Wednesday, September 16, 2009

They Impeached President Clinton

As a follow-up to my last post, I'd like to reiterate something in regards to comparing Obama hatred with Clinton hatred: They fricking impeached President Clinton. They impeached him. They spent almost his entire presidency investigating everything he did, starting with the firing of seven travel office employees (which Congress had the GAO investigate in July 1993), then impeached the guy. That can't be emphasized enough. And as a reminder, the last time a dude faced impeachment, he resigned.

And it's not that Clinton was wildly unpopular and Republicans had some great political gain to make by hitting him. On the contrary, the impeachment was fueled almost entirely by the wingnuts and the media. Clinton, on the other hand, was extremely popular throughout the entire ordeal. I looked up the numbers and here's how things looked, according to Gallup.

He starts the year at 59% approval. It jumps to 67% approval after his famous "with that woman" denial-lie in late January, a week after Drudge broke the Lewinsky scandal. It was back at 61% in August after he admitted in court to having lied to everyone. In November's mid-term election, Republicans were expected to win seats, but instead, they lose five seats; and this is after they lost eight seats in the previous election.

After the election, Clinton's approval was 66%. Immediately after he got impeached in December, his approval jumped to 73%. That's right, 73%! And finally, after he got acquitted by the Senate in January, a full year after the scandal broke, his approval rating was 68%. Clinton finished his term with a 66% approval rating. By contrast, Bush never had numbers that high after May 2003, and Clinton had been impeached.

And so they impeached an extremely popular president who only gained in popularity after the impeachment. For a second-term president to be routinely in the mid-to-high 60's is incredible, and it was the first time since 1822 for the opposition party to not gain seats in a mid-term of a second term president. Yet even after they lost seats, the lame duck Congress went after him all the same. Not because they needed to, but because the crazies were insisting upon it.

And mind you, Newt Gingrich lost the Speakership after those mid-term losses, meaning that he got booted from his leadership position before they could even impeach Clinton.

Republican Crazies, Then and Now

And you can see who drove this: Republican crazies. As these poll numbers show, this was a Republican thing. For example, in a Newsweek poll the day before the impeachment was announced, 66% of Republicans thought he should be impeached, while only 30% disagreed. Meanwhile, 45% of Independents thought he should be impeached compared to 52% who disagreed.

And while that doesn't sound like only Republican support, that corresponds fairly closely with Obama's current approval numbers. Per CBS's latest polls, 69% of Republicans disapprove of Obama, while only 19% approve. Meanwhile, 39% of Independents disapprove of Obama, while 50% approve. Uncanny, eh?

And for as much as these numbers look slightly better for Clinton, remember, these were people who hated Clinton so much they wanted him impeached. I don't think 66% of Republicans would currently want him impeached. And another thing, Republicans are more concentrated with conservatives now than they were then. So Clinton's Republicans included Republicans who have since abandoned the party because they thought it was too unprincipled and crazy.

They Were Always Crazy

And sure, there is nothing conclusive here. I just wanted to add some historical perspective on why I don't think this is a racial thing. They HATED Clinton. They didn't just think he was a socialist or commie, they actually believed he was a real Soviet spy, despite the collapse of the Soviet Union a few years earlier. And they insisted he was a murderer who killed anyone who got in his way; they even sold a video about it.

And perhaps his biggest offenses were dodging the draft and lying about smoking pot. Even in the heady days of impeachment, conservatives were adamant that the "I didn't inhale" line was of immense importance. And that's not to mention that two crazies blew up a fucking federal building, killing 168 people, in order to give the Clinton government a black eye.

So before we jump the gun and label all these people racist, perhaps we should hold off until they start blowing up buildings and impeaching Obama. They've got a WAAAAY to go before they catch up with Clinton derangement. And again, Clinton only made it to July before Congress was having him investigated; while Obama has made it all the way to mid-September (knock on wood). It's not a black thing. They're just crazy assholes. Some things never change.

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