's hubby was president, was our ability to ignore the many, and growing, problems in the world.

Iraq has been a "problem" since at least the early 80's.
Only the nature of that problem has changed from year to year.
Iran is similar, only the "problem" goes back a few years longer. Depending on exactly how you care to define "problem".
The middle east "problem" has existed since the end of WWII.
The N. Korea problem has been around since the 50's.


The list goes on and on, ad finitum.

Hillary's demand that particular problems be solved on her timetable, so that she won't have to worry about them is more evidence of the fact that she is not serious presidential timber.

PS: Presidential Timber reminds me of several Al Gore jokes.

why run??
if she has no solutions, no vision, but simply wants to inherit a good economy with peace around the world, why does she want to be president.

it is part of politics to criticize, but to demand that everything be put back together is the height of arrogance.

if iraq is put back together then what do we need her for president or even senator

We need a warrior
Someone who says "Send me. I'll try to fix it.", not someone who says "It's your problem, you fix it, I won't go there." Hillary has shown that she can be vicious when defending her reputation, but is feckless when it comes to political expediency. Her language is not that of stateswoman or commander in chief, it is the language of a small person.

A Pro-Bush Hawk Has Something To Say...
Negative criticism about the war in Iraq has been overly abundant. The liberation of over 50,000,000 people in Iraq and Afghanistan was certainly a worthwhile undertaking. It was appropriate military intervention.

Hillary Clinton is criticing President Bush to get votes from Iowa democrats. Many democrats in Iowa have been anti-war voters in the past.

Hillary wants to come into office and enact sweeping domestic reforms like Health Care and Tax increases. Her goals are social programs and furthering the welfare state to insure legions of democratic voters all looking to her ,and the party of the free lunch, for guidance and care. The march to the cliffs under the guise of the risk free society. However, Iraq threatens her great society by forcing her to focus on a military and national security issue, something she despises, and also takes away political ammunition to spend on forcing her leftist agenda on the masses. If she wins and Iraq still rages on then it shall be interesting to see how she suddenly changes her tune. As Truman stated "The buck stops here". It is very easy to arm chair general but to lead is a different story. In any case it should prove amusing, if not tragic, to watch. Her stupid pontifications about "If I knew then what I know now" is a excellent example of her inability to lead. This cop out is pathetic and show her true colors. If I knew then what I know now my father would still be alive. It is meaningless... She is not fit to lead and her running from her record is absolute proof.

True but
Words mean things. Unlike the election of Lincoln, what she says there resonates here. She is typical of modern politicians. Say one thing and lie and deny it. If the MSM actually had any ethics they would call her on it. Cowards that they are they do a great disservice to this nation in their own self interest. Lok at her latest; "if I knew hen what I know now". Well hop dam*, the story of everyones life. Hindsight is always 20-20. That does not qualify her to lead this nation.

Isn't it amazing. She now runs from her record and gets a pass from the MSM. She is not fit to lead. A leader stands up and says yes, I did it and I take responsibility. Of course liberals do not believe in personal responsibility thus the excuse her. After all, is not the very core of liberalism the lack of wanting to take responsibility for ones actions? Especially if those actions are wrong or result in failure?

Just leaves more questions
Mrs. Clinton just said she was deceived into voting.

That leaves some questions.

If its his "problem" why does she feel the need to seperate herself from her vote?

How is it this woman who we are assured is the smartest, most capable person on the planet by her sycophants and roadies-was duped by this man, who many of the same roadies assure us is a stupid rube wannabee from Texas.

Among all the people ON THE PLANET that should not have been duped-she was the one. Surely she could've picked up the phone and said "hey Bill, you've seen the in-tell"..

Oh wait, thats right-Billy boy said the same stuff about Saddam and even felt compelled to lob a few cruise missiles at him...

Just leaves more questions
Mrs. Clinton just said she was deceived into voting.

That leaves some questions.

If its his "problem" why does she feel the need to seperate herself from her vote?

How is it this woman who we are assured is the smartest, most capable person on the planet by her sycophants and roadies-was duped by this man, who many of the same roadies assure us is a stupid rube wannabee from Texas.

Among all the people ON THE PLANET that should not have been duped-she was the one. Surely she could've picked up the phone and said "hey Bill, you've seen the in-tell"..

