While it makes some of us a bit queasy to think that someday, somewhere, our tax dollars are going to be spent to build a presidential library to laud the accomplishments of George W. Bush, we’d never go so far as to suggest building an anti-Bush Library.
First of all, once we get rid of him, we’d rather let W. and his band fade in the rearview mirror as quickly as possible. Second, by our way of thinking, an anti-library is kind of anti-library in the first place, isn’t it?
Then again, there have never been haters like the haters who hate Bill Clinton.
Four years after the books closed on Clinton’s presidency, there’s a dedicated few still kicking the dead mule of his time in Washington. Mostly, they’re terrified of deja vu all over again: Clinton making an evil-emperor-style return to the White House, this time as the “First Husband” and co-president to his Ice Queen. While it’s been awhile since we heard anything from the brains behind the Counter Clinton Library, guys who once promised they would have their contra-rotating spin machine up by now within walking distance of the Clinton Presidential Center, they’re still out there, and still clutching the cinder of their dislike for Bill and Hill. They promise that now that the 2004 presidential election is decided, they’ll begin the fund-raising push that will make their Clinton-skewering dreams a reality.
Newsmax.com pundit John LeBoutillier and Houston businessman Dick Erickson are co-founders of the Counter Clinton Library effort. As announced two years ago, they hope to build a multi-media extravaganza for those seeking the points of history they believe won’t be welcome in the official Clinton library. In addition to a orientation theater and a gift shop, their library will feature exhibit spaces harkening back to all the scandals Clinton would probably rather forget, with themes like “Impeachment,” “Whitewater” and “Last Minute Pardons.”
Erickson said that while the push to defeat John Kerry “sucked the air out of the room” among the GOP base they hope to reach with their fund-raising efforts, once the election was decided, they planned on going at their goal full steam — aided by their IRS designation in April 2004 as a non-profit.
“We got the IRS approval in the spring, on a little bit different schedule than we had anticipated, which sort of put us into the presidential race,” LeBoutillier said before the election. “Our fund-raising really starts all over again after this election, because we can offer our donors a tax deduction, which we couldn’t do a year ago.”
Asked why the Counter Clinton Library was still necessary four years after its subject left office, LeBoutillier sounded a familiar refrain among far-right conservatives. Unlike any other ex-president, he said, Clinton is trying to “spin” his presidential library to ensure a political future for himself, specifically by making sure his wife gets a return trip to the White House as the first female president.
“I don’t want the Clintons back in the White House in any way, shape or form, and I think a lot of people don’t,” he said.
Erickson hopes to secure a Little Rock site soon, saying he has a few possible locations picked out.
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IndieWire breaks news long whispered downtown — a more ambitious successor to the Little Rock Film Festival is in the works, with backing from writer/director Jeff Nichols, a Little Rock native. His "Loving" has won wide acclaim recently.