News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Time to stop blaming Clinton for all wrongs

With former President Bill Clinton now more popular in national polls than the incumbent, Republicans might want to change their political strategy.

For six years, they've relied on making everything that's bad out to be Mr. Clinton's fault. Just as the nation eventually forgave the disgraced Richard Nixon for Watergate, it today is coming around to liking Mr. Clinton better.

Part of Mr. Clinton's quickly emerging popularity is because the nation has become nostalgic for the good times of the late 1990s. It was a time when the nation wasn't sending soldiers to war for long periods of time, the United States had greater world respect, Russia was a budding democracy, gasoline prices were low and the nation had a balanced budget with a $155 billion surplus.

Mr. Clinton's quick temper flared recently at suggestions that his administration might have prevented 9/11 if he had been aggressive in fighting al-Qaida.

"That's the difference in me and some, including all of the right-wingers who are attacking me now," he said in a Fox News Channel interview. "They (Republicans) ridiculed me for trying. They had eight months to try. They did not try."

Accusing the Bush administration of not trying to head off terrorism before 9/11 is as blatantly unfair as blaming the eight years of Democratic rule under Mr. Clinton for all of the country's ills today.

President Bush has been in office for six years. At some point he must accept responsibility, even if he doesn't like the state of the nation.

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