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How is Bill Clinton's presidency perceived in the US today?

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The Albatross

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Apr 15, 2010
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Amongst people like me... White, moderate to progressive, middle-class, it's remembered well. Almost nobody that I know really holds anything against Bill Clinton for his sexual escapades. They think it's embarrassing that he lied to the country about it, but because we were under unbridled growth, most people think positively about it, and think more negatively about Kenneth Starr and Republican leadership attacking Clinton for those escapades.

Although, I do think there's something troubling with that when I take off my partisan jacket and look at it sober minded. Clinton has been embroiled in a number of sex scandals most of which are him abusing his power over a woman, usually using his power as governor or president to take advantage of someone who works or reports to him. He's also been accused of being actually raping a woman. Clinton then uses his power to dismiss the allegation outright, and then goes onto character assassinate the woman (or victim depending on your perspective), and then once the dust has settled and Clinton comes out relatively unscathed, he admits that she was telling the truth and he says he's sorry. But, most progressive-minded people laugh it off as "Ol' Bill up this shenanigans!" I think part of this is because the Right was so divisive in their attacks on Clinton, but really, I think it outlines a double standard amongst Democrats.

I think if we step back and look at the Monica Lewinsky scandal outside of the Republican and Democratic flag waving, we'd see something much more troubling. For instance, if the CEO of a company used his position in the company to have sex with a young, up-and-coming woman in the company, and then that relationship resulted in her losing her job and being blackballed from the industry, while he comes out relatively unscathed save for some uncomfortable televised mea culpas (yet goes onto earn millions of dollars in subsequent years), I think progressives would have a lot more condemnation for that CEO. But because it's "our guy" we look the other way.

There were also some uncomfortably unprogressive laws that Clinton worked with congress on: the Defense of Marriage Act, Don't Ask Don't Tell, and Republican welfare reform most notably. But because the economy was moving at such a furious pace, I think most people are willing to look beyond this.

So, Clinton's presidency as seen well. Even in the debate this week, you had the Republican nominee seemingly agreeing with the Democratic nominee that his presidency was a success but that she couldn't take credit for it. That's not something you'd see in most political debates.
 

KingK

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Oct 23, 2010
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He is a sick fuck and a creep, who likely committed sexual harassment and possibly rape. Even the Lewinsky thing is grossly unethical considering his position of authority over her. He caved to the right on a number of issues that have had long reaching negative consequences and fucked over minorities and the poor.

But hey, at least there was the internet boom and he was so charming

People who know the facts regard him as a charismatic neoliberal who did a lot of shit to make life worse for minorities and the poor.

.
 

Bedlam

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Oct 4, 2011
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What I still wonder, do the sex scandals really matter for the majority of Americans or was it always just a talking point? I mean, it has zero to do with actual politics...

(I have no doubt that especially some hypocritical conservatives think it's most important even though they've all done worse shit)
 

Dishwalla

Banned
Dec 2, 2010
14,532
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Hampton Roads, Virginia
Think there's a greater divide of opinions on him with older people, but I've noticed that among people my age generally hold him in a decent regard, even if they are more Republican now. Also the sex scandal stuff doesn't seem to be a big deal in the minds of younger people.
 

Guevara

Member
Jul 27, 2009
24,814
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Re: the crime bill

I think a lot of people have forgotten the situation around why we thought we needed it, how it got passed, and who supported it.

I think we also forget some of the good intentions in the bill (for example, the Violence Against Women language, the assault weapons ban).

Black mayors and black religious leaders rallied in support of the bill, and ultimately the Black Congressional Caucus came out in the last minute to save it... So it's a little more complex.
 
Sep 1, 2011
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Honestly I think during it most Republicans didn't view it favorably obviously however I think today despite most not wanting to admit it would have a much greater opinion of it.
I know for a fact my huge mostly Republican family have completely flipped on him over the years and all pretty much view him as one of the better overall of recent history.
 

IrishNinja

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May 12, 2009
40,062
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Vice City
no one cares about the sex scandals. i can barely imagine why anyone cared then.

DADT i thought was a compromise with the GOP, drug war/militarization of the police is clearly shit now but he came into office during a high time for crime, i imagine those are only really surprising if you thought he leaned more left than center? still shitty, granted.

i legit either didn't know for forgot that 3 strike law was him, though. that's a particularly terrible one, especially for how it's been for the black community.
 

Frozenprince

Banned
Sep 26, 2013
31,941
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Re: the crime bill

I think a lot of people have forgotten the situation around why we thought we needed it, how it got passed, and who supported it.

I think we also forget some of the good intentions in the bill (for example, the Violence Against Women language, the assault weapons ban).

Black mayors and black religious leaders rallied in support of the bill, and ultimately the Black Congressional Caucus came out in the last minute to save it.

