Clinton gave Americans the finger, Obama gave them the shaft, Re: That finger of his, Toronto Globe & Mail, September 7, 2012

Former president Bill Clinton constantly wagged his finger at Americans during his speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina last week. Clinton has been wagging his finger at Americans for many years now and his speech at the convention was no exception.

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He wagged it whenever he wanted to emphasize a particular point he was making…whenever he wanted to make sure that Americans would pay attention to what he was saying…whenever he wanted to make sure Americans would believe what he was saying. It was as if Americans couldn’t be trusted to do those things on their own and needed the finger to make sure that they were getting the message. It was reminiscent of a strict adult wagging his finger in a child’s face in order to force him or her to act in a certain way, to get him or her to submit to the adults wishes. It was demeaning to Americans and very threatening too.

It was also reminiscent of his most famous finger wag of all, the one where he looked Americans straight in the eye, put his finger right in their faces and said “I did not have sexual intercourse with that woman.”

Even though they call him Slick Willie the finger wag didn’t work then and it won’t work now either. The finger wag didn’t prevent him from leaving office in disgrace and it also won’t force Americans to believe anything he said in his speech, especially since Americans know that he is a rogue, a liar, a crook and a philanderer whose record as president left a great deal to be desired. His speech was also full of distortions, omissions, phony rationalizations and “facts” that weren’t really facts at all and no amount of finger wagging can cover that up and convince Americans to deny the parlous state of their country and the reality they have to live with every day. Clinton has been giving Americans the finger since he first became a public figure and he gave it to them again when he spoke in Charlotte.

Current president Barack Obama followed Clinton onstage and proceeded to give Americans the shaft in his speech, just as Clinton gave them the finger in his. Obama’s speech was also full of distortions, omissions, phony rationalizations and “facts” that weren’t really facts at all and like Clinton he tried to convince Americans to deny that the country is in a parlous state and to deny their daily reality. He also tried to absolve himself of any blame or responsibility for the decline of the country and the decline in Americans lives and offered no substantial, viable, workable, concrete, realistic solutions to the problems America and Americans face…all he offered was rhetoric and the same failed ideology and policies of the past, ideology and policies which have been ruinous and failed wherever they have been tried I might add, not just in the United States. In effect, all he offered Americans was continued decline for them and the country…all he offered was more of the same even though what he has done as president has put America and Americans on the verge of rack and ruin and more of the same would push them over the edge. If that isn’t giving them the shaft I don’t know what is.

Clinton and Obama, Obama and Clinton…neither one of them can be trusted, both of them were lousy presidents (Obama being arguably the worst president in history) and both of them deserve each other.

Americans on the other hand don’t deserve either one of them.

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