Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Bill Clinton is typically described as the empathetic, feel-your-pain guy. But his greatest political skill may be as a formulator of arguments — the explainer in chief.

And it’s no accident that the former president’s role in this year’s Democratic convention is very nearly as important as President Obama’s. What’s most striking about this conclave is that it bids to be a three-day tutorial session aimed at aggressively defending a view of government and the economy for which, over most of the last 40 years, Democrats have usually apologized.

It’s ironic that the 42nd president plays the co-professor with Obama in this advanced government class, for Clinton is associated with a determined effort to distance his party from its past. When Clinton pronounced in 1996 that “the era of big government is over,” it was taken as a concession to the new conservatism that swept to control of Congress just over a year earlier.

But Clinton’s rhetorical move was more tactical than fundamental. He never stopped believing in the power of government. And now that Republicans are putting forward the most emphatically pro-business, anti-government agenda on offer since the Gilded Age, he and his fellow Democrats now feel an urgency to assert the state’s positive role. The economic market, they insist, cannot deliver what the nation needs all by itself.

Thus, one of the most applauded lines of the convention’s first night came from Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts. “It’s time for Democrats to grow a backbone,” Patrick proclaimed, “and stand up for what we believe.” Rarely has a party so fully embraced a declaration that implied its own past spinelessness. Speaker after speaker answered Patrick’s call.

While Michelle Obama’s speech, the performance of her life, was apolitical on the surface, it regularly came back to arguing, subtly and implicitly, that hardworking Americans who start out on the social ladder’s lower rungs can be assisted in their struggles by the empowering hand of government.

In his keynote address, Mayor Julian Castro of San Antonio was explicit about this: “We know that you can’t be pro-business unless you’re pro-education,” he said. “We know that pre-K and student loans aren’t charity.” Over and over, government was presented not as an officious intermeddler in people’s lives but as an ally of families determined to help their children to rise.

  • Bill certainly still has it…whatever it is. A masterful takedown of the lies and disinformation that has been pushed on the American public by the obstructionist these past few years. Bill laid it out for middle America. They have a choice to make and it is coming in November. Certainly Bill’s opus this evening was one of the best political speeches in our nations history. Will it be enough to convince those who might still be sitting on the fence? We will soon see. I can hardly wait to see what kind of bounce Obama campaign receives after the convention. The GOP bounce was not much. Somehow I think the Democratic bounce will be a bit higher. We will see.

  • middleclasstaxpayer

    LIBERAL FOLLIES: There is NO God & NO Jerusalem.Wait, we need to win bible-belt votes. OK, we’ll say ther is a God now, then take it back after Nov 6. Isn’t that flip-flopping? No, we’ll just say our thinking has “evolved.” What about Jerusalem? Oh boy, we really need those 78% of Jews to vote us back in. OK, Jerusalem IS the capitol of Israel (for NOW). After Nov 6, we’ll “reconsider” and go back to the way things really are (in our minds). What about the Palestinians & Iranians? No problem, we’ll just make a “secret deal” with them like we did with the Russians. Problems solved…Go Obama!

    • MRD1056

      How many Rush Lindork shirts do you have stupid! Wow you are dumber that Obozo!! Get a life “moron” maybe even pick up some information to read and you might educate yourself if you are capable!!!

      • middleclasstaxpayer

        Your “intelligent” response NEVER addressed the OBVIOUS contradictions in your parties “platform”….liberals can’t even agree among themselves what to “stand for” so they try pandering to whomever OR whatever is current. Your response is an excellent example of the “intelligence level” of those in your group. No wonder the US has moved backwards with folks like you leading us. LOL!

    • awakenaustin

      These ideas just bounce around inside your head, don’t they. If the facts on the ground don’t fit, just make some up that are consistent with your misbelief. I hear all these wing-nut descriptions of what liberals think and how they act and find not a single example in any of the liberals I know. The liberals in your mind are delusions you have conjured up out of thin air. They are bogeymen you try to frighten people with. Your post is just nonsensical ranting, untethered to any semblence of reality.
      Of course when one such as you has nothing to offer, that is what they offer.

