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Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years

Author: Rich Lowry
Publisher: Regnery Publishing • 2004 • 480 pages
Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years

Bill and Hillary Clinton don’t want you to read this book. Slick Willie has spent virtually every waking minute since he left office aggressively defending his legacy. Hillary plans to run for president on that legacy. But now, unfortunately for both Clintons, in Legacy Rich Lowry destroys Clinton’s record as president and proves that his administration was one of the most damaging ever for our nation.

With devastating precision and an impressive array of evidence, Lowry zeroes in on the character flaws that doomed Clinton’s presidency before it began. Detailing how Clinton went from being a politician with grandiose ambitions to a hyper-cautious, poll-driven placeholder, and presenting the full record of how he blinked in the face of the threat from militant Islam (despite repeatedly exclaiming, “Gosh, I miss the Cold War!” and publicly yearning to confront a great international crisis), Lowry closely examines every area on which Bill, Hillary, and the Clintonistas have pinned their hopes for a positive verdict from history: health care, the economy, domestic security, conflicts with rogue states and terrorists, peace in the Middle East, and more. The verdict in each case is the same: the Clinton presidency was a catastrophe of immense proportions, from which the nation could take decades to recover.

Lowry also examines how Clinton’s earlier career as Governor of Arkansas and an anti-Vietnam War agitator could have shown anyone that he would be a terrible President. The evidence presented here is so compelling that even Clinton’s former allies have admitted it! Lowry reveals the shattering verdict of former Clinton aides Dick Morris and George Stephanopoulos: the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy was right — their boss should never have become President. Legacy demonstrates that Clinton’s preoccupation with how historians would regard him was, ironically, part of the self-centeredness that kept him from accomplishing or even attempting anything of real value.

Here, then, is Clinton’s true legacy: the President as Navel-Gazer-in-Chief, the National Narcissus, with only one real political principle: devotion to himself. You won’t know the truth about Clinton until you read this book.

Lowry brings you the real Clinton legacy:

  • Why September 11 is the unmistakable result of Clinton’s misplaced priorities and lack of true vision as a leader
  • The feminization of the military: why this could be Clinton’s longest-lasting and most damaging legacy
  • The economy: Clinton didn’t really “grow it” — how he exaggerated the severity of the 1991 recession to get elected, and inflated his own economic accomplishments to get re-elected
  • Appalling evidence that Clinton again and again chose to do the shortsighted, politically expedient thing instead of what was right for our nation
  • How the Slick One sold out U.S. national security to campaign contributors
  • Clinton’s welfare reform bill: a substantive disaster, and a betrayal of most everything Clinton had seemed to be saying during his campaign
  • The Clinton health care plan: why it was wrongheaded and failed to address in any way the real deficiencies of the existing health care system
  • Clinton’s scandals: why they were very real — so real that in fact he did deserve impeachment
  • Clinton’s economic plan: intellectually flawed in almost every respect
  • The Clinton White House: its early (and lingering) juvenile, unprofessional edge
  • What Clinton’s efforts to dodge the Vietnam draft reveal about his lifelong goals, assumptions, and priorities
  • Why Hillary, in the words of Gail Sheehy, “is angry. Not all of the time. But most of the time”
  • Clinton’s shifting politics: how he tacked right to survive Gingrich, and tacked left to survive Monica
  • How Slick Willie made sexual liberation the only cause for which he took career-endangering risks
  • Why Clinton spent so much of his time as President on issues that were small, fuzzy, or ridiculous (he even spoke out on improving the nation’s TV viewing habits)
  • Why Clinton loved bold rhetoric while at the same time fearing to take bold action
  • Clinton’s unwillingness to use force abroad: how it emboldened America’s enemies
  • Why the Clinton administration never really recovered from the shock of the crash of Hillary’s health care plan
  • “He’s ad-libbing! He’s ad-libbing the State of the Union!” Why so much of Clinton’s presidency had an improvised, flying-by-the-seat-of-the-pants quality
  • Clinton’s kernel of lawlessness: how he admitted that any illegality — even accepting money from the Chinese — was justified by his belief in the self-evident goodness of his own re-election
  • The amazing story of Susan McDougal’s refusal to testify about Whitewater — paralleling behavior of witnesses “in mob cases or gang cases where the person just isn’t going to go against . . . the crooked organization”
  • “Never mind, those rules were for Republicans only”: how Clinton, to save his own skin, took a wrecking ball to post-Watergate political reforms that had been set in place by his own Democratic party
  • The fundamental weakness with the Clinton story line that the Whitewater investigation was ratcheted out of control by the “wild-eyed” Kenneth Starr
  • How almost every aspect of the Lewinsky scandal had been forecast by some earlier scandal or controversy, giving the eventual conflagration an aspect of inevitability
  • Clinton’s foreign policy: the posturing and self-righteousness of McGovernism, plus a blind focus on the bottom line and a cynical disregard for its own idealistic rhetoric
  • Chilling details that lend credence to Juanita Broaddrick’s allegation that she was raped by Clinton
  • The truth of Lani Guinier’s verdict on Clinton: he was “more consumed with winning than leading” — and convinced that when he was winning he was actually leading
  • How Clinton allowed the FBI to be handcuffed in its investigations of Islamic terrorists — by blocking initiatives that violated no Constitutional or other legal stricture
  • When Janet Reno failed: tough when it came to burning the Waco compound or returning a child to totalitarian Cuba — and AWOL on domestic security issues that offended minority constituents of the Democratic Party

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