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AdLib On June - 1 - 2012

No, this isn’t a parody article, it’s true. Bill Clinton has endorsed Mitt Romney as a successful businessman and a governor. And at the same time, he has attacked President Obama for focusing on the damage hedge funds have done to American workers and our economy.

I have tried to let Bill Clinton’s failings go once he ended his morally questionable attacks on Obama in the 2008 primary and came on board to support Obama’s campaign but he has been and always will be a member of and a defender of corporate power and private wealth. He has far more in common with Mitt Romney than Barack Obama at this point in his life and Clinton will be the first to tell you that:

Bill Clinton criticizes Obama’s Bain attacks, praises Romney’s ‘sterling business career’

“I think he had a good business career,” Clinton told guest host Harvey Weinstein, a movie mogul who is one of Obama’s top fundraisers. “There’s no question that in terms of getting up and going to the office and, you know, basically performing the essential functions of the office, the man who has been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold.”

Adding that he has “friends” in the private equity business,” Clinton suggested it was dangerous for Democrats to go after Romney’s record at Bain Capital—adding that in private equity, “like everything else you try, you don’t always succeed” in saving companies or making them more productive.

“I don’t think that we ought to get into the position where we say this is bad work,” Clinton said. “This is good work.”

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/bill-clinton-criticizes-obama-bain-attacks-praises-romney-141022725.html

At this moment, when corporate plutocracy is taking over our elections with over a billion dollars, when the corporations offshore jobs then pin the resulting unemployment on Obama so they can manipulate voters to reward them with more power and wealth for doing so, when the Wisconsin recall election against the hedge funded Scott Walker is just days away…and good old Bill is covering his ass by appearing out there in WI, he comes out like this to undercut the Progressive movement, Occupy Wall Street, opponents of Citizens United and of course President Obama to flack for the 1%.

Denial is a convenient thing to which none of us are immune. Many of us wanted to believe that Bill wasn’t who he is…we wanted unity in the Democratic Party…but you can’t teach an old dog new principles.

Back in the 90’s under Clinton’s presidency, many of those who were Progressive/Liberal then and were not so crazy about Clinton and his “triangulation”, which back then was the term for his becoming a pseudo Republican, promoting and championing their issues to co-opt their voters and get re-elected. It worked, despite the scandals, he won re-election. But as a pseudo Republican.

Let us not forget what Bill Clinton stood for and accomplished as President when it comes to our economy. He put the final nail in the coffin of Glass-Steagall which freed his buddies at the banks to get into speculating and get disgustingly wealthy…and allowed the crash of 2008 to occur as well as the current recession/depression to exist. He pushed through NAFTA which led to the decimation of America’s manufacturing base, union jobs and accelerated the decline of the middle class. And if these things ended up harming the majority of Americans, who did it help? Yep, you got it, big corporations and the rest of the top 1%.

Bill Clinton was (and may still be) a member and at one time, the Chariman of the DLC (Democratic Leadership Council), the corporate-friendly, conservative “wing” of the Democratic Party that has consistently fought against Progressive issues and for the interests of the wealthy against the majority. When you consider who has served as their chairmen (always ChairMEN too), their leanings become pretty clear.

  • Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri (1985–1986)
  • Gov. Chuck Robb of Virginia (1986–1988)
  • Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia (1988–1990)
  • Gov. Bill Clinton of Arkansas (1990–1991)
  • Sen. John Breaux of Louisiana (1991–1993)
  • Rep. Dave McCurdy of Oklahoma (1993–1995)
  • Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut (1995–2001)
  • Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana (2001–2005)
  • Gov. Tom Vilsack of Iowa (2005–2007)
  • Fmr. Rep. Harold Ford of Tennessee (2007–2011)

In fact, Harold Ford also came out publicly last week to attack Obama for picking on the poor, weak and innocent private equity folks. Poor wealthy people! And of course, even Cory Booker came out to defend the wealthy from Obama’s attacks…he too has become entangled with and dependent on private equity to finance his city’s budget so when they snap their fingers, he leaps to their defense. Reminds me of the film Robocop where a struggling Detroit becomes dependent on a corporation to finance its budget and the corporation uses that leverage to essentially privatize the city, leaving the Mayor a helpless figurehead who must conform to the corporation’s will.

