Today’s Award for injecting Bill Clinton into an argument for no reason whatsoever goes to Matt Yglesias, who willfully and intentionally conflates the numerous Gorelick conflict of interest stories with right wing angst about Bill Clinton. Sayeth the Prospect’s newest protege:
I’m given to understand from several testy rightwing bloggers concerned that liberals have paid insufficient attention to the incident that John Ashcroft gave Democratic 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick the what-for yesterday over her involvement while at the DOJ in erecting the “wall” that made it hard for the FBI to share information properly with other agencies. If so, good for him.
One of the difficulties I think a lot of people on the right have in grasping what’s going on at the 9/11 Commission is that Bill Clinton isn’t running for president. I have no interest — not even a partisan interest — in denying that Clinton and his appointees messed up in a variety of ways. Not even a partisan interest, let me say again, because Bill Clinton isn’t running for president. My interest as a patriotic American is purely in bringing the facts to light so we can make changes for the better. My partisan interest is, especially, in bringing to light facts that reflect poorly on George W. Bush and his appointees — the various ways in which they disimproved on the inadequate Clinton-era set-up.
So, again, Bill Clinton not running for president.
We agree with one premise- Bill Clinton is not running for President. Which leads me to wonder why Matt would inject him into a conversation about national security policies- other than a blatantly transparent attempt to shift all legitimate criticisms of Gorelick’s role in creating the security mess into a pile of hubris masquerading as relentless right-wing hatred of Clinton- which, I must note, is exactly like the “Anyone But Bush” animus currently held by the Democrats.
At any rate, and Matt knows this, but George Bush IS running for President. Matt and the other Democrats have had a field day in the last few months trying pin responsibility of 9/11 on Bush’s incompetence. When it comes to light that one of the most partisan members of the Commission that the Democrats are using as a baton to beat Bush over the head is a principle actor in creating the mess that helped to hinder Bush and our intelligence agencies from stopping 9/11, it is a very legitimate avenue of inquiry and outrage.
See Matt- it isn’t about Clinton at all- and you know it. An artful dodge on your part, worthy of a Blumenthal or Begala, but one that has not gone unnoticed.