Really Blaming America?
By Morris Smith
I remember back when conservatives believed what they said.
I remember Jean Kirkpatrick inveighing against people on
the left who didn't hold people responsible for their actions.
"When Marxist dictators shoot their way into power in Central
America, the San Francisco Democrats don't blame the guerrillas
and their Soviet allies, they blame United States policies
of one hundred years ago, but then they always blame America
first." She offered that pearl of wisdom a scant 17 years
ago, at the 1984 Republican National Convention.
How then to explain the depths the Republican Party has sunk
to today? When terrorists slam airplanes into the World Trade
Center what do they do? They blame America first.
Consider the evidence.
Dana Rohrabacher (within hours of the attack!): "We had Bill
Clinton backing off, letting the Taliban go, over and over
The New York Post: Clinton promised to track down [terrorists
worldwide] - and he didn't. This sent a signal that U.S. interests
at home and abroad were open to attack... the man's lack of
self-control caused him to ignore his primary responsibility
- keeping America and its citizens safe. And the price for
that irresponsibility is being paid now."
Newt Gingrinch: "The Clinton policy [has] failed."
Andrew Sullivan: "When a senior Clinton official [says] that
Clinton 'spent less concentrated attention on national defense
than any other President in recent memory,' and when this
presidency is followed by the most grievous breach of domestic
security in American history, it is not unreasonable to demand
some accounting. With each passing day, the Clinton legacy
gets darker and darker."
Oliver North: "The finger of blame ought to be pointed where
it belongs -- at the tawdry tenure of William Jefferson Blythe
The new "Blame America First" crowd is perfectly content
to let the terrorists off the hook, as long as it affords
them another chance to bash their favorite target. Correct
me if I'm wrong, but I believe the point of Jeanie's little
rant was that if Marxist dictators shoot their way into power,
it's the Marxists dictators who should be held responsible
for it. Taking responsibility for one's own actions and all
that. It's supposed to be a tenet of conservatism.
Obviously it's been replaced by hypocrisy.
Now, the right seems driven to lay the fault for the worst
attack on Americans in American history at the feet of a fellow
But the problem is a far greater one than simple hypocrisy.
This denotes a true pathology on the part of the right. They're
like the little kid in "The Sixth Sense," except they see
Clinton everywhere. Everything they see as wrong and evil,
in this country and abroad, Clinton is at the root of it.
It's part of the reason that they were never successful at
bringing him down. People recognize rabidity when they see
If it's true that generals always fight the last war, then
it's equally true that ideologues always try to rewrite the
results of the last election. Especially if they lost.
And make no mistake that's what this is about. We've been
subjected to a decade of the most concentrated smear job ever
devoted to one human being. All because the right can't seem
to bring themselves to face the truth. They lost.
They lost in 92. They lost in 96. They lost in 2000. And
they cannot forgive Clinton for beating them time and time
again or themselves for being beaten by him.
But most of all, they can't forgive America for being the
instrument of their defeat. And this is where the right makes
their biggest mistake.
For, in blaming Clinton for everything under the sun, including
9/11, they miss the larger point. They're really blaming the
people who elected him, the people who re-elected him and
the people who still respect him today. In other words, America.
Sometimes, I marvel at the Big Dog's ability to have those
who are arrayed against him forget their past ideas, lose
their so-called principles, forsake the American public and
drop everything, in a blind desire to get him one last time.
The new "Blame America First" crowd can't possibly believe
that this latest attempt will be successful in bringing down
their target. Any rational person can see that this says a
lot more about them than the target. But then I remember the
true genius of Clinton.
The genius of Bill Clinton is not that he always defeats
his enemies. His real genius is how he always causes his enemies
to defeat themselves.