Whom do you respect more as President - Bill Clinton or George W. Bush?

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Whom do you respect more as President - Bill Clinton or George W. Bush?

  • Bill Clinton

    Votes: 53 71.6%
  • George W. Bush

    Votes: 7 9.5%
  • I respect neither

    Votes: 10 13.5%
  • I respect both equally

    Votes: 4 5.4%

  • Total voters
    74
  • #26
JasonRox
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So, have fun paying off the national debt.
 
  • #27
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one ''did'' an intern
the other ''did'' the country
 
  • #28
russ_watters
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You mean regardless of whether they work?
Sure, that too. But at least he believes they work (or are right, which isn't necessarily the same thing).

The question wasn't asking whether either one was a good president. I respect my boss much more than either of them, but he'd make a worse President than both combined.
SticksandStones said:
What? You respect him more because he GOES AGAINST THE WISHES OF THE PEOPLE HE SERVES? Is this a Democracy or not? He is not King George, for the love of god!
You soooooooooooo miss the point of our system of government. He was elected, wasn't he? If you actually think he stole both elections, fine, but if you accept that he was elected, that's all there is for the country's input (until the next election). The entire point of a representative system is that you elect someone who will make his/her own decisions.

And that was one big difference between Clinton and Bush - Clinton's every move was motivated by how it would affect the next election, not what he actually thought was best for the country. That is one terrible leader.
Kurdt said:
I also think Bush's beliefs kind of threaten the notion of the separation between church and state.
I agree, but that isn't what the OP asked.
SpaceTiger said:
I think we should reflect on their beliefs before we blindly give people respect for this quality. The same could be said for any number of criminals, dictators, and schizophrenics.

Presidents are elected to serve the people, not themselves.
See two sections above - I think Bush is more interested in what he thinks is best for the country than Clinton is/was (yeah - still is).

And again, I said very little. I respect him a little for his guts and conviction, but his lack of intelligence and religious fanaticism are why I respect him very little.
Schrodinger's Dog said:
You mean one person is a political animal who can acknowledge that he needs to be flexible in his approach...
If that's how you saw Clinton, you're entitled to your opinion, but that isn't how I saw him. Flexible becomes spineless if the only thing that motivates him is his next election. Don't you see that someone like that will purposely make bad decisions if he thinks people will like them? Don't you see that just because a decision is popular, that doesn't automatically make it right?
...the other sticks to his guns, despite people telling him he's going to shoot himself in the foot, then when he does he seems surprised....

Bush has a singular vision, the problem is no one else but his cronies share it, and it's plainly clear it has failed.
Well, that's a failing shared by both men and a very common problem among a great many people - especially politicians. Both, with a few notable exceptions, surrounded themselves with cronies, yes-men, personal favor appointees, etc., which then makes taking the advice of your advisors redundant, doesn't it?

It's been a while since I checked the score, but I'd be surprised if Clinton's admin doesn't still hold the record for resignations due to incompetence. Bush's worst (Brown) was far worse than any of Clinton's based on severity of the problem, but Clinton played the incompetence lottery with much higher-level appointees. For example, SecDef Les Aspen. It is an open question whether Somalia was Clinton's failure or Aspen's, but the point is that it happened at a very high level.
Integral said:
Cause he can't bring himself to admit how wrong he was 4yrs ago.
Me or Bush?

-----------------------------------------------------------
Seriously, guys - all of you - how is it possible to have any respect for someone who you think won't act how he/she thinks is in the best interest of the country if he/she thinks making the wrong decision will be best for his poll ratings? Isn't this the entire problem with Congress? Isn't this the primary flaw in our system of government?

Someone who purposely makes wrong decisions scares me much more than someone who makes wrong decisions but thinks he's making right decisions. At least with someone who is single-minded or dumb, you might be able to change his mind or educate him - how do you fix someone who doesn't even care about which choice is better?
 
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  • #29
russ_watters
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But at least he believes they work (or are right, which isn't necessarily the same thing).
Yeah, I just quoted myself. I do that.....

Do you guys see the difference between doing things that are right and doing things that will work and why sometimes you need to do things that are right even if they don't work?

An easy example is the Americans with Disabilities Act. A simple cost-benefit analysis shows that the ADA is a horrible, horrible waste of money. But we still have it. Why? What is the logical basis for it? There is a legal concept that the Constitution is not a suicide pact, so when you get into it, it actually becomes an extremely difficult question.

Now I think Bush probably believed Iraq would be easy (because he didn't think enough about the aftermath of the initial invasion), but it was much more important to him that it was something that needed to be done. And that's the situation we're in now too - it would certainly be easier and would work best (for us) if we just yanked all our troops out now. But would it be right?

These questions are basically rhetorical (I'm not going to get into an Iraq discussion) - I just want to make sure everyone is thinking about the concept that what works and what is right are not necessarily the same thing.
 
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  • #30
Dr Transport
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I also think Bush's beliefs kind of threaten the notion of the separation between church and state.
The first amendment doesn't separate church and state, that was implemented by a liberal supreme court.
 
