Bill (”The Meaning Of Is”) Clinton lectures us on language

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.

115 comments Add your comment

T-Town

April 21st, 2010
6:19 am

Close, but not cigar!

T-Town

April 21st, 2010
6:25 am

Oops: Close, but no cigar!

CTHILLARY's Minion

April 21st, 2010
6:50 am

Aren’t you GLAD you settled for the Lesser Evil?

saywhat?

April 21st, 2010
7:56 am

President Clinton is right. Congressman Barr is wrong. There is a big difference between “criticizing the government” and claiming the government wants to convene deathpanels, take all your money and give it to illegal aliens, confiscate your guns, build internment camps to imprison you, convert everyone to Islam, and destroy the way of life of every American with Socialism AND Fascism, etc etc etc.

It is the difference between standing up in a crowded theater and yelling “this movie sucks!” or yelling “Fire!”.One is responsible speech (even if horribly rude) and one is not.

Why do so many conservatives preach constantly about personal responsibility but take none for the consequences of their own actions?

Balderdash

April 21st, 2010
7:57 am

TOO delicious to ignore

Bill Clinton was disbarred for lying

April 21st, 2010
7:59 am

If Rush or any right wing talk show host had any influence on McVeigh, then why is it that NONE on the left can produce what Rush or anyone else said to incite violence.

Oh, Bill Clinton is and was a huge liar. He will always be known for one thing: Monica.

Bill Clinton was disbarred for lying

April 21st, 2010
8:00 am

“President Clinton is right. Congressman Barr is wrong. ”

Then you’ll have no problem producing evidence that McVeigh was influenced by right wing radio.

Louie

April 21st, 2010
8:01 am

Well, where do I start.

jackhammer, you out there????

YouAreUnCivil

April 21st, 2010
8:13 am

The republicans know exactly what they are doing when they “inspire” (for lack of a better word) their constituents. They are the code word masters.

I, for one, prefer republicans who don’t use code words; but say exactly what and whom they are referring too. For eaxample, Don’t say “those people”.

Morrus

April 21st, 2010
8:26 am

Vote out the incumbents and start over

Bill Clinton was disbarred for lying

April 21st, 2010
8:26 am

“The republicans know exactly what they are doing when they “inspire” (for lack of a better word) their constituents.”

By all means, provide FACTUAL documents or audio of ANY Republican inciting violence.

You want violent words from left wingers?

Teachers Unions send out death threats and fat jokes to the current NJ governor.

Barack

April 21st, 2010
8:26 am

I know what the meaning of “is” is. It IS change you can beleive in. Now what did I do with my damn cigar?

Bill Clinton was disbarred for lying

April 21st, 2010
8:27 am

“I, for one, prefer republicans who don’t use code words; but say exactly what and whom they are referring too.”

You mean like left wing communists?

Bill Clinton was disbarred for lying

April 21st, 2010
8:28 am

Left wingers incite violence.

Union Memo Hints At N.J. Gov.’s Death
Bergen County Teachers Union’s Memo The Latest Salvo In War Of Words With Gov. Christie; Swift Apology Issued

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s take-no-prisoners demand for education cuts got him a whole lot more than he bargained for — a death wish.

It was in a controversial e-mail sent by the Bergen County Teachers Union to its members asking that Christie be “taken” by the Lord.

StJ

April 21st, 2010
8:30 am

Clinton has no place lecturing anyone on anything…he’s nothing but a pathological liar.

Jon but not Jon Voight

April 21st, 2010
8:30 am

Barr should recuse himself from any topic regarding Clinton. Once the repubs came into the majority in Congress during Clinton’s terms, they spent $millions trying to find something against Clinton. They appointed Kenneth Starr to search under every rock. They spent $millions investigating Whitewater. When that never materialized, they turned to Monica Lewinsky. Barr and his Repubs have aptly demonstrated that their only quest is power. Do not be fooled by this man. He is a tyrant.

jconservative

April 21st, 2010
8:44 am

This is a conversation that is rather pointless. Lets say that “conservative” talk led directly to McVeigh and his act of terrorism. So what? First Amendment freedom of speech is First Amendment freedom of speech. Some speech is productive, some is not.
It is still protected speech.

Is there a moral issue at play? Maybe. That is between the speaker and his God.

My question is why some “conservatives” get so bent out of shape when this issue is raised by “liberals”. Learn to ignore.

