Tom And Bill: Then And Now
Despite spending all day Friday in neighboring Minnesota, President Obama has no plans to scoot over to Wisconsin to help bail out the sinking ship that is the Tom Barrett campaign.
Instead, despite earlier comments that suggested he was unavailable, former President Clinton has agreed to do a hastily arranged drive-by appearance in downtown Milwaukee.
When Barrett and the former ("I did not have sexual relations with that woman") President appear together, I wonder if any member of the media will ask them about some things they've said in the past?
For example, when then-Congressman Tom Barrett was defending Clinton against impeachment, here's a portion of what he argued before the House Committee on the Judiciary on December 11, 1998:
" ... And I believe her [Linda Tripp] motives and actions - in part personal and part political - cannot be ignored here. If we are to set aside our only national election, we must be confident that political enemies or political motives did not set the stage for this political morality play. For if they did, then there is a potentially greater danger here to our democracy than lying about sex. The grave act of setting aside a national election cannot be agitated by those forces that failed to prevail at the ballot box."
I guess Tom Barrett has no such problem using forces that failed to prevail at the ballot box to agitate to set aside a State election. Especially when Barrett himself stands to benefit from agitation. So much for his concerns about democracy.
And then there's former President Clinton.
In 2003, he appeared at an African-American church in Los Angeles, California to argue against the recall of Democrat Gray Davis. Here's what Mr. Clinton had to say about recalls then:
[Recalling the governor] will create a circumstance where nobody ever makes a hard decision again ... I don't want you to become a laughingstock, a carnival or the beginning of a circus in America where we just throw people out whenever they make a tough decision ... [A recall] would spread instability and uncertainty among your people and across the country."
So, in 1998, Tom Barrett opposed allowing an election to be set aside by forces that lost the previous election. In 2003, Bill Clinton argued against recalls because they lead to elected officials not making hard decisions.
Hmm, I wonder what's changed since then? Oh yeah, Barrett wants to be Governor and President Clinton has decided to try to help him.