Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Paul Campos is Nostalgic for a Past That Did Not Exist

CU Law School (full disclosure, I attended rival DU law school) professor Paul Campos publishes a column in the Rocky Mountain News once a week. Usually it's OK. I've agreed with a few of them. Campos is not an idiot by a long shot, but he is a lefty and it appears that his memory of the 90s is hopelessly awry. His work today was just stupid.


Recent opinion polls confirm that Bill Clinton, who after eight years in office garnered the highest approval ratings ever recorded for a president at the end of his term, remains immensely popular. This is hardly surprising: Under Clinton's stewardship America enjoyed a booming economy, gargantuan budget surpluses, almost no military conflict, and the respect of the international community.
By contrast, less than six years after the end of the comparative golden era that was the Clinton presidency, America is drowning in record levels of debt, mired in a catastrophic war, and hated by almost all of our former allies. It's no wonder that George W. Bush appears to be well on the way to becoming the most unpopular president in American history. Indeed, if not for the 22nd Amendment, it seems likely that Clinton would still be president, and we would have avoided most of the calamities of the past five years.

Where to start? During Stanley Baldwin's third tenure as Prime Minister of Great Britain (1935-1937) there was "almost no military conflict" involving the British. No, it happened on the next guy's watch, Neville Chamberlains and it took the leadership of Winston Churchill not only to survive the NAZI attacks but to put an end to Hitler (we and the Russians helped a lot). Did the fact that the NAZIs prepared for war all during his tenure but only attacked England later mean that Baldwin was doing a good job. I tend to think not. The militant islamacists attacked the World Trade Center in 1993 and bombed many other assets all during the rest of the decade and they declared war on us and Clinton did virtually squat. The 9/11 attacks were 8 months into George Bush's administration which was not up and running smoothly due to Gore's attempt to steal the election, which delayed transition.

And how, exactly would President Bill Clinton, third term, have avoided 9/11, the recession, Congressional overspending?

He would have avoided none of the calamities that befell us and I doubt seriously he would have done anything to amerliorate them, or to have ameliorated them as quickly or well.

Paul Campos lives in a world I do not recognize.


I am quite certain the lack of recognition is mutual, particularly given the penchant of conservatives to blame a Clinton for all w/ which they disagree.

No, my memory is intact about Clinton's inaction against the growing Islamacist threat and his lack of any action to deserve credit for the posperous times or the brief upturn in tax receipts (as for gargantuan budget surplus--a guess of what will happen if nothing changes is a guess about the future not gargantuan budget surplus) you don't think Bush caused the recession by becoming president do you? The always inaccurate projections ended when the economy cooled. Nothing Clinton did and nothing Bush did either. Campos doesn't seem to be aware of that. And I don't blame ?Clinton for rising dropout rates and lowered tests scores in this nation's public schools, even though I am a conservative and disagree with a continued government monopoly for the delivery of government financed education.
You can certainly credit Bush with the ballooning deficit.

Spending like a rich housewife with a gold card....
No argument from me.
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