YouAreUnCivil

April 21st, 2010
8:54 am

Bill Clinton was disbarred for lying

April 21st, 2010
8:26 am

Here is something that stood out:

The Sarah Palin website with the rifle crosshairs (targets) on Democrats is as close to inciting violence, without using actual words. When you point a gun and the target is (within sight), the expectation is to hit that target and take them down. Now, Sarah or her representative could have chosen another symbol. Why rifle crosshairs? They could have used a red “X”, which isn’t much better; although it doesn’t involve a gun symbol. Why not, mark them with “NO”; I’ve seen this on faces of politician campaign signs.

I’ve spent enough time complying to your warped reasoning; so don’t expect me to entertain you any longer.

Bill Clinton was disbarred for lying

April 21st, 2010
8:59 am

“I’ve spent enough time complying to your warped reasoning; so don’t expect me to entertain you any longer.’

LINK PLEASE!!!!!!! I’m guessing that you got that paragraph from HuffingtonPissed or Media Matters.

Bill Clinton was disbarred for lying

April 21st, 2010
9:00 am

“I’ve spent enough time complying to your warped reasoning; so don’t expect me to entertain you any longer.”

1: You’ve posted ONE comment in regard to mine. Hardly “time” spent.
2: What warped reasoning?
3: You don’t entertain me. You make me glad to be one that will help oust a left wing democrat come November.

Bill Clinton was disbarred for lying

April 21st, 2010
9:01 am

“Once the repubs came into the majority in Congress during Clinton’s terms, they spent $millions trying to find something against Clinton.”

Clinton lied to the grand jury. Clinton also lied on camera to America.

Bottom line: He was disbarred and he will ONLY be remembered for Monica.

Bill Clinton was disbarred for lying

April 21st, 2010
9:02 am

“Do not be fooled by this man. He is a tyrant.”

Sums up Obama alright!

Bill Clinton was disbarred for lying

April 21st, 2010
9:05 am

“Lets say that “conservative” talk led directly to McVeigh and his act of terrorism.”

IF that statement were true then why after ten years can left wingers NOT come up with any evidence?

“My question is why some “conservatives” get so bent out of shape when this issue is raised by “liberals”.

Because Clinton had to bring up something to make himself seem relevant. Also, the left continues to call Tea Party people racist even though they can not provide any evidence of racism.

I am still waiting on the evidence from people like Cynthia Tucker and Jay Bookman who both said that a tea party person called John Lewis the N word.

Funny how no one has come forward with audio or eyewitness accounts.

Karl Marx

April 21st, 2010
9:05 am

The loser lefties never say anything to incite violence …….

Hillary Clinton said “I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration that somehow you’re not patriotic. And we should stand up and say ‘We are Americans and we have a right to disagree with any administration.”

Al Gore, “He betrayed this country!”

Bill Ayers “I wish I had done more”

Rev Jeremiah Wright “ God Damn America and The US of KKK A”

No the left never spews hate… Now I have to go and mail a dead fish to someone…

Bill Clinton was disbarred for lying

April 21st, 2010
9:11 am

The unibomber Theodore Kaczynski had a copy of Al Gore’s book.

Lee Harvey Oswald had a copy of the Communist Manifesto.

Nope……the left never has committed an act of terror.

Here, let’s take a trip down hypocrite lane. A land in which left wingers live.

Death Threats Against Bush at Protests Ignored for Years

http://www.zombietime.com/zomblog/?p=621

NO WE CAN'T!

April 21st, 2010
9:13 am

Obama backers show signs of disappointment

Gay rights activists heckled President Barack Obama this week at a Democratic event that exposed signs of disenchantment threatening the party in November’s congressional elections.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63K0KS20100421

M Percy

April 21st, 2010
9:16 am

saywhat? 7:56 am It is the difference between standing up in a crowded theater and yelling “this movie sucks!” or yelling “Fire!”.One is responsible speech (even if horribly rude) and one is not.

Unless, of course, there happens actually to be a fire…

NO WE CAN'T!

April 21st, 2010
9:22 am

“One is responsible speech (even if horribly rude) and one is not. ”

So what did the right say to make McVeigh blow up the federal building?

Partisay

April 21st, 2010
9:38 am

How funny is it that we are hearing “If there is no evidence of it then it didn’t happen.” So if nobody (on the left, of course) just happened to not be there with a video camera to tape the incident as they walked by, then it just didn’t happen! What makes you think there would be someone on the left standing there in that crowd videotaping anyway?