  • #31
Kurdt
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The first amendment doesn't separate church and state, that was implemented by a liberal supreme court.
So the US has a single religious denomination imposed by a central government that subscribes to that religion's dogma?
 
  • #32
kyleb
The first amendment doesn't separate church and state, that was implemented by a liberal supreme court.
Huh, so then apparently you think Thomas Jefferson was off his rocker when he referred to the Establishment Clause as a "wall of separation between church and state"?
 
  • #33
SpaceTiger
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Seriously, guys - all of you - how is it possible to have any respect for someone who you think won't act how he/she thinks is in the best interest of the country if he/she thinks making the wrong decision will be best for his poll ratings? Isn't this the entire problem with Congress? Isn't this the primary flaw in our system of government?
Quite the contrary, I think it's one of the primary strengths of our government, particularly in times of peace. To be honest, I don't want the country's future to be very strongly dependent on the will and beliefs of a single person. The will of the masses provides an essential check in the system, even if the masses don't always know what's best for them. Lacking this, governments are prone to engage in frivolous wars, selfish economic policies, and religious fanaticism.

Your view of Clinton as someone with no independent will or ethics seems kinda silly to me, particularly with all I've heard from him since his presidency. To be sure, he wasn't as pig-headed about his own beliefs as Bush has been, but then he didn't have as much time with party control of Congress.
 
  • #34
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You soooooooooooo miss the point of our system of government. He was elected, wasn't he? If you actually think he stole both elections, fine, but if you accept that he was elected, that's all there is for the country's input (until the next election). The entire point of a representative system is that you elect someone who will make his/her own decisions.
People are supposed to call and write their senators and tell them how to vote and act. If they dont, they will not get elected come next term. A represnative of the government is not supposed to "make his or her own decisions" in a democracy. To a point yes, but not the way bush does.
 
  • #35
Gokul43201
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Both, with a few notable exceptions, surrounded themselves with cronies, yes-men, personal favor appointees, etc., which then makes taking the advice of your advisors redundant, doesn't it?
This comparison sounds ludicrous to me!

When before, were dissenters silenced and dishonored, and incompetent yesmen elevated to positions of unimaginable power and responsibility as under this administration? Who were the Eric Shinsekis, the Paul O'Neills and the Dick Clarkes of the Clinton administration, and who were the Mike Browns, the Harriet Miers and the David Safavians? Did Clinton send pinkfaced ice-cream truck drivers to lead reconstruction efforts at Kosovo? Did Clinton appoint nutjob cronies (who prescribe prayer as a cure for PMS) like Hager to the Reproductive Health Drugs committee of the FDA? Did the Clinton administration screen candidates for important Economic and Diplomatic positions based on their stand on Roe v. Wade? When did Clinton silence scientific reports from the EPA or NOAA or technical reports from Treasury or the DoD? When did Clinton eviscerate whistleblower protections with signing statements, decimate the oversight provided by Inspectors General, or require testimonies of allegiance from people that hoped to attend his speeches? When has the CIA had to cater to the "beliefs" of the administration, or else...? Which dissenters under the Clinton administration were avenged by leaking previously classified information or outing members of their family?

When, before now, was 'dissent' made synonymous with 'treason', and 'loyalty' with 'patriotism, and when was competence beheaded, as now, at the altar of loyalty?

To compare the mass graves built for political dissent and the laurels awarded to braindead yesmen under this administration with cronyism under Clinton is...well, mindboggling.
 
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  • #36
Dr Transport
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So the US has a single religious denomination imposed by a central government that subscribes to that religion's dogma?
No...I never said that. Christians, Jews and Muslems all are part of our governmental process.

kyleb said:
Huh, so then apparently you think Thomas Jefferson was off his rocker when he referred to the Establishment Clause as a "wall of separation between church and state"?
The establishment clause is supposed to prevent the central government from starting their own church and forcing their residents to adhere to it, i.e. like the Church of England where if you are not a member you were persecuted, i.e. like the Pilgrims who left England to help form this country.
 
  • #37
Kurdt
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No...I never said that. Christians, Jews and Muslems all are part of our governmental process.
I know you didn't say it. It was 3:30 AM when i replied where I am so I was in no fit state. :smile:
 
  • #38
BobG
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The question wasn't asking whether either one was a good president. I respect my boss much more than either of them, but he'd make a worse President than both combined.
I put neither, but I agree with Russ that the question is more about character than competence.

Both exhibit particularly weak character traits for a President. I guess if I had to choose, the likelihood that Bush's substance abuse problems over a significant portion of his life were fairly serious would probably make me choose Clinton, but Clinton certainly hasn't led the kind of life that would get much respect from me, either.

It really makes me wonder about an entire generation of Americans when you get 16 consecutive years of draft dodgers, lechers, and alcoholics running the country and the argument is about which one deserves the most respect.
 
  • #39
Gokul43201
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I put neither, but I agree with Russ that the question is more about character than competence.
But how can you separate the two, as if there were no causation between them?

An intellectually lazy person with no respect for truth, no sense of value for responsibility and no desire to change will only be incompetent. In my opinion, your level of competence is strongly correlated to your character.

