Friday, December 18, 2009

OK, I'm back to liking Bill Clinton

Yes, Bill Clinton spent many months on Max Gross' shitlist after his disgraceful behavior during the primaries...

But all is forgiven.

This week Bubba came out to champion the healthcare reform bill with wary progressives -- which is the right thing to do (and not something he was under any obligation to do.)

And his argument is a smart one: Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. And when's the next time we're going to have an opportunity like this?

Well said, Bill.

Bill had more or less been in my thoughts for the last month or so, because I was reading Taylor Branch's The Clinton Tapes, which I strongly recommend.

While The Clinton Tapes are all from Clinton's perspective (and should therefore be taken with a grain of salt) it's a fascinating portrait of our 42nd president, who is often given too little credit by liberals like me for what he achieved, and how insanely he was attacked.

In case you don't know about the book, the Pulitzer Prize winning historian, Branch, (who was friends with Clinton when they both were campaigning for George McGovern in 1972) was essentially invited to be court historian of the Clinton Administration. Every month, or so, he would show up at the White House and interview the President about the events of the previous month.

After spending eight years mired in the Bush Administration, it came almost as a revelation remembering just how thin the substance of the attacks against Clinton were (it's sort of jaw dropping that the man got impeached when you consider what Bush got away with.)

The book (while long) is definitely worth a look. (Branch is an excellent writer!) And it reads a little like one of those sprawling, William Manchester portraits of an era, like The Glory and the Dream.

So, yes, Bubba is off my shitlist.