Bill Clinton in Lifeboat No. 1

"Unlike Bill Clinton, who is a survivor, Obama is an adapter, says Democratic pollster Peter Hart. 'If Clinton were on the Titanic, he'd be in Lifeboat No. 1,' says Hart, recalling how Clinton, who grew up with an alcoholic stepfather, did whatever it took to survive politically[.]"  This report appeared in Newsweek recently.

Do liberals ever think before they talk?  Does Peter Hart think that he's somehow praising Bill Clinton by saying the former president would have been in the lead lifeboat on the Titanic?

There was a time in this country when every young man knew by heart the saying "women and children first."  What did that mean?  It should have meant, Mr. Hart, that you don't compliment a man by implying he'd have elbowed his way past hundreds of young mothers and their babies -- probably riding in steerage -- to get into the lifeboats.

Many rich young men on that ill-fated ship played with the ice chunks that broke off from the White Star liner's fatal collision with the iceberg on that night to remember.  The mood of merriment on the First Class Promenade would, within hours, turn to deadly earnest as the unsinkable luxury liner disappeared beneath those frigid waters.

You would think that at least Peter Hart would have seen the 1997 movie Titanic, with young Leonardo di Caprio's character, Jack Dawson, tragically slipping away to an icy death.  Why was that?  It's because men were not allowed to enter the boats.  Even married men with children were forbidden.

Well, most men were not allowed.  The White Star Line's managing director, Bruce Ismay, did manage to step gracefully into a lifeboat.  And he never lived down the dishonor that came with that reprehensible action.

Is that the man to whom Peter Hart is comparing Bill Clinton?  Part of the problem for Peter Hart, I'm sure, is that scandalous conduct isn't really an impediment to a career in liberal politics.

Senator-elect Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut will take the oath and sit in Congress next January, even after it was revealed that he had lied and lied for years about serving with the Marines in Vietnam.  "Earned, Never Given," is a famous recruiting slogan of the U.S. Marines.  Now, perhaps, that will have to be amended to "but occasionally purloined."

What a contrast with Jim Fisk, from neighboring New York State.  In the 19th century, the slippery Fisk escaped indictment in a financial scandal.  "Nothing lost," he winked to reporters, "save honor."  At least Fisk recognized that honor could be lost.  We actually had a better class of scoundrel back then.  Sen. Blumenthal will wear the title "Honorable" without a blush of embarrassment.

They knew what honor meant, too, on that moonless night in the North Atlantic in 1912.  Most of those men on the Titanic -- rich and poor alike -- faced their death with the same stoic courage that Major Archie Butt -- a top aide to Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft -- faced his.  The talented and loyal Archie Butt had been personally torn by the intense political rivalry between the two presidents he had served so well.  The major was returning from a European vacation when he met his death.

Another man of stainless honor was Arthur Rostron.  Hollywood has never made a move about this skipper of the SS Carpathia.  Captain Rostron raced through ice-choked waters at a top speed of seventeen and a half knots to rescue those few survivors who had managed to get into the lifeboats or who were clinging to wreckage.  Captain Rostron gave orders to divert all steam to powering his ship's propeller, allowing his own passengers to shiver for lack of heat.  He ordered up warm blankets, coffee, and tea for the expected crowd of distressed people he would take on board.

After calling out his orders calmly, in rapid-fire succession, Captain Rostron went out onto the bridge wing of his speeding vessel -- and prayed.  The Carpathia was in as much peril as the great ship Titanic.  Without Captain Rostron's fearless dash that night, all of the stricken liner's remaining 712 passengers surely would have died.

To express this nation's gratitude to the men of the Titanic, Mrs. William Howard Taft sponsored a women's memorial.  Its inscription reads, "To the brave men who perished in the wreck of the Titanic, April 15, 1912.  They gave their lives that women and children may live."

