Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Big Dawg Speaks

Whatever your view of Former President William Jefferson Clinton, the man was and is brilliantly articulate. Here are excerpts from a speech he gave at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado recently, courtesy of the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

I don't know how long they can make this old dog hunt. Ever since 2000, the 2002 and 2004 elections were about, "No matter how bad you think we are, you can't vote for them, because you can't trust them to defend the country. And oh, by the way, forget about global warming; let's talk about flag burning and gay marriage." I mean, I just don't know how long you can milk that old cow without its milk running dry. ...

My advice is that we should have a national campaign which basically reiterates what we believe the differences are between -- not just Republicans and Democrats, but the relatively discrete section of the Republican Party that is totally controlling national government. ...

Karl Rove said that he was going to say we lived in a pre-9/11 world and Republicans lived in a post-9/11 world. You tell me. Example one: The White House and the House Republicans opposed spending $648 million a year to put in very high-technology, sophisticated scanning equipment that would at least give us a screen on all the cargo containers coming into all the ports and airports in America. They said, "We can't do that. It's too expensive. ..."

What was their first priority this year? Repealing the estate tax. What does it cost? About $250 billion over 10 years! For less than 1 percent of the American people. ... So he's willing to spend more than 20 times what it would cost to put in this safe-port material. The Republican Party in the Congress are willing to spend more than 20 times what it would cost to make 300 million Americans safer to help less than 1 percent of us. That tells you all you need to know about the differences. ...

I think Democrats tend to believe that the source of the country's economic strength and national greatness is in ordinary, middle-class citizens. And therefore we believe we ought to have a country of equal opportunity and shared responsibility. Republicans believe the source of the country's greatness and economic strength is in the economic and political elite that agree with the conservatives that are running things. And therefore they believe we should concentrate wealth and power to a maximum extent.

The Democrats believe in a government that's open and accountable and concentrates on empowering people. The Republicans that run Washington believe in a government that's secret and unaccountable and concentrates on helping their crowd.

We believe, we Democrats -- it makes us look weak sometimes -- that we're not right all the time. And therefore we believe policy should be made on the basis of evidence and perfected through argument. They believe policy should be made on the basis of ideology and rammed through by attack.

Are you listening Democrats?


Anonymous sister of ye said...

I had a number of policy differences with Clinton. But when I compare his intelligence, articulatenessa and perceptiveness to the frat-boy ramblings of the squatter-in-chief, it makes me want to weep for what we lost.

6:53 AM  
Blogger cabearie said...

Me too also, sister. Much of his administration was about moving to the center, which is why we got welfare "reform" and sanctions on Iraq that harmed the people more than Sadam.

Still, we had a decent economy that everyone benefitted from, fairly peaceful days, and the world didn't laugh at us the way they do now.


7:34 AM  

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