Every time I feel all forgive-and-forget about Bill Clinton, all Happy Warrior and all that, he says something to recall what a hard-core lout lies just beneath the surface. I forget him rushing back to Arkansas to insure the prompt execution of a retarded black man took place before the New Hampshire primary, the better to boost his “comeback” that eventually got him the presidency by showing how “tough on crime” he was. I even remember the name of the man, Ricky Ray Rector. I hope the two of you meet in hell.
Yes, I’m a liberal and Clinton supported liberal causes but things like that reminded you that there was something uglier underneath, something uglier even than the underside of Willie Stark, Robert Penn Warren’s Southern populist Huey Long type pol in the best American novel about politics, maybe the best American novel, period, All the King’s Men (if you haven’t read it you’re nigh unto politically illiterate).
It came out again with the racial insinuations during the 2008 primary campaign (just “observations” about Obama’s blackness making him a Jesse Jackson-like figure, of course). I blogged about that but thankfully I haven’t had to pay attention to the buffoon for a while.
But here he is, in full shameless, vicious form, in a quote he gave about the Monica Lewinsky affair in a new book previewed by the Politico.
I won’t go into the question the new book raises about whether Clinton would have or should have been formally indicted and tried for lying to a grand jury. I just want to highlight the response Clinton gave to a question about how the affair will affect his place in history:
“Yeah I will always have an asterisk after my name,” he said, “but I hope I’ll have two asterisks: one is ‘They impeached him,’ and the other is, ‘He stood up to them and beat them like a yard dog.'”