September 06, 2012

Who let the Big Dog out?

One must simply give it up for Bill Clinton; he is, indeed, The Natural, as Joe Klein in his anonymously penned book called him.  I don't know exactly how he does it - pure brilliance, I guess. He is a credit to Southern white trash everywhere. I speak from experience. While other speakers appear often stiff and scripted, the Big Dog seems to wing it, speaking off the cuff, stringing together long sequences of grammatically perfect clauses far, far beyond the ability of any other speaker in American politics, including the incumbent President.  It has always amazed me.  At press conferences while President,  he could trip off accurate statistics on EROEI (energy returned on energy invested) for a variety of fuel sources, deal with atmospheric science, then switch to pure political calculation. 

Of course, this is why the Republicans hated him.  Indeed, the moment of psychotic break for the Republican Party can be traced to Clinton's presidency.  I've long suspected that a few of the more prominent Republican "floor leaders" in the impeachment madness (particularly one from South Carolina) were motivated by man-crush jealousy over the smart Jewish girl who temporarily stole Bill Clinton's heart.  Just a guess. 

The Big Dog is a little faded now, hobbled by heart problems, thinned out by a strict dietary regime. He was President between the ages of 44 and 52, and I was an American subject of his Presidency during my stretch from 42 to 50.  In other words, a golden age for both of us.  He was the Boomer's Boomer.  Narcissistic, self-involved, complicated, materialistic, deceptive, thoroughly modern.  He introduced, and perfected, the art of cynical triangulation, of selling out basic American values (such as the easygoing repeal of Glass-Steagall which really started all of the Wall Street debacle); welfare "reform;" and the use of military adventurism as a means of distracting the public from domestic troubles (in his case, "domestic" can be taken quite literally).

His endorsement of Obama will not mean much, of course.  It was all just a feel-good moment for us and, of course, for the Big Dog himself.  Bill, genius that he is, knows that much of the Constitutional fabric of the American Republic lies in absolute tatters, battered by a series of unconstitutional choices made by the last two presidents in particular and the dominant role of money in determining politics.  An indication of Clinton's brilliance is that he can give a rousing speech in praise of the O Man and never get near any of these touchy subjects. It's all good.  And with his acute political sense, Clinton knows that all voting decisions in the television and video age are made by a flash connection between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex, with no complex cerebration in between.  Just:  Obama, good; Romney, bad.  That's it, a general feeling about which way to vote.

The Big Dog was there to help that feeling along.  Nobody does it better.

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