Tuesday, April 12, 2016


When I first saw Bill Clinton get whiny, defensive, and angry with black people over the things he did as president. The first thing I thought of was how many black people were behind Bill Clinton's "draconian" measures against black people shooting up their neighborhoods during the crack epidemic.

I thought about how some of the young black people involved in Black Lives Matter seem to assume that black people trying to save their children from routine drive bys in the 1990s were simply stupid and "brain-washed."

In the 1990s, when I first heard advertising for the law, I was instantly against it. It sounded too harsh. But then I heard people living in inner city areas praising it because they were scared and I changed my mind. Crack was taking a good long time, a decade or more, to settle in. There were drive by shootings too regularly. And the 3 strikes law looked good, on the surface

It wasn't until I started reading the details in the voting pamphlet of the California version of the law that I changed my mind back. The law was too harsh and I voted against it.

It wasn't until I read the voting pamphlet that I realized that someone could wind up in jail for life for almost nothing if the crime had the word "felony" attached to it.

For example, you could be sitting in a car. Your buddies come running out of the store where they were supposed to be buying Poptarts and then later you find out they robbed the store at gun point and that you were the get away driver. That counts as your violent felony if nobody believes you when you say you didn't know what was going on. And maybe the judgmental among us will say that's your fault for picking bad friends.

But your next two felonies could be something stupid like forging checks (not violent)

Three strikes and you're out 

Anecdotal evidence suggests that most of the voting public don't read those voting pamphlets by my estimation.  So once these three strikes laws were in place, a good number of reasonable people were surprised by how easily a minor criminal could wind up in jail for life.

Authoritarian jackasses on the right didn't care and still don't care. And there may have been some folk living in the crack war zone that didn't care a about minor criminals either.  But there were a bunch of people in the middle and on the left, politically speaking, that were negatively surprised by the law they supported.

In other words, Bill Clinton may have slid to the right too often and too easily for my taste. But he's not lying about those laws being passed to stop the blood shed in black neighborhoods and that he had black support to do so. He's not lying about that.

But 2016 is NOT the time to be defending his presidency to people who probably weren't even born yet. He's supposed to be out there supporting Hillary, not himself.

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The second thing I thought about when watching Bill go back and forth with Black Lives Matter is that all Bill cares about is defending his own presidency. Rightly or Wrongly, I thought, "Men have no experience putting themselves and their opinions on the back burner. All he has to do is say supportive stuff about Hillary and shut up. "

I keep thinking about how many things Michelle Obama has had to leave unsaid for the last 7 years, especially the first 4 years in order to keep Barack forward in the limelight and herself back and out of the limelight. Bill Clinton hasn't gotten anywhere near being this form of supportive, making sure he's just a shadow not outshining his wife the candidate. He shot his mouth off in 2008 too.

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But this third interpretation of Clinton's actions, presented in Cosmo Magazine, makes more sense. And it has the added benefit of being very consistent with past behavior.

What if that little outburst with Black Lives Matter was purposeful? What if Bill was supposed to be dog-whistling to the white independents in the middle?

"...Yet, I would be reluctant to say that Bill Clinton's angry tirade against BLM was a misstep, a moment of him just losing his cool, or an unfortunate slip of the tongue. Rather, not only do I think that the former president meant every word he said, I also think that his pushback was deliberate and purposeful. A calculated risk, perhaps, but one that could pay off big in the long run. Clinton might have been dismissing the young people who spoke out against him and his wife, but he was really talking to another audience, one that was largely outside of that room.
Sure, Bernie Sanders has the bleeding hearts on lock, but the Clinton campaign is not just interested in winning over liberals and progressives. They also hope to garner votes from disaffected whites who feel left behind in the economic and demographic shifts the country is going through. And while some, perhaps even many, of these white potential voters are supporting Donald Trump, some of them are on the fence about the demagogue and are equally disinterested in his truly conservative opponents, Ted Cruz and John Kasich.
Bill Clinton was talking to those voters, letting the folks who think that today's BLM protesters are whiny, entitled, spoiled Millennial brats who don't know about following orders. And that he and, by proxy, Hillary Clinton are not afraid to put these uppity negroes back in their place...


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