April 19, 2010

...And He Still Doesn't Understand

Bill Clinton took to the pages of the New York Times yesterday with an op-ed entitled What We Learned in Oklahoma City.

The former President laments the lives lost when Timothy McVeigh detonated a massive truck bomb outside the Alfred P. Murrah federal building 15 years ago today. He struck the right notes as we remember and mourn those who died in this act of mass murder.

But Clinton showed that he still doesn't understand the heart of the nation he led, nor its purpose or dreams with one telling paragraph:

Finally, we should never forget what drove the bombers, and how they justified their actions to themselves. They took to the ultimate extreme an idea advocated in the months and years before the bombing by an increasingly vocal minority: the belief that the greatest threat to American freedom is our government, and that public servants do not protect our freedoms, but abuse them. On that April 19, the second anniversary of the assault of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, deeply alienated and disconnected Americans decided murder was a blow for liberty.

Clinton is dead wrong when he questions whether or not the greatest threat to American freedom is our government. Of course it is. The Federal government is a far greater threat to our liberties than any external threat.

Protected by the breadth of the two great oceans and the world's most dominate air and naval forces and the most experienced, combat-capable Army and Marines in world history, there simply is no threat of foreign military invasion. Nor is any nation likely to challenge our economic might externally, as the American economy is the economic engine of the interconnected world... if it collapses, it hurts them as well.

It is a literal fact that the only significant and constant threat to our liberties is government, and especially the over-reaching federal government.

Clinton was always admired by liberals and reviled by conservatives for his ability to tell the American people a lie with the greatest sincerity. Perhaps that is still his greatest asset, as he tries to tell us just weeks after a far-left Democrat Party rammed through legislation that mandates we purchase a product of their choosing or face fines, that our public servants seek protect our freedoms, when it is obvious to us all that they abuse them.

He goes on to mention almost in passing the most telling thing about our would-be tyrants, when he nearly whispers:

Americans have more freedom and broader rights than citizens of almost any other nation in the world, including the capacity to criticize their government and their elected officials...

We almost have more freedom.

We almost have more rights.

What the former President will not mention is that our freedoms are declining under our current radicalized President and Congress. We now rank eighth in economic freedom, with "notable decreases in financial freedom, monetary freedom, and property rights."

The sad fact Clinton himself intentionally contributes to oppression, with this very op-ed attempting to draw parallels between today's peaceful protests against a power-crazed federal government, and the Oklahoma City terrorist attack that was a response to his Justice Department's inept handling of the Branch Davidian siege that left dozens of men, women and innocent dead.

The former President strays back on message almost accidentally, if for but a moment, when he mentions that, "Criticism is part of the lifeblood of democracy," and "Civic virtue can include harsh criticism, protest, even civil disobedience. But not violence or its advocacy."

The sad fact of the matter, however, is that neither the explosively-tempered Clinton nor our notoriously thin-skinned current President or liberal Congress can handle even the most mild criticism without waging full-scale counterattacks in response. There has been precious little violence except that committed by leftists. There hasn't even been civil disobedience.

Instead, we have a former President hoping to tie an act of domestic terrorism 15 years ago to freedom-loving groups often led by genial mothers and grandmothers today. Why? Because they've organized protests, and have made remarks critical of his preferred ideology.

Bill Clinton's government was responsible for killing more American civilians on American soil than any President alive, and he seeks to chide Tea Party protesters for pithy signs espousing a return to the core principles of our Founders.

Have a Coke and a smile, Bill, and quit attempting to smear your fellow Americans for desiring freedom instead of government control.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at April 19, 2010 09:58 AM

Good article CY. Summates many of our thoughts. I mights add that at one point FDR was asked about his elimination of American rights (same policies still in effect if Jim shows up), his response was that the people still had the right to religion.

What McVey did was certainly extreme. But I feel that he and others are being pushed into violence as our system has broken. We have lost representative government and our ability to change government through elections has been made irrevelent. Thus I feel the majority are disenfranchised. This is different from the violence that we see from the left were violence seems to be the first response and this from a minority of the voters (probably about 20% actually desire the socialism our government in moving to).

