It's true - I was a teenage Clinton-hater. I spent my early twenties in the bleachers rooting for the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. I was mad at my Senator for voting to acquit Clinton in the impeachment proceedings. My ravings about Bubba disrupted many a friendly social gathering. I didn't get a truly good night's rest until Inauguration Day 2001.
But when Clinton recently returned to the public foreground, my blood pressure did not rise the way it used to. He's just so insignificant now. The critical reception to his bloated memoirs seems to have cut short the much-predicted "Clinton Summer" by a couple of months, and his TV appearances promoting the book made him look ridiculous, not sinister ("That's when I became a secret-keeper, Oprah").
Conservatives have to admit it: the nineties were pretty good. I myself have had to come to terms with that fact. Sure, we helped to make North Korea a nuclear menace, and we let Bin Laden go free to plot 9/11, but there was a new Seinfeld every week and the whole world loved us. (Getting a hummer in the Oval Office was probably the last US action the French actually approved of). In this Brave New World of global Jihad, I would gladly put up with the President getting head if it meant more Americans abroad got to keep theirs.
It is apparent that the Clinton Legacy will forever be (of course) Lewinsky, Lewinsky, Lewinsky; the name that became a euphemism. There will be footnotes about the economy, Welfare reform, and Kosovo. But the caption under the photo in the high school textbook will be Bill Clinton, 42nd President, impeached by the House of Representatives over a sexual affair with an intern in the White House. That's it. That's not scary. Just sleazy.
Lately when I think back on my hysteria in the Clinton years, I feel a little embarrassed. It was silly that with so much death creeping over the horizon, I was losing my mind over the popularity of a cad President. How unimportant perjury seems now, compared to global jihad. How unimportant the Perjurer seems now, compared to the man currently making war on jihad.
When I hear the things said today about Bush by shrieking Leftists, I can't help but feel a little sympathy with their hair-pulling. I've been there. I've watched in disbelief as the approval ratings of my nemesis remained inexplicably high, despite all my rantings. I too have thrown my hands up in frustration, trying to convince friends that the country was going to hell. I too believed the worst about a Commander in Chief, exasperated that the American people refused to recognize what was so plain to me.
We conservatives believed that Clinton's slimy immaturity was dangerous to the country. We had no way of knowing back then how right we would turn out to be.
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