During the eight years of the Clinton Administration, America learned a lot about the leadership of the Democratic Party. One area that stands out the most is that when they are called on the carpet for their misdeeds they have a habit of shifting blame to others for their own mistakes and using political slight of hand so the focus is removed from their personal asininity.
California Gov. Gray Davis (D.) is no exception. Consider the following quotes excerpted from a speech he delivered in Los Angeles on Tuesday regarding the recall campaign.
Pass the Buck
“I played the hand I was dealt as best I could. I inherited the energy deregulation scheme which put all of us at the mercy of the big energy producers. We got no help from the federal government. In fact, when I was fighting Enron and the other energy companies, these same companies were sitting down with Vice President Cheney to draft a national energy strategy.”
“I’m not happy with the budget I signed recently. . . . But it was the best we could do, given the position of Republican legislators who would not compromise and who wanted to strip away health insurance benefits from 400,000 children of working parents rather than increase taxes on the wealthiest Californians. But as everyone considers how we got in this situation, let me put our situation into perspective. The American economy has tanked. Over the last couple of years, it has shed 3 million jobs and gone from record surpluses to record deficits. Forty-six other states are facing similar problems.”
“So those spending increases . . ., those increases were supported by Democrats and Republicans in Sacramento.”
Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy
Hillary Clinton, NBC’s Today Show, January 27, 1998: But I do believe that this is a battle. I mean, look at the very people who are involved in this, they have popped up in other settings. This is the great story here, for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it, is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president.
“Now, let’s talk about the recall. This recall is bigger than California. What’s happening here is part of an ongoing national effort to steal elections Republicans cannot win.”
“It started with the impeachment of President Clinton when the Republicans could not beat him in 1996. It continued in Florida where they stopped the vote count, depriving thousands of Americans of the right to vote. This year, they’re trying to steal additional congressional seats in Colorado and Texas, overturning legal redistricting plans. Here in California, the Republicans lost the governor’s race last November. Now they’re trying to use this recall to seize control of California just before the next presidential election.”
“But this right-wing power grab is something we won’t get over. It would do lasting damage to our state, our environment and the very fabric of our democracy.”
I Have to Get Back to Work
Bill Clinton, Press Conference, January 27, 1998: But I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time. Never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the American people.
“Call me old-fashioned, but I believe when an election is over, the people have spoken and it’s time to get to work and do the public’s business.”
“For the next seven weeks, my highest priority will be doing the job you elected me to do. But make no mistake, I am going to fight this recall and the right-wing forces behind it. You can take that to the bank.”
Look! Over There!
“My friends, from day one I have fought to improve our schools. This year in Sacramento, believe it or not, the Republicans wanted to kick 110,000 kids out of kindergarten. But we worked together and we stopped it.”
“Proposition 54 is another Republican effort to divide Californians over race. I’m going to fight this initiative and I’m going to fight every day to make equal opportunity a reality for every person living in this great state.”
Davis seems to have learned from the best — and learned it well.