Tags: The | Clinton | Curse

The Clinton Curse

Friday, 08 November 2002 12:00 AM

They once worshipped the two as saviors. But in the chilly dawn that followed Tuesday's crushing election defeats, Democrats have begun to open their eyes to the devil's bargain they made with Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Trailing clouds of self-glorification, Bill had swept across Florida on the weekend before the vote to redeem the sagging campaign of Bill McBride. Slick Willy's magic wand had lost its potency, however, and McBride went down in flames. In the end he drew only the same lame 43 percent of the vote by which Clinton had limped into the presidency in 1992's contrived three-way race.

This race, said the Clinton sock-puppet chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Terry McAuliffe, had been the most important anywhere last Tuesday. The defeat of the president's brother Gov. Jeb Bush would be revenge for Clinton Vice President Al Gore's loss of the presidency in Florida in 2000, and would inspire Democrats to defeat President George W. Bush in 2004.

The Democrats poured tens of millions of dollars into defeating Gov. Bush, thereby under-funding other races around the nation.

To guarantee victory, Florida Democratic leaders, acting with apparent approval from the Clintons, stabbed Clinton Cabinet member Janet Reno, the former attorney general, and her loyal followers in the back.

The voting process was manipulated by Democrat-controlled election boards in Reno's home Miami-Dade and Broward counties to suppress her vote totals. Reno thus lost the primary to the Clintons' idea of a more electable and compliant candidate, McBride.

In New York, in a naked grab for control of the state Democratic Party machinery, newly-elected Senator Hillary Clinton and her husband, Bill, gave their backing to Carl McCall, the first African-American to thereby gain major party nomination, to run for the governor's mansion in Albany.

The Clintons in doing this stabbed in the back another member of their Cabinet, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo. The son of former Democratic N.Y. Governor Mario Cuomo (whom Bill Clinton had called a Mafioso during phone sex sessions with mistress Gennifer Flowers), Andrew had served the Clintons faithfully. The younger Cuomo had unethically manipulated federal housing grants to the Empire State to help elect Hillary to the Senate.

But to the Clintons, loyalty has always been a one-way street. They demand it of those who serve them. They never give loyalty in return. In New York the Cuomo family was a rival to Clinton domination, so the better-qualified Andrew was dispatched to "sleep with the fishes" in the East River.

The Clintons' anointed puppet, Carl McCall, alas, was hopelessly unpopular. As he slipped farther and farther into poll double-digits behind popular incumbent Republican Governor George Pataki, the Democrats cut their losses by diverting campaign funds to more winnable races. McCall called this racism, a Democratic betrayal of what could have become New York's first African-American governor. On Election Day in a liberal, majority Democratic state McCall won only 33 percent of the vote.

When the Clintons took control of the national Democratic Party in 1992, it seemed headed for extinction. President Ronald Reagan was himself once a Democrat who said, "I didn't leave the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party left me." Reagan, like a conservative Moses, during the 1980s led millions of blue-collar and Southern Democrats into voting Republican.

Southern Democrat politicians were forced to seek survival by currying the favor of African-American voters. This meant moving to the Left ideologically, which won blacks at the price of further alienating conservative whites. Bill Clinton set out to restore Democratic power by tiptoeing down to the pond where Republican elephants were skinny-dipping and stealing their clothes.

Clinton ran in 1992 by disguising himself as a pro-hunting, pro-death penalty "New Democrat" who wanted to cut taxes, shrink government and "end welfare as we know it," whatever that might mean.

Within months of his and Hillary's "you get two for the price of one" 43 percent election, Americans discovered how high that price could be. The Clintons and ruling House and Senate Democrats imposed a huge retroactive tax increase (while apparently tipping off friends such as Disney chairman Michael Eisner, Martha Stewart-style, to cash in their stock options before 1993 began), forced the military to embrace open homosexuality, used U.S. troops to install a pro-Castro leftist dictator in Haiti, and tried to force into law a socialized medicine scheme that would have imposed a $10,000 fee on any doctor who treated a patient outside the socialist system.

But as a Southerner accepted as "America's first black president" by many African-Americans, Clinton was able to reshape the image of an increasingly leftist Democratic Party. He was energetic and seductive. And he had no qualms about serving those corporations that put large amounts of money into Democratic coffers, nor about demanding that they do so.

Squandering the "peace dividend," the Clintons used nearly a trillion dollars they stripped from the defense budget on various social spending schemes, as well as on their own personal travels and luxuries.