In large part, some of this is due to the Republican Party elite who have more in common with the Democrats than the rank and file and conservatives. Without a voice, there will be violence.

Posted by: David at April 19, 2010 10:55 AM

Sorry, McVey = McVeigh.

Posted by: David at April 19, 2010 11:00 AM

So right.
We shall not forget what led up to the
OKC bombing.
It was definatly the Government that pushed the envelope and yet it appears once again the government is pressing forward setting, itself up as rescuer when most people do not need or want rescuing.

Posted by: ron at April 19, 2010 11:32 AM

yes, you certainly are a watchdog over excessive governmental intrusion:

you couldn't even be bothered to gin up an opinion about warrantless wiretapping for chrissake.

stay vigilant!

Posted by: rapido at April 19, 2010 12:33 PM

To B.J. Cinton, who butchered innocent American citizens in Waco, attacked asprin factoire in Somalia, kidnapped children in Florida and waged illegal, immoral and unjustified war on Yugoslavai, STFU.

Posted by: DavidL at April 19, 2010 12:47 PM

I found a great article on this by, of all people, Gore Vidal. Google Gore Vidal and McVeigh. He wrote a very good article for one of the more liberal magazines that shows what led to the bombing and the trial of McVeigh.

Posted by: David at April 19, 2010 01:23 PM

First of all, Ruby Ridge and Waco were terrible, terrible travesties. Innocent people were killed because of the antipathy, negligence and seeming desire for confrontation on the part of federal agents at the scene. Clinton and Reno got bad information from people on the ground, and made bad decisions based on that information.

That said, no one pushes you into violence. A person chooses violence. The Clinton administration, with its attempt at healthcare reform, deficit reduction, earned income tax credit, and waiting period for handgun purchases, did not force Timothy McVeigh to murder 168 people.

If we are losing representative government, it is because the people are losing representation in favor of money. The more money you have (e.g. investment banks) the more representation you have in the legislative process.

The majority voted for Bush and his Republican congress, and we got Republican policies. Then, the majority voted for Obama and his Democratic congress, and we're getting Democratic policies. The common thread is that any change in the law has to benefit existing monied interests.

Basically, what I'm saying is that if you believe that the greatest threat to liberty is the government, tell people about it. Try to change the government. People on the right and people on the left (distinct from Republicans and Democrats) agree that the government is to some degree unaccountable and out of control. We can all work to make it more accountable.

But the more representative we can make the government, the crazier you look when you rationalize political violence, also known as terrorism.

Posted by: Evan at April 19, 2010 02:35 PM

I am afraid you are wrong. Our politicians are not only motivated by money. If they were then we would be a much better situation. The fact is that they want power. Currently only 50% of the US pays tax. About 46% of the US is receiving money from the government is some manner. This makes it so that those of us that produce and want to get ahead are slaves to this voting block. Both Democrats and Republicans have turned a deaf ear to the concerns of those of us that produce. The election process that we have is geared to distroy the average person that may rise up and have a different message from the establishment. I don't endorse Palin, but look at the efforts of the MSM as she tries to deliver a message that is moderate.

Our country has strayed from the contract that we made. The voting process is not working. Not 15 years ago and certainly not now. People have had enough. At some point you have to proceed to a different level in our interaction with the government and those that support it. Here in the South, all we wanted to do was go our own way. That was stopped by Lincoln. That sentiment is still there, in fact more so than any other time. Unless the government makes significant changes in coming years then we will revist the situation of 1860.

All violence is not terror. If so, then our forefathers were certainly terrorist. Of the many things I can fault Bush on, it was his use of the word terror. We are at war with Islam. They use terror. Currently I am not sure what we are using, but it isn't enough. Thus, simply because you desire to ease politicans and there friends out of office, you are not committing terror. If you take the war to those that are innocent, then that is a different matter.

I don't think people are worried about the image they are protraying as they used to. The reason is that no matter what you do, it is being distorted. Also, we are very close to catastrophe in our country. The time of image is over.

