Friday, February 1, 2008

Bill as First Spouse

Let me first say that I have always been a big fan of Bill Clinton. I've always thought of him, affectionaltely, as our first Black President.

Until recently, my biggest beef with Bill Clinton is that he didn't tell the Supreme Court to go, ummm..., enjoy themselves, when they commanded him to give depositions in the Paula Jones case. I would have loved to hear him say "this is a civil case that can be heard after I am finished being President of the United States of America, and if you have a problem with that, you can lock me up for being in contempt of court." But that's a whole nuther blog.

I'm also a realist in that I understand that when an amazingly talented individual like Bill Clinton, goes into Public Service, they are going to get rich. That's supposed to happen AFTER the public service is over. And that's OK.

So Bill Clinton presents a unique problem. His career as an elected official is over. And by all accounts, he is working his former presidency pretty well, and getting very wealthy in the process. Nothing to be ashamed of really. So he makes a few calls, he connects some people and facilitates some deals, he gets paid. That's how it works.

But what happens when the deals that he facilitates are not so good for the country? What happens if, for his personal gain, he cozies up to the head of state of a country that is such an abuser of human rights and that even our current government has qualms about it?

Now I hear you saying, "our Bill wouldn't do such a thing, he's a man of the people." Read this article in the New York Times (which endorsed Hillary by the way) that details how Bill Clinton bestowed some of his positive PR on the government of Kazakhstan to help a friend land a very lucrative Uranium mining deal. And yes, that friend later gave Bill's foundation over $30 million.

Scarier still is that Bill maintains that he will continue to raise money for his foundation if Hillary is elected president.

There's a reason why we have a two term limit, and this is it. Entrenched power is a corrupting influence. It always has been and always will be. And you can't give money to one spouse without also giving it to the other. Bill Clinton as First Spouse would be a very bad idea. It gives the 'vast right wing conspiracy' more ability to continue their shenangins. It gives shadowy special interests a huge, but secret, back door to the white house. It means more gridlock creating scandal.

It's time for change. You can't create change with more of the same old politics, the same old politicians, and more of the same old 'wink and nudge behind closed doors' games.

We need new leadership. And we need it now. Please vote on Tuesday!

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