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Opening Arguments

You say you want a revolution

Happy anniversary!

The Clinton administration completely bungled Waco, and the resulting deaths enraged would-be revolutionary Timothy McVeigh, who blew up the Oklahoma City federal building in retaliation. Before the bodies were even cold, Bill Clinton shamelessly exploited the event to rail against "extremist" rightwing talk and rejuvenate his poll numbers. And now, 15 years later, the left is despicably trotting out the anniversary (with Clinton's help, no less) in an effort to discredit and marginalize the tea party movement. Mark Halperin of Time magazine even admonishes bloggerss to watch their tone:

Clinton's famously hardy optimism has always led him to believe that the blood sport of Beltway politics — and the 24/7 media coverage it now excites — masks a more centrist and less destructive outlook for the vast majority of American people. But many liberals, and some analysts, disagree. In their minds, a mass continuous loop of antipathy and anti-Washington vitriol, from extremist talk radio to abrasive commentary on Fox News to Tea Party bluster to reckless Republican activists and politicians, has created an environment ripe for the creation of another McVeigh.

[. . .]

Free speech is indeed a glorious thing, but too often these days it is sullied by excessively crude and threatening invective. On this important anniversary, partisans should take a break from pointing fingers across the aisle and look into their own hearts (and on their blogs).

But, actually, that's not the anniversary I had in mind.

It was also on this day,  in 1775, when British Gen. Thomas Gage ordered 700 troops to Lexington, Mass., to capture Samuel Adams and John Hancock. But the rebels had been warned and were waiting for the British on Lexington Green. Nobody knows who opened fire, but it was "the shot heard round the world," and the Revolutionary War was on.

There is a vast difference between words and deeds. Bill Clinton may not know the difference (or, rather, he pretends he doesn't when it suits his purpose),


tim zank
Mon, 04/19/2010 - 10:52am

Gotta give The Clenis credit, he knows how to play the game. Can't decide if I regret voting for him more than I regret voting for his old pal Helmke.

I guess I'd have to regret more the Clinton vote, he turned out be such vile human being (as evidenced above), while Helmke just turned out to be a clueless democrat. Course one usually leads to the other I guess.

Mon, 04/19/2010 - 11:32am

Not sure I agree with the approach of melding an OKC anniversary post with anti-Clintonry. I recall not much liking Waco or Ruby Ridge at the time. And certainly the anti-terrorism bill that followed OKC looked to me like an abuse of civil liberties.

That said, however, this approach to commenting on Oklahoma City doesn't really seem distinguishable to commenting on the anniversary of 9/11 by talking about years of bungling and supporting despots in the Middle East and Afghanistan by the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations leading to a retaliatory strike by Osama bin Laden followed by the Bush II administration using it as an excuse for all manner of foul policies. Factually true, perhaps, but seems to minimize the intolerable behavior by terrorists like McVeigh and bin Laden to focus on the political policies they used to justify their violent behavior.

Leo Morris
Mon, 04/19/2010 - 2:48pm

Clinton is the one who has been all over TV this past weekend, saying the same things he did 15 years ago, so it's not like I made up that meld out of whole cloth. And the intolerableness of the McVeighs and bin Ladens aside, there is a difference between excusing and/or vilifying "all manner of foul policies" and trying to shut up your opponents by linking their dissenting speech to the intolerable behavior of terrorists. Joe Klein has even started talking about "seditious speech," for goodness sake.

Tue, 04/20/2010 - 11:59am


Leo Morris
Wed, 04/21/2010 - 7:16am

How sublime to be called a coward by an anonymous troll -- I love this job!