While facing their respective impeachments, Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump revealed their true character through their respective roles as commander-in-chief.
August 17, 1998, was almost certainly the worst day of Bill Clinton’s presidency. Two days later, on August 20, Clinton ordered a military airstrike on what turned out to be an aspirin factory.
Here’s the important context…
Earlier that year, in January, Clinton had been deposed under oath for a lawsuit filed by Paula Jones, who had credibly accused Clinton of sexually harassing her in 1991 when he was the governor of Arkansas.
During his sworn deposition, Clinton didn’t know that Jones’ lawyers knew about his affair with a 22-year-old White House intern named Monica Lewinsky. In fact, Clinton didn’t know anyone knew.
In their effort to prove Clinton’s pattern of sexual misconduct, Jones’ lawyers caught Clinton completely off guard with detailed questions about Lewinsky. Under the assumption she could never prove the affair, that it would forever be his word against hers, Clinton denied everything while under oath — a blatant act of perjury.
Over the long, bitter months that followed, Clinton angrily denied the affair to family, friends, the media, White House staffers, and the American people.
But Lewinsky had the goods: a semen stain on a blue dress that contained the president’s DNA.
And so, on August 17, after seven months of lies and his January perjury, Clinton went before a grand jury and admitted the affair, tried to worm his way out of his perjury with a ludicrous definition of sexual relations, and uttered his famous “That depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is” rebuttal when asked why he allowed his lawyer, Bob Bennett, to unknowingly lie on his behalf.
That night a furious and cornered Bill Clinton addressed the nation, where he admitted to the affair, admitted he lied, and denied perjury charges.
Impeachment was in the air, even Democrats were wobbly, and then…
Two days later, Clinton wagged the dog by calling for military airstrikes in the Sudan against an installation that was later proven to be an aspirin factory.
This was just the first of two wag the dog moments for Clinton… The next would come just two days — two days! — before the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach Clinton.
On December 16, 1998 — two days before the scheduled House vote to approve two articles of impeachment — Clinton launched a four-day bombing campaign against Saddam Hussein and Iraq for failing to comply with United Nations weapons inspectors.
If that is not audacious enough, get this…
The last day of Clinton’s bombing campaign took place on the same day the impeachment vote was taken!
And trust me, the corrupt media let him get away with it.
That might sound preposterous, but that is exactly what happened. And no one really believes that what became known as “Monica’s War” did much of anything to destabilize Saddam Hussein.
Now let’s compare Clinton’s mercenary use of the military under threat of impeachment to President Trump.
What is the first military move Trump made under threat of impeachment? He royally pissed everyone off, most especially the Republican allies he will need in the Senate for a possible impeachment trial, by announcing the exact opposite of a military campaign — a long-promised military pullout from Syria.
A couple weeks later, Trump then authorized the mission to nab ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The key difference between Clinton and Trump is that Clinton launched air campaigns that come with very little military or political risk. Of course there is some risk. There is always the risk of mechanical failure or being shot down, and God bless the military men who perform these missions. But if you are going to launch a military campaign that will rally Americans around you with the least risk possible, bombing the third world from the air is it.
Trump, however, took enormous risks. His pullout from Syria was a supreme political risk because it not only could have gone sideways on the ground, but the Deep State and the establishment media were so determined to prove it was a failure, within 15 minutes they started screaming about the ETHNIC CLEANSING OF THE PRECIOUS KURDS!!
As of right now, though, it looks like Trump might have solved a 200-year-old border dispute between the Syrian Kurds and Turkey. Bravo.
The al-Baghdadi mission also came with enormous risk. Had it gone bad, not only would Trump have been blamed, it would have been used to hammer his decision to pull out of Syria. If you game out the consequences of a disastrous al-Baghdadi mission, of that mission going the full-Jimmy Carter, it is not hyperbole to argue Trump’s presidency might not have ever recovered.
At the most politically opportune time, Clinton twice used our military in the least risky ways he could to launch mostly pointless air campaigns.
At the most inopportune times, Trump took an enormous political risk to keep his promise to get our boys out of these pointless wars and then risked his entire presidency to take out al-Baghdadi.
All I see in Trump is what I have seen from day one: a president determined to do what he thinks is right, determined to keep his promises, and willing to take all the flaming arrows in the back that come with it.