When Hillary Clinton told a group of Democratic Party Hollywood hacks recently that George W. Bush was “selected” as president, she was not only speaking for herself, she was reiterating something her poor excuse for a husband believes.
Before he had even left the office he disgraced for eight years, President Clinton was making not-so-veiled and not-so-funny remarks suggesting chicanery had won the race for Bush. He made it very clear he actually thought Al Gore had won the race and been cheated out of victory.
But the topper came last month in a speech he gave overseas.
It did not get much attention in the U.S. media, but the British press understood the significance of what Clinton was doing – breaking the unwritten rule that Americans, let alone former presidents, don’t criticize their country or their leaders on foreign soil.
In case you missed it – and you probably did – Clinton told a little joke.
George W. Bush had won his election “fair and square, five votes to four in the U.S. Supreme Court.”
People who understand comedy know that one of the elements of a good joke is that it needs to have an element of truth. And in the few reports I could find on this speech, not one reporter pointed out that Clinton was dead wrong about the Supreme Court ruling. It was not a 5-4 decision. It was a 7-2 ruling on the constitutionality of the recount procedures.
Is this important? You bet it is. When the man who was sitting president at the time of the ruling can deliberately and knowingly misstate what happened and not be challenged by one media outlet in the entire world (until now, that is), we have a serious problem.
To remind everyone what happened in that historic ruling, the court ruled 7-2 that the recount system in place did not meet constitutional muster. Seven justices in all found an equal protection violation. Five found three violations of federal law.
Where the court was split more closely – 5-4 – was on the remedy. Only five justices agreed that recounts must stop by Dec. 12, the state of Florida’s deadline for certifying elections. Two other justices, David Souter and Stephen Breyer, would have given the recounts six more days because Dec. 18 was the federal deadline for certifying the list of electors.
Either way, of course, Bush wins. The newspapers that pooled resources to study the effects of further recounts concluded, after the fact, Gore would not have picked up enough votes in Florida to overcome Bush if the recount process was still taking place.
Clearly, on the heart of the issue, it was not a 5-4 split on the court, it was a 7-2 split.
Does Clinton not know this? Sure he does. He’s a policy wonk. He’s counting on the rest of us not knowing. And he very nearly got away with it.
Until now, not one challenge from the press – in America or abroad.
Clinton deliberately misstated the facts to undermine President Bush’s authority and credibility while speaking in a foreign country – a key foreign country, I might add, critical to a war effort America is planning in the coming weeks.
I know I have probably said this before, but Clinton is beneath contempt. Again, I say this as someone who did not vote for Bush or Gore. I had no pony in that show. But for a former president to hurl such a phony barb about his successor in a foreign country demonstrates that Clinton is loathsome, despicable, disgraceful beyond words.
It was an embarrassment for America when this man served in the White House, but it seems he is determined to continue embarrassing us all. And his equally contemptible wife is just as bad if not worse.
How many times do we have to relive the 2000 election? And, if we’re going to have to relive it endlessly, can we at least represent the facts correctly? Is that too much to ask of a former president?