Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Monday, November 03, 2003
Go to the new DM blog.



There is a time-honored tradition in American politics - a gentlemen's agreement of sorts: Former presidents do not openly criticize current presidents, particularly on sensitive foreign-policy matters. Ex-presidents know intimately the difficulty of the job; they understand how much more burdensome the job can become when a former president publicly attacks a current president's performance. Eisenhower, for example, held back his anger at John F. Kennedy's handling of the Bay of Pigs invasion until the two met privately. George H. W. Bush did all he could to refrain from rebuking Bill Clinton during the tawdry 1990s.

Perhaps predictably, Bill Clinton - who has such little regard for propriety - has trashed this presidential tradition. At a time when the sitting president is practically begging for fair coverage of Iraq's reconstruction and the war on terror generally, Bill Clinton has stepped to the cameras to question George W. Bush's very understanding of the world's present dangers.

Awwww...Bill Clinton isn't playing nice by calling a spade a spade. As proof that he's "breaking all the rules", why don't we dig up two really good counter-examples: one from 40 years ago from an era when nobody delved into Presidential sex lives, and the other regarding, you guessed it...Clinton's sex life.

And what of the debunked rumors BushCo spread about Clinton staffers trashing the White House? Or BushCo trying to pin 9/11, the shitty economy, and practically every other failure of the current administration on Clinton? Is all that in the usual spirit of the "gentlemen's agreement"?

File under: can dish it out, but can't take it. Subheading: the buck stops way the hell over there. Cross-reference: propriety is more important than international law.


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