Friday, October 2, 2009

Bill Clinton on the State of the Nation

Big thanks to Eric Lightborn, who runs a fantastic blog.

What are the three reasons, according to President Clinton, that Obama will survive the Republican onslaught? You'll love the third one, but is it true?


  1. Clinton said it back then as well as now. Yes it is true. The assault weapons ban was very instrumental in changing the balance in 1994 and reverberates to this day.

    John Kasich, Republican candidate for Ohio Governor cannot beat Governor Ted Strickland because of 1994. Governor Strickland is NRA A rated and has lived up to it unlike some. Kasich, on the other hand, proved that he is an enemy of the Constitution when he sided with Clinton. That vote will affect the election 16 years later.

  2. The gun-fascinated adolescent in an adult body truly causes enormous havoc in this society. Why do we allow these boy-men to have so much power in this society?

    Maybe we're afraid that, if they don't get their way, they'll shoot us! Reminds me of that one boy in our elementary and junior high years who we all avoided because, one, he was nuts and, two, he might beat us up if we challenged his sanity.

  3. Maybe we're afraid that, if they don't get their way, they'll shoot us!

    Well at least we know you're paranoid Muddy. Reminds me of why I try to avoid folks like you in my day to day life. Paranoid people are highly unpredictable and emotionally unstable.

  4. Gun control is a political loser.

    No secret there.

    "Why do we allow these boy-men to have so much power in this society?"

    I don't need a permission slip from you or your ilk to exercise my Rights.

    Your allowance is not required.

  5. Sounds like mud_rake is projecting again.

  6. There will never be a total gun ban in the USA. It's impractical because guns really are "useful tools" for a certain segment of the American population (particularly in rural areas). So the idea that the US government could totally confiscate guns is ridiculous on the face of it.

    Ultimately, both parties are corrupt. One (Repubicans) want to live in the past and the other (Democrats) want to move forward to the present and that is basically the only choice we get.

  7. "Paranoid people are highly unpredictable and emotionally unstable."

    And not to mention violent.

  8. But, what do you think about those three reasons Obama will survive?

    1. country is more diverse

    2. 8 years of Bush was bad

    3. have not taken on the gun lobby

  9. Here is what I think:

    1. Country is more diverse - completely irrelevant. It may get someone with little experience elected, but it won't get them re-elected because (in Obama's case) he will have shown the country what he will implement.

    2. 8 years of Bush was bad - depending on how you look at it. There will always be some group of people who will say 4 years or 8 years of X was bad. Again, this may get someone elected (because people are blinded by their hatred of the other guy - who may not even be running), but it won't get them re-elected. How long are we going to hear that "it was Bush's fault"?

    3. Have not taken on the gun lobby - This one I can agree with. There are only a few lobbies in America that have enough voting power to sway elections. The gun lobby is one, seniors are another, and the black vote is a minor one that actually is losing its sway more as Hispanics begin to outnumber blacks and the overall minority population increases. The gun lobby theoretically has some sway over 30-50% of the vote. The senior lobby has sway over around 30% of the vote. The black vote has sway over about 10% of the vote (albeit, unlike the other two, the black vote is concentrated in historically Republican voting states). The youth vote (~20%) could be a future power lobby, except for the fact that they don't reliably vote and are too diverse in their opinions.

    The thing is though, Bill Clinton survived his assault on the gun lobby while the Democratic congress did not. Why? Well, simply because Clinton was a master of triangulation. He could read the tea leaves. So, when the Republican Congress came to power with their Contract for America in 94, America (the voters) were behind the Republican Congress. Clinton may not have signed everything into law, but he went along with much of the Republican agenda. As such, he was re-elected in 96 when the Republicans put up a weak candidate (then again, if the President is passing your agenda, why worry about your candidate) and was able to survive an impeachment. Oh, yeah, and the economy took off like a rocket.

    So, my reasons why Clinton survived (and propered) are:
    1. He triangulated to the Republican agenda after 94.
    2. He wasn't up for re-election in 94.
    3. The economy was humming along and people were making money hand over fist.
    Frankly, the 3rd one is probably the most influential. When the economy is going good, the people of the country don't like to change things. We are all about money (whether you think that is good or bad is irrelevant - money is what drives America).

  10. So, let us look at where Obama and the Democrats are currently. The similarities between 92 and 08 are very interesting. A recession had started before each election. War (and the accompanying spending) was a recent memory (or in 08 still on going). There was serious talk of Universal Health Care, shoring up Social Security, etc, etc. Some major differences were also apparent: Clinton was running against an unpopular incumbent, a significant third party was in the race, Clinton actually had extensive political and executive experience.

    Since the election, Obama's administration has taken a serious departure from the path of Clinton's. As such, the economy has continued to worsen. The American people are fed up with bailouts, spending, deficits, etc. (it is always interesting when the party that railed against deficits two years ago, is now saying that they are necessary - both parties are guilty of this). Barack understands that the gun lobby is far more powerful now than in 94. Hence, he is trying to avoid any semblance of turning them against him. The Democrats in Congress understand this as well (and if you think that Reciprocity was a defeat for the gun lobby, you are wrong. The gun lobby was rather divided on this issue). Right now with Health Care, Obama may indirectly be taking on the Senior with the $500 billion savings from Medicaid. That will definitely cost the Democrats an election. What matters more though is what happens in the next year. If the economy is still in the tank next year, Democrats could lose very big. If there is no turn around by 2012, Obama will lose. However, if the economy takes off like the bubble, Obama will probably be elected to a second term regardless of the agenda he pushes (unless he takes on the gun lobby or the seniors in 2012 - voters have short memories).

    In a nutshell, if you want to get an agenda passed against one of the powerful lobbies (gun and senior), expect to lose the next election in a big way. Also, its best if you try it during a down economy.