Before the narcissistic Obama, there was the brazen, shameless Bill Clinton. So it was fitting that a disgraced, impeached former president who in his mind is one of the best presidents in American history, gave the nominating speech for the president who may be the worst in our history but undoubtedly thinks of himself as one of the best.
I did not have the stomach to watch the speech, knowing from his recent book what was coming—those “dog-whistle” words like “investment” (read: tax increases), “education” (more federal meddling in the system), and so on. But I did read the text afterward, and it did not disappoint.
One thing that always must be remembered before watching a Clinton performance is that he is such a facile liar, he may really believe the falsehoods he’s spewing at least while he’s saying them. And like most slick salesmen, he knows how to package the message in such a convincing way that you have to watch yourself or you’ll start buying the false trinkets he’s selling.
Clinton was brazen enough to put a lot of data out there, with the knowledge that no one in the lamestream media would do much to challenge it. Let’s look at his claim that “in the last 52 years, with 28 years of Republican presidents and 24 with Democrats, our private economy has produced 66 million private- sector jobs. So what’s the job score? Republicans: twenty-four million. Democrats: forty-two. Even if factually correct, this feel-good story doesn’t take into account two important qualifiers. First, the often delayed reaction of one party’s economic policies that may not kick in, for good or ill, until the other party is back in power. Second, as noted in another recent article, both Houses of Congress were controlled by Democrats for 32 of the 52 years Clinton chose to compare, and they controlled at least the House for 10 other years. Therefore this statistic, while making the Dems look really good, is really pretty meaningless.
In fact, Clinton spent enough time bragging about his own achievements—bipartisan agreements with Republicans for example that must have rankled the hyperpartisan Obama—that it could be argued that he was giving a none-too-subtle prime time reminder of how great things could be again in the future with him and his wife in the White House. And no one can walk a tightrope around conflicting objectives like Clinton can. So, in between the self-congratulating he made sure he got a good plug for Obama in there—maybe a better one than Obama himself did the next night.
Maybe poetic justice is finally setting in on the Democrat Party in the wake of this very shaky convention. Maybe the outlandish omission of God—and the ham-handed put back without a clear majority—along with the gavel-to-gavel lie-fest, has opened some eyes in this country. At least those who bothered to watch.