On the same day my husband applied for Social Security benefits, we watched the purple-faced Bill Clinton defending his record as terrorist hunter-in-chief in the infamous Fox-TV interview with Chris Wallace . All the obfuscations the former president brought to bear also brought to mind the irreconcilable contradictions of the American Liberal-Left. Here, after all, was the president who has sinned big time against the tenets of Liberal-Left orthodoxy. He levied the largest tax increase in the history of the United States, raising the tax rate on Social Security from 50 to 85 percent (thereby penalizing the manifestly non-rich). He cut welfare to the poor by 50 percent. And let’s not forget his transgressions in the area of sexual harassment.
Had Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush deprived poor people of one penny or taxed old folks’ income by an additional dollar or touched a girl inappropriately, we’d still be hearing about it. But Bill Clinton is forgiven all by the Liberal-Left because he is a die-hard defender of abortion. (Did anyone notice his reiteration of the word kill in reference to Osama bin Laden?) It’s safe to say that, when a Clinton is in power, the Liberal-Left will forgive him¯or her¯anything, because they know that abortion is safe. That is the real legacy of Bill Clinton. Everything else¯like his defense of his anti-terror policies¯is all smoke and mirrors.
Elizabeth Powers is currently completing a memoir of American life since the 1950s.