Clinton’s reality better than his rhetoric

Bill Clinton may be the only politician that talks like just another “silver-tongued” politician, but governed like a free market, fiscal conservative. If you haven’t seen his speech from the DNC, check it out here. I have to admit that seeing Bill up there made me yearn for the days of 4.2% unemployment and a federal government that consumed “only” 18.2% of the overall economy. For reference, the federal government now consumes more than 24% of the US economy (perhaps that is why we all feel so poor these days?)

Anyway, there Clinton was, slumming for Obama and his big-government policies last night when, in reality, his ACTUAL GOVERNANCE saw a smaller government (relative to the overall economy) than the “radical” Paul Ryan has proposed (getting spending down to 20% of GDP).

Oh, and as if the contrast between Clinton’s very good record and his big-government rhetoric (which EJ Dionne gets wrong, of course) were not enough, there is successful welfare reform which Clinton signed and Obama has undermined, and NAFTA which Clinton pushed through Congress and signed, while Obama has been a major obstacle to expanded free trade.

Clinton may genuinely believe what he says both in terms of his policy pronouncements and his support for Obama, but faced with conservative opposition to his health care proposal, Clinton chose to govern from the middle or even the right. Obama, when faced with opposition to his policies has dug in and moved further left while the economy has continued to falter. Whether Obama wins re-election or not, that is the message that both parties need to take from Bill Clinton.