      • middleclasstaxpayer

        Excuse me, but it was YOUR party who FLIP-FLOPPED on God and Jerusalem last night…..on Tuesday, there WAS NO God in your “platform”, nor was the capitol of Israel Jerusalem. Then a light bulb went off and someone realized both God & Jerusalem need to be recognized. I didn’t make this up…it IS what JUST occurred.
        Wake up and listen to the “wizards” in your own group!

        • awakenaustin

          God is God and he/she (if God has a sexual identity and really how would one know) can take care of his or herself. The existence of God is not dependent on being recognized in a political platform. Did God speak to you and tell you his/her feelings were hurt? Was God supposed to be in the platform? I thought God was with us all the time and didn’t need an invitation to attend. I didn’t see God at the Republican Convention. Maybe God turned down their invitation.

          News flash! People talk about God all the time primarily to let you know they think they are morally superior to you or maybe to suggest they have some special grace from God or maybe to suggest to you they know what God is thinking or to suggest that God likes them more cause they mention God all the time.
          I have a question. If it is impossible to actually know God and actually understand God and actually know God’s purpose (the whole works in mysterious ways thing), as I am so often instructed, how do Republicans know what God is thinking? Do you know what God is thinking? Does God have a position on Republicans versus Democrats? Frankly, I think a lot of the God business in both parties is pandering, but hey that is just me.

          I think God must love Democrats, because, just like poor people, God made so many of them.

          So right there on TV someone said OMG we left God and Jerusalem out of the platform what will they think. Let’s put them in. Really. I missed it. Point me to the spot.

        • Landsende

          You should be used to flip flops since Mitt Romney has done so many he doesn’t know which way is up. At least the democrats are willing to be inclusive in their thinking unlike the teathuglicans who are not willing to compromise on anything. It’s their way or the highway. That’s why congress has the lowest ratings in history and why for the first time in history America’s credit rating was downgraded which they said was because of the teathuglicans unwillingness to compromise.

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            America’s downgrade came after the liberals held BOTH houses of congress in their control for TWO YEARS, and could push thru ANYTHING they wanted, like Obamacare? But NO progress on JOBS, ECONOMY? How can we explain that??

          • Landsende

            Wrong. The teathuglicans were in control of the house when the credit rating was downgraded. Instead of losing 750,000 jobs per month under Bush the jobs numbers are over 200,000 per month and the Dow is over 13,000, manufacturing and housing starts are up despite teathuglicans efforts to stymie the recovery. How can you explain that?

    • Why do you zealots have to see God’s name in print? God should be in your heart and always with you whether you see his name in print or hear his name. You want Religion than go to Church and have your spiritual leaders pass on God’s teachings from the pulpit. Although, considering all the hate, anger, race baiting and bigotry coming from the Republicans, I would say the religious leaders are NOT doing their jobs.
      “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Republicans you cannot legislate Religion, your belief may not be my belief and the Constitution protects my right to have a different belief.

      • middleclasstaxpayer

        You are directing your “complaint” to the wrong party….try explaining your concern to the liberal “wizards” who made the switch last night.

    • PhysicsCarlsh

      If using God’s name in vain were not so serious I would make correspondingly flippant comments. You do not have to read very much of the New Testament to understand that the politics of Jesus are not right wing. Go ahead and just read Matthew.

      • middleclasstaxpayer

        With all respect, I was not making flippant comments, nor suggesting which direction we should head in. I was only pointing out the odd flip-flopping of liberals over a two day period. And asking: If liberals can’t agree on these (to some or many) small things, how on earth are they going to agree on the Big things that affect us all? Social Security, Unemployment, Jobs, Healthcare? Homeland security. Their pandering will of course end after the election, but when they finally have nothing to lose, what direction will we go in, and how much (actually how LITTLE) will they heed our wishes for continuing to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave??? It’s a fair question that no one is asking???

