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ESR in Somalia, now, that I’d endorse … WJC on Fox News 26th of September, 2006 POST·MERIDIEM 05:32

Ach, Des, if you truly want three hundred million more people with the living standards of Somalia, the world’s leading Libertarian worked example, I will think much less of you.

It has been everywhere over the last few days, but the Clinton interview on Fox News is really worth watching. Look through the transcript if you don’t have the time to watch the whole thing; the man is capable, articulate and righteously angry.

Word of the day: хаджи is Bulgarian for someone who has made a privilege to Jerusalem and the Holy Sepulchre; it’s from the Arabic Hajji, someone who’s made the Hajj to Mecca.

My officemate showed me the Clinton interview yesterday and was so pleased by the whole thing.

Emma, it is just weird to me that no-one else with media access in the US political machine seems to have his articulacy, intelligence and argumentative skill; yours is a country of 300 million people, and Britain, with a fifth of the population, produces ~20 people a decade with his media access, articulacy, intelligence and argumentative skill. If each major US party had ten Clintons a decade, there’s no way the clusterfuck of the last six years could have happened.

My politics don’t often align me with US Presidents, past or present. But there aren’t many people who are realistically in a position to become US president, and the number of people in that group who would agree with my politics is pretty close to zero.

I always thought of Clinton as the one of the "best possible" Presidents, someone who was in a position to actually win a US Presidential election and who would cause the least possible offence to my political opinions during his tenure.

Ok, so Clinton was involved in Bombings Sudan and Afghanistan after the Embassy Bombings and so forth, but his Millitary engagements were minimalist and targeted threats (Sudanese Pharmaceutical Factories aside), without the heavy handed ground-invasions.

It would be reasonable to expect individual states like New York or California to produce 10 - 15 Clinton types per decade, never mind the US as a whole, you would expect that at any time there would be 3 or 4 people occupying some of the gubernatorial positions, before even looking at the Senate or Congress.

Jesse Ventura For President.

Ste, I think the political stance of whoever is in power in the US is constrained a great deal by what the country will tolerate, what they will vote for. Cf. that despite the Republicans having been in power relatively long, both in the Presidency and in the Senate, there’s not a peep from them on implementing anything like eliminating Social Security or the other half-baked Libertarian stuff they were talking about in the early to mid 90s.

Their competence in implementing what they want to and in dealing with external events as they arise, is not, though, and that’s the major difference between Bush² and Clinton or Bush¹. Perhaps Bush² did have more freedom, in that he couldn’t, IMO, have invaded Iraq without public support in early 2001; but even that his administration did carelessly and incompetently.

I agree, maintenance of the status quo seems to be a big factor, but that’s to be expected in a two party system, both have to aim fairly close to centre and aim to please everybody, to do otherwise would be political suicide.

Like you say, the best criterion to judge on is reaction to events during the presidency, and I think the whole "Blue Dress" thing has been put in perspective by the numbers of casualties from Iraq and Afghanistan.

September 11 was effectively used to manufacture an excuse for war in Iraq without any real evidence and in the face of substantial public opposition, had Clinton had that sort of agenda he could have used the embassy bombings and the attack on the USS Cole as an excuse for war, instead he chose the opposite route, using tomahawk strikes to appease the "hawks" who called for war. The same "Hawks" who now blame him for September 11th and the subsequent messes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It’s all smoke and mirrors if you ask me....

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