Oh wait, thats right-Billy boy said the same stuff about Saddam and even felt compelled to lob a few cruise missiles at him...

Not Cowards
The MSM is a participant-the overwhelming bias of the broadcast chattering classes is obvcious and attested to by ~90% Democrat voting.

She's the smartest woman on the planet and we should be greatful that she wants to grace us with her "leadership".

Its time ALL aspirants to the office be treated like what they are-JOB APPLICANTS.

If I knew then..
I agree that "If I knew then..." is pretty lame. Many of us in the "reality based community" knew that Bush/Cheney were clearly ideologic fools who were going into the wrong war (Iraq) and giving up the right war (Afghanistan, fundamentalist Islamic terrorists).
If that "Liberal Media" you all seem so worried about were truly liberal, they would have filleted them open long before we made the worst strategic disaster in the history of US foreign policy. The real liberal media was trying to do that, but the CORPORATE media was browbeaten into submission, afraid to be "unpatriotic."
But the other way to take the "If I knew then" line is that if intelligence hadn't been manipulated so recklessly by this administration, we ALL would have "known then" and they never would have gotten away with it.

The for or against war in Iraq was not a left right divide
Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul and many other conservatives against, Christopher Hitchens, Hillary & Bill Clinton and many other leftists for it.

The worst strategic disaster in history? While it may have been a mistake, and only history shall prove that point, I argue it is hardly the worst in history. If one argues Vietnam was a mistake then was it not infinitely more costly in terms of lives and money? Korea? I think that this perception of yours that this has a magnitude that is unparalleled in history shows that you have indeed fallen prey to the MSM. As to intelligence, was not Blair also of the same mindset? Did not Bill Clinton prior to Bush make the same assertations? If Hussain (or however you spell his name) was so innocent then why the refusal to allow in inspectors? Could not he have averted all this? Sigh, your a talking point. What exactly is the Liberal Media anyway if not the MSM? The Democratic Underground? Finally, why is it the worst disaster in US History? Explain? I hear all these assertions but they are not based in hard facts...

Bias and Cowardice
Sure I agree but I stand by my assertion they are cowards. Liberalism is the fear of fear itself. Prozac for the masses.

we had a growing economy, were at peace, had no real enemies and the domestic scene was pretty calm.

very true
But things were in pretty fair shape when he took the oath in 1993. The economy was stable and growing, there was no real domestic problems and we had just won a decisive victory in the Gulf. Comparativly speaking this was a pretty good time to come in as president.

see my post above

Cause she wants to make history
She wants very much to be the first woman president; it is as simple as that. She has a domestic agenda (universal healthcare, education changes, ect) and doesn't want to have to deal with something like the Iraqi situation.

Hillary knows it is now or never. She ain't getting any younger and her electability is starting to wane. Waiting another four or eight years just isn't doable for her.

Al Gore:
Pat Buchanan (blunder):
Gen. Odom:
George Will?:

You can find more. Google things like disaster, blunder, iraq, bush, etc.

I don't know what the hell Blair has been thinking these past 6 years. I can't wait for that book!

Clinton supported regime change, as did Poppy Bush. Both were way too smart to do it. So was Cheney back in the day.

Saddam and inspectors: Again, many saw through his pretense that he had WMDs for what it was: Trying to scare off any potential adversaries like the US or Iran.

I'm not sure what points you're making about my "talking point". Clairfy and I'll try to explain myself.

Thanks for being civil.

Ahh, you said worst in history. I simply asked you to consider the magnitude issue. It is not even close to WW2 in terms of deaths. What about the civil war? More men died at Shiloh in 20 minutes than died in 5 years in Iraq. I also do not think Al Gore is a reliable source on anything. I am tired of the mantra of Vietnam. I am of the mindset that if not for the media and the left that this might already be over. Don't buy into the leftist defeatism. They are invested in defeat and if we succeed then what have they had to offer? Think about it. What has the left to offer if we win? The left has placed all it's bets on failure in Iraq. They cannot afford for us to win. Mistakes yes, but disaster only if we allow it.

Doesn't want to deal with Iraq. Just like her husband she has no interest in National Security or Foreign Policy Issues. She want to focus on Nationalizing Health care and further growing the welfare state. Something we need like the cancer it is.

