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Memo to: William Jefferson Clinton

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Stephen Pizzo
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Yo, Bill;

Listen big guy, we really need to talk.

Over the last few weeks we've seen you lose your cool as you campaign for your wife.

Knock it off!

You need a long overdue reality check, dude. You are the last person in the country who should be indignantly lecturing anyone. Why?

Oh, let us count the whys:

1) In part -- how large a part we can argue another time -- the presidency of George W. Bush is your fault. That's right, your fault. By the time your second term was over your juvenile, self-indulgent, adulterous behavior had rendered you so radioactive Al Gore was unable to leverage the many positive things you did while in office. Your embarrassing behavior nearly got you impeached, invigorated the sheep on the religious right, virtually handing the keys to Oval Office to the Neo-cons we've had to endure for the past seven years.

Deny that at your own peril, Bill. Bush's margin of "victory" in 2000 says otherwise. No reasoning person could believe that tens of thousands of folks who would have voted for Gore didn't because of the stain (pun intended) your behavior left on the Clinton/Gore administration.

2) Your misbehavior also served to lower the bar to the US Presidency. Your behavior so diminished the grandeur of the office of President of the United States that a half-wit blowhard like George W. Bush suddenly became electable. He wasn't electable because he offered solutions, vision or substance, but  because he reassured voters he'd "restore dignity to the Oval Office."*

*(Translation: "I won't get hummers in the Oval Office from bimbo-interns.")

3) In late 1993 I was covering the White House for Mother Jones magazine for a story on campaign finance reform. I was invited to interview your point man on that issue, Michael Waldman. (Read that story here) Reforming the corrupt campaign finance system had been a central plank of your campaign and hopes were high that someone was finally going to do something about it. But when I got to the Executive Office Building to interview Mike I found his office empty. When I inquired where he was I was told he had been taken off campaign finance reform and transferred to the administration's current priority -- getting NAFTA passed. I could not even talk to Mike because he was sequestered in the White House "NAFTA War room."

So, great. We didn't get campaign finance reform but we did get NAFTA. Have you checked lately how that's worked out? Not well. Not well at all. We've taken note of that.

4) Hillary's failed healthcare reform efforts were directly related to the above. Even after NAFTA passed you guys didn't return, in any real way, to campaign finance reform. Why? And you guys also didn't return, in any real way, to healthcare reform either. Why? Because the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries let you know they'd gotten "the message."

What message?

The message that, if power in Washington is about anything, it's about the protection rackets. Big healthcare got that message and started paying you guys protection money. Proof? Today your candidate-wife is among the top beneficiaries of healthcare and pharmaceutical money in this campaign.

Coincidence? Forget about it. No one is going to buy that after one look at the hard (money) facts.  Any reasonable observer will conclude that that's why you two lost interest in reforming either the campaign finance system or national healthcare. As a result you and Hillary never took another real swipe at the healthcare/pharmaceutical industries.  And thanks to that no fewer than 10 million additional Americans are today without healthcare coverage.

Sure, you did a lot of good things during your two terms. You balanced the budget, fairly taxed the rich and left a surplus in the bank for the next guy. Had you not disgraced yourself during your second term you'd have every right to wag your finger and lecture others.

Instead you acted like a horny teenage boy, treating OUR Oval Office as though it was a private booth in some seedy porno shop. Then, when caught, quite literally with your pants down, you looked the whole world in the eye, your nose turned monkey-butt red, you shook your finger in our faces  -- and you lied.

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Stephen Pizzo has been published everywhere from The New York Times to Mother Jones magazine. His book, Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans, was nominated for a Pulitzer.

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