Ixnay on Billy J.

by Jay Nordlinger

A reader writes, “Jay, I understand what you mean when you talk about Democrats’ fondness for long-gone GOPers.” In my column today, I talk about President Obama’s nice words for Reagan, etc. “But aren’t we doing the same with Bill Clinton now? How many times have I heard our side say, ‘If only Obama were as reasonable as Clinton’? What bunk that is.”

Oh, baby, you’re singin’ my song. I sang it pretty loudly — I hope not off-key — last fall, in a piece for NR called “The Big He, Not for Me: A word against Clinton nostalgia.” That piece is here. If you agree with me — and the correspondent I’ve quoted — I think you’ll like it a lot. And if you don’t agree, I think you might say: “I know where the guy’s comin’ from.”

For me, the best cure for Clinton nostalgia is to hear him talk — to see him in action, in all his Billy J.-ness. Would the American people have given him a third term, if not for the Twenty-second Amendment? A fourth, a fifth?

I shudder . . .