Bill Clinton has what no other national Democrat seems to have, and that’s backbone. He demonstrated that on September 24th, 2006, when he opened a can of whoop-ass on Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, indicting both Mr. Wallace and Fox News in the process. Oh, go ahead and throw the neocons in the WTFPWNage, too.
Mr. Clinton appeared on the program at the invitation of Mr. Wallace to discuss the Clinton Global Initiative (CBI), which recently raised some US$7 billion in three days for addressing poverty, conflict, and environmental concerns and problems around the world.
Mr. Clinton said that Fox News had promised him that half of his interview time was to be spent on the CBI, but the first question from neocon lap dog Chris Wallace was why Mr. Clinton hadn’t done more to stop Bin Laden when he was in office. From the interview:
CLINTON: But at least I tried. That’s the difference in me and some, including all the right-wingers who are attacking me now. They ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try. They did not try. I tried.
So I tried and failed. When I failed, I left a comprehensive anti-terror strategy and the best guy in the country, Dick Clarke, who got demoted.
So you did Fox’s bidding on this show. You did your nice little conservative hit job on me. What I want to know is …
WALLACE: Well, wait a minute, sir.
CLINTON: No, wait. No, no …
WALLACE: I want to ask a question. You don’t think that’s a legitimate question?
CLINTON: It was a perfectly legitimate question, but I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked this question of.
I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you asked, "Why didn’t you do anything about the Cole?"
I want to know how many you asked, "Why did you fire Dick Clarke?"
I want to know how many people you asked …
That’s the kind of direct confrontation that both Al Gore and John Kerry seemed incapable of delivering during their presidential campaigns. If they had been able to muster that kind of backbone in the face of the lies and propaganda coming out of the Republican party and the neocon movement, I don’t think voter fraud in Ohio by Kent Blackwell or partisan vote manipulation in Florida by Katherine Harris (with complicity from the Supreme Court) would have been enough for the Republicans to heist the 2000 or 2004 elections.
The Republican party has defined the rules of our national discussion for some six years now, and it’s about time that someone opposed to their anti-American and destructive agenda spoke up. Thanks, President Clinton, for doing so. Now we need more folks to do so.
And a big thanks to Peter Cohen for turning me on to the YouTube posting of the interview.