But by talking like Republicans while acting like Democrats, and by betraying Democratic lawmakers, the Clintons created a climate of confusion and distrust for government that produced in 1994 something even Ronald Reagan had been unable to achieve – a Republican-controlled House and Senate. That Republican Congress would create the strong economy for which the Clintons would later take credit.

During the lame-duck session following the 1994 election the Clintons would betray organized labor by embracing NAFTA and GATT at the request of multinational corporations.

To save their own re-election bacon with Republicans in control of Congress, in 1996 the Clintons would betray the nation's poor, especially African-Americans, by signing welfare reform.

It was the one credit the Clintons deserve. While other politicians betrayed their enemies but helped their friends, the Clintons betrayed everybody – including all the most faithful constituency groups of the Democratic Party. The opportunistic Clintons were and are EOBs, "Equal Opportunity Betrayers."

Impeached and facing possible Senate removal from office for his criminal acts, Bill Clinton turned to extortion, blackmail and bribery (e.g., the space shuttle ride to then-Ohio Senator John Glenn) to keep power. Ironically, had Democrats removed Clinton, his constitutional successor, Al Gore, would be president today, and Democrats would probably be back in control of Congress.

But instead, the Clinton Curse on the Democratic Party continues. Last Tuesday its ongoing policy of having Democrats run as pseudo-Republicans again failed dismally. For example, when Sen. Max Cleland in Georgia ran ads tying himself to President Bush, this fooled few white conservatives into voting for him, but it angered and alienated many black and leftist Democrats and lowered their turnout so much that Democratic Governor Roy Barnes also got blown away by the Republican wind that swept across Georgia.

In Florida Jeb Bush overwhelmingly won not only Anglo and Cuban-American votes, but also 51 percent of all Hispanic votes. The Democrats' installed puppet, Bill McBride, won 95 percent of black votes, but in a nation where only one in eight people is African-American the Democrats cannot expect to win by bending their whole appeal to this shrinking minority group.

African-Americans for their part are now urgently rethinking whether they want to remain chained to the mast of what is now a sinking Democratic Party ship, increasingly a minority party in a nation where Hispanics allied with the Republican Party are the wave of the present and future.

If they remain captive to the Democratic Party, blacks risk being ignored by the dominant Republican Party and continuing to be taken for granted by the Democratic Party.

Following Tuesday's watershed election, African-Americans need to emancipate themselves from the rising flood that is about to drown the sinking Democratic Party.

All Democrats likewise need to shake themselves free from the Clinton Curse, the twin curse that has left them neither honest nor successful. Imagine this week being a voter conned into supporting Frank Lautenberg in New Jersey, Mark Pryor in Arkansas or Tim Johnson in South Dakota. What did these states win? They won a powerless U.S. senator of the minority party, now facing two election cycles that favor Republican Senate candidates over Democrats. These voters have sold their souls not for a mess of pottage – but only for a mess.

Just as in the slogan "Let Reagan be Reagan," we should all say "Let Democrats be Democrats." Those of you who want socialism, who favor Saddam Hussein over George Bush, who want higher taxes and bigger government should have the strength of your conviction. Be authentic. Be true to yourself. Remove the fake Republican masks the Clintons told you to wear and run for office truthfully, as proud people of the left. Win or lose as what you really are.

You will then never need to wonder whether you lost because of your duplicity, or whether you might have won by running as leftists, as so many Democrats are thinking in the wake of Tuesday's defeats. At least, by rejecting the Curse of the Clintons, you will be able to look yourself in the mirror – and respect yourself – on the morning after Election day.

Mr. Ponte hosts a national radio talk show Monday through Friday noon-2 p.m. Eastern Time (9-11 a.m. Pacific Time) as well as Saturdays 6-9 p.m. Eastern Time (3-6 p.m. Pacific Time) and Sundays 9-11 p.m. Eastern Time (6-8 p.m. Pacific Time) on the Talk America network . The show's live call-in number is 888-822-8255. A professional speaker, he is a former Roving Editor for Reader's Digest.

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They once worshipped the two as saviors. But in the chilly dawn that followed Tuesday's crushing election defeats, Democrats have begun to open their eyes to the devil's bargain they made with Bill and Hillary Clinton. Trailing clouds of self-glorification, Bill had swept...
Friday, 08 November 2002 12:00 AM
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