Former U.S. President Bill Clinton says that the “vast right-wing conspiracy” that hounded him and nearly drove him from office has set its sights on Barack Obama. The former president was referring to the web of politicians, media personalities, various internet groups and grassroots conservative activists who have opposed the new president at every turn. Mr. Clinton, the last Democrat to hold the White House before Mr. Obama, reffered to the term first used by by Hillary Clinton in 1998, when she defended him during the Monica Lewinsky scandal that threatened to topple his presidency. She described as a “vast right-wing conspiracy” the forces led by special prosecutor Ken Starr, who spent millions of dollars and several years building a case against Mr. Clinton in connection with a failed land deal in Arkansas. The investigation ultimately led to Mr. Clinton’s impeachment and trial in the Senate over the Lewinsky affair. He was acquitted. Asked on NBC’s Meet the Press whetther there was still a right-wing conspiracy, Mr. Clinton replied: “You bet. Sure it is. It’s notas strong as it was because America has changed demographically. But it’s as virulent as it was.” He said that the conspiracy has focused on Mr. Obama and, “there agenda seems to be wanting him to fall.” His remarks came after Jimmy Carter, another Democratic former president, said that racism motivates much of the animosity against Mr. Obama.
In recent months, legions of furious conservatives, spurred on by some of the same media personalities who led the charge against Mr. Clinton, have waged a vicious campaign against Mr. Obama, accusing him of being a socialist, a fascist, and a foreign agent out to destroy America. The opposition has become most agitated by his effort to reform the U.S. health-care system.
Earlier this month, hundreds of thousands of conservatives held a massive anti-Obama rally in Washington. The protesters, who were almost entirely white, carried signs denouncing Mr. Obama as a Nazi, a lump of human waste and the Joker from Batman.
Some said that Mr. Obama was not an American citizen, believing he as born in Kenya or Indonesia. In at least three instances, conservative protesters have turned up at anti-Obama rallies carrying guns. Threats against the president’s life are up 400 per cent from those against George W. Bush, according to a book by Ronald Kessler.
Many in the Republican party ranks are uncomfortable with the vitriol aimed at Mr. Obama most of the moderates from the national leadership, and the right-wingers in power believe the party stands to benefit from a fired-up base.
Meanwhile, the party lacks a strong leader, leaving conservatives to take their cues from radio talk show hosts and others not accountable to voters.
Courtesy: 1. Guardian News Service
Courtesy: 2. The Globe and Mail, Monday, Sept 28, 2009, page – A2