Posted by: David at April 19, 2010 04:09 PM

Of course the protest organizers gave the story to the libs on a silver platter by holding events today. Regardless of the intent for other days in history, days with histories like today should be avoided at all costs if only to keep raw meat from the mouths of the flaming liberal media.

Posted by: David at April 19, 2010 06:59 PM

I guess I don't remember things so well...Wasn't Oklahoma City on the same exact date as the Waco massacre? (Yes, The Davidians were insane cultists and 3 federal officers were killed in the botched initial raid, but couldn't it have been handled better?) Yes, no connection or motivation. Was McVeigh a member of the seventh-day adventist offshoot Davidians or a useful idiot for someone else?

I still think that LIBERAL Gore Vidal was right. He said after interviewing him that McVeigh was a soldier, not a mastermind and he went to his death covering it up. Al Qaeda, act one, perhaps?

Posted by: Sparky at April 19, 2010 07:34 PM

I am afraid you are wrong. Unemployment in this country is listed at 12%. I'm sure it is higher but that is what the statistics show currently. Now for those of us who are working we are paying taxes right off the top of our checks. It's called social security and medicare. Now for the unemployed in my state of MI those receiving unemployment checks still have to pay federal income tax. You put gas in your car? Here are the federal taxes you pay for that. Did you get a tax refund this year? If you're like me and my spouse we got one because we over payed our taxes. Now if you actually qualified for the earned income credit which was implemented by Ronald Reagan by the way it means you had to have had earned income. That means you had to have held a job and actually earned your income. The govt. got to use the tax dollars you paid throughout the year interest free, collected your share of social security tax, medicare tax, and then gave you a little back in return for living below a living wage! Just trying to clear up your misconceptions about taxes and who pays them. Hope that helped.

Posted by: Cal at April 19, 2010 08:08 PM

Let me get this straight: when external terrorists attack us, it's never justifiable to blame our government's actions but when domestic terrorists attack us, it IS the government's fault. Why do right wingers hate America?

Posted by: digitusmedius at April 20, 2010 07:51 AM

Sorry Cal, you are the one that is wrong. Stats indicate 46% don't pay tax. The fact that your check is deducted means very little if it is returned in April and likely with a bonus. I would suggest some research.

Posted by: David at April 20, 2010 09:34 AM

No David, you're the one that's wrong. The number you are citing is just for the *income* tax. As Cal was trying to explain to you.

Posted by: RB at April 20, 2010 11:32 AM

And your point is? If you arn't paying income tax, then your arn't paying squat. State tax does not even come close at the income levels that you are talking about. I stand by the statement, 46% of Americans don't pay tax.

Posted by: David at April 20, 2010 02:47 PM

Oh, SSI, sorry, that is not a tax. It is packaged as a tax as FDR could not pass it without that designation. It is an insurance payment to a trust. You get the money back in an elaborate Ponzey scheme that is going broke. So it is not a tax in the true sense of the word.

Posted by: David at April 20, 2010 02:51 PM


Actually, the 46% is the number who have no Federal income tax liability. There are many other kinds of Federal tax (Social Security, Medicare, etc.) -- only about 10% of the population is not subject to one of these. Furthermore, there are State and local income taxes and sales taxes of various sorts to be paid. Just about everybody pays taxes, as it turns out.

Maybe more to your point: the top 1% actually pays LESS taxes as a percentage of income than the next 20%. Given your worries about fairness, where's your outrage about this?

Posted by: AndyS at April 20, 2010 04:20 PM

Perhaps in the little socialist world in which you live you like the fact that the majority of the people can vote to take away the product of others labor. Somehow, I don't think that was the intent of the founding fathers in setting up a free country. I find any aspect of a progressive tax to be inherently unfair. If you want to tax more of the "rich" then allow them more voting rights. Personally, I don't see the need for the Federal government to have the ability to obtain the amount of money being generated by the income tax. They need to reduce their needs and expenses to fit the tax program before Lincoln. That would assure our freedom as our freedom is not being challenged by Islam, Nazi's, Japs, or any of the other bad guys. It is being challenged by the government that we are feeding.

