The ethics of Presidential Libraries.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by blackfox, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #1
    From WashPost:
    I thought we could change it up, and badmouth ol' Clinton for a moment.:D

    Seriously, I think this is a serious issue, which of course is not limited to Clinton, but to all Presidents.

    What say you?
     
  2. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

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    #2
    Me talking the clinton era here, would be like handing axes to al quida members. :p :p

    The library thing is interesting in how each president decides to paint themselves, the money is sad, but it is also another way to view their time in the White House.

    I don't have a problem with the donations in general, but hope they weren't tax deductable!!!!!! :cool:
     
  3. blackfox thread starter macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #3
    First of all Stu, I don't get your Clinton joke.

    I find it interesting that you don't have a problem with the donations, do you not see a problem with interests (individuals or groups) giving large sums of money to sitting Presidents? You know, with us being a "democracy" and all...

    Should there not be at least a record of transactions made? Is that not in the public interest? Should our government not be as transparent as possible?

    Remember, this problem applies to both Parties and makes our interests as mere voting Americans secondary to those with money to throw at their priorities. At least that is how I see it, and why I find Campaign Finance reform one of the biggest problems in our Govt. system.
     
  4. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

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    #4
    Bfox, sorry you don't get my funny.

    I have no problems with donations in general, as I said. Like you and I sending in $100 to our fav prez. But $100,000 by the soon to be pardoned is something else.
    Who was renting out bedrooms in the white house?
    When Hillary was speaking of her hubbys palace, I mean library, how expensive it was-she said they wanted it to be transparent. Ha, that's why the health commission records are being sealed (not required to be) or hiding the names of those who donated!
    The fact that Bill can do tons of stuff and write it off against the library-possibly help Hillary get the next dem nom?
    There were plenty of malfunctions in his administration, most might even be on display. Ford has the gun from his would-be assassin, would Bill display the "blue dress"?

    Money and politics are inseparable. I wish they were, I don't like it or condone it.
    I would hope that more will come of campaign finance reform. Without some real outrage, with evidence, nothing will come of the library issue.
     
  5. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #5
    So you have a problem with $100,000 from the soon-to-be-pardoned, how about having a problem with $100,000 from the soon-to-be-accomodated special interest (ie. Pioneer or Ranger)? I think that's what Blackfox is getting at here. This goes beyond Clinton.
     
  6. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

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    #6
    This type of reply is why it is so boring posting here. No matter what I write the Big 5 will counter somehow. Good Grief!

    That was the part I think you are refering to.
     
  7. blackfox thread starter macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #7
    I am part of the "Big 5"? It sounds neat, like a superhero team or something...

    I think you took Mac's post wrong. I find both Clinton, Bush and Kerry (to a lesser extent, since he didn't make it to President) at fault for this kind of activity. Perhaps the charges should be levied towards the DNC and the RNC instead. This is not about ideology, it is about the structure of the system.

    As I mentioned before, this affects our opinions as citizens being represented appropriately by those we elect to govern on our behalf.

    As for your sentence about your opinion on the matter, would you care to elaborate?
     
  8. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #8
    And no matter what I write, you always counter it somehow. But I guess that's OK because you are obviously right and I am obviously wrong. It sure is boring to have a discussion where both sides are represented. It's sooo much less boring when only one side's ideology gets put out there. :rolleyes:


    So your attitude is that we might as well give up trying to keep money from influencing polititians? Not even worth trying, unless it bashes Clinton somehow eh?

    First thing we have to do is get past this stupid notion that money = free speech.
     
  9. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

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    #9
    Bfox, sorry you're not in the 5 I was refering to. You are lucid and open.

    Mact, maybe there is some good'ole angry mob justice for these wrongs. Go Get'em.

    But, my lack of long winded posts on the subject is not to suggest I am for it, only I have little new to suggest to reform it.

    I'll be listening in, hoping to get ed u cated on it though. :)
     
  10. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #10
    I'm having a difficult time following the drift of this thread, but I will say that if anyone is interested in the "ethics of Presidential libraries" they owe it to themselves to visit Yorba Linda. There you will discover that the real victim of Watergate was Richard M. Nixon.

    Your tax dollars at work.
     
  11. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #11
    I am guessing that it is an opinion piece, there is no link handy and it reads like an Op Ed.

    The names of all of the donors will be inscribed on bricks at the front of the building and there were more than 10,000 donors.

    The article suggests that there is a link between one thing and another and references a scandal involving pardons that were minor compared to what happened in Reagans time, or Bush Seniors for that matter.

    But since the current President has no intentions of doing anything about it, as far as anyone has said. It is kind of a dead horse to while isn't it?

    Throw some more crap Clintons way but remember what you said when it happens all over again 4 years from now.

    Unless you have any intention of trying to change it or holding this President accountable when he does the same thing, you're the Pot calling the Kettle black.

    The damage being done to the country right now, has nothing to do with Clinton, that horse is dead. But at least his legacy was a surplus and a balanced budget.
     
