Politics should be about issues of governance and issues of policy. But it’s not. It hasn’t been for a while. In the years when Ronald Reagan was breaking the law, trading arms with Iran for hostages in Lebanon or breaking federal law to send the armed Contra resistance into Nicaragua, people were so nice. So nice to Republicans despite the crime spree.
And all that on top of Ronald Reagan’s policy of crashing the money supply to destroy the economy and reduce wage rate growth permanently while cutting taxes for the richest people and raising taxes for everyone else.
But still, Democrats were always nice, always respectful. Even in the heat of the Iran-Contra hearings that should have ended in impeachment, civility and respect were maintained. Impeachment or accountability for all never came thanks to Christmas pardons to many top officials orchestrated by Attorney General Bill Barr. Today, things are different. How did they get that way?
In the early 1990’s, the “Reagan/Bush era” ended in a series of loud whimpers. It started with the worst one-day stock market crash in history, a recession, the biggest financial scandal in history up to that time (the Savings and Loan scandal), and a long, painful “jobless recovery.” People had had enough. A Democrat was going to win in 1992. Bill Clinton was the Democratic nominee.
BILL CLINTON IMPEACHMENT
A few weeks before the 1992 election, Resolution Trust Corporation which was supposed to be looking into the Savings and Loan scandal grabbed onto a 1978 land deal and subsequent loan transactions over a decade old involving the Clintons and opened an investigation. Can you say September surprise?
The investigator, Laura Jean Lewis, was so fair and objective that she was caught merchandising the scandal with t-shirts and mugs that said “B.I.T.C.H.” — part of which stood for Bill, Clinton, and Hillary.
Even aware that some people wanted to extract blood out of Whitewater, Bill Clinton endorsed and signed an independent counsel re-authorization. Sure enough, an independent counsel was established to investigate Whitewater.
Kenneth Starr, who was the Solicitor General under George Bush, was appointed to the counsel. He investigated Whitewater and a number of other things including the death of Vince Foster, finding no wrongdoing by the Clintons anywhere. But that didn’t stop him from sitting there for years creating Clinton scandals.
At the same time, the notorious “vast right wing conspiracy” funded a sexual harassment lawsuit by Paula Jones against Bill Clinton. This time, Bill Clinton claimed that he could not be sued while in office. The Supreme Court disagreed 9-0, so the case continued. Under oath, Bill Clinton said he did not have “sexual relations” with intern Monica Lewinsky. But surprise of surprises. After the testimony, with the prodding of friend Linda Tripp, Lewinsky produced a blue dress with bodily fluid stains. DNA testing proved that Bill Clinton did not tell the truth. Bang. Ken Starr had something to turn into an impeachable offense. Bill Clinton lied about consensual sex.
Everyone knew that Bill Clinton would not be removed from office for such a thing, but that didn’t stop the hysteria. House Republican Minority Whip Tom DeLay claimed to have “secret evidence” to turn up the pressure. It never came. Republican Senator Dan Burton broke basic civility, calling Bill Clinton a “scumbag.” Baby propaganda network Fox News fanned the flames so that civility and reason were lost — lost at the mouths of Republicans during the Bill Clinton impeachment. 22 years on, sanity has not returned.
P.S.: Ultimately, Bill Clinton won a summary dismissal of the Paula Jones lawsuit without considering the testimony about Monica Lewinsky. Jones appealed the case and Bill decided to settle anyway.
A GENERATION OF REPUBLICAN GARBAGE
Through a whole generation, Republicans have attacked Democrats nonstop with distortions, lies, and just plain crap: “DemocRATS” subliminals, “Sore Loserman,” Hillary’s book deal, and that’s just the next few months…
Finally, just now and only recently, Democrats are fighting fire with fire. Finally, in response to Donald Trump calling anything someone says that reflects negatively upon him like exposes of his crimes and corruption and inconvenient things like coronavirus “a hoax,” Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Donald Trump “a hoax.” Truth at last.