STEPHEN SMITH: Bill's Fault: Is Clinton Responsible for Most of Our Woes?
I firmly believe that it's possible at this moment in our political de-evolution to admit one thing with unanimity: It's all William Jefferson Clinton's fault.
Bill's been waltzing around the talk show circuit defending himself.
"It's not my fault," he says. "I tried and failed but at least I tried."
He's angry about the inaccuracies in the docudrama "The Path to 9/11" (good thing Americans glean most of their political opinions from Disney movies) and certain scurrilous utterances by Republicans who claim 9/11 was Bill's fault because he did nothing to nail Bin Laden.
The liberal media have been protecting Bill. MSNBC's Keith Olberman -- you know, the guy who goes "Kitty, kitty, kitty" when he mentions O'Reilly -- used Clinton's visit to attack Bush. On "The Daily Show," Jon Stewart nuzzled up to the ex-president.
Jake Tapper on "Good Morning America" lobbed one softball after another, and NBC's Meredith Vieira did some major sucking up when Bill appeared on "Today."
It was disgraceful. So let's get this straight once and for all: Whatever it was, whatever it is, whatever it will be, it's Bill Clinton's fault. Forever and ever.
OK, here's my list of what Clinton is directly responsible for: the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Patriot Act, our inability to kill or capture Bin Laden, Guantanamo Bay, Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, the federal budget deficit, the trade deficit, the Marriage Protection Act, the unnecessary and unending war in Iraq, our withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the veto blocking stem cell research in the U.S., the breakdown of our intelligence services, bird flu, warrantless wiretapping, the rejection of the Kyoto treaty, the underfunding of education reform, rejection of inconvenient provisions of the Geneva Convention, high gas prices, the lack of a national energy policy, the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea, corporate misbehavior, infringements on our civil liberties, torture, Hugo Chavez's Bush-bashing speech at the U.N., Halliburton, global warming, the lack of immigration reform, Abu Ghraib, the re-emergence of the Taliban, the Iraqi insurgency, 3,000 American deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the growing notion that George W. Bush is the worst president ever.
Admittedly, most of the above-mentioned debacles and malfeasances have taken place during the past six years -- years during which Bush and his minions have been in control of the House, the Senate, the White House, and the Supreme Court -- but if we're at all honest about the mess the country finds itself in, we have to lay the blame squarely at Clinton's Corfam wingtipped tasseled loafers.
He's guilty as sin. If it weren't for Bill, none of this stuff would have happened. That's a fact, Jack.
Feel better? Good. We'll call this the "It's All Bill Clinton's Fault" campaign, and I have every confidence that our efforts to place the blame where it belongs will lessen divisions within the country, which will be especially helpful to Republicans before the November elections.
Consider, too, that we'll no longer have to listen to or fund Congressional hearings. When something bad happens, and Lord knows it will, we simply say to each other, "That was pretty bad, but you know it's all Bill Clinton's fault."
Politicians will have more time to cater to special interests and to enjoy the fruits of their lack of labor. In time, we could probably dispense with representative government altogether. If there's someone to blame, why worry?
Take the war in Iraq. We've painted ourselves into a corner. No matter what we do, Iraq is likely to be a sad story for America. We can't afford to stay, and the Bush administration can't get us out. Everyone would blame them for the fiasco. So here's what happens: The Republicans release a news story with a headline that reads: "War in Iraq Bill Clinton's Fault; Time to Cut and Run." Or more directly: "Clinton Lied; War in Iraq a Mistake."
See, no guilt. Bush fades quietly into the nether regions of Texas, our troops come home, and we can forget about being lied to. It's all Bill's fault.
As for the past, Bill Clinton is responsible for the Lincoln assassination, the Gulf of Tonkin, methamphetamine, Katie Couric, the massacre at Sand Creek, World Wars I and II, the N.C. state lottery, the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, teenage pregnancy.
Stephen Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More like this story