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I agree with you on Clinton. I didn't vote for him and I felt he deserved what he got for lying under oath, but I was never in favor of removing him from office. I was living in NC when Jesse Helms made some remark about Clinton being careful when he visited because the soldiers didn't like him. So, I didn't vote for Helms. I didn't vote for his lousy opponent either, but I just can't support that kind of rhetoric.

As right wing as I am it's hard to deny Clinton was a pretty good president. A lot of my Republican friends claim, "He didn't do anything to grow the economy!" And I tell them that "not doing anything" is in fact "doing something." And Bosnia did go well. However...

We should've done more in Rwanda. And don't get me started on why Somalia caused many of the problems we have today. I'm also relieved beyond expression that neither he nor Gore or Kerry or really any leading Democrat were in charge during 9/11. None of them had the vision or grit to enter Iraq, stand by their guns, and begin the transformation of the Middle East -- which is the ONLY way to kill the root of terrorism. To end it.

But I'm sick of the name calling and demonization. The Republicans did a lot of nasty stuff during the Clinton years -- accusing him of rape and murder, etc... And I didn't like it. Now, it's happening the other way. Those who can't win the debate intellectually need to admit they're wrong or rethink the argument. Hate's a poison you take yourself. It's done neither party any good.

I always thought that what Clinton did to "grow the economy" was to listen to Alan Greenspan. And that was a smart thing to do. Some of the growth was illusory, like the high-tech stock market bubble, but a lot of it was real.

I agree that cutting and running in Somalia was a huge mistake that emboldened bin Laden, who explicitly said that our retreat proved we were only a paper tiger. On the other hand, Reagan did much the same thing in Lebanon - he pulled out after the bombing of the Marine barracks. I don't know about Rwanda. A great number of lives were lost, but should we should have gotten involved in an African civil war? That could turn into Somalia on a giant scale, and we have no real interests there.

I remember Helms making that comment about Clinton. Very irresponsible. Now there are T-shirts that show George W. Bush with a gun to his head. Equally irresponsible. People need to calm down. Truth is, we have it soft in this country. We enjoy great freedom, have virtually unlimited opportunities, and face very little risk - yet we spend our time complaining about how terrible things are!

Yep, Reagan cutting and running from Lebanon was just as bad. Any sign of weakness is.

I watched Hotel Rwanda last night and blogged about Hollywood's unbelievable hypocrisy regarding American intervention here:

We could've done in Rwanda what we did in Bosnia. The circumstances weren't exactly the same but we did nothing in Rwanda. It's a disgrace.

A very classy post.

Though I think you are letting Clinton off the hook a little too easily, considering the technology he gave to China, the land grab in Colorado, not to mention his basic character. (Not to start a long running debate, I think most would agree he's not the sort of fellow you would want raising your children.)

But, as to your basic point -- here, here. Name calling and psychoanlaysis is no substitute for evidence and good analysis.
(Though, in the interest of brevity, I've done a bit of that here with Clinton.)

Your atheism piece linked here. Just FYI:

She's great people and gets a ton of hits.

Thanks, DH and Jeff, for your kind words. I admit I am bending over backward to be fair to Bill Clinton, probably in overcompensation for my extreme dislike of him when he held office. What worried me most about Clinton in power was his administration's apparent abuses of power - for instance, having conservative think tanks (and other organizations) audited by the IRS. Clinton even had the Secret Service arrest a man (in Chicago, I think) for asking a hostile question at a town hall meeting. ("I felt threatened," Clinton reportedly said.)

DH, I didn't realize you were Dirty Harry! I've been reading your blog since you were on Blogger. I liked your famous post about Hollywood parties very much - although in my 12 years in Hollywood, I never attended a single party that was anything like that. Which just shows I was not on the A-, B-, C-, or even Z-list.

Also, I'm happy to see that The Anchoress linked to my post - not only because her blog is popular, but also because I've read it and I like it. Cool.

I'm flattered you've read my blog. I've enjoyed some of your books. I sent Anchoress the post. I knew she'd like it. She's my blogging buddy.

By the way, you'd be shocked at just how little I exaggerated that Hollywood Party post of mine. And don't be too impressed with me being on "the list." I'm dying out here. Dying. Not that it hasn't been a great experience.

12 years you were out here? You seem so normal.


Thanks very much for sending my post to The Anchoress. I just noticed that you mentioned it on your own blog, as well (I'd missed that one) - so thanks for that, too!

Yes, I was in L.A. from 1981 to 1993. The one-two punch of the Rodney King riots and the Landers earthquake (both in the spring of '92) was what got me out. I did love the climate and scenery, though. I lived in West L.A. and used to really enjoy walking in that area, until it was taken over by hordes of mentally ill street people, some of whom were quite aggressive. I never got very far in the movie business, so that aspect of L.A. left me relatively unaffected.

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