Monday, 11 June 2012

Is Bill Clinton a Caine Mutiny Coward?

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If Dick Morris is right and Bill Clinton is like a solar panel — only warm and bright when the sun is shining — he has certainly been catching his share of rays recently with his defense of Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital. In case you missed it, the former President said in a CNN interview with Harvey Weinstein, “I don’t think we ought to get into the position where we say ‘This [Romney’s Bain endeavors] is bad work’ — this is good work”; he furthermore said that Romney had a “sterling business career” and “crosses the qualification threshold” to be commander-in-chief.

Well, well, something tells me that, were it not for Clinton’s fund-raising utility to the Obama administration, he’d be joining Cory Booker on the dead-to-us list.

After all, since the centerpiece of Barack Obama’s attack on Romney is that he is a “vulture capitalist, not a venture capitalist,” Clinton’s remarks help to cut the legs out from under the President’s re-election effort. The question is, though, why did he make them?

Some chalk it up to the notion that Clinton “always speaks his mind,” and his comments certainly seem like refreshing honesty. Here is, after all, Mr. Democrat himself saying flattering things about the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Ah, what an American! He has risen above politics!

But has he?

To help explain Clinton’s sun-god seducing comments, former Clinton right-hand man Morris revealed something interesting: Conservatives told him that Clinton has said to them privately, “You have six months to save the country.” 


What a sounding of the alarm.

Now, Mr. Clinton, do it publicly and I may believe you’ve risen above being a perfidious coward.

This brings me to the obscure reference in my title. The Caine Mutiny is a 1954 film in which Humphrey Bogart plays a mentally unstable naval captain whose erratic behavior threatens his ship. Sounding the alarm is Lt. Tom Keefer (played by Fred MacMurray), an intellectual and writer who tries to convince two fellow officers that their listing captain is mentally ill and can be removed under regulations on that basis. To make a long story short, those two officers finally do take control of the ship, during a typhoon, and end up before a military tribunal charged with mutiny, the penalty for which is death.

This is when we find out that although Keefer initially appeared the hero, he actually was the villain. Fearing punishment himself, he lies during testimony, refusing to say before the court that he had issued warnings about the danger the captain posed to the ship. In other words, other than whisper behind the scenes, he would do nothing to actually save his vessel — or the lives of the two men who actually did save it.

This brings us back to Clinton. If he really believes our captain’s ineptitude is great enough to sink the good ship U.S.A., doesn’t he have an obligation to sound that alarm from the mountaintops? What does it say about him if he’s only willing to whisper his warnings secretly?

And realize how damnable his ostensible sin of omission truly is. Morris claims that Clinton doesn’t want Obama to win, but Clinton also doesn’t want to be held responsible for the president’s losing. Thus, he’s going to aid Obama the way he said he smoked marijuana: He’ll help, but he won’t inhale. He’ll run around raising money for the guy we only have six months to save the country from, but, never fear, his heart won’t be in it. His Democrat clout could almost ensure a Romney win if he went public with his supposed misgivings, but that clout isn’t for preservation of the country, just the Clintons. It is: Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for yourself.

Or maybe not. You see, with the Clintons, what you see isn’t always what you get. It’s said that Clinton personally dislikes Obama; in particular, he complained in 2008 that Obama “played the race card” on him, and I understand that he took great offense at this and never forgot it. Additionally, Clinton wants to get back in the White House via his wife, and for this and other reasons he wants to be the Democrat standard-bearer. Besides, if Morris is to be believed, Clinton thinks Obama will lose, so it behooves him to separate the Clinton brand from the Obama losing hand and appear as the voice of moderate reason.

But the point is embedded in the above sentence: If former Clinton man Dick Morris is to be believed. If Clinton is to be believed. If anything having to do with a Clinton, even tangentially, can be believed. Is Clinton putting personal interest over country or just party?

What he is doing is putting one over on the country. What I mean is, it’s said that “[a]bsence makes the heart grow fonder”; this is also true for absence from office. Now that the Billary Administration is far removed from the White House, the Clintons’ approval ratings have risen markedly — they’re far better than Obama’s in fact. But how much better is the Clintons’ judgment? Many forget that Slick Willie and Lady MacDeath tried foisting ObamaCare on us before anyone even knew who Obama was. They just had the misfortune of peddling their snake oil 15 years too soon.    

Lt. Keefer’s one redeeming quality, if you can call it that, was self-knowledge: When accused of cowardice, he said he never fooled himself about what he was. But I’m quite sure Clinton does fool himself and, sadly, others as well. But before you shine on him, you may want to consider that Clinton, as always, is playing a game. Clinton, as always, is thoroughly political. And, while it’s hard to know if the ship appears on his priority list at all, it’s safe to say that self-interest always comes first.

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