AP Photo/Niall Carson
Bill Clinton stays pretty busy these days, raking in a half-million or more for an hour spent speaking to rapt audiences. He’s got to charge that much because the Clintons are always on the verge of being broke. Yesterday, I got to hear him speak, along with about 3,500 others who paid $50* for a small chicken breast on lettuce, coffee and cheesecake, followed by Slick Willie’s tossed-fact-salad.
Bill looked good, for a 67-going-on-68 year old. He’s lost some weight, apparently by giving it to Al Gore. “The best part of being an ex-president is I can say anything I want. Well, except when my wife might be running for that job.” I’m paraphrasing. Clinton then went on to tell us how it’s a good thing to “airbrush history” about his time in office, and proceeded to airbrush current events and facts.
He said it’s important to have a world view, while his remarks reveal his: everything is explained by
global warming climate change. Norfolk’s rising tide, China’s dust bowl, Malawi’s drought, these have to be because our carbon footprints are way too big. It does help to clarify the world when you see it through greenhouse-colored glasses.
Sometimes it helps to have true facts versus simply conflating a whole bunch of stuff and ending it with “therefore, climate change.” My high school chemistry teacher used to say “if dog, rabbit” when we made those leaps of illogic. But, Bill, the polar ice packs aren’t melting away, and sea level rise can’t be explained by climate change. In China and Malawi, just maybe poor crop management, over-farming, overpopulation, and government corruption could be behind the crises?
Then Clinton spoke about healthcare where he compared Newt Gingrich’s 1996 Congress with the Tea Party, somehow forgot that Hilarycare was designed as a single-payer system, and told us that Obamacare could be fixed. He cited the latest Congressional tweak that allowed small businesses to use high deductible health plans as proof of that, contrasting it with calls for Obamacare’s repeal, which he claimed were partisan attacks.
Bill’s airbrush conveniently painted out the fact that Obamacare was rammed down our throats by a Democrat congress and senate, without a single Republican vote, and told us that it’s reducing our health spending, despite the fact that the CBO can’t even assess it’s impact—it’s that far off the charts.
If dog, rabbit.
It’s nostalgic to hear from our former commander-in-chief from the 1990’s, kind of like watching a rerun of Alf or Family Matters. There are some issues on which I agree with him: the value of hard work, the importance of standing by employees, and the wisdom of listening to them. I also admire the work he’s done with the Clinton Foundation in battling AIDS and extreme poverty.
Hearing Bill speak also reminds me why another Clinton term in the White House wouldn’t be nostalgic, but tragic. Four years of Hillary invoking revenge on her enemies from the last 20 years while Bill plays First Husband and whittles on the front portico is just too painful to contemplate.
*Yes $50 x 3400 = $170,000, but the organization which hosted him (I’ll withhold that in respect to them) also sponsored the event, along with sponsoring companies. I’m sure Bill got his full speaking fee for the appearance.