It's good to see Bill Clinton looking so healthy. He has given up meat after his heart operation, but his performance last night proves he can still handle a whopper.
It was vintage Bill Clinton--wonky, funny, overlong and drawn out, self-centered and fundamentally untrue. His biggest applause lines came when he "contrasted" job creation under Democratic and Republican administrations. He went all the way back to 1961. He told us the Democrats have held the White House 24 years since that date; Republicans were in the Oval Office 28 years. Then, he proceeded to his point-by-point comparison. All plausible--even applausible--if you forgot who ran Congress in those years.
Both Houses of Congress were controlled by Democrats for 32 of the 52 years Clinton chose to compare. They controlled at least one house for all of Reagan's eight years. They controlled at least one house for four of George W. Bush's eight years. So Bill Clinton's side-by-side comparison can only be believed if you forget about Congress.
The former president spoke for a record 49 minutes 32 seconds. Granted, he was interrupted repeatedly by rapturous applause. I thought he could have given us a briefer version of his speech by simply belting out the hit tune from Broadway's Annie.
The sun'll come out
Bet your bottom dollar
There'll be sun!
Just thinkin' about Tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow
'Til there's none!
I was reminded of the dialog between Alice and the Queen in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass.
“The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday-but never jam today" said the Queen
"It must come sometime to jam today," Alice objected
"No it can't," said the Queen "It's jam every other day. Today isn't any other day, you know”
Trim and silvered, he strode onstage to his own campaign song: Don't Stop Thinkin' About Tomorrow. For liberals, it's always tomorrow. For the left, generally, tomorrow is a lot more fun than today. Vperiod! Forward! That was Lenin's cry at the time of the Bolshevik Revolution. They were always summoning their people to look beyond the suffering of today and think about the "shining heights" of socialism just ahead. Keep marching. No one ever dared to mention there is such a thing as marching toward a mirage.