But why Bill, why isn’t the Man From Hope on the side of the 99% who have had their pensions stolen from them and jobs off shored by these hedge funds? Why would he be willing to praise Romney and attack Obama over the issue of the immorality of private capital? Chelsea, talk to your Dad, explain to him what OWS is all about and the danger that hedge funds pose to the majority of Americans…wait…I’m having a flashback to 2006…

Chelsea Clinton joins New York hedge fund

Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton has joined Avenue Capital Group, a $12 billion hedge fund manager whose founder has contributed to many Democratic Party campaigns, a person familiar with the matter said Friday.

Clinton, 26, the only child of former President Bill Clinton and U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, has taken a post at the New York-based fund manager in an undisclosed capacity, the source said.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15549672/ns/business-us_business/t/chelsea-clinton-joins-new-york-hedge-fund/#.T8jyW8XO-So

Whoa…now I’m totally having a flash forward from then to 2011…

Chelsea Clinton’s Husband Launching His Own Hedge Fund With “Two Guys From Goldman”

Chelsea Clinton’s hedge funder husband, Marc Mezvinsky, is reportedly close to launching his own firm after he quit 3G Capital last year and shacked up in Jackson Hole, the Daily News reports.

Mezvinsky has “decided to spearhead his own private [hedge] fund with two other guys,” one of his buddies said. It will apparently launch in the next few months. He’ll be setting up shop with “two guys from Goldman Sachs.”

http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-05-10/wall_street/30078364_1_chelsea-clinton-marc-mezvinsky-jackson-hole#ixzz1wYsHfolW

For Bill Clinton, blood and gold are apparently thicker than the welfare of the majority of Americans.

Bill Clinton is a talented speaker and politician. He is a smart strategist. But as he has evidenced again and again, he is not committed to Progressive values and places his gratification above what’s best for the nation. This is Bill Clinton though and that is reflected even today in his undermining of Obama to defend the image of the wealthy…throwing Obama under the train to protect those who are driven in limos. That is who Bill Clinton is. Recall the racial and vicious comments he made throughout the 2008 primary,  to the astonishment of most Democrats and the media? Yep, same guy. He feels just as entitled to what he wants as Romney does and can be just as single-minded and unethical about going after it.

During and after his Presidency, Bill Clinton has damaged his claim to moral authority. He is an inspiring speaker and though there are some questionable donors to his foundation, good work is done by it. He is not a bad person. He is however a devoted member of the top 1% and after this recent statement, he has made clear where his primary loyalties lie. And this is greatly disappointing though it has helped dissolved a bit of denial about the way things really are.

We have a much tougher fight on our hands to resist plutocracy when the GOP and a good part of the Democratic Party are on the side of corporate power and wealth. And despite her great work as Secretary of State, it does raise concerns about who Hillary Clinton would prioritize if she was to run for and win the Presidency in 2016 (would she attack her daughter and son-in-law’s livelihood and stand in public opposition to her husband? Wouldn’t it be more likely that she shares her husband’s friends and views of them?).

Greed and corporate class warfare have infected both of our political parties and many of our leaders. It may be too endemic to be cured and if that’s the case, it will need to be excised. One way or another, there will need to be a long term and powerful populist movement to break the grip of the wealthy and corporations on our society and political system and replace many of those in our government who are loyal to the wealthy, with those who will represent the people.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen this year. Instead, the theme of this year’s election seems to be fighting to fend off the coup de grace of plutocracy cementing itself over America. As upsetting as that is, it does give this generation a noble battle to be engaged in and great cause for enthusiasm in this fight.

Obama was right when he campaigned on this slogan in 2008, we have to accept that there is no cavalry coming over the hill to save us, it’s up to us, indeed, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

And now, it’s time to stop waiting, this year we need to come together and act.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

15 Responses so far.

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  1. jjgravitas says:

    Adlib, this is not an endorsement. This is Clinton talking about one single issue (Bain), and he has a right to speak his mind, even if he disagrees with the President. If you read the rest of his quotes you’ll see that Clinton still supports Obama and believes (as I do) that Obama’s proposals will be better for the country than Romney’s will. It would be unfortunate, but not surprising, if the repubs try to twist Clinton’s words into a Romney endorsement, and I have no doubt Clinton would object to it.

