Science, Innovation, Politics
Bill Clinton's talent is to be able to lie shamelessly. As Senator Bob Kerry (D) noted, "Bill Clinton is an unusually good liar."My wife has a relative married to a politician who was once a powerful politician in Arkansas. He told me that he was with Clinton during a campaign where one of the big issues was a proposed car tax with proceeds to be used for education. Clinton spoke at the auto dealers convention and brought them to their feet with his pledge that there was no way he would allow the car tax to be passed. A few days later, Clinton spoke at the teachers convention and promised them that passing the car tax would be the very first thing he would do after the election. They loved him.According to this Ark politician, Clinton pulled this stuff off without the slightest embarrassment because he really believed both statements when he said them. Clinton's genius is due to his complete absence of conscience and an intense need for approval that allows him to pander shamelessly to whomever he meets. People love him because he will do and say whatever it takes to get their approval, even if it is precisely the opposite of what he just said to a previous group. And he is genuinely outraged at any suggestion that he is being inconsistent. Normal people recognize such an inconsistency and are made uncomfortable by it. Not Bubba. The Ark guy said that he believes that Clinton could pass a lie detector test no matter what the questions were.
By the way Roger, the definition of talent when used to describe a politician is always interesting. I always thought that 'talent' in a politician would include enough sense to recognize that telling an employee to suck it might not be a career-enhancing move. Or include a sense to avoid any of the dozens of other really stupid scandals that Clinton got himself tangled in.Clinton was a talented politician in the same way that a pitcher with great stuff is a talented pitcher except for that tendency to groove 3 or 4 gopher balls every game. He pitched great except for the 8 runs he gave up in 5 innings.
-2-stanThanks ... No doubt Clinton was a flawed as well as a talented politician. Same might be said about Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong as athletes. Thx!
His health care plan failed. He lost control of the legislative branch, and was forced into welfare reform. His second term was marked by scandal, leading up to impeachment. His failure to properly appreciate the threat from Al Qaeda probably contributed to 9/11. He left a tech bubble that burst within months of his leaving office, and a lot of the early development of the real estate bubble can be traced to his policies. His vice president failed to succeed him. And the centrist faction of the democratic party, which he led to ascendancy, collapsed after he left office, leaving it in the hands of the Left. In short, not so much.
I can't remember agreeing with stan on much of anything, let alone anything political - but I'm probably not that far from his opinion on Clinton.I can't remember ever seeing him give a speech without being struck with how smarmy he is.Maybe I'll watch this speech, and maybe I'll react differently - but I tend to doubt it.
I never liked Clinton as a man but he (with the help of a Republican congress) gave us a balanced budget and welfare reform. I prefer Romney today but I would take Clinton over Obama without question.
Roger I agree with the exception that instead of comparing his field, politics with track, golf, etc. a more accurate comparison would be with a field more closely associated with politics. So I would say Bill Clinton is the most talented person of the world's second oldest profession and comparable the world's most talented person of the world's oldest profession, prostitution. The main difference is that the most talented prostitute is likely to have higher moral character than Bill and likely to be far more honest. :-)
I remember Clinton finalising the Northern Island peace deal. It was a grand celebration. A lot was made of his British connections.I was surprised that my colleagues regarded him with absolute contempt. Possibly because he had moved miles to the right of what they would regard as civilised politics. They had contempt for him before he was elected because it was obvious he had a 'charmed life'. My questions would be. What fuelled his enormous sexual appetite ? What was his connection to Iran Contra ? There were obvious parallels between himself and JFK. They even met, didn't they ?
George Washington didn't have any political 'talent'. He wasn't much of a talker. What he did have was great personal character and a genuine desire to serve (Cincinnatus was his example. He provided great leadership and inspired people to follow him, even when they didn't always agree with him. Because they trusted him.Is political "talent" even a positive attribute? Clinton's talent is an ability to fool people who disagree into thinking that he's on their side. Genuine leadership is the ability to honestly assess different perspectives, craft a plan that addresses the problem, and execute the plan by capable leadership. It's about motivating people to buy into the plan, even when they don't agree that it is ideal. Clinton lacks leadership skills.I also think people forget how ridiculously incompetent the Clintons were when the got to DC. By the summer of 1994, the consensus in DC was that they had become laughingstocks. Amateurish scandals and botched legislative efforts had left wreckage everywhere. It was so bad that the GOP captured the House in Nov. 1994 which was considered unthinkable.What saved him was a news media that was shocked into realizing that they were looking at the very real possibility of the GOP in charge of both houses and the White House in 1996. And that was a nightmare for the very liberal political press. Go back and look at how dramatically Bubba's coverage changed after that election.Without a dramatic assist from a news media that worked hard to rehabilitate him, he would have gotten drubbed in 1996 and retired from public life as an incompetent failure.
==]] What saved him was a news media that was shocked into realizing that they were looking at the very real possibility of the GOP in charge of both houses and the White House in 1996. And that was a nightmare for the very liberal political press. Go back and look at how dramatically Bubba's coverage changed after that election. [[==Poor, poor conservatives. Perpetually victims of the liberal press - at least since Nixon's time. If only Americans weren't as easily duped as conservatives argue, we could all love America as much as conservatives claim to (even though in their victimization world-view, they think that Americans are so stupid as to be easily duped). I wonder what gives stan so much wisdom to see beyond what fools so many Americans. Well, regardless, looks like playing the victim card is playing real well so far for conservatives in the presidential campaign.
JoshuaGeorge Washington was driven by his rejection for a commission in the British army despite being the senior American aide to General Braddock in the Anglo French war which cost the British a fortune and eventually bankrupted the French.Britain asked the Americans to pay a small part of their defence through a tea tax. The British colonists solved the problem by becoming traitors, joining the French and declaring themselves (forever) patriots of a self created entity. All white men with property were now free, although around half of the new Continental Congress were slave owners.How is that tax and government free system now ?I am not anti American. I still love Debbie Harry and Katy Perry ! Debbie is my favourite lyric writer of all time.Sublime http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoamoHd7U4Q
If I wasn't an anarchist I'd probably vote for Johnson.
In 2004, Evan Thomas admitted that the press wanted Kerry to win and estimated that their support was worth about 15% of the vote. Of course, as a long time journalist and the grandson of a socialist, Thomas' views should be taken with a grain of salt.
I was being a bit flippant in my last message.Washington felt he had been treated as a second class citizen as a colonist and that of course was the fundamental issue for the rebels. There was an attitude abroad in Britain that the Americans were largely made up of undesirables deported from Britain and therefore second class. That problem would never have gone away. The divorce was inevitable.I read a book by a British academic that surprised me in the number of things didn't know.The declaration of independence was written in order to allow the colonists to ask the French to join the war as a friendly nation. The Spanish and Dutch also sent troops.In the author's opinion, Britain lost the war due to gross military and political negligence. The Americans may have been second class, but they were British and the leadership didn't have the stomach to fight them. The prime minister Lord North tendered his resignation several times.As many in Britain foresaw, the American government was better for British trade interests than the British government which for example wouldn't allow the colonists to move west of the Appalachians. It was a great war to lose.