Because they were terrified and whipped into a hysteria by the federal government because of a crack "epidemic" that didn't actually exist. Black men and women in positions of power were convinced that crack, not the fed, was what was destroying black communities. It wasn't until the dust settled that they realized they'd been duped.

We can't ignore historical context but we can examine the flaws in that context through the benefit of hindsight. Just because something seemed like the right decision at the time doesn't necessarily mean we're removed from judgement of it's repercussions. In fact I'd argue the inverse is true.
 

Atlagev

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Feb 26, 2006
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980
Good and Bad

Good and the short term for the country over all.

But now the long term affect got more people second guessing.

- Dont ask dont tell

there where positives, dont get me wrong, but yeah, His presidency, for me, is largely questionable in hindsight

As far as Don't Ask, Don't Tell goes, this was actually a *positive* step at the time. I know it seems hard to think about it that way now, but, at the time, gays were *banned* from serving in the military. Clinton wanted to end the ban altogether, so this was a sort of compromise.

Obviously, as society changed, the policy had to change, but you have to think of what the public sentiment was at the time.
 

kamspy

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Dec 16, 2008
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Uh, this topic got nuked it looks like?

What do you mean? He was saying over the top things like Bill Clinton brought back slavery. Which are over the top, but what I think he meant by them was the war on drugs and 3 strikes law put a disproportionate number of minorities in jail, and how prison labor is the cheapest labor.
 

The Albatross

Member
Apr 15, 2010
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What I still wonder, do the sex scandals really matter for the majority of Americans or was it always just a funny talking point? I mean, it has zero to do with actual politics...

(I have no doubt that especially some hypocritical conservatives think it's most important even though they've all done worse shit)

The Sex scandals probably never mattered for a majority of Americans even then, as especially now as the years have gone on. It was certainly entertaining, but the reaction to the sex scandals was typically driven more by Republican leadership than it was truly public antipathy against Clinton.

But, as I said in my previous post, while that was the reality of it, it's a bit of a disturbing reality.
 

kamspy

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Dec 16, 2008
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Black American Pyscho got banned by mods, and then nuked (he disappeared from the time stream).

What I meant was I thought it was obvious. He was posting things that were clearly over the top. What I think he meant was the war on drugs and 3 strikes laws, combined with for profit prison labor, reminds him of slavery.

But I don't know. Maybe he made a request to a moderator to have them deleted.
 

guek

Banned
Apr 27, 2011
18,685
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The left love him

The right think he destroyed American morals (but urge you to vote Trump)

I think he was above average as a president who did a lot of good but also made way too many many policy mistakes.he's also a bit of a shitty person.
 

The Hamburglar

but get my takes from clown world with Ronald
Mar 6, 2016
4,062
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He's like tony blair. People like him because he had charisma and could be charming and in bills case down to earth. Then if you actually look past the fluff, they weren't good at all.
 

Hari Seldon

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Dec 5, 2008
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People who know the facts regard him as a charismatic neoliberal who did a lot of shit to make life worse for minorities and the poor.

Pretty much this. Except he got lucky enough to see huge short term gains with the 90s internet bubble.
 

Fritz

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Nov 17, 2006
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The Sex scandals probably never mattered for a majority of Americans even then, as especially now as the years have gone on. It was certainly entertaining, but the reaction to the sex scandals was typically driven more by Republican leadership than it was truly public antipathy against Clinton.

But, as I said in my previous post, while that was the reality of it, it's a bit of a disturbing reality.

Over here in Germany everybody laughed it off. These days we have thankfully a serious discussion on these kind of sexual oppressions in politics.
 

Kusagari

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Dec 29, 2005
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He's probably one of the luckiest presidents in history really. The internet boom coinciding with his presidency causes so many to not really dig into the stuff he did.
 

Gotchaye

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Dec 12, 2008
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Generally very well.

Here's a YouGov poll from two years ago where he was at 60% favorability (14% higher than their sample had for Obama at the time). That was 82% among Democrats and black people.
https://today.yougov.com/news/2014/09/02/looking-back-bill-clintons-presidency/

Gallup asks people for Bill Clinton favorability every so often and this was up to the high 60s during Obama's second term. It dropped to 49 once the 2016 primary started up.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/1618/favorability-people-news.aspx

I would guess that he's a little less popular now because of the 2016 primary and now the election but still the most popular living ex-president, and people on the left are going to be overwhelmingly pro- his presidency. People on the right will at least right now be very likely to think his presidency was a disaster.
 

Rabbi_Vole

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Jan 8, 2012
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It's weird to think someone who had sex with a president might also become president. Has this ever happened?
 

