I admire restraint, up to a point. When you reach that point, though, if you continue with restraint, you begin to look weak, foolish and doubtful about your own position. I was therefore delighted to see that the Bush Administration, through Condi Rice, is taking on Clinton’s hysterical attack last week.
I have to say that I don’t remember, in my lifetime, two ex-Presidents being so aggressive in attacking their successor. I always remember a sort of gentility that had ex-Presidents sitting quietly aside out of respect for the office. Carter and Clinton, though, have no boundaries and no manners.
Carter’s conduct is actually slightly more excusable. He’s a horrible, stupid, anti-Semitic, tyranny-pandering boob, but his outbursts at least arise in service to his warped principles. Clinton, however, is concerned only with preserving his own self-image, and appears to care nothing about the world at large. I think that fact makes his attacks even baser than Carter’s loony tunes riffs.
(By the way, for a funny take on Clinton’s rant, Kevin tipped me off to this WuzzaDem post.)
UPDATE: Another “by the way”: Thanks to Zhombre for tipping me off to this Dick Morris article which talks about the actual facts behind Clinton’s tantrum. I especially appreciated the following, which sounded a personal note for me:
President Clinton assumes that criticism of his failure to kill bin Laden is a “nice little conservative hit job on me.” But he has it backwards. It is not because people are right-wingers that they criticize him over the failure to prevent 9/11. It was his failure to catch bin Laden that drove them to the right wing.