- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 9, 2001

With less than two weeks remaining in his presidency, President Clinton is still desperately seeking a legacy other than that of being the first chief executive impeached in 130 years, the only one ever found in contempt of court, and just the second at risk of being disbarred.

Let me suggest a real legacy possibility: That this has been the most left-wing presidency in our nation's history.

The success of a mostly sympathetic media in portraying his administration as "centrist" notwithstanding, it has from Day One been way out on the left wing:

• Jettisoning his 1996 State of the Union assertion (which he never believed to begin with) that "the era of big government is over," his fiscal 2001 budget, by one estimate, he called for $1.3 trillion in new discretionary outlays over the next decade in 83 new programs and 155 spending increases.

• He sought to vastly expand the Family and Medical Leave Act with the use of unemployment-compensation funds to make it paid leave.

• He acquiesced in Mrs. Clinton's massive health care plan, which would have nationalized one-seventh of the nation's economy.

• He proposed expansion of Medicare to lower the age of eligibility from age 65 to 55 when the program is financially insolvent with its current caseload.

• He has sought to expand Medicare with a prescription-drug benefit, another costly new entitlement.

• He has called for and signed the largest-ever income-tax increase (one that included a retroactivity provision) amounting to $280 billion over five years.

• He proposed early in his first term both a BTU tax and a $50 billion pork-barrel "economic stimulus" package.

• He vetoed bills that would have ended the marriage tax penalty and killed the estate tax.

• He created AmeriCorps paid "volunteerism" at a cost estimated at $26,000 per "volunteer."

• He sought Senate ratification of the unverifiable Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

• He has shelved deployment of a true national anti-missile defense.

• He opposed constitutional amendments to balance the budget and to prevent flag desecration.

• He appointed to office such card-carrying liberals as Joycelyn Elders, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Andrew M. Cuomo, Donna E. Shalala, Carol M. Browner, Bruce Babbitt, Bill Lann Lee and many others.

• He negotiated the Kyoto global-warming treaty, a pact so extreme it wasn't sent to the Senate, because it had no hope of ratification.

• He unilaterally took hundreds of millions of acres of lands in Utah, Arizona and elsewhere for national-monument designation, without consulting local elected officials.

• He slavishly opposed private-school vouchers at the behest of teachers unions even though he and Vice President Al Gore sent their own kids to private schools.

• He vigorously defended affirmative action, and despite his claim we should "mend it, not end it," has done nothing to "mend" its inherent unfairness to non-minorities.

• He continues to call for allowing open homosexuality in the military, which was one of his first acts as president.

• He placed the Stonewall Inn, a New York shrine to homosexuals, on the National Register of Historic Places.

• He issued a presidential proclamation declaring June as "Gay and Lesbian Pride Month."

• He pushed through one mini-

mum-wage increase, and demanded another, threatening to veto it if accompanied by compensatory tax cuts for the businesses that would have to pay it.

• He admitted he'd like to see the registration and licensing of all guns. He's pushed for more federal gun laws, while those already on the books have gone unenforced.

• Despite his vow to make abortions "legal, safe and rare," he has done nothing to reduce the number, and twice vetoed bans on partial-birth abortion.

• He lifted the ban on fetal-tissue research on his third day in office.

• He was dragged kicking and screaming to welfare reform. He vetoed it twice before signing it during the 1996 election year.

• He was dragged kicking and screaming to a balanced budget, proposing in June 1995 a 10-year plan to do so.

• He integrated the sexes in military basic training, and has pushed to open more combat-related jobs to women, despite the documented adverse impact on preparedness.

• He has deployed the military for numerous nonmilitary purposes, like "nation building" and "meals on wheels" programs in Haiti, Somalia and elsewhere.

• He deep-sixed a bipartisan proposal to strengthen Social Security through partial privatization.

• He sought to sharply increase funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts.

• Finally, if he's a "centrist," why is there only a "vast right-wing conspiracy," and not also a "left-wing conspiracy" vast or merely half-vast out to get him?

Peter Parisi is a copy editor for The Washington Times. He can be contacted at [email protected]


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