Is Bill Clinton Still Triangulating?

May 25th, 2011 at 4:17 pm | 7 Comments |

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In this video, ABC News catches Paul Ryan and Bill Clinton sharing a few words behind the scenes at a Pete Peterson Foundation event:

Clinton says he is glad the Democrats won in NY but says “I hope the Democrats don’t use this as an excuse to do nothing.” Ryan in turn says that he is afraid there is going to be “paralysis” over the debate but says that it’s the only way “to get this thing moving.” At the end, Clinton says that Ryan should “give him a call”.

Is Clinton just engaging in triangulation, even out of office?

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7 Comments so far ↓

  • PracticalGirl

    Is he? God I hope so. There are lessons that every politician could learn from Clintonian triangulation, and he’s still listened to and watched.

    • Smargalicious

      You think so, girl? Slick Willie was an impeached sexual predator and serial adulterer.

      Just keepin’ it real.

  • Graychin

    “Bill Clinton triangulates.”

    What the heck does that mean, and how does it apply to NY-26 and Paul Ryan?

    Will someone please explain?

  • Kevin B

    Is Clinton just engaging in triangulation, even out of office?

    I don’t understand what the word “just” is supposed to mean in this context.

    Is it something like: “Oh, don’t pay any attention to him, he’s just triangulating.”?

    Or is it: “Is triangulating all he’s up to, or is he doing something even more impressive, like squaring?”

  • WaStateUrbanGOPer

    Ditto Practical Girl. I share Bill Clinton’s fears about a desperately needed reform of Medicare. If Democrats sincerely want to rescue the programme from insolvency, then they need to do what too many in the GOP (including– no, ESPECIALLY– Paul Ryan) don’t have the balls to do: raise new revenues.

    There is plenty of tappable wealth out there, in the form of individual income as well as corporate income. The Democrats really have no reason to fear a backlash over raising taxes. Polls show that a large plurality of Americans are open to tax increases. Many well educated and wealthy urban professionals are more than willing to pay more to the IRS in order to fund entitlement programs for the poor. And imagine the revenues that could be raised through closing corporate loopholes and by doing a so-called “reduction of spending in the tax code,” i.e. revoking tax credits. I’ll cross my fingers and hope the Dems propose something along these lines, rather than just take a page from the Teabaggers and demogogue this issue to death without offering any serious counter-proposals.

  • CentristNYer

    Clinton’s fears are well founded. Unfortunately, I think Dems will assume that any Republican effort to reform Medicare is political gold and their response — rather than proposing a fairer, more workable plan — will be to run ads showing Paul Ryan rolling a senior’s wheelchair off a cliff. This is not going to solve any of our long-term fiscal issues.

    I hope Clinton is buttonholing Democrats with a similar message.

    • LFC

      Centrist, if the Dems do simply use this as an opportunity to bash Republicans, it will mean that they decided to heed the lessons they were taught so brutally after Bush’s economic catastrophe and during the health care reform debate. If they emulate Republican tactics, then absolutely nothing gets done. Judging from the amount of minority obstruction we’ve seen, it appears that this is exactly what Republicans want. You can only run away from your own positions so many times before it becomes abundantly obvious that all you care about is power and not about the country.

      Plus with the primaries coming up in 9 months, the Dems are in no hurry to stick their necks out rather than to deliver a beating in return. Sad, but that is now what politics has become in America. And you have to admit that the Ryan plan is so outlandish and so completely dysfunctional that it deserves a beating.

      Now if the Republicans come back with something that can be discussed, are willing to have a real debate, and are willing to accept a compromise, I hope that the Dems remain the adults and don’t just dig in their heels and trash them for it. But the Republicans showed that they had no interest in negotiations and compromise with the stimulus bill, the debt reduction committee, or health insurance reform. Since virtually every effort Obama has made to negotiate with them has been rebuffed and demagogued, it’s up to them to change the tone so that problems can be resolved. I won’t hold my breath.