SATURDAY, APRIL 22, 2023
Georgia man dies in jail: During his recent trip to Ireland, Joe Scarborough spoke with Bill Clinton, a former American president.
One chunk of the interview was broadcast on Morning Joe this week. At the start of the segment, Clinton made a strange remark—a remark with which we agree.
SCARBOROUGH: You were president when Columbine happened. And at the time, obviously we were all horrified, but almost thought of that as a one-off. It's now become a regular occurrence.
You and I grew up in a culture where everybody we went to church with, everybody that was in our neighborhood, they all went out hunting. You've talked about shotguns growing up? Same here.
But it's gotten so extreme. What do we do?
CLINTON: Well, one thing that's pretty clear is, whatever we do, we need to do it more together. And I think we need to start talking across this divide.
Say what? "We need to start talking across this divide?" Plainly, Clinton had made a very strange remark.
As the conversation continued, Clinton returned to events which took place five years before the mass slaughter at Columbine. For the record, he's discussing the "Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act" of 1994:
CLINTON (continuing directly): I remember when Jack Brooks, who was a congressman from Texas and enjoyed the support of the NRA in every election he was ever in, and Tom Foley, the Speaker of the House from Washington, they both told me that when the Senate put in the assault weapons ban into the crime bill, which I wanted, that if I signed it, we would lose the House.
And we did! And they lost their seats, because of the ability of the NRA to terrify people, but also because we were beginning to lose touch with each other across cultural divides that had always existed but hadn't been barriers you couldn't breach.
The conversation continued from there, as you can see on the tape. For the record, it's widely believed that Candidate Gore lost the 2000 election because of massive, last minute NRA ad campaigns in Tennessee and West Virginia—a pair of states which went red that year and have never looked back.
(In the wake of Columbine, Gore had favored new gun control measures. The NRA fought back.)
When MSNBC posted the tape, many commenters were incredulous about Clinton's strange remarks. Here are a few of the first comments posted:
COMMENTER: This is like Chamberlain saying we need to make "peace in our time." What we need is to vote so overwhelmingly against the un-American party that they crawl away.
COMMENTER: I agree but it's hard to have a conversation when half of the country don't agree on the meaning of words, on reality, and on live and let live
COMMENTER: How, exactly, do I talk to people who openly hate me and wish me dead because my views aren't their own?
COMMENTER: Chamberlain "peace in our times." Reward the aggressor for aggression. This is what I'm hearing.
COMMENTER: How do I talk to people who have threatened my life? Bill has no clue what's really going on out here in the real world.
Just for the record, the first of those comments came from "Commando Soto." The last came from "Mr. Sharpie."
Bill Clinton got elected two times, by six and then by eight points. Commando Soto and Mr. Sharpie feel that he has no idea what's going on in the world.
For ourselves, we're inclined to agree with the general thrust of Clinton's remarks. For what it's worth, he makes a key point hear the end of this segment:
"You don't have to win them all."
You don't have to persuade the most intransigent of The Others—the people who openly hate you and wish you were dead, the ones who don't agree on reality. You have to peel a certain percentage away, and then continue from there.
In our view, there's a lot to discuss in what Bill Clinton said. We're also inclined to think that the war is going to come, and that such wars can't be won.
More on such matters next week. At some point, we'll also discuss the Georgia man whose death has gone undiscussed.