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/bill-clinton-criticizes-obama-bain-attacks-praises-romney-141022725.html

    • AdLib says:

      jjgravitas, on this one we’ll just have to agree to disagree. As the article above describes, Bill Clinton is and has been part of the DLC which is the wing of the Dems that are supporters and protectors of Wall Street and corporations.

      So, while I agree with you that he does support Obama, he also supports Wall Street and wealth. Nowadays, Clinton lives in that world, surrounded by the wealthiest people in the world, many of whom, including Donald Trump, are acclaimed friends and contributors to his foundation. His daughter and son-in-law are part of the hedge fund world, of course he supports them and hedge funds.

      Clinton isn’t endorsing Romney for President but he did explicitly endorse him as a successful businessman and governor, neither of which I agree with but then I would define success as something other than preying on others out of greed and ambition.

      A key problem with the Repubs and Baggers is that they can only think in a binary way, you’re with us or against us, you’re good or evil.

      I don’t look at Clinton that way, I think we can hold two different thoughts in our heads about Clinton without simplifying it into him being a bad person.

      I don’t think he is “bad”, I do think that he supports the Democratic Party and Obama as its leader though I also recognize that Clinton is part of and ensconced in the 1% and supports them too. He’s exhibited that repeatedly and the trouble comes when his supporting the 1% turns into ammunition for the RW against Obama, which it unquestionably was.

      Clinton is a conservative Democrat and always has been, he hasn’t changed. He’s not and never has been a Progressive and I do find it a negative when he comes out to support the wealthy and Wall Street but I don’t question his support for Obama and the Democratic Party.

  2. SueInCa says:

    I must admit when I first heard this I too was infuriated however after thinking about it,not so much anymore because I agree with Clinton that there is plenty more to attack than just Bain. His record as governor is dismal as is his record with the Olympics. Can anyone say taxpayers funds? His record all the way around is dismal and the attack should be well rounded.

    If I was able to go grab McCain’s scribid report on Romney then the Obama campaign can as well. It is chock full of things to go after him on and the best thing is the McCain campaign did the work. “according to the McCain vetting of Romney……….”

    • SallyT says:

      Sue, I think I am in agreement with you on this. There is so much to go after Romney on. I don’t want to spend any energy against someone that I know is for Obama and will vote for him. If I ruled out everyone that had a different opinion of some of the President actions or voiced their concerns on the campaign but you know they will vote for him, well, for sure the President won’t be re-elected. I have those same feelings on my husband at times and at times he lets me down but I still get in bed with him. My focus is on the other guys and making sure they are the losers!

    • AdLib says:

      Sue, no question that there is plenty to pursue Romney on but Clinton didn’t exactly say what you mentioned, though he did suggest going after Romney on other things, he clearly stated that Obama should not be criticizing hedge funds. Clinton lives in a world of hedge funds and elites as his friends and colleagues. These are his buddies and he is running a block against Obama for them.

      My point is this, Romney only has his time at Bain as the reason to vote for him. That’s it. He’s run away from his record as Governor. As smart strategists, Obama’s team knows that if you can expose his time at Bain as being that of a greed-driven, job-killing, heartless elitist, Romney has nothing to run on except lying about Obama which still isn’t enough if the alternative is disqualified as a decent human being.

      So, to protect his pals and associates, Clinton and other hedge-fund connected NE Dems are coming at Obama to say, “Leave my wealthy 1%er friends alone, find some other way to go after Romney.”

      I find it self-serving, selfish and undermining Obama’s campaign.

      I would doubt that the old McCain research or comparing the hypothetical Romney Presidency against Obama’s accomplishments this term would be as powerful in the campaign.

      Campaigning against greed, against the 1% who are trying to buy their own plutocracy and for the 99% who are being weakened every day is where the electricity in this year’s campaign is and Clinton needs to get out of the way of that argument because frankly, I don’t care about all his hedge fund buddies and no, I don’t see what they do as “good work”, neither do the millions of Americans out of work from their off shoring and raping of our economy.

      As you can tell, I’m really infuriated at having to watch Clinton play bodyguard for the hedge fund crowd (including Romney) while publicly reprimanding President Obama.

      Whatever positives some may see in Clinton’s saying this, I think we should be able to agree that it is not a positive for the last Dem President to be publicly rebuking the re-election campaign of the current Dem President.

