April 18, 2010
What Clinton and his supporters do not talk about is the way in which Clinton, aided by pollster/adviser Dick Morris, exploited the bombing to make a political comeback from what was the lowest point in Clinton’s presidency to that time. (The Lewinsky scandal was still three years in the future.) In the days after Oklahoma City, Clinton and Morris devised a plan to use the bombing to discredit and outmaneuver the new Republican majority in Congress. . . . It was a political strategy crafted while rescue and recovery efforts were still underway in Oklahoma City. And it worked better than Clinton or Morris could have predicted. In the months after the bombing, Clinton regained the upper hand over Republicans, eventually winning battles over issues far removed from the attack. The next year, 1996, he went on to re-election. None of that might have happened had Clinton, along with Morris, not found a way to wring as much political advantage as possible out of the deaths in Oklahoma City. And that is the story you’re not hearing in all the anniversary discussions.
Yes, there’s some good stuff in George Stephanopoulos’s memoir, All Too Human, on this, too. A lot of people had forgotten this, and the shameful incompetence that led to the Waco massacre that — unlike the blamed Limbaugh, etc. — actually inspired Timothy McVeigh, but by bringing it up again Clinton is reminding people, and undermining the elder-statesman role he was trying to carve out. Bad move. Either he’s losing his touch, or they’re getting desperate. Probably desperate: Rasmussen Presidential Approval Index: Obama Drops Nine Points in Three Days.
And for those wanting a refresher on this history, I recommend Dave Kopel and Paul Blackman’s No More Wacos: What’s Wrong With Federal Law Enforcement and How to Fix It. There’s also Dan Gifford’s documentary, Waco: The Rules of Engagement.
Related: Bill Clinton Returns To The Scene Of The Crime. “Clinton knows how false and dishonorable his charges are. But they worked for him, and he is helping Barack Obama set the stage for a similar political comeback in the event that some violent event might occur; or, perhaps, in the absence of any such event. So far, all of the violence associated with Tea Party or townhall events has been perpetrated by union thugs employed by the Democratic Party, but that hasn’t stopped the Democrats from claiming that it is the Republicans who are somehow violence-prone.” Actually, I think there have been some non-union thugs, too.
Lies and smears aimed at their fellow Americans, for short-term political gain. This is who they are, and this is what they do. It worked better, however, when there were fewer alternative channels of communication, and when their character was less well-known.
Meanwhile, Tam has some thoughts on homeland security:
We have guys with their jockeys full of Semtex buying airline tickets with cash, and the feds are busy getting spun up about bubbas in Mossy Oak angry about taxes. Way to keep your eye on the ball…
When Clinton was yammering about the danger of domestic terrorists, Osama bin Laden was planning 9/11, and Clinton wasn’t doing much. It would be unfortunate if the Obama Administration followed in his footsteps.