How is infidelity a character flaw, but disrespect for truth not? Heck, they're virtually the same thing!
 
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  • #40
devil-fire
I put neither, but I agree with Russ that the question is more about character than competence.
personally i find competence to be a respectable characteristic
 
  • #41
kyleb
The establishment clause is supposed to prevent the central government from starting their own church and forcing their residents to adhere to it, i.e. like the Church of England where if you are not a member you were persecuted, i.e. like the Pilgrims who left England to help form this country.
That defiantly was an issue of concern for our founding fathers. But again, according to Thomas Jefferson it is intended to produce "a wall of separation between church and state." So I am still curious to know; do you think he was out of his gourd when making that claim or not?
 
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  • #42
Dr Transport
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That defiantly was an issue of concern for our founding fathers. But again, according to Thomas Jefferson it is intended to produce "a wall of separation between church and state." So I am still curious to know; do you think he was out of his gourd when making that claim or not?
I wouldn't say that he was out of his gourd, I think he saw evidence that countries where there the state religion was the government definite problems arose. For example, (maybe this wasn't evident at the time) look at the middle east, it was the cradle of civilized society, after the Muslim religion became a powerhouse they lost many traces of their excellence in everything. I'm not picking on the Muslims, far from it, but given the middle east's head start, you would think that they would be the leaders of civilization in all things intellectual. Historians have pieced together from artifacts that there was an advanced civilization, and it was destryed about the time that the Muslim religion took a foothold and became a dominant force.

I know that Jefferson had the evidence for the Church of England being tyranical and this was the genesis of the establishment clause.
 
  • #43
Astronuc
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BobG's comments reflect somewhat my views as does Gokul's comments.

I find both Bush and Clinton to be morally impaired and weak of character, especially when it comes to important matters.

Both Bush and Clinton have failed when it comes to honesty, but Bush is by far the worse of the two.

Both Bush and Clinton avoided military service in Vietnam. With family connections, Bush was allowed to sign up in the Air National Guard, while Clinton (like Cheney, Gingrich and others) used educational deferments - yet those opposed to Clinton emphasize Clinton's avoidance of the draft while overlooking those of others.

Did Cheney Dodge The Draft Five Times? :rolleyes: :rofl:

Clinton has a great intellectual capacity, unlike Bush, but he wasted much of it. Clinton's foreign policy was appalling and his domestic policy was not much better. Bush's foreign policy is a disaster - and continues in steep decline - and the domestic policy is poor.

The entire point of a representative system is that you elect someone who will make his/her own decisions.
This is somewhat true, however it's more the case that the political representatives should think and decide matters independently, and not under the influence of personal interest or interests of others. The representative must be honest and righteous (i.e. must have integrity), otherwise the system fails. A political representative, e.g. Duke Cunningham, could make his (or her) own decision to act illegally, but then the representative system has failed.

It's been a while since I checked the score, but I'd be surprised if Clinton's admin doesn't still hold the record for resignations due to incompetence. Bush's worst (Brown) was far worse than any of Clinton's based on severity of the problem, but Clinton played the incompetence lottery with much higher-level appointees.
This would make an interesting comparison, but the incompetence in the Bush administration goes all the way to the top - i.e. Bush himself. Bush's SecDef, Rumsfeld, was certainly incompetent. Rice (National Security and State) has been viewed as incompetent.

As for Bush, it appears to me that Bush does for personal reasons, as much as Clinton did. For Clinton, the motivation might have been winning the next election, but for Bush, it seems to be about power and control over the lives of other people and that has lead to an imperious foreign policy. While Bush may claim he is acting for the 'good of the country', it appears to me that Bush is incapable of understanding what is 'good for the country'.

In short, if Clinton was bad, Bush is worse.
 
  • #44
J77
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Bill played around a bit - Bush started an unjust war.

This poll's a no-brainer.
 
  • #45
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As a person, Clinton is 100* the man Bush could ever dream to be.
As a President, bush had the stronger political will, rather not he, but his cronies did. Shame that, that will was such a force for bad in the world.

So all in all Clinton wins, however History will remember Bush with more vigor, but not for any good reasons. Perhaps as being the fundemental extreem answer (wrong answer) to a (polar) extreemist problem....
 
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  • #46
Averagesupernova
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Clinton's every move was motivated by how it would affect the next election, not what he actually thought was best for the country.

I've watched this thread and refrained from posting, but I can no longer. I have a question with the statement that Clinton's every move was motivated by how it would affect the next election. Are you saying that this was the only thing that motivated him? For the record, I don't believe that for a minute.
 
  • #47
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i'm surprised to see so many Americans that don't like George Bush...quite rightly though! (my personal opinion: he's a liar and a murderer)
 
  • #48
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I've watched this thread and refrained from posting, but I can no longer. I have a question with the statement that Clinton's every move was motivated by how it would affect the next election. Are you saying that this was the only thing that motivated him? For the record, I don't believe that for a minute.
We know he had at least one other interest. :rolleyes:

Seriously, Russ, since when is that any indictment on a US politician?
 

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