    • howa4x

      Talk about advocating against you own intrests, you take the cake. You think the republican Romney hasn’t changed to appeal to voters. Oh wait a minute I’m the governor of Massachuttes and its a liberal state so I have to be a progressive, and I will be gay friendly and not opposed to marriage, pro choice, concerned about climate change and a strong supporter of enviornmental protection, and will enact sweeping health care reform and call it Romneycare, and be very proud of it in my run against Ted Kennedy. But wait: Now my party has turned more conservative, so I have to be severely conservative, and come out and say my health care plan was only good for mass. and not anyone else, and will criticize Obama for enacting the same legislation even though I suggested it be done nationally. Now I’m against gay marriage, and believe climate change is a hoax, I’m pro life and will repeal Roe/Wade as my first act. I will roll back enviormental rules to help business make more porfits for investors. I won’t release my taxes because it is my busines and no one elses, even thought I have money parked in Switzerland, the Caymans and I started a company in Bermuda, but I’m for a stronger America economically. I will give bigger tax cuts to the rich and pump more money into the military since its weak( we spend more than all the countries in the world combined) and threaten war with Iran and call Russia our biggest enemy even though they are a trading partner of Europe. I’m against the pull out of Afganistan and people in my party think we should act militarly in Syria. I will tell the Israelis that we will back them if they strike Iran even though all the intelligence agencies there think its crazy to do. I won’t say where the money for all this will come from but think I can close a few loop holes but you have to trust me on that and won’t say which ones till after Nov 6th. I want to cut capital gains tax again since all my friends on Wall st want this. Maybe I’ll close the mortgage deductions for the middle class, cut loan assistance for college kids, eleminate Pell grants for lower income students to go to college and better themsleves, and cancel funding for head start. That should help me get those tax cuts I promised the Koch bros I would get for them, but wait I’m rolling back clean air and water protection for them, man are they greedy! I know I will repeal Obamacare and let market market deal with the 34 million without insurance. It’s a state problem anyway. Oh I know to keep profits high the insurance companies will start charging the 129 million people with pre existing conditions more money, and a lot will be dropped but we can’t have the nanny state solve this. Profits come 1st, that’s my motto. Oh I need to cut medicaid too and yes I know most of the money is not spent on poor families, but goes to seniors in nursing homes but hey everyone has tro sacrifice. Those greedy seniors have to give up some benefits from medicare too. In my mind America is the strongest when we have a wealthy few control everything.
      Well mr middle class taxpayer are you ready for a damaged enviornment, a ruling class that can fire you on a whim, your deductions dissapearing, college becoming out of reach for your kids, and if you get fired no health care for you. Is this the world that is good for your family?

      • middleclasstaxpayer

        That’s a lot to consider, but on whole I’d say that I’d rather live in the USA of my ancestors where we are all free to be the best we can be. Mr Obama has grown up around Communits influences, from his proferrors, his mentors, his friends (Bill Ayres the unrepentant bomber comes to mind) and even his 20 year pastor who proclaimed God D’nm America. Obama appears to believe we have oppressed smaller nations, especially in the Arab Middle East, and he apparently wants to “level teh playing field” so we are all equal. And reduce our nuclear arms to less than even smaller countries. A recipe for disaster. Good luck, comrade!