The women's memorial once stood in a prominent place in Rock Creek Park in Washington.  But Lyndon Johnson had it moved to an obscure location on the Potomac River front in 1965.  President Bill Clinton served in the Oval Office nearby for eight years.  Perhaps he missed it.
"Unlike Bill Clinton, who is a survivor, Obama is an adapter, says Democratic pollster Peter Hart. 'If Clinton were on the Titanic, he'd be in Lifeboat No. 1,' says Hart, recalling how Clinton, who grew up with an alcoholic stepfather, did whatever it took to survive politically[.]"  This report appeared in Newsweek recently.

Do liberals ever think before they talk?  Does Peter Hart think that he's somehow praising Bill Clinton by saying the former president would have been in the lead lifeboat on the Titanic?

There was a time in this country when every young man knew by heart the saying "women and children first."  What did that mean?  It should have meant, Mr. Hart, that you don't compliment a man by implying he'd have elbowed his way past hundreds of young mothers and their babies -- probably riding in steerage -- to get into the lifeboats.

Many rich young men on that ill-fated ship played with the ice chunks that broke off from the White Star liner's fatal collision with the iceberg on that night to remember.  The mood of merriment on the First Class Promenade would, within hours, turn to deadly earnest as the unsinkable luxury liner disappeared beneath those frigid waters.

You would think that at least Peter Hart would have seen the 1997 movie Titanic, with young Leonardo di Caprio's character, Jack Dawson, tragically slipping away to an icy death.  Why was that?  It's because men were not allowed to enter the boats.  Even married men with children were forbidden.

Well, most men were not allowed.  The White Star Line's managing director, Bruce Ismay, did manage to step gracefully into a lifeboat.  And he never lived down the dishonor that came with that reprehensible action.

Is that the man to whom Peter Hart is comparing Bill Clinton?  Part of the problem for Peter Hart, I'm sure, is that scandalous conduct isn't really an impediment to a career in liberal politics.

Senator-elect Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut will take the oath and sit in Congress next January, even after it was revealed that he had lied and lied for years about serving with the Marines in Vietnam.  "Earned, Never Given," is a famous recruiting slogan of the U.S. Marines.  Now, perhaps, that will have to be amended to "but occasionally purloined."

What a contrast with Jim Fisk, from neighboring New York State.  In the 19th century, the slippery Fisk escaped indictment in a financial scandal.  "Nothing lost," he winked to reporters, "save honor."  At least Fisk recognized that honor could be lost.  We actually had a better class of scoundrel back then.  Sen. Blumenthal will wear the title "Honorable" without a blush of embarrassment.

They knew what honor meant, too, on that moonless night in the North Atlantic in 1912.  Most of those men on the Titanic -- rich and poor alike -- faced their death with the same stoic courage that Major Archie Butt -- a top aide to Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft -- faced his.  The talented and loyal Archie Butt had been personally torn by the intense political rivalry between the two presidents he had served so well.  The major was returning from a European vacation when he met his death.

Another man of stainless honor was Arthur Rostron.  Hollywood has never made a move about this skipper of the SS Carpathia.  Captain Rostron raced through ice-choked waters at a top speed of seventeen and a half knots to rescue those few survivors who had managed to get into the lifeboats or who were clinging to wreckage.  Captain Rostron gave orders to divert all steam to powering his ship's propeller, allowing his own passengers to shiver for lack of heat.  He ordered up warm blankets, coffee, and tea for the expected crowd of distressed people he would take on board.

After calling out his orders calmly, in rapid-fire succession, Captain Rostron went out onto the bridge wing of his speeding vessel -- and prayed.  The Carpathia was in as much peril as the great ship Titanic.  Without Captain Rostron's fearless dash that night, all of the stricken liner's remaining 712 passengers surely would have died.

To express this nation's gratitude to the men of the Titanic, Mrs. William Howard Taft sponsored a women's memorial.  Its inscription reads, "To the brave men who perished in the wreck of the Titanic, April 15, 1912.  They gave their lives that women and children may live."

The women's memorial once stood in a prominent place in Rock Creek Park in Washington.  But Lyndon Johnson had it moved to an obscure location on the Potomac River front in 1965.  President Bill Clinton served in the Oval Office nearby for eight years.  Perhaps he missed it.