By MARC MCDONALD
Barack Obama's recent words of praise for Ronald Reagan surprised a lot of progressives.
Some believe Obama was just being diplomatic. Others wonder if outraged progressives are simply over-reacting to Obama's remarks.
As for me, I just have one question: when will the Republicans reciprocate and have some kind words to say about Bill Clinton?
Of course, you know the answer as well as I do: When hell freezes over.
The fact is, the Republicans and their henchmen viciously attacked Bill Clinton every single day he was in office. And they have continued to relentlessly attack him every day since then. Indeed, Clinton is blamed by many Republicans for things that didn't even happen on his watch (such as 9/11).
And we're not just talking about personal attacks (like when GOP Rep. Dan Burton called Clinton a "scumbag" in 1998).
We're talking about whole series of vicious attacks, lies, distortions (and even threats) for which no Republican has ever retracted or apologized for. And a lot of these attacks ("Bill Clinton murdered Vince Foster!" "Bill Clinton is a rapist!" "Bill Clinton murdered Ron Brown!") have been repeated so many times that a lot of Republicans fervently believe them to this day.
In fact, in viewing a right-wing hatchet job like the infamous video, The Clinton Chronicles one would be under the impression that Clinton has a lot of blood on his hands, murdering anyone who got in his way.
One might think that such baseless, crazy charges against Clinton would have been limited to the nutcase right-wing fringe. But that, of course, wasn't the case. These wild charges were eagerly embraced by the likes of The Wall Street Journal which promoted The Clinton Chronicles on its editorial page and ran over 60 editorials discussing Foster's "mysterious" death.
And here, we are, a decade later and all of the crazy right-wing charges against Bill Clinton have been thoroughly debunked and exposed as bullsh*t lies.
And yet, has any Republican ever apologized for these hatchet jobs on Clinton? And what's more, has any Republican EVER had any kind words, whatsoever, to say about Bill Clinton?
Of course not. The Republicans continue to viciously attack Clinton, even as they tune up the Great GOP Slime Machine to go after Hillary.
When Obama had kind words to say about Reagan, it was clear that he was being diplomatic. But if he (or any Democrat) is ever expecting the Republicans to reciprocate in any way, they will be in for a long, long wait.