Picks of the LitterBy Bryant Lewis and Joel Corbin
This is the second of a two-part series. Last time we chose the worst aspects of Clinton as President. This time, we're choosing the best. (To view the previous column, click here.)
Our pick for the best aspect of the Clinton Presidency:
The Republican CongressWhen Bill Clinton won the presidency in 1992, many thought the GOP had been dealt a terrible blow. After 12 years of Reagan-Bush conservatism, did America really want a liberal like Bill Clinton? That question was answered two years later with a resounding "NO!" The Republican victory in the midterm elections was the result of the efforts of many Republicans, but the person most responsible was Bill Clinton. The turnaround of Capitol Hill has been the best aspect of the Clinton Presidency.
Despite claiming to be a "New Democrat" in 1992, Bill Clinton showed his true colors once elected. The American people found that the campaign promise of tax cuts really meant raising taxes. A large percentage of the population opposed gays in the military, but Clinton pushed for it. Clinton talked about having the most ethical administration in history, but delivered scandal after scandal.
This kind of arrogance angered voters, and they responded by tossing out the Democratic Congressional majority. Even long-term incumbents like Tom Foley were defeated by often unknown challengers. Voters had had enough of Bill Clinton, and they fought back, defeating him in effigy by voting out his party.
Although many Republicans were worried after the defeat of George Bush in 1992, it was almost neccessary to elect Bill Clinton, because it doesn't seem likely that the GOP could get a majority with a Republican in the white house. Even a president as popular as Ronald Reagan couldn't get a majority in both houses, and his Senate majority disappeared partway through his eight years in office. Therefore, a Republican majority wasn't going to be delivered by Republicans, it had to be delivered by a Democrat.
Despite the brilliant idea of the "Contract With America," voters were not as influenced by the GOP's proposals as they were by a desire to see Bill Clinton and his policies stopped. The Republican party owes more to Bill Clinton for the majority than it does to any republican candidate or idea. Americans citizens wanted Bill Clinton stopped, and the only way they knew how was to elect a Republican Congress who would fight his policies and stand against him. This rejection by voters ushered in the best aspect of the Clinton Presidency, a Republican majority in Congress.
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