        • howa4x

          You must be a tea-aliban. I’m 6th generation here so this is my home too. The 60s had a lot of different influences on young people I know since I lived through them, and won’t hold Obama accountable for something he did in his 20’s. That’s irrelevent. Do you want to hold Romney accountable for forceably holding someone down and cutting his hair? Jerry Falwell said on the night that the planes hit the two towers in NYC, that NY deserved it because of all the homosexuals and this was gods will, or how about all those white preachers down south that used to preach for segragation. Or the Clan that had the sign of the cross and went around hanging people? Reverand Wright was a jerk but not everyone can control what their preacher says. Obama didn’t write the sermon, just like you didn’t write Falwells. Some of my concerns are how the Rich shipped 2.9 million jobs out of the country during the Bush tax cut. These were Middle class jobs. Why aren’t you the middleclass taxpayer concerned with that? Now they want another tax cut without telling what they will do with the money. Mitt Romney took his tax cut and didn’t create any jobs, rather stashed it in Switzerland, the caymans and Bermuda. He is worth 250 million. Isn’t that Unamerican? Channey was CEO of Haliburton prior to becomming VP. During the Afgan/Iraq war they got a no bid 6 billion dollar contract to supply the military,then as soon as Obama won, moved their headquarters to Dubai to avoid taxes and an investigation. In fact there is an estimated 21 trillion stashed by those we gave the tax cut to overseas. Are they Un american? shouldn’t everyone pay their taxes? do you?
          That is more than our deficit. What evidence do you have that Obama is a communist except what you heard on Fox? Do you know that it was a Republican hero Reagan that started the nuclear arms reduction treaty, also signed by Carter, Bush I, Clinton and
          Bush II. Counting the MIRVS we had 35,000 warheads. Don’t you think that is a bit much? We need less than 100 to destroy any country since they are 100x more powerful than Hiroshima. So we have a lot of questions. Do we build more tanks or fix our crumbling infastructure? 1 fighter jet cost over 1 billlion. Who are we fighting? Do we do away with Pell grants to get lower income people to college, and be productive taxpayers or do you want them on welfare?This country prospered the most under Bill Clinton, and he raised taxes. The highest range was 39% and now it’s 13%. Just before the financial collaspe middle class wages were flat with inflation, and not many new jobs were created. the upper 1%’s wealth went up 256%, and instead of jobs being created, they opened a gambling casino on wall st and crashed our economy. You want to reward them for that? Give them more tax cuts? Ruining the enviornment will hurt our children. We already have enough sick kids, do you want more? You are brainwashed to think climate change is a hoax so let me ask you, show me one the place in the world where a Glacier is growing? Just one! We had 26 states under severe drought, and 5 on fire. What’s it going to take to get you to see that?
          So they call Obama names and give him labels and all around you the world is changing. You believe the names , but what are your kids going to do when their lives are worse than yours. Ya think they want to hear that you could have done something to help protect them, but you choose to believe the lies that people are paid millions to tell you. Is that What you want?

          You are betting their future that the republican politicians are right and 5000 scientists are wrong. Good luck buddy

  • If I had to choose which convention to attend, I’d certainly choose the DNC. It is rocking with great speakers, excited people, apple pie and Americans.

  • dianebkht

    Using the Convention as an educational event is the best thing Democrats could ever do. People are not informed well enough on President Obama’s accomplishments. Many young and old do not know what is at stake. Former President Clinton, Warren, and others were excellent at educating audience! Proud of all! Obama 2012

    • DNC=TRUTH While RNC =FAILED!!!! RNC Only Talked To The Rich White People Just Look At The People Who Attended!! While DNC Talked To All The American People Did You See The Rainbow Of Color From Every Walk Of Life Here In America!!!

  • Domocrats are full of hog dung. They are the true big liars and backstabbers. They give tax payer money to the lazy bums to buy their votes.

    • MRD1056

      Wow! How long did it take you to come up with this genius statement! Your comments are so full of factual statements I bet you were up all night researching your amazing comments!!!! Thank you for your in depth comment.
      I usually don’t respond to idiots but this one made me laugh. Your a moron!

      • sn77339

        You have to remember that poor Walter still lives with his Mom and only graduated from 8th grade. He just isn’t equipped to talk with the big kids.

  • tax payer

    He ( Our Master ) had to come out with the word Pre-K in his puppet speech. We don’t expect it to pass because only certain students qualify ( low income and the children of illegals ). When our country votes for a President they vote for him and not for the wife to go, and represent him in other countries at tax payers expense because their job is to make sure the President has clean underwear and that’s it.

    • Landsende

      Tax payer,
      President’s wives have always represented the United States in other countries. Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Bush, Jackie Kennedy, and Laura Bush made trips to other countries representing the United States just as Ann Romney will be expected to if Romney wins. Your comment that her job is to make sure the president has clean underwear was sexist and demeaning. Maybe you don’t have enough smarts to know when to change your underwear but most men do. If you’re married I pity your wife if you think that’s all she’s good for. Maybe she’ll wake up and divorce your sorry butt.

  • mayor castro is soooo correct. Our family inheritance is for OUR families gain… ask the democrat why HIS party TAXES inheritance to death. He is either a hypocrite, or truly a Republican. GOD bless America !

