So, the Democrats have a majority in Congress. The bad times are over. The evil ones have been vanquished. Let's go ahead and declare world peace, an end to global warming, and-while we're at it-the cancellation of The O'Reilly Factor. I mean, what could be better, right? Hmm, we could also have a Democratic president to go along with a Democratic Senate and Democratic House. Can you say Hillary Rodham Clinton, boys and girls? Imagine that: A pinko by the name of Clinton running the White House with a merry band of liberals calling all the shots in Congress. How grand it would be...
Well, if you want a good idea of how things may go under the above scenario, you might want to reflect back upon the years of 1993 and 1994 because that's when President William Jefferson Clinton was enjoying the "advantage" of a Democratically-controlled Congress.
In just two years, the notorious liberal managed to abandon his pledge to consider offering asylum to Haitian refugees, renege on his promise to "take a firm stand" against the armed forces' ban on gays and lesbians, and back away from his most high-profile campaign issue: health care. He also signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), increased the Pentagon budget by another $25 billion, fired Jocelyn Elders, dumped Lani Guinier, ordered the bombing of Iraq and the Balkans, renewed the murderous sanctions on Iraq, ignored genocide in Rwanda, deported hundreds of thousands of "illegal" immigrants, and passed a crime bill that gave us more cops, more prisons, and 58 more offenses punishable by death. (All this came before the much-hyped Republican "revolution" in 1994. Can someone please explain to me why the right wing didn't like this guy?)
Then we have the environment-allegedly Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore's domain. In 1996, David Brower, former president of the Sierra Club, penned a Los Angeles Times op-ed entitled, "Why I Won't Vote for Clinton." In this piece, Brower offered a litany of Clinton administration moves, which utterly smashed the public image of Bubba and Gore as "pro-environment." Some of these moves include: The passage of the salvage logging rider, the continuation of the use of methyl bromide, the weakening of the Endangered Species Act, the lowering of grazing fees on land, subsidizing Florida's sugar industry, weakening the Safe Drinking Water Act, reversing the ban on the production and importation of PCBs, and allowing the export of Alaskan oil.
These, and other proud Clinton/Gore accomplishments, led Brower to declare that the dynamic Democratic duo had "done more harm to the environment in three years than Presidents Bush and Reagan did in 12 years." That's Bush the Elder he's talking about, of course. As for Bush the Lesser, consider this: the total logging cut in national forest during his first three years of Dubya's reign was less than the annual logging cut in national forests was under Clinton (Bill, not Hillary).
This story had both a moral and a lesson to be learned, if we are willing to hear it before 2008. There is one primary difference between the Democrats and Republicans: They tell different lies to get elected.
Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net.