President Bill Clinton is a genius.
Don’t misunderstand — perfect, he’s not. I hated Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, for forcing Americans to lie about who they loved. I hated Welfare to Work, for forcing poor people away from their children and into terrible jobs that don’t support child care. And I hated all the dick-led foolishness – he was in the Oval Office, for God’s sake, both literally and figuratively.
And he’s a genius. A GENIUS.
And I mean that quite literally. Did you see that speech? Did you see that speech? That man — that flawed man who also (btw) erased the national deficit, introduced SCHIP, and facilitated the end of hostilities in Northern Ireland — is so overwhelmingly smart, he is a goddamn force of nature!
The entire forty-five minute speech — huge, sprawling swathes of it entirely extemporized — was a force of nature, but the best part, the single best part was one word: “Arithmetic.”
Bill Clinton was never shy about his country boy roots (and even mentioned them tonight), but he has also never, ever been shy about the importance of knowledge, and education, and smart thinking. He has never been shy about the fact that being a country boy, or growing up poor, or fatherless, does not mean that one cannot be an intellectual. That money can’t buy facts — and that facts actually matter.
Arithmetic. Because facts actually matter.
Thank you, Big Dog. That was 45 minutes of wonky awesome. Thank you.
Now, Internet? I will need you to create a t-shirt that reads: Arithmetic.