      • SueInCa says:

        Adlib

        That is why Obama has to go after his record as governor. He needs to hit him hard on the erasure of his records before he left office. He needs to hit him hard on his lowering of taxes then raising fees to make it up. He needs to hit him on all the tricks he played as governor because he will use the same as president(and no when speaking of romney i do not capitalize). Using taxpayer money for the Olympics, using taxpayer funds to bail out a pension fund while at Bain. Those are the damaging things Obama should be hitting him on. Make the right justify those actions the whole time they are screaming less government. Then hit them with less government posturing. Oh if only you and I were calling those shots lol

        I personally think he should also hit him on his close relationship with Bibi and the influence the two had on each other in their respective fields of endeavor. It is not a pretty story. And Ambassador Oren and Bibi took great pains to try to squash the story from the times. They could not so they got another story in the American Thinker to try to posit the NYT story as conspiracy theory bullshit.

        http://godsownparty.com/blog/2012/04/mitt-palling-around-with-bibi-a-dangerous-international-friendship/

        http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/04/ny_times_weaves_a_netanyahu-romney_conspiracy_tale.html

  3. This is classic Bill Clinton political wrangling. He is not condemning Obama, not at all. He is merely suggesting another line of attack that won’t alienate independents. Look at these two paragraphs from the Yahoo article;

    Instead, the former president argued that the Obama campaign should turn its focus to the “real issue” of what Romney will do as president and how it stacks up against Obama’s record. He told CNN that he believes Obama will win re-election when that comparison is made.
    “The Obama proposals and the Obama record will be far better for the American economy and most Americans than those that Gov. Romney has laid out,” Clinton said. “And that’s what the election ought to be about.”

    This is how Bill Clinton operates. And in high level politics, everyone is an “operator.” I have no doubt that Bill Clinto will vote for Obama and place his support solidly behind Obama.

    We can’t have knee jerk reactions to everything that is said about Romney. Sure, he is a scum bag and a souless machine, but the Bain issue is only one line of attack, when there are so many more, like Clinton suggested.

    I also can’t overlook Bill Clinton’s Global Initiative. An ex-president that is actually engaged in helping to make the world a better place. What is Bush doing? Nothing, absolutely nothing. Jimmy Carter is the only other ex-president that is still woking to make the world a better place.

    I don’t see this as very big issue at all.

    • choicelady says:

      What Romney did as a venture capitalist was use the WORST tools of the deregulated environment to gut companies, put people out of work. Clinton should have said that -- there is a difference between smart investing and greedy gutting. Bain and therefore Romney have a lousy track record of the latter, and that is ALL the steel ad talked about. It did not hit Bain for its investment practice -- it hit the practice of stripping assets which is, by the way, illegal though rarely prosecuted.

      By doing what he did, Clinton gives a pass to vulture capitalism including Romney. It deserves to be called out for its lack of precision that makes it appear Obama did something wrong. He did NOT.

    • AdLib says:

      KT, we’re of two minds on this but I appreciate your POV.

      IMO, this is classic Bill Clinton oblivious ego flogging. I do think it matters when Bill Clinton decides to hammer Obama on taking on the plutocrats and praises Romney for being one.

      The Yahoo article and spin on this is quite weak. Is not a central premise of what makes an Obama Presidency different from a Romney Presidency, Romney’s celebration of and support for the interests of the plutocrats?

      I would argue that this is the main difference between their mindsets and what they would do. And on this central issue, Bill Clinton has attacked Obama and endorsed Romney. It is really messed up.

      I also would disagree that focusing solely on the complexities of arguing what Obama’s accomplishments in office have been while fending off the lies and distortions from Romney and the GOP is a smart way for Obama to proceed. As much as Obama might want to create a contrast between what he has done and will do as President and what Romney would do, it’s more likely that the campaign would boil down just to what Obama has done and if it is a referendum election instead of a choice election, Obama loses.

      Did Bill’s comments during Hillary’s primary campaign help her get elected or harm her campaign? He is not the genius he would like to think he is, those days are behind him.

      What it may very likely come down to in the election booth on that Tuesday in November for the indies who will decide this race, is whether they like and trust Obama more than they do Romney.

      That is why I think that absolutely, Obama should go after Romney and Bain and make it clear to the public that this guy only cares about making the wealthy wealthier at the expense of the majority. That Romney has no core convictions or values, that he is unprincipled and greedy.

