Barack Obama’s manifest failures as president made him so desperate that he was willing to risk being upstaged at the Democrat’s National Convention (DNC) by a man he soundly dislikes: former President Bill Clinton. For Bill Clinton, the feeling is mutual—Barack Obama is certainly not at the top of his Christmas list. It shows how bad things have become for the American left when the poster boy for the Democrat Party is Bill Clinton, a man who proved to be an amoral womanizer and chronic liar during his two terms as president, and a man whose behavior sullied the dignity of the most prestigious office in the world.
Predictably, Bill Clinton has profited from the fact that Americans have short memories. We forget easily and fast. Consequently, Bill Clinton’s character flaws are now overlooked by much of the American public because he had the good fortune to inherit a wave of economic growth and prosperity and ride its crest throughout his eight years in office. Now that memories have faded, Clinton has the temerity to claim that America’s economic good fortune during his administration was all his doing. The phenomenon is called selective memory. Someone needs to explain the difference between executive talent and fortunate timing to the former president. But that is a subject for another column at another time. This column deals with the fact that the man who was able to look directly into the camera and say “I did not have sex with that woman” has not lost his touch. He can still utter distortions and twist facts with the sincerity of a trusted grandfather.
At the DNC Bill Clinton—a man whose ambition to see Mrs. Clinton elected president coupled with his insatiable appetite for the limelight were his real motivations—gave the obligatory speech in support of a man he cannot stand to be in the same room with: Barack Obama. Clinton’s speech was articulate, comprehensive, and entertaining. It was also in another galaxy when it comes to factual accuracy. For those who know the truth as opposed to the distorted version of it Bill Clinton laid out in his speech, it was apparent that the former president has not lost the ability to look straight into the camera and distort the facts without blinking an eye. Further, he can still do this with sappy sincerity and polished persuasiveness.
The worldwide web is full of articles that analyze Clinton’s speech line-by-line, noting the inaccuracies and distortions in it. Consequently, I will focus here on just one issue: unemployment. Bill Clinton actually had the gall to tell Americans—23 million of whom spend their days standing in the unemployment line with little or no hope of finding a job—that they are better off now than they were when Barack Obama took office or, in other words, back when they had jobs. I suppose that if you are going to lie on national television, you might as well tell a whopper.
Here is the truth about unemployment. Clinton talked about the “private sector” jobs that have been created during the Obama administration, but he conveniently avoided any discussion of the public sector. Why? Because during Obama’s presidency state and local government agencies have lost so much in tax revenue due to the recession that they have had to lay off hundreds of thousands of state and municipal workers. According to the Associated Press, “Even counting the gains of the past 2 ½ years, the economy still has 4.7 million fewer jobs than it did in December, 2007.” But, according to Bill Clinton, Americans are better off. This is an example of his now famous “Clinton math,” a type of math that does not add up.
Clinton also conveniently avoided any discussion of the underemployed in America and the fact that the jobs that have been added to the economy during the Obama administration are typically minimum-wages jobs. This means that hundreds of thousands of people who were employed in high-value, high-wage jobs are now working for minimum wage. Again, according to the Associated Press, “When you add up those groups, plus the unemployed, you end up with 23.5 million. That produces an ‘under-employment’ rate of 15 percent.” Sorry Bill. I feel your pain, but I still can’t believe a word you say.