detail from Labels for Hair Ribbons by Manuel Ocampo a delectable selection of oriental appetizers
Wednesday, June 26, 2002


: . Our Best Republican President:

I know, I know: dead horse, spilled milk, water under the bridge, ancient history... But there are lessons to be learned here. Read on for the 'surprise ending.' From Stupid White Men ...and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation! by Michael Moore:
    He has signed a bill providing for federal funds to be distributed to 'faith-based' charitable organizations.
    He has expanded the number of federal crimes for which the death penalty can be given to a total of sixty.
    He has signed a bill outlawing gay marriages and has taken out ads on Christian radio stations touting his opposition to any form of legal same-sex couplings.
    In a short span of time, he has been able to kick ten million people off welfare -- that's ten million out of fourteen million total recipients.
    He has promised states 'bonus funds' if they can reduce their welfare numbers further, and made it easier to get these funds by not requiring the states to help the ex-welfare recipients find jobs.
    He has introduced a plan that would bar any assistance to teenage parents if they drop out of school or leave their parents' home.
    Though he is careful not to draw attention to it, he supports many of the old provisions of Newt Gingrich's 'Contract With America,' including lowering the capital gains tax.
    In spite of calls from Republican governors like George Ryan of Illinois to support a moratorium on capital punishment, he rejected all efforts to slow down the number of executions even after it was revealed that there are dozens of people on death row who are innocent.
    He has released funds for local communities to hire over a hundred thousand new police officers and supports laws that put people behind bars for life after committing three crimes -- even if those crimes were shoplifting or not paying for a pizza.
    There are now more people in America without health insurance than when he took office.
    He has signed orders prohibiting any form of health care to poor people who are in the United States illegally.
    He supports a ban on late-term abortions and promised to sign the first bill to cross his desk that includes an exemption only if the life of the mother is in jeopardy.
    He has signed an order prohibiting any U.S. funds going to any country to be used in helping women secure an abortion.
    He signed a one-year gag order that prohibits using any federal funds in foreign countries where birth control agencies mention abortion as an option to pregnant women.
    He has refused to sign the international Land Mine Ban Treaty already signed by 137 nations -- but not Iraq, Libya, North Korea, or the United States.
    He has scuttled the Kyoto Protocol by insisting that 'sinks' (e.g., farmlands and forests) be counted towards the U.S. percentage of emissions reductions, thus making a mockery of the whole treaty (which was primarily to reduce the carbon dioxide pollution from cars and factories).
    He has accelerated drilling for gas and oil on federal lands at a pace that matches, and in some areas exceeds, the production level during the Reagan administration.
    He has approved the sale of one California oil field in the largest privatization deal in American history, and he opened the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (something even Reagan wasn't able to do).
    And he became the first President since Richard Nixon not to force the auto manufacturers to improve their mileage per gallon -- which would have saved millions of barrels of oil each day.

    Yes, you'd have to agree, considering all the above accomplishments, that Bill Clinton was one of the best Republican Presidents we've ever had.

Which all goes to show the hazards of putting the perceived exigencies of realpolitik ahead of one's principles.

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