  • ObozoMustGo

    Education from DemoncRATS??? Who the hell are you kidding EJ? Once again, EJ Dionne is THE useful idiot du jour. Do you mean an education in socialism? The only education that DemoncRATS can give is on Marxism and collectivist philosophies.

    For anyone that really wants an education on what DemoncRATS think, I have a great video clip for you to see. A perfect demonstration of DemoncRAT thinking. The delegates at the convention are being interviewed about being “pro-choice”. These are your representatives, buddy. Less than 4 minutes. Check it out. There is no www and just replace “dot” with a period.

    reason dot com/archives/2012/09/05/how-pro-choice-are-democrats

    Have a nice day!

    “Fathom the hypocrisy of a political party that has a convention focused on abortion, contraception, and so-called women’s rights, AND has as their big speaker and hero an admitted sexual harasser and accused rapist that was impeached for lying in a court of law about it.” – ObozoMustGo

    • bobbreinig

      i see a lot of words but as long as that name heads them up i never read it ,, will you ever learn with that name no one cares what you say ,, cause your just showing your ignorance

    • Dave_dido

      So, tell me, what is Mitt Romney, “pro-choice” or “pro-life”. It’s one thing for delegates to waiver as many of them are just political hacks with no in-depth understanding of the issues. But it’s quite another thing when your top candidate waivers and just tells his blind followers whatever they want to hear.

      • ObozoMustGo

        Dave… when I was in college, I was pro-choice. Then I got married, saw my first child on the ultrasound and realized that he was as much of a person as I was, except he was innocent and defenseless. When he was born, it was a miracle to be a part of. From that moment, I have been staunchly pro-life with only reserved acceptance of the rape and incest exceptions, and even then I’m not sure that the baby deserves the death sentence for the sins of it’s mother/father. But I can see the other side on that one, too.

        As far as Romney is concerned, he is pro-life today and I am OK with his change of position on this matter, regardless of why it is. We all have our own path in life. Even OK with Obozo’s switch on so-called gay marriage. I take them at their word on these issues of conscience, but I do point out his flip flop on this matter and others as more of an indictment of the hypocrisy of his supporters to be so concerned with Romney’s flip flops, and ignore Obozo’s.

        Have a nice weekend, Dave!

        “A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.” – Thomas Jefferson

        • Dave_dido

          The pro-life position involves more than just abortion. It includes capital punishment, euthanasia and treatment of the elderly, human rights issues and so much more. Many people who think they are pro-life are really anti-abortion and not pro-life. Mitt Romney is neither. He says he’s pro-life just to appease his voter base. As with many issues, Mitt likes to leave the back door open. He says he is OK with abortion when the health of the mother is in danger. I don’t fault him for that position, but it is not a pro-life position, nor is it an anti-abortion position, the health of the mother being a very subjective thing. Mitt should show a little backbone once in a while and make some tough decisions. I don’t want a Walter Mitty for President. Barack Obama supported gay marriage even though a large segment of African Americans do not support gay marriage. Whether you agree or disagree with him, at least he took a stand. Barack Obama has more guts in his pinky than Mittsy has in his whole body.What kind of guts does it take to speak out boldly for millionaires?

          • ObozoMustGo

            Dave… if Obozo’s flip flop on so-called “gay marriage” is what you call guts, the only way Obozo has any guts in his fingers is if he has his hand up is a$$!

            Have a nice day!

            “If this were a few years earlier, he’d be carrying our luggage” – Bill Clinton to Ted Kennedy discussing Obozo – 2008 primary

  • After 25 years in finance, I understand Republicans pretty well. They bank off shore because they deal in black markets — period. The interesting thing is that they never want to fess up to their mistakes, particularly the mortgage crisis that crippled our largest institutions. The KOCH Brothers are great traders, business people but allegedly the pits to work for…Racist… Romney grandfather had ten or more wives.. His father was jewel and I bet you bones to bottom he never understood his child..That why he did not go to Michigan. So we got a real disfunctional group trying to call the kettle black. Figuratively and personally.

