Sometimes the ironies that manifest themselves in the behavior of current and former government officials are just too delicious to ignore. Thus it is with remarks made last Friday by former President Bill Clinton. Appearing before the Center for American Progress Action Fund in the nation’s capital, the former president echoed the time-worn theme employed regularly by liberals, that when “conservatives” publicly criticize the government they indirectly encourage exremist violence, such as that perpetrated by Timothy McVeigh in blowing up the Oklahoma City federal building 15 years ago this week. Clinton, as do other critics of conservatives who argue against the big government programs liberals so love, try to blunt their criticism by claiming that they are not trying to “restrict free speech”; but that’s precisely what they are subtly trying to do by linking conservatives to violent extremists such as McVeigh.
The special irony in the case of Clinton lies in the fact that a dozen years ago, during the impeachment proceedings against him, Clinton repeatedly and rather masterfully wordsmithed his way around admitting any wrondgoing; at one point famously declaring in answer to a simple question, that ”it depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is,’ is.”
Thus, when Clinton lectures conservatives on the words they use, they’re learning from the master of obfuscational wordsmithing himself, William Jefferson Clinton.