  12. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #12
    well, if we want some hard data on contributors getting rewarded, here it is

    clinton doesn't get off the hook, either:
    ...though it seems bush was a bit more prolific in this regard.
     
  13. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

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    #13
    This is beating a dead horse.

    Contributitons and payback are nearly the definition of politics. Dem/Rep/Indep/Ref......

    It aint gone change anytime soon. It is the pardon for money part that grates me, whether it was done by W or a Dem.

    As far as the Nixon library, I find it intriguing how prez's reflect on their own history,
     
  14. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

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    #14
    I wonder if they stock a copy of My Pet Goat.
     
  15. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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  16. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #16
    Just an aside, because your last comment was unclear to me: Are presidential libraries funded by federal tax dollars? Or were you referring to Nixon's administration as "your tax dollars at work?"

    Yes, and I wonder if they handed out souvenir cigars at the opening of Clinton's Presidential Library? ;)
     
  17. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #17
    It's my understanding that some portion of the operating costs of presidential libraries are underwritten by the federal government, because they become the keepers of presidential papers which would otherwise be held by the Library of Congress (they belong to the nation, not the presidents). Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but I do recall this issue arising when the clearly counter-historical presentation of the Watergate episode was unveiled at the Nixon Library.
     
  18. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #18
    No, I'll take your word for it. My initial response would have been that it's inappropriate for federal tax money to go towards a presidential library, since its purpose is (more or less) to be a shrine to that president. If you want to build a monument to yourself, that's fine, but do it on your own dime. ;) But I do understand the reasoning behind some government funding with regards to preserving nationally-owned documents and the like.
     
  19. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #19
    i'll humbly suggest that the amount of federal money that's allowed to be spent on the "shrine" part be based on the performance of the economy under that president.
     
  20. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

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    So the Bush twins will owe money?
     
  21. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #21
    Has anyone pointed out that this library contains and allows access to more documents than any other presidential library by an incredibly wide margin?

    Or that the information has been made easily accessible, and that even the Monica Lewinsky scandal is presented.

    Or the amount of development that the library has brought to the area, the most that has ever been invested in that area.

    I like how the "ethics" are applied only to Democratic Presidents and no one bothers to compare how other Presidential libraries stack up when it comes to what is presented and how much of it is presented.

    Apart from the one example of Marc Rich, there has not been much evidence that all of the contributions were given due to favors granted. And no one has bothered to compare these to the contributions received by other Presidents.

    I would rather accentuate the positive on this one, because as far as the amount of information provided and accessibility go, this Presidential library has set the standard. Not only that, but it has been an undeniably positive influence on the surrounding community.

    If you are going to apply and access the ethics of Presidential Libraries than it should be an all inclusive examination. The Clinton Library may rank much more highly on the ethical scale when it comes to contributions, and even higher when it comes to the amount of information that is open to public viewing and scrutiny.

    With the amount of information available, the man is obviously happy with what he attempted and with what he achieved in his tenure. While at the same time not completely ignoring the less pleasant aspects.
     
  22. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #22
    Right, and we could start with Ken Lay's large contribution to Bush's 2000 inaugural party. No quid pro quo there of course. That crook certainly isn't walking around a free man, is he? Oh, that's right, he is. Hmm...
     
  23. blackfox thread starter macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #23
    Xtremehkr,

    I hope you do not believe I began this thread to single out Clinton. A couple of your posts seem to imply that, and I apologize for any confusion.

    I thought it was an interesting topic, when one thinks about avenues for special interests to influence those in Power. I happened to run across this article,, which was about Clinton and used it as an example to illustrate what I thought to be a relatively unknown problem.

    Of course this applies to other Presidents and Politicians in general, and undoubtably in some cases a much more egragarious case for misconduct can be made. That is, of course, the point.

    This, like so many other Political Problems, is systemic and beyond the individuals that exploit it. I was previously unaware of this particular flaw in the system, which is why I began the thread to discuss it. I am not, however, particularily interested in the merits of the case against Clinton in relation to those that can be Levied against Bush, or Nixon for that matter.
    I am interested in the fact that a case can be levied at all.
     
  24. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #24
    No, not you at all Blackfox, I was taking aim at the article more than anything, and perhaps those who pass judgement based on one articles limited scope. I think that it is lazy journalism to present so little information and ask so many questions that are left unanswered. The excerpt also suggested that there may be more impropriety as many of the sources are as yet unknown.

    I think that it is a good topic potentially, but it is also the job of the media to research their stories and present facts in an even manner.

    It's not you, and it is a good topic. But unfortunately, due to the poor quality of journalism, it almost seems as though it were an attack on Clinton.

    I would find it hard to believe that no other Presidential Library has raised any kind of question concerning ethics, whether through funding or what is presented.

    There are also a lot of philantropists who may have appreciated what Clinton did. Apart from that, I am all for transparency in government.

    To be honest though, I doubt that there is a better article out there in the media concerning this issue. The don't seem to be capable of writing good investigative articles anymore.
     

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