  • desertdustoff

    Clinton was absolutely amazing last night. I am a retired teacher of 37 years and a retired military instructor of 25 years and as I listened to Professor Clinton, I was amazed at how excellent a teacher he really is…I would have loved to have had profs explain material the way he did. He shot down every falsehood of the repugnican, American taliban party with proof and with humor. His 48 minutes provided the shot in the arm that the Democratic party needed. It also revealed how big a liar the rethuglicans have been, and without using the term “LIAR”, which we all know the talibangelical, gop (greedy ol’ pedophiles), tea baggin’ (kkk) has become. Their clown convention set forth nothing but a series of lies after lies after lies, led by their king and queen of lies, nit wit mitler and “if his lips are movin'” lyin ryan’. Throw in their bully tactics and their complete disregard for the middle class, and we have the party of greed, the fun dumb a mental, anti-middle class republiskunk party with their brainwashed women who allow their “lord” husbands to legislate their bodies, tell them how to think, and tell them how to vote. Sounds like the taliban to me…burkas, ladies?


    • CAThinker

      Well done and creative – I think you went through the whole gamut of GOP euphemisms… Reminds me of that old sociological exercise – “how many different words for ‘penis’ can you name?” We really should compile a list… I’m particular to “Talipublicans” myself…

  • desertdustoff

    walter williams, MRD 1056 is right…you are a moron. Try thinking for yourself once in a while why “doncha'” ?

  • Melvin Chatman

    Fellow Texans, SEE our next GOVERNOR!
    I really think he could name at least 5 Governmental Departments on National TV and the rest of the Country wouldn’t think Texans are all DUMB!

    • CAThinker

      Well, we Californians don’t think ALL Texans are dumb… Usually just the loud ones… And now in this case, not ALL loud ones (Castro)…

  • As a Democrat, and an Obama supporter, I hate to admit this but I believe that after 3.5 years of being unable to explain the benefits and rationale for most of the policies we have put in place Democratic strategists concluded it was time to bring in the big guns and let people who can convey a message in a way that is understandable to those whose intellectual acumen is at a middle school level.
    President Obama is, without a doubt, a man of integrity, intelligent, committed and very eloquent. Unfortunately he is too honest, at times naive, and has a tendency to present his arguments at a level that would be welcome and effective in the halls of Harvard, Yale or Berkeley, but miss the target when delivered to to the general public. Hopefully, his speech tonight will be as clear, concise and effective as Bill Clinton’s because the sooner he connects with mainstream America and the sooner he explains the rationale for his approach and his vision, the better. We can not afford assumptions or doctoral discourse, we need down to Earth, bread and butter, dialogue.

    • CAThinker

      Well said DV – again.


  • osaycanuc

    But the government IS an officious intermeddler in people’s lives!

  • onedonewong

    Yea the Mayor was a real HOOT…when is Mom revealed that the folks that defended the Alamo were drunks, thieves and murders… and the fact that he has her picture on his wall with the organization that she’s the president of demanding that Texas be returned to Mexico

  • Whydoyouask2dogs

    I read EJ Dijon in the paper occassionally and he is just so one sided and his thought process is screwed up, probably from too much vodka. Anyway, he is a rich man and in the 1%. He seems drunk most of the time, so maybe he will vote for Obama again.

  • OceanDan

    Is this what Americans want? Do the vast majority of Americans want to give up their freedom of choice, their initiative, their desires to carve out the life they want to live and give it to a bunch of over-paid, under-performing, political hack appointees inside the Beltway?

    Do industrious Americans who work hard every day want to give more and more of their money to these bureaucratic morons so they can “re-distribut” it to the lazy lay-abouts in our nation who sleep all day and run the streets at night?

    Do Americans want to entrust “the government” with their health care? Do Americans want the lazy, stupid political appointees in Washington decide what they should eat and what kind of cars they should drive?

    If you do, then you should vote for Obama in November, and you and your family can watch as more and more of your individual freedoms are euthenized in the dead of night.

    If you voted for Barack Obama in 2008 to prove you are not racist, then vote for Mitt Romney in 2012 to prove you are not stupid.