      I do agree that at the same time, Obama should present his vision for his second term, an ambitious road map for where he would want to take the country. He should be positive and constructive.

      At the same time, for Clinton to put an “Out of Bounds” sign on the immorality of the plutocrats (many of whom including Donald Trump, donate to his foundation) is outrageous and not high level politics at all. It’s protection of those who are part of his circle.

  4. choicelady says:

    I’m speechless. I’m also nauseated. I cannot believe that Clinton cannot see the difference between investment capitalists who build things and those who gut them for the sweet rake-offs they personally can obtain.

    Well, what would you expect from a president who threw Labor under the bus in every policy he made and with his disgusting wimp of a Labor Secretary who did the same -- and still is.

    Maybe I’m NOT speechless! This is despicable! Clinton just lost the last shred of credibility he ever had and the very last shred of my respect for him.

    • AdLib says:

      CL -- I’m disappointed but not hugely surprised. This was the same Bill Clinton I did not like as President for the same reasons, he was Republican-Lite and helped accomplish many of their goals.

      Including profoundly destroying the unions.

      And giving banks free reign to gamble their holdings on derivatives and Wall Street…while still having deposits insured by the government.

      I have kept trying to forgive and forget with Bill…I mean, if it wasn’t for his affair with Lewinsky, Gore would have been President and we would never have had an Iraq War or possibly, the economic crash of 2008 and the current recession.

      This is the last straw for me, if he can choose Romney and hedge funds over Obama and the 99% at this moment in history, I give up on trying to forget how self-serving and self-centered he is.

      • choicelady says:

        WEll to be fair (with teeth gritted) Gore DID win the popular vote, so Lewinsky did not become the obstacle we feared.

        All the rest is absolutely true. What scares me is whether he will influence voting outcomes.

        Between this and Murph’s observations, this is a very down day!

        • AdLib says:

          CL -- Indeed, Al Gore won the popular vote AND the vote in FL which the anti-democratic five on the SCOTUS overrode.

          Still, had Clinton not hammered down the positives over the economy and continuation of it through Gore by having that affair and lying about it (though that is not a legit reason to have impeached him), Gore would have won by too big of a margin to have been stolen away from him.

          I too am concerned that he could be sending negative messages to conservative Dems by saying such things…but it’s all about Bill, he knows better than everyone, just ask Monica.

          • nabsentia23 says:

            “Still, had Clinton not hammered down the positives over the economy and continuation of it through Gore by having that affair and lying about it (though that is not a legit reason to have impeached him), Gore would have won by too big of a margin to have been stolen away from him.”

            To me, this sums up Bill Clinton’s ultimate weakness. I actually like Clinton. I like him a lot, but this is how the GOP had him by the cahones despite him surviving impeachment. It didn’t just hurt Gore (who I still think should have had Clinton campaign with him despite the Lewinsky affair), but it also harmed Glass-Steagall. So much of his political capital had used up by this affair that if he had wanted to take on more liberal intiatives in his second term, he could not.

            As for his criticizing the Bain attacks by the Obama campaign, he’s dead wrong. Hello, Bill! This is actually a part of your suggestion that we attack Romney as the “severe conservative.” The last time I checked, severe conservatives support vulture capitalism because they foolishly think that profits automatically equals job creation.

            Besides, Clinton of all people should know that Romney’s use of his record at Bain Capital (regardless of its end results) to say he’s qualfied to be POTUS is totally BS. A businessperson doesn’t have the same function as an elected official. Business and government overlap and depend on one other, but they do not have the same goals.

            So, Bill if you are upset with Obama attacking Romney’s record at Bain -- then why don’t you tell Romney to stop using it as a qualification for President? It was Romney, not Obama who brought it up and we aren’t suppose to attack it? Bill, I love you, man, but you really need to get ego in check. Honestly!

            • AdLib says:

              nabsentia23, the thing about Bill Clinton that people overlook is that he never was nor claimed to be Progressive. He’s always been a conservative, only worked in the WH to support corporations and wealth.

              His daughter worked for hedge funds, his son-in-law owns a hedge fund, hedge funds donate to his foundation. So, to be frank, what’s good for him and his family is what matters most to him, not what’s best for the majority. It’s understandable but not ideal.

              This expression by him isn’t surprising on its own but to present it as part of a compliment of Romney and a condemnation of Obama is inexcusable.


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