Hypocrisy watch: Bubba’s then-versus-now attitude on praising Reagan

Both E.J. Dionne at The Washington Post and Walter Shapiro at Salon take on the Slickster this morning for his hypocrisy over Barack Obama’s praising of Reagan’s style of leadership.

All of this criticism over the way Hillary and Bill Clinton are waging the campaign for her presidency has been interesting to watch, because the mediots and many liberal pundits are acting like this is something new and surprising, that the Clintons would ‘never’ stoop to the level that they supposedly are now. Clinton pal Robert Reich slammed Hillary back in December for attacking Obama’s ideas and character, and yesterdaywent on another angry diatribe about Bill Clinton for doing similarly. These people must have been asleep during Bill Clinton’s tenure as president if they think that launching aggressive – and sometimes untruthful – political attacks against their opponents is a tactic that the Clintons have only recently adopted. Just think of how Ken Starr’s character was viciously attacked by “anonymous sources” back while he was building his case against Bill Clinton, yet several years prior to that he was praised to the highest by Democrats while investigating disgraced Republican Senator Bob Packwood.

Another aspect of this which is interesting – and troubling – is how all of this has created sort of a “buffer” for Obama against any legitimate criticisms. To be sure, not every Clinton slam on Obama has been accurate, but some have been – like the attacks about his “present” votes in the Illinois state senate, the attacks on his Iraq record, his subtle shifts in positions on certain issues – and it’s all gotten lost in the frenzy over the way the mediots and pundits are reacting to the way the Clintons are going about trying to win the nomination. If Obama gets the nod, expect this type of buffering to continue – even more so against the eventual Republican candidate, whose criticisms of Obama will be scrutinized to a greater degree than the Clintons’ have been simply because he’s a Republican and therefore that means his criticisms might be “tinged” with an “undertone of racism.”

But then again, if Hillary gets the nomination, expect the media to resume its role as Hillary and Bill apologists, while at the same time leveling accusations of “sexism” against the Republican nominee.

The drama – and hypocrisy – never ends.

Hat tip: Betsy Newmark

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