WWII was not a war of choice. If you believe, like Lincoln did, in the imperative of maintaing our Union, neither was the Civil War.

OK. Don't like Al Gore? I just threw that in to tweak you. What about Buchanan and Will and Odom and the others you found by Googling... (BTW, Al Gore was turned into the 'exaggerator ' you have in mind by that darn 'liberal' media, not by the facts.)

I am constantly amazed that seemingly normal people who live among us (the 85% who understand what a clusterf*** Bush has created and don't trust him to handle Iraq properly) think WE are the anomalies. Get with the program. We don't want defeat. But we're not morons. We can see the handwriting on the wall, and it's not saying, "stay the course." Thank god the world is coming to understand that America is not the same as the yahoos in this administration. There is some hope that we can win back the respect of the world in the coming years.

We are not 'invested in defeat.' What the hell does that mean? We want to do the best for the most in the most humane way possible. WHo was calling for more troops to secure Iraq back in 2003 and 2004 when it was still possible? Wasn't Rummy or Cheney or W. was it? If we somehow manage to snatch 'non-humiliating defeat' from the jaws of humiliating defeat I will be thrilled for that but remain forever bitter that the worst President and worst Sec. Def. in our history (care to argue that last one?) screwed it up so bad as they have. Nixon said, "The Vietnamese cannot humiliate America. Only Americans can do that." And boy have they!

>>if not for the media and the left that this might already be over.
Are you kidding? As I said earlier, if they had done their job, we'd have never gone in. Thanks, especially to Fox on that one. And, yes, the media made Rumsfeld try to win this thing with too few troops, too little resources and too little damn smarts.

What has the left to offer if we succeed? OH. MY. GOD. Quit listening to the Fox Noise Channel and Ann Coulter et. al., will you please.


1993: At peace? No real enemies? Calm domesitic scene?
Flood of '93 in the Midwest


Explosion at the World Trade Center in New York

Iraq is bombed again

Black Hawk down.

So what would you have done?
There is far more mess for Hillary or whomever to inherit then what some have labeled "Bush's Mess". It is so easy to place blame when you now believe, not yet know, with 20/20 hindsight that to finish the Iraq War was a mistake. There have been mistakes made it is a function of fighting wars. In this case the first mistake was not finishing the work the first time around during the First Gulf War. Why did we allow for a truce during that first war? There are only two possible results in war, victory and defeat. Truces, ceasefires and such are not the same thing. They are like calling time out. We still must finish the game, only the consequences are far greater. That is why we still must deal with North Korea. A little mess not helped by Clinton the First.

Why didn't the President at the time of the Gulf War build on our military's great success? Then why didn't the next President take immediate and decisive action when Saddam grossly violated the truce?

What President allowed us to keep giving money, tens of billions, and wasting our time at the UN when it was obvious the UN were never going to enforce their own resolutions?

Of course my favorite is and will remain, why didn't our intelligence services know precisely what was going on in Iraq? Or, what is now going on in Iran? Or North Korea? China? Russia? Who dismantled and shackled our intelligence services, most especially our human intelligence services to put us at the great risk of not really knowing? That mess is still not fixed. With a huge effort and expert people it will take another decade to fix it if we still have the will to do so.

Remember the first rule of war is know thine enemy.

Here we all sit typing on a computer. Unless we are dieting to lose weight we know where the food is. If we are cold or hot we can moderate the temperature. Tomorrow we probably have a choice of cars to drive to work so long as the significant other doesn't object. We are spoiled. We are impatient. We can no longer win a war. And our enemies now or will soon know it. Do you really believe this enemy is kidding around? Do you really believe that 9-11-2001 "wasn't really all that bad?" [See La Times Op-Ed this past weekend.]

Hillary obviously believes this isn't a serious enemy, because like many she hasn't taken the time to understand. Our enemy has been quite clear what their ultimate goals are. Pay attention!

Senator H.R. Clinton NOT Presidential Material
In an "Off-With-Their-Heads" proclamation combined with whiney "If President ... I don’t want the responsibility" attitude, now Senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton proves SHE is NOT up to the task of Presidential leadership.

