Bill Clinton

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About

Bill Clinton was President of the United States for two terms, from 1992 to 1999. He married Hillary Clinton in 1975 and they remained together despite the scandals during his presidential administration.

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  • 1999.11.29 Signed the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act
  • 1998.12.16 - 19 Operation Desert Fox was aimed at degrading Iraq's ability to produce WMDs and at unseating Saddam Hussein
  • 1998.10.31 Signed the Iraq Liberation Act calling for regime change in Iraq
  • 1998.10.28 signed the Copyright Term Extension Act extending copyright by another 20 years
  • 1998.08.20 Operation Infinite Reach, a US cruise missile strike on purported terrorist bases in Afghanistan and the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Sudan (which the United States claimed was helping Osama bin Laden), in retaliation for bombings (masterminded by Osama) of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania which killed 224 people (including 12 Americans) and injured 5,000 others. Clinton was criticized for trying to use the attacks to draw attention away from the Lewinsky scandal.
  • 1991.01 the Gulf War ("Operation Desert Shield" and "Operation Desert Storm")
  • Doubled the number of active Border Patrol field agents as almost his first act in office

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  • A story has been circulating that the government of Sudan offered to hand Osama bin Laden over to the Clinton administration, and Clinton declined. This story has apparently been discredited (need sources). This story was apparently widely used as a rebuttal to accusations that the Bush administration was given repeated opportunities to take out Abu Musab al-Zarqawi before invading Iraq, and declined because doing so would have removed much of their justification (need sources).
  • "I decided to try out the discussion of the billions spent on investigating the Clinton admin with no convictions. Unfortunately, the results were not what I expected. The quick reply was that Clinton didn't have to pardon people because he simply eliminated them. I was treated to vague stories of all the people in his administration who died of mysterious causes (they seemed big on suicides where people had been shot in the back of the head) before they could provide evidence. I pointed out that the only case of this that I'd heard of (Vincent Foster) had been discredited as a vile smear job (not those words, I was trying to get through). But they'd heard that there were hundreds of similar cases from Rush and considered him a more credible source than me." Contrary Brin comment

Quotes about

...the Clintons were among the most dirt-poor people ever to step into the White House. I think this explains a lot of the animus against Bill and Hillary during the 90s and even today. There is a very real sense among the elite of this country that Bill Clinton (and Hillary) "rose above their station," that they were upstarts, and, to put it bluntly, trailer trash who didn't deserve to sully the White House with their muddy Arkansas footprints.

Well, guess what? Bill Clinton was trailer trash. He was born dirt-poor and rose by sheer dint of his intelligence and his determination and his extraordinary people skills. There are a lot of people in America who hated Bill Clinton for that.

...

...the Bill Kristols and George Gilders of this world, the Richard Perles and Grover Norquists and William Buckley Jrs. just went mad with hate when they realized that some pissant dirt-poor Arkansas shlub was actually going to worm his way into the White House. The Kristols and Broders and the other pundits who make up the beltway elite all come from the same class -- these guys are all well-to-do Protestant northeasterners who were born to privilege and educated in the most elite colleges, and when Bill Clinton whipped their Exeter Academy buddy George Bush 41 in 1992, they reacted as though someone had smeared feces on the bust of George Washington.

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If you scrape away the "American Idol" personality crap and look at Bill Clinton's and Hillary Clinton's accomplishments, they're impressive. Bill single-handedly cleaned out that senile sociopath Ronald Reagan's fiscal Augean stable, turning a gigantic Himalayan deficit into a big surplus (remember that in the late 80s and early 90s people were talking about "the collapse of America" because of the insane Reagan deficts, which promised to bankrupt us stretching as far as the eye could see); Bill Clinton radically increased transparency in government; relations with our allies were better than at any time in 20 years under Clinton; Bill Clinton had the best and most active vice president in history, Al Gore (and since then, what with the Nobel prize, we've seen Al Gore's true stature grow to match Bill's); Bill Clinton had the best-run West Wing with the most careful bureaucratic oversight in modern history, with nary a hint of financial scandal; under Clinton, basic research flourished, the military became incredibly effective and well-led, and Clinton took an active hand in promoting the arts as few presidents since JFK have done. His welfare reform substantially improved HUD. Just about everything Bill Clinton touched turned to gold. The only real blots of Clinton's presidency were his failure to deal with the Rwanda scandal (for which everyone in Washington must be held guilty, not just him) and thje debacle in Somalia, which he inherited from Bush 41 and which Bill wisely got out of ASAP as soon as it turned bad. The health care catastrophe I lay at the feet of Gringrich and the far-right psychos. No one could've made any headway against that kind of psychotic opposition.
—'Zorgon the Malevolent' on Contrary Brin (The post also argues that the same class-based disapproval was also true for Jimmy Carter, and further discusses the American political class system, the 1968 McGovern loss to Nixon, and a number of other salient topics.)