Because some people hate freedomSteve Hammer

Few things are more satisfying than seeing your enemies gnash their teeth and rend their garments, and that's exactly what Bill Clinton's foes are doing this week. I think what they're most upset about is that Bill Clinton is the only politician in the last 50 years to give the hard-core conservatives the finger and get away with it.

The release of Clinton's autobiography and the accompanying media blitz have enraged the extreme right-wing conservatives to the point where their mouths are foaming.

"He's always in my face," said WIBC's Greg Garrison, the standard-bearer for the Genghis Khan wing of the Republican Party, on Monday morning. It's as if the former president has nothing better to do than piss off has-been radio hacks like Garrison.

They're also upset that Bill Clinton is back in the spotlight, despite the fact the conservatives just got done spending an entire week worshipping the corpse of Ronald Reagan and planning to put his face on the $1, $5, $10 and $20 bills.

Reagan would be angry at these efforts to canonize him, claims his son, Ron, but the conservatives still want to name every road, bridge, highway and ditch after ol' Ronnie.

So it doesn't make sense that they're still angry at William Jefferson Clinton, but nothing makes sense from these people. If JFK was still alive, they'd be bitching about him, too. They still blame Jimmy Carter, and he's been out of office for almost 25 years.

I think what they're most upset about is that Bill Clinton is the only politician in the last 50 years to give the hard-core conservatives the finger and get away with it. And that was his biggest crime: Not kissing the rumps of the Rush Limbaughs of the world led directly to his impeachment.

It's been more than five years since the Senate found Clinton not guilty in its impeachment trial and I'm still angry about it. The sore-loser Republicans trampled on the Constitution to find any flimsy excuse to impeach Clinton - and they almost got away with it.

Instead of devoting more funds to fight terrorism, or preparing for the upcoming recession, or even supporting Clinton's strikes against Iraq, the Republican Party spent more than a year trying to find a semen stain on Monica Lewinsky's dress.

That's why I agree with Clinton that the impeachment process was a badge of honor. When the evildoers are against you, you know you are fighting a righteous battle.

When Clinton finally beat back his attackers, it wasn't just a personal victory. It was a victory for all of us and for freedom as well.

More than that, Clinton was probably the last president of our lifetimes who knew what it was like to have been poor. His father died before he was born and his mother struggled all her life to make ends meet. His stepfather used to get drunk and beat the shit out of his mom. Once he even fired a gun at her.

But listen to what Clinton told Dan Rather the other night. He refused to hate his stepfather.

"I had some understanding that he was a good man and couldn't whip his drinking problem," Clinton said. "And that he was full of demons that he couldn't control it and he took it out in destructive, hateful ways. I hated what he did, but I never hated him."

Clinton was able through hard work and dedication to overcome these obstacles. He wouldn't have been able to afford college if he hadn't won academic scholarships, because his family was dirt-poor.

The only time the current President Bush has known hardship was when he ran out of booze after the liquor stores were all closed.

Bill Clinton was a champion of the little guy. Bush's only friends are multimillionaires. In Arkansas, Clinton was supported by farmers and the poor. Bush's biggest backers are arms dealers and oil tycoons.

So it makes sense that the conservatives still hate Bill Clinton and will continue to blame him for the rest of his life. He is hated by conservatives for the same reasons the terrorists hate America: He is free. He was successful against all the odds. And today's conservatives hate freedom.

He continues to inspire free-thinking people worldwide while our current president only inspires anger against America.

His administration, despite all the witchhunts, was possibly the most successful in American history. Millions of people moved from welfare to work. He helped eliminate the budget deficit that had plagued the country for years. At home, he helped open the doors of opportunity for millions of poor people. When he left office in January 2001, we were at peace.

And that's maybe really why Bill Clinton is despised so much by the Taliban Republicans: He was a success.


"You never feel more like a hillbilly than when you're covering the hole in your vent window with duct tape." Those kinds of insights are what you'll find in my new online Weblog, available exclusively on

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