If she had her way, the heavy lifting and responsibility of being leader of the most powerful free nation on earth would be removed so that she would be able to concentrate on what she really wants to do … create a liberal, popularity-loving, and socialist America.

Hillary ought not limit her demands to a single item (that the United States leave Iraq and its potential representative spread of Islamo-fascism throughout the world)…

... Hillary ought to insist that Bush also complete ALL of the following, so as not to "irresponsibly" pass-on these additional items to the next President ... so that SHE may focus on more important items during her tenure:

1) Rebuild all of New Orleans to better than original. This will allow her to focus on more creative, village-supported initiatives.

2) Eradicate the H5N1 flu virus from all sectors throughout the world (don’t forget to include a plan for free vaccination to all if his administration is not successful by the end of 2008).

3) Revamp the entire automobile infrastructure so that our country is not dependent on foreign oil before the next President takes office. This includes market availability of automobiles and hundreds of thousands of ethanol stations for fuel. The will allow her (or any next President) to not have to deal with the issues of ANWAR, Mideast oil, and the other sticky issues surrounding petroleum-based economies.

4) Why not insist that Bush rebuild all of Mexico along with its failed economy and culture so that the border problem just goes away. After all, terrorist security will be a thing of the past because He will have already pulled our troops out of Iraq.

5) Oh yes, make the Social Security solvency problem just go away!

6) Sign the Kyoto Protocol -- so that Global Warming will be just a thing of the past.




AND ETC. - Please feel free to add your own wishes of problems to be eliminated due to the fact that if the problem still exists ... it must be irresponsible that the problem remains for the next President to deal with.

At MAXINE, our reaction to Hillary's apparent fear of the challenge of leadership this stance shows -- assuming that She is elected President.


The statements made by New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton are just NOT Presidential and this episode proves she is NOT Presidential material.

LINK: -not-presidential.html

Speaking of Messes .....
Speaking of messes, the one that the Clintons left for George Bush was a lulu.

Economic bubbles are a definite threat to your financial health and well-being. Bubbles are deceptive, in that everyone prospers until the inevitable collapse, when things tend to get very nasty indeed.

Documented bubbles go back at least 400 years to the Dutch Tulip Bubble. Other historical bubbles include the Mississippi Bubble and the South Sea Bubble. Any of these historical examples can be Googled for very interesting and infomative reading.

More recently, the Great Depression was the result of the collapse of the Roaring Twenties Bubble, and that Depression lasted over ten years, compounded by very poor understanding of the economic factors at work. During the Great Depression, taxes were raised and trade was restricted, and we now know that this is exactly the wrong thing to do in that circumstance.

Similarly, the Japanese Bubble of the 1980s collapsed in 1991, leading to fifteen years of recession and stagnation in Japan, which the Japanese are just coming out of, thanks to economic reforms initiated by PM Koizumi.

Under the Clintons, the Dow doubled in less than four years, and the NASDAQ skyrocketed up to over 5000. Everyone was making money and the tax receipts and savings from reduced defense expenditures brought an unprecedented surplus to the federal budget. As always in bubble economies, people thought they had discovered the secret of eternal wealth, if not the secret of eternal youth.

But the underlying stocks of the NASDAQ were not making money, and the collapse of the Bubba Bubble was inevitable. The NASDAQ lost over 50% of its value, the Dow started down, the federal budget went into deficit during two quarters, and the surplus fell precipitously, all during the last year of the Clinton Administration.

This was an extremely hazardous situation, and we come out of it in excellent shape, considering how badly others had fared in similar circumstances. Economically speaking, the Bubba Bubble was a far greater hazard than the GWoT.

Unfortunately, George Bush made it look too easy. The hard-learned economic lessons from the Great Depression, the Kennedy tax cuts, and the Reagan tax cuts have made no impression at all on the Dimocrats, who are already talking about raising taxes and restricting free trade.

Lord help us all.

Incidentally, you are now in a position to watch the next great bubble form, and burst. The Chinese stock market has increased 120% in the last year, and the recent growth in China, along with the unstable bank structure and the pervasive corruption, will lead to a major collapse. Bet on it.

I don't
I listen to myself and I listened to my father who taught me to see between the lines. My father who taught me the virtues of self reliance and hard work.