Posted by: David at April 20, 2010 05:10 PM

So...Waco and Ruby Ridge made it OK to kill a bunch of people in Oklahoma City?

Just to confirm. Simple, really. Either it was OK or it wasn't. Parsing the behaviors of Janet Reno or Bill Clinton in this situation is a tricky precedent. Lots of AG's did lots of things, you know. Gonzales in Texas presided over the execution of an innocent man; is he responsible for that? Is George HW Bush responsible for the 290 civilians who died when the Vincennes shot down an unarmed airliner with a missile? Is George W. Bush responsible for every casualty of the Iraq war, or just a percentage of them?

No, of course they aren't. Waco isn't a specific cause. It isn't even an 'event'. David Koresh was screwing the little girls inside the BD compound--if you defend Waco, you defend him, or will you parse that too?

Writers are supposed to shed light and organize ideas. You are doing the opposite: shedding shadow and splitting ideas into unconnected, corrupt, and morally poisonous insults. Worse, you are participating in the Republican war on intelligence that is entering its second generation. No facts are beyond respinning. No moral code can't be twisted to serve us. No degree of hypocrisy is too bald-faced. No policy or posture is too incoherent to broadcast proudly within the closed-circuit echo chamber. It would be amusing if it weren't so dangerous.

I wish we had Barry Goldwater and the Rule of Law back in the Republican Party. You guys are like a bunch of coked-up chimpanzees.


Posted by: ice9 at April 20, 2010 05:21 PM

Well said and as far as David goes I guess he just doesn't understand that no matter what you purchase you are paying taxes. I never got into how 95% of us got a tax break. Let him do his own research, I give up. Of course that tax break really amounts to squat when our wages don't go up. At work today I had to hear about the co. maybe getting a new fingerprint scanner for us to log into the computer when just last week they were bitching about everyone having too many hours, payrolls too high, blah, blah, blah.

Posted by: Cal at April 20, 2010 06:59 PM

I have a question. I don't wish to justify McVeigh, though I can understand his anger. But, when do you fight back against your government when the contract you have with them is not being honored? Consider pre-war Germany. If you were a Jew or even an average German, when would you fight back? 1933,1935,maybe 1942. Exactly when does the government cross the line and become something other than an intentity that you can control or fails to respond to the will of the majority. Just asking.

Learn to read. I can see why the company is concerned.

Posted by: David at April 20, 2010 07:17 PM

David, treason may turn out to have been prescient or brave, but that's the job of future historians. If you commit treason, you should expect your government and as many of your fellow citizens who disagree with you to object to your actions. Are you expecting to get a cookie or something?

Posted by: Magatha at April 20, 2010 08:51 PM

Keen analysis and absolutely correct.

Let's don't ever forget that this man was impeached, and later disbarred, for failure to tell the truth under oath. His capacity for prevarication is rivaled only by that of his Vice President and the man who currently puts his feet on the desk...

Posted by: I Bleed Crimson Red at April 20, 2010 09:31 PM

Evan: you're bringing some sanity to the discussion; the problem a lot of CY readers have is that they can't get their heads around the fact that Obama was legitimately elected, and that his policies are pretty moderate ones that reflect popular will.

But no matter how much sanity you bring, you'll never touch folks like David:

"Here in the South, all we wanted to do was go our own way. That was stopped by Lincoln."

Poor David, poor South, so oppressed. All they wanted to do was ... what, David? What exactly?

Posted by: beet at April 22, 2010 11:30 AM

Tiffany jewelry has become established on a reasonable length of time, the reality is they create shop in 1845 as well as expanded ever since. tiffany jewelry is advisable known for selling premium quality jewelry including silver items, they also sold house wares as well quality items. It is no wonder that tiffany co jewelry can be so well-liked any time you look at the really like and care which goes into designing every piece tiffany rings.

Posted by: tiffany jewelry at February 10, 2011 08:42 PM