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Thread: Bill Clinton's Mendacious Defense of the 1994 Crime Bill ... cooperation with GOP

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    We choose both. Amelia's Avatar
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    Bill Clinton's Mendacious Defense of the 1994 Crime Bill ... cooperation with GOP

    Three good points in this piece:

    Bill Clinton's Mendacious Defense of the 1994 Crime Bill - Hit & Run : Reason.com


    The first one shows something the Clintons did frequently when Bill was president and something Hillary has a strong chance of doing during her presidency.

    Part 1 of Bill's defense, and the article's rebuttal:
    Democrats included longer prison sentences in the bill only because Republicans demanded them.
    According to Clinton, Joe Biden, who was the bill's main sponsor in the Senate, said, "You can't pass this bill, and the Republicans will kill it, if you don't put more sentencing in." Yet as first lady, Hillary Clinton cited tougher sentencing rules as one of the bill's main advantages. "We need more and tougher prison sentences for repeat offenders," she said in a 1994 speech. "The 'three strikes and you're out' for violent offenders has to be part of the plan. We need more prisons to keep violent offenders for as long as it takes to keep them off the streets." After the bill passed, the Clinton administration bragged about making sentences longer.

    Bill frequently staked out what would be GOP territory and put the GOP in a position where they would pretty much have to go along with him but he would take the credit for what happened. Rightwing ideas but the Democrats got credit for them. This was frustrating for rightwingers and it had leftwingers smirking about how brilliant Bill was.

    Hillary is likely to do the same in her attempt to build a reputation as a deal maker -- attempt to give the GOP offers they can't refuse, and then take credit for what are essentially GOP policies.


    Of course in today's climate, the GOP might refuse to give her that because they might just say "no" to every thing even if it's something they would generally support. But it won't be for lack of Hillary trying to do the GOP thing.

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    We choose both. Amelia's Avatar
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    Bill Clinton has also started saying some things which can be taken as criticism of Obama's presidency, which makes it tricky for Hillary, who of late has built her campaign on continuing the progress made both Bill and Barack.

    On MSNBC, they had an interesting reaction to Bill's latest rumblings.

    Joy Reid: Bill Clinton May Not Be ‘Emotionally’ Ready for Dems Criticizing His Presidency

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    Veteran Member cpicturetaker12's Avatar
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    I was no where connected or touched by (there but by the grace of god go I) to having dealt with law enforcement or the 'justice' system so I don't know where the lines of demarcation were drawn 'way back' then. I thought mandatory minimums were much more cut and dried than they seem to have 'morphed' into since that original bill. Again, I plead guilty--I didn't pay attention to detail. I did not think even under 3 strikes you could get caught with pot twice and then steal a bicycle and you were 'gone'. I did not think that anything that was NOT 'felonious' to begin with could still get you 25 years on 3 or 4 strikes. This seems to be what happened in far too many instances.

    As for the 'super predator' term, it was a totally subjective term (and probably way too easy to abuse) BUT black mothers were screaming to the top of their lungs because their kids were being gunned down in the streets, on their way home from schools, even in their bedrooms by drive by bullets. WHITE America might have glommed onto it but the term's genesis came from outcries of POOR communities with little chance of escape--stuck with their own 'black on black' crime. (Cops and abuse were another whole matter).

    I have 2 anecdotal stories that have stuck with me for a long time 1--48 Hours did a storyline about an inner city ER about 20 years ago. A nurse sitting at her 'nurse's station' was incredulous at the fact that a kid being treated for a gunshot said, "I didn't know it would hurt this much." 2--maybe a decade ago, a black woman talking about lack of resources including FRESH FOODS in her neighborhood, said she could walk down the street and BUY A GUN faster than she could find a tomato to buy.
    Last edited by cpicturetaker12; 8th April 2016 at 10:19 AM.
    Thanks from Amelia and MaryAnne

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    Thought Provocateur NightSwimmer's Avatar
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    1994 was not 2016. There was consensus bipartisan approval of the 1994 crime bill back when it was passed -- even in urban black communities. Of course, gang violence today isn't what it was in the 1990s. Most of the kids complaining about the legislation today were still in diapers back then, if they were even born yet.

    Clinton also gets grief nowadays for passing the Don't Ask, Don't Tell mandate for gays in the military. Kids these days find the policy disgustingly bigoted toward homosexuals, and they have no idea how difficult it was to make that much progress on the issue of discrimination against homosexuals back in the 1990s. One has to be old enough to remember where we came from to truly appreciate how far we've come as a nation in ending bigoted institutional discrimination. Such major policy changes don't happen overnight within our system of governance. They are incremental. We aren't going to have a revolution, and in a single day change the hearts and minds of the American populace. That concept is nothing more than a sophomoric pipe dream.
    Last edited by NightSwimmer; 8th April 2016 at 08:56 AM.

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    Veteran Member cpicturetaker12's Avatar
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    Everything nightswimmer said!

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    We choose both. Amelia's Avatar
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    I agree that in the context of the day, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was brave and bold, and it was significant that it was one of Bill's first acts in office.

    It was sadly a source of painful unintended consequences, but it was a major step forward from where we were before.




    Still, there were many ways that Bill moved right, and Hillary is showing signs of doing similar. And his defense of the 1994 legislation is revisionist history.

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    Southern Strategy Liberal OldGaffer's Avatar
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    Bill had a Republican House and Senate, he could move right a bit and get things passed, or he could have settled for 8 years of total gridlock, your call.

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    Southern Strategy Liberal OldGaffer's Avatar
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    Hillary is going to have a Republican House and possible a Republican Senate, she can move right a bit and get things passed, or go for 8 years of total gridlock, again, your call.
    Thanks from NightSwimmer and MaryAnne

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    We choose both. Amelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldGaffer View Post
    Bill had a Republican House and Senate, he could move right a bit and get things passed, or he could have settled for 8 years of total gridlock, your call.

    That doesn't have anything to do with Bill's revisionist history of the crime legislation.

    And it doesn't provide reassurance on how progressive Hillary is likely to be. She's likely to move to the right, with the excuse that she's getting things done and breaking through the gridlock.

    And that's one of the main complaints against her -- that she's not likely to go to the mat for the progressive ideas that she has adopted for this run for president.

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    We choose both. Amelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldGaffer View Post
    Hillary is going to have a Republican House and possible a Republican Senate, she can move right a bit and get things passed, or go for 8 years of total gridlock, again, your call.
    I hadn't seen this post when I was answering your previous post.

    So I do thank you for being candid about this. This is one of the main objections to Hillary. She's trying to get people to believe that her move to the left is real. But most likely it's not. She's anxiously waiting her chance to move back to the center. And when she gets into office, she is likely to move to the right.


    Edit: With Republicans as they are and her being a Clinton, gridlock is still likely to remain in a big way, but she'll probably try to move to the right. She probably won't get out and try to engage the public in an attempt to pass progressive legislation.

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