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Pin the Tail on the Donkey
Paul Corrigan

The symbol for the Democratic Party is the donkey, but Republicans and their friends in the media that are proving themselves to be the real jackasses. In the blame game that is American politics, these individuals are addicted to blaming Bill Clinton for all evil, real and imagined. The latest installment blames Clinton for September 11.

September 11 is still fresh in our minds. Our nation and its allies have responded. The horror of September 11 has led to war. Are these jackasses asking what we can do to avoid terrorism in the future? No. Are they calling for an examination of how to reduce the likelihood of such acts happening again? No. Are they asking how a free society can maintain its freedom and security? No. They are too busy blaming Bill Clinton.

Even in Massachusetts, a state that overwhelmingly supported Clinton, the media give anti-Clintonism a never-ending voice. I live just outside Boston and have had the misfortune of witnessing the decline of the Boston Globe. I still read the Globe on a daily basis, only now I constantly shake my head in disbelief. Over the last few years it has gone through an identity crisis. Content has been cut as the paper has pulled a CNN. Columnists such as Jeff Jacoby and Scot Lehigh, who were hired to "balance" the op-ed page, write a steady diatribe of "Clinton-did-it" pieces. Lehigh's "While Clinton Slept" (2 January 2002) is worthy of Andrew Sullivan or Newt Gingrich.

The Globe could provide real alternative views by opening up its pages on a regular basis to locals like Noam Chomsky, who resides in Lexington and teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Howard Zinn, the historian who teaches at Boston University; or any number of other local academics and activists. On occasion in the past you would see columns from the Left, especially from Zinn, but I can't remember the last time I saw one. I can attest to the fact that Boston started keeping its academics on the Left silent long before Larry Summers came to run Harvard. Newspapers are businesses that do not want real alternative views. They want to appeal to a mass market and anti-Clintonism is just another spectator sport whose fans need to be fed.

It is funny how a president who was not relevant is now responsible. The same people who yelled "Wag the Dog" while Clinton was in office now claim that Clinton should have had an activist foreign policy with anti-terrorism as the nation's number one priority. Sure, like the anti-terrorism campaign Bush campaigned on, the media constantly wrote about before September 11, and that Republicans in Congress included in their "Contract With America." The more they blame Clinton, the more they point the finger at themselves and the current administration.

Republicans have been preaching since before I was born that Americans need to take responsibility. In the real time of politics Bill Clinton's administration is a distant memory. Clinton is finally irrelevant. How ironic. Bush's economic policies and the record of his Republican colleagues in Congress are what will count in this year's congressional election and in the presidential race of 2004. Bush will not be able to run and hide from the effect of his tax cuts.

Like his father, the president appears to believe his wartime approval ratings. "Read My Lips" has been replaced with "Not Over My Dead Body." The Bush family appears to have a slow learning curve when it comes to putting the silver foot in its mouths. As for these revisionist columnists: Give it up!.

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