R. Justin Shepherd | PART-TIME PUNDIT


DNC: Day 3, Part 1 (The Other Clinton)
28.August.2008, 8.24 am
Filed under: politics | Tags: , , ,

It’s only been eight years since he was president, but people forget why. But if you watched Bill Clinton’s speech Wednesday night (and you didn’t, unless you had cable, since it wasn’t broadcast on the big networks), you were provided with a quick and clear glimpse of what this flawed man can do. (The full speech is VodPodded at right.)

Contrary to his wife, whose speech focused mostly on her and her supporters, President Clinton delivered an Obama-centric salvo, laced with serious-minded jabs at the Bush administration and the possibility of a McCain presidency. He pointed mostly to economics (despite the night’s theme of national security), and how in eight years a record surplus turned into a record debt, how the plight of the poor has gotten worse while the top percents got extremely richer. (Side note: I’ve been reading a lot about this and vouch for its accuracy… further expounding on the wealth gap coming sometime soon.)

Look at the example the Republicans have set.

In this decade, American workers have consistently given us rising productivity. That means that year after year, they work harder and produce more. Now what did they get in return? Declining wages, less than one-fourth as many new jobs as in the previous eight years, smaller healthcare and pension benefits, rising poverty, and the biggest increase in income inequality since the 1920s. …

Are these the family values that Republicans are so proud of?

He was fiery and yet didn’t take any cheap shots: No zingers about McCain’s houses, his age, nothing like that. And he never stumbled (as opposed to veep pick Joe Biden… more on that in Part 2). So the guy had an affair! I don’t like it anymore than you do, but no apologies should be necessary at this point, especially when the Republican nominee for president has also confessed to adultery.

He also said, quite clearly, that Barack Obama is “ready to be president of the United States.” If I was Obama, I’d be wishing I’d switched the lineup and had Bill in primetime. (Of course, it could have gone either way, as the ex-prez is known for ad-libbing and going off script.)

Prayer at the DNC: Think about this. Do you think of the Democratic National Convention as a place of prayer? If not, why? The majority of people don’t listen to right-wing talk radio, and yet there’s a persistent meme among us that Democrats are by and large faithless. The notion must be traced back to mainstream media, the supposed “left-leaning” media. That this trick continues to work is laughable… Journalists by and large are not politically liberal. Socially, yes, but not economically, and they certainly don’t give Democrats a pass.

Anyway, back to the prayer thing. Donald Miller (of “Blue Like Jazz” fame) prayed at the DNC, upsetting a lot of right-wing Christian pundits. In my view, though, it was a great moment for both the Church (which should aim to lift up all people, regardless of politics) and American politics. Here it is:

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[…] Day 3, Part 2 (Sleepy veep) 28 08 2008 If Bill Clinton’s speech was a barn-burner, vice presidential candidate Joe Biden’s was a bore. (Although his memories […]

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