• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Killing Bill

This seems to be amusing lots of folks on the right:

Hillary Rodham Clinton isn’t just running against Republicans. She’s also running against parts of her husband’s legacy.

On issues large and small, the Democratic presidential contender is increasingly distancing herself from — or even opposing — key policies pushed by Bill Clinton while he was in the White House, from her recent skepticism on free-trade pacts to her full embrace of gay rights.

The starkest example yet came Wednesday, when Hillary Clinton delivered an impassioned address condemning the “era of incarceration” ushered in during the 1990s in the wake of her husband’s 1994 crime bill — though she never mentioned him or the legislation by name.

FWIW, I think Bill was right and Hillary is wrong on free trade, and Bill was wrong and Hillary is right on the crime bill. Free and vigorous trade can be the savior of the world, and just filling up prisons to make a tough-on-crime point is not the way to fix the criminal justice system.

But creating a silly Bill-and-Hillary juxtaposition doesn't help anybody trying to figure out the next presidential election. The only thing that matters is where Hillary stands on the issues and, as much as we can determine it, which positions are honestly held and which are just for political show.  Who knows where Bill himself would stand on them? For that matter, can anybody truly say they know how ronald Reagan would vote today? A hardcore progrerssive like LBJ is predicatable -- he would be right in line with BHO's big-government program. But somebody like a Jack Kennedy, some of whose positions seemed to differ little from Reagan's, might truly surprise a lot of people.

Times change, issues change, people can see what worked and what didn't, what should be done more of and what should be dropped. I want politicians who can make a good case for changing their minds when reality dictates it.