And Karl Marx uses these words from Hillary Clinton as an example of inciting violence:

“I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration that somehow you’re not patriotic. And we should stand up and say ‘We are Americans and we have a right to disagree with any administration.”

Is that the best you can do?

David Smith

April 21st, 2010
9:52 am

So, if you were lectured that words matter by, say, President Bush (43) or Rush Limbaugh, with the exact same words in the exact same order with the exact same body language and inflection and in all ways precisely the same, you would listen to the message? How likely is it that you would hear words like that out of Mr. Limbaugh or the rest of hate radio and the news distortion and propaganda channel whose name I won’t even type because I like furry woodland creatures? About as likely as it would be to hear a slug stand up at a podium and wax poetically about the wonder and virtues of the geese that ate its family. Mr. Limbaugh, the rest of hate radio, and the network which shall not be named thrive on fomenting hate, not peace.

Karl Marx

April 21st, 2010
9:59 am

Partisay, what Hillary said only applies to the left. If you’re from the right you cannot debate or disagree or you are called a hate monger from the hate filled left. Now you forgot to cover others mentioned in my post. Al Gore, Bill Ayers, and Rev Jeremiah Wright. You been to the fish market today? I prefer sea bass and please try t send it next day. Parcel post takes too long and the postman hates the smell, thanks.

David Smith

April 21st, 2010
10:12 am

It is not hard to find what Mr. Limbaugh and others of hate-wing radio were saying about the Waco debacle, likening it to “an invasion”, accusing the government of killing the kids, taking away freedoms, etc. Had Mr. Limbaugh understood that words matter, that there are people out there on his claimed side of the spectrum that are farther from center than he claims to be, who will respond to the unfounded claims he made and makes and allusions he made and makes, then he would be ashamed. He, who professes personal responsibility as a guiding principle, wants nothing to do with it when personal responsibility extends to accepting the consequences, particularly when that means accepting partial culpability in a major domestic terrorism act. Use your google, rather than your hate-wing blogs, to find the transcripts of what was said by the hate-wing (at the time radio) between 4/19/2003 and 4/19/2005. Compare what was said to the facts both in evidence at the time and what has been learned subsequently. Was Waco a debacle? Yes, without a doubt. What was the act which precipitated the escalation, though? Could it have been the killing of the ATF agents serving a lawful warrant? And what about those kids, killed by the followers (not the fire they started, thankfully)? Or the faithful followers killing those not quite as faithful (not willing to suicide), then killing themselves – that counts not a whit either, right? Mr. “Bill Clinton was disbarred for lying”, you are factually correct that he was disbarred for lying, and should have been, and was impeached for lying, and should have been, but fortunately wasn’t convicted on the articles given what happened with the economy after that, you demand people find proof. I found it easily, just searching 1993 limbaugh response to waco in google. And on another note, for future reference, DON’T TIE THE HANDS OF THE HRT BEHIND THEIR BACKS IF YOU WANT A FAVORABLE OUTCOME TO A HOSTAGE SITUATION. The job they have is incredibly hard, don’t make it impossible and then blame them when you do. THAT, to me, is the greatest tragedy, the one that resulted indirectly in the deaths of the kids before the fire. Had HRT been allowed to do their job, just like had our military in Vietnam been allowed to do theirs, the outcome would have been far different.

The Snark

April 21st, 2010
10:15 am

Bob, you have a lot to say about “irony,” and we totally get that you don’t like Clinton, but I can’t help but notice that you have nothing to say about the substance of his essay.

Whatever you may think of Clinton (and the Snark tries not to think of Clinton,) he made some important points. You can pooh-pooh them as a “time-worn theme employed by liberals” all you want. But there are a lot of non-liberal Americans (including the Snark) who are sick of the scortched earth rhetoric that the right wing has perfected since the early 1990s, and worry about the damage it has done to civil discourse in this country.

ExTeaPartyMember

April 21st, 2010
10:20 am

@Bill Clinton was disbarred for lying…I am living proof that MOST of the Tea Party members are racist…so thanks for trying to defend us but no thanks because ppl like you don’t want the truth to known which is: MOST TEA PARTY MEMBERS ARE RACIST. This is why I left the party. Try to spin that.

Not on my watch

April 21st, 2010
10:29 am

If you say any language incites violence, you are taking away the responsibility of that person. We make our own choices.

BTW, what Clinton said is not comparable to inciting violence.

Limbaugh can say all he wants, I “grew out” of listening to him when I grew a brain. I have never believed him to be an idealogue. I believe him to be all capitalist, ’cause he is swimming in the cash!