Worst president in history? Try James Earl Carter III. Things were far worse under him and regardless what you think things are not that bad are they? Do you remember Carter? Talk about defeatism.. Why do you think Reagan trashed him? Read some history, this is not the worst time in history nor is it the worst blunder in US History. That would likely be Vietnam and we could have won that one to. Have you looked at Lincoln's popularity during the civil war? Do you think he was popular? Did you know he suspended habeus corpus during the war, and the ACLU complains now. Funny, the Democrats opposed Lincoln then. Always ont eh wrong side of history are they not?
I am not commenting on Lincolns actions...
Leading is not about polls. It is about conviction and riding against the tide when needed. Get real man, many mistakes have been made but that does not mean we have to fail. It also does not imply stay the course. I have long called for a more aggressive stance. I am no huge Bush fan but we are in Iraq and I see no reason to fail at something that we can win. Investment in failure? It means the democrat parties entire political capital is geared to fail. It means that if we do not fail that they have failed. I hear not one liberal talking of winning, nor have they ever talked of winning. Have they passed any resolutions to win? Finally, to the left. What do thay have to offer? Tell me what the left has to offer me? I am a individualist. I do not believe in welfare, socialized medicine, wealth redistribution or nationalization of industries. I believe in personal freedom and with that comes responsibility. In our history people never looked to the government to take care of them until the 20th century. Explain how we are beter off as a society, and not materially I mind you? Do people have better morals nowdays? How has a society of risk takers become a society of the safety net? What does the left have to offer people who want to make their own path despite the risk? Nothing... The left has nothing I want...

ah, well.
Liberals believe in self reliance and hard work. Who do you think built this country?

I'm old enough to remember Carter and certainly he had his problems, but he did a lot of good, too. I don't recall too much stupidity from him. Tone-deafness, maybe. We are still suffering from all Reagan did to undo his tremendously foresightful energy policy. I admit I never understood Reagan, so, on that, perhaps I'm in the minority.

>>That would likely be Vietnam and we could have won that one to>Did you know he suspended habeus corpus during the war
Yes, as provided for in the constitution. Not like now.

Regard the rest of your post, I don't know what to say. I was raised Catholic and the most important moral lesson I was taught was in Matthew 25:

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
- John Kenneth Galbraith.

So, you go ahead and take care of yourself. At least get out of the way of those of us who want to live in a better society.

Dwight D. Eisenhower (Damn hippy, pinko freak :-)(1953): "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."


Ayan Rand
Yes and Atlas Shrugged... There is a huge difference in charity and a social welfare state. Christ called for charity, not the Dept of Social and Health Services. I do not measure my charity by the taxes I pay but by the deeds I perform in service to my fellow man. This means through the means I see fit, not some mindless agency. Compassion is teaching self reliance and the ability to live a virtuous life. I see not virtue in welfare nor in the redistribution of wealth. Government is a lousy servant and a fearful master. You seem to think I am a war monger. Not the case but pacifism is not the solution either. I went to a Jesuit University BTW.

Charles is right again...
One thing to add. Did anyone note that Hillary seems to simply assume that she will be elected and that she is in a position today to be resentful? She is not campaigning against George Bush. But she is angry with him for doing his job and already making her job as President more difficult.

But the American people will see that she thinks she is entitled to be resentful, on a personal level, because she thinks she is now the next President. She really does have some attitude. I'm not certain we are real happy about that attitude. I had a wife like that once.

Furthermore, even the most liberal media are waiting for her to mess up and say something truly stupid. And she will. For sure. If she doesn't just crack up right on camera sometime soon. Kind of sad really. The media can will drive her to it. And her fuse is short.

If she is arrogant enough to be resentful that the President might not leave her a perfect world to preside over then she is arrogant enough to think she can say any stupid thing and simply tap-dance out of it. She is wrong. We have been trained to turn our backs on even our most beloved movie stars when they lose their minds.

Her schmuck gene has engaged.

In other news: Tom Cruise is Jesus (God) now? Did you hear that?

we had enemies in 1993
we were just better at pretending that we didn't.
In fact the enemies of 1993, are the same enemies we have today.

not cowards
rather active participants in her election campaign.

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