Inuhanyou

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A presidency defined by extreme racial inequality, strife and internment as well as being based in a period of great technological expansion, which helped the country into a great period of expansion as well.

For me, it will be the era which defined the Democrats are succumbing to conservative-lite tactics of funneling money from powerful interests and becoming more war oriented and more lead by corporate malfeasance, in an attempt to appeal more to what was at the time, a more right leaning country on both social and economic fronts.

Bill was the one who signed away the deregulation of the banks let us not forget, and partially caused the great banking crash of 08. Its something that had a huge impact on where we stand today.
 

Hari Seldon

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Dec 5, 2008
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The Sex scandals probably never mattered for a majority of Americans even then, as especially now as the years have gone on. It was certainly entertaining, but the reaction to the sex scandals was typically driven more by Republican leadership than it was truly public antipathy against Clinton.

But, as I said in my previous post, while that was the reality of it, it's a bit of a disturbing reality.

Yes because back in the 90s there were two mindsets:

1. The people who thought the president should be moral and an example to look up to (i.e. the traditional american view).

2. The people that said: OF FUCKING COURSE a powerful man should fuck their young interns!

For some reason everyone laughs off #1 and ignores #2.
 

sflufan

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May 5, 2007
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Bill Clinton was the best damned Republican president the US has had in the last 30 years!
 

Dr.Parity

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Nov 24, 2014
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A presidency defined by extreme racial inequality, strife and internment as well as being based in a period of great technological expansion, which helped the country into a great period of expansion as well.

For me, it will be the era which defined the Democrats are succumbing to conservative-lite tactics of funneling money from powerful interests and becoming more war oriented and more lead by corporate malfeasance, in an attempt to appeal more to what was at the time, a more right leaning country on both social and economic fronts.

Bill was the one who signed away the deregulation of the banks let us not forget, and partially caused the great banking crash of 08. Its something that had a huge impact on where we stand today.

This is just wrong.

Glass-Steagall was gutted by the time it was repealed fully. Even if it was in place, it wouldn't have prevented the 08 crash.
 

The Albatross

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Apr 15, 2010
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It's weird to think someone who had sex with a president might also become president. Has this ever happened?

I think I'm 50/50 as to whether Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton actually had sex while Bill was president. Bill Clinton's sex scandals go back deep in his tenure as governor of Arkansas, and Hillary wasn't an idiot.
 

WaffleTaco

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Apr 1, 2014
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I don't like him for a variety of reasons:

Sex Scandals
Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Defense Against Marriage Act
Foreign Policy in General
Crime Laws
Drug War
 

kamspy

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Dec 16, 2008
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Bill Clinton was the best damned Republican president the US has had in the last 30 years!

I would say most effective republican president ever.

[*] Banking deregulation

[*] 3 strikes law

[*] Mandatory minimum sentences for non violent drug offenders

[*] Bringing democracy to Yugoslavia
 

Hazmat

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Sep 5, 2005
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It's weird to think someone who had sex with a president might also become president. Has this ever happened?

They've all been men. Are you asking if we've had Presidents with secret homosexual affairs with former Presidents? I mean, maybe Jackson and John Quincy Adams hate-fucked each other once or twice, but other than that...
 

VendettaRed07

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Aug 8, 2014
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A presidency defined by extreme racial inequality, strife and internment as well as being based in a period of great technological expansion, which helped the country into a great period of expansion as well.

For me, it will be the era which defined the Democrats are succumbing to conservative-lite tactics of funneling money from powerful interests and becoming more war oriented and more lead by corporate malfeasance, in an attempt to appeal more to what was at the time, a more right leaning country on both social and economic fronts.

Bill was the one who signed away the deregulation of the banks let us not forget, and partially caused the great banking crash of 08. Its something that had a huge impact on where we stand today.
Blaming him for this would be like someone in the future blaming Obama if the Saudi Arabia lawsuits go through and sets precedents that cause international political mayhem. It passed congress with a veto-proof majority.
 

Rabbi_Vole

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Jan 8, 2012
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I think I'm 50/50 as to whether Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton actually had sex while Bill was president. Bill Clinton's sex scandals go back deep in his tenure as governor of Arkansas, and Hillary wasn't an idiot.

Isn't it your patriotic duty to bang the president if you're married to him? /s
 

excelsiorlef

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Sep 20, 2014
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I don't like him for a variety of reasons:

Sex Scandals
Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Defense Against Marriage Act
Foreign Policy in General
Crime Laws
Drug War

I'm focusing on this one brcause frankly the others are far more up for debate but I always feel the need to address DADT... the other option was maintaining the full on ban, which meant witch hunts were allowed, etc... Clinton campaigned on open service, he wanted open service, he was not going to get open service....

DADT sucked but it was that or something extremely worse.
 
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