Tricky

April 21st, 2010
10:50 am

Wow Bob, still bitter? You got what you wanted, he was impeached, his popularity surged. Yours, not so much. Let it go.

NO WE CAN'T!

April 21st, 2010
10:55 am

“What makes you think there would be someone on the left standing there in that crowd videotaping anyway?”

Because John Lewis said it happened while he was being filmed………

NO WE CAN'T!

April 21st, 2010
10:56 am

“Mr. Limbaugh, the rest of hate radio, and the network which shall not be named thrive on fomenting hate, not peace.”

AGAIN! WHAT DID LIMBAUGH SAY TO MAKE MCVIEGH BLOW UP THE BUILDING????????????

Bill Clinton was disbarred for lying

April 21st, 2010
10:57 am

“It is not hard to find what Mr. Limbaugh and others of hate-wing radio were saying about the Waco debacle, likening it to “an invasion”, accusing the government of killing the kids, taking away freedoms, etc.”

THEN PRODUCE EVIDENCE OF LIMBAUGH INSPIRING MCVEIGH TO BLOW UP THAT BUILDING.

Bill Clinton was disbarred for lying

April 21st, 2010
10:59 am

“I am living proof that MOST of the Tea Party members are racist…so thanks for trying to defend us but no thanks because ppl like you don’t want the truth to known which is: MOST TEA PARTY MEMBERS ARE RACIST. This is why I left the party. Try to spin that.”

1: Your comment makes absolutely no sense.
2: Prove that you’re an ex-tea party member.
3: Show PROOF, not rhetoric, that the tea party is racist.

Bill Clinton was disbarred for lying

April 21st, 2010
11:00 am

” BTW, what Clinton said is not comparable to inciting violence. ”

No, he is just responsible for the death of the people of Waco.

Bill Clinton was disbarred for lying

April 21st, 2010
11:01 am

“Whatever you may think of Clinton (and the Snark tries not to think of Clinton,) he made some important points.”

Clinton lied to America. Clinton was found guilty of lying to THE GRAND JURY and was disbarred. The man is a pathological liar who’s only legacy involves a cigar.

Operation Pink

April 21st, 2010
11:02 am

Remember when liberals praised Operation Pink for inciting violence against enlisting Marines…Wait sorry liberal media won’t doesn’t want people to remember that the the city of Berkley enable those thugs to physically deter volunteers from joining our armed forces by giving them the permits and “special parking spaces need to stop our brave young me.

Anti-Tea

April 21st, 2010
11:03 am

One other point what are the odds someone like the Oregon teacher are the ones slinging out racial slurs and other radical lingo at Tea Party rallies and then rushing a tape to the media to show how they are bad for our country. Stunt Journalism at its best…

Bill Clinton was disbarred for lying

April 21st, 2010
11:04 am

“Remember when liberals praised Operation Pink for inciting violence against enlisting Marines”

Yep, I also posted “kill bush” signs that liberals ignore. Liberals also ignore a movie made about killing Bush.

Liberals are flat out retarded.

J Biden

April 21st, 2010
11:12 am

THis is a Big Effin Deal!!!

Jefferson

April 21st, 2010
11:26 am

Bob, you still hate him, now don’t you.

Steve

April 21st, 2010
11:29 am

Dear “Bill Clinton was disbarred for lying”:

If you feel such an intense need to litter an entire comment board with your fallacious piffle, perhaps you should consider writing your own online column somewhere. I’m sure there’s room on http://hillbillywhitetrash.blogspot.com/ P.S. Get a f***ing job.

retiredds

April 21st, 2010
11:32 am

Yeah, Bob, you’re right language is very important. Since you brought up the subject, as I recall, two or three of the Republicans who were on Clinton’s impeachment panel were divorced at least once, and the impeccable Newt Gingrich who was riding the high impeachment wagon of his peers, has been divorced just a few times and was in a dalliance while one of his wive’s (# 2, I think) was ill. At last count Bill Clinton is still married to his first and only wife. So language is important especially when it comes to claiming the moral high ground. The “moral” of the story is you better know not only who is using what language but for what purposes. It could happen, if you’re not careful, that one might just claim to be something they’re not. But, of course, the Republicans are the “family values” party and we should take them at their word because they tell us so, but, on the other hand, beware of their actions.

Hmmmmmmm

April 21st, 2010
11:32 am

Why even talk about ANYTHING that Bill Clinton does or says….. He has proven himself to be nothing more than a DISGRACE to the office he served….