RG II, Not Bill Clinton for Father of the Year!

Sometimes, committees simply lose their minds. This is clearly the case with the National Father's Day Council. The council has, unbelievably, voted to make Bill Clinton Father of the Year. What were they thinking? Perhaps they wanted to smooth the political waters and help clear the air of partisan hostility.

If we are looking for model fathers to honor, we can surely look to Robert Griffin, Jr., the estimable dad of Washington Redskins quarterback, Robert Griffin III. A veteran Army NCO, Robert Griffin, Jr. coached his talented son on the field and off. He helped to guide "RGIII" on the straight path to success in sports and in life. Giving his son a name to be proud of, Robert Griffin, Jr., certainly deserves to be the Father of the Year, this year many years.

If we are seeking greater civility in public life, we can see it in Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. This week, Gov. McDonnell reached across partisan lines at the Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast. McDonnell, a Republican and a Catholic, prayed for President Obama, for wisdom and guidance from Above for the soon-to-be re-inaugurated Chief Executive of our country. Gov. McDonnell also prayed for First Lady Michelle Obama and for Sasha and Malia, their dear daughters. It was a powerful moment, a welcome oasis in the desert warfare of partisan politics.

We do not want to be harsh and censorious toward Bill Clinton. We do believe in the healing power of redemption. Every one of us has fallen short of the high purpose God has for our lives and the high standards we hold for ourselves.

We can applaud former President Clinton's efforts for relief of Haitian earthquake victims (provided that those efforts do not include spreading abortion and abortion-causing drugs in that long-suffering land).

Let us not forget, however, the dishonor Bill Clinton brought on his high office and the grief he brought upon his country. His affair with Monica Lewinsky led in 1998 to a national catastrophe. Seeing the U.S. distracted by this scandal, Saddam Hussein hastened to kick UN arms inspectors out of Iraq and Osama bin Laden jumped at the chance to declare war against the U.S. Nor do we exempt then-Speaker Newt Gingrich from criticism for exploiting the national emergency for partisan purposes. Hypocritically, he was conducting his own extra-marital affair.

Still, Bill Clinton's conduct was especially hurtful to his beloved daughter, Chelsea. How could the Father's Day Council airbrush that painful episode in her life and ours? George Stephanopoulos, a supporter, said that Bill Clinton "has no shame, and that's a great advantage in politics." But it's a positive disqualification in fatherhood.

We do not want to be partisan in these criticisms. We passed this week the centennial of Richard Nixon's birth. Unlike the Lincoln Bicentennial of 2009 or the Reagan Centennial of 2011, the hundredth anniversary of the only other president who faced impeachment in the Twentieth Century passed almost unnoticed.

Nixon dragged America through "our long national nightmare" for a year and a half before resigning in August, 1974. The expurgated transcripts of his White House tapes shocked millions of his own good and decent supporters.

Passage after passage included [expletive deleted]. Americans are not stupid. We could fill in the dotted lines. And we were appalled. His White House tapes revealed Nixon to be a foul-mouthed and foul-minded man.

Worse, Nixon sent his lovely daughter, Julie, out to front for him. This intelligent and sincere young woman was allowed to make statements of support, and to deny valid charges being made against the father she loved. All the while, Nixon knew the truth. All the while, he let her be exposed to public embarrassment. He should have been impeached for that.

That Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast brought together Virginians of different races, different denominations, different political parties. U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) is a regular attendee. He is one of the most liberal Members of Congress. U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), a strong conservative, is a long-time participant in this event. All Americans should hear Congressman Forbes's eloquent defense of religious freedom.

We have to think that when Bobby Scott and Randy Forbes both applaud the Virginia State University's outstanding Gospel Choir, when they hear those talented young people sing "Let us Break Bread Together on our Knees" -- and then actually break bread together -- it signals a good turn in American public life.

Let's have more of genuine goodwill shown by events like the Richmond prayer breakfast and fewer of these politically correct "feel good" events like the misdirected
award of the National Father's Day Council.


Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison are senior fellows at the Family Research Council.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison are senior fellows at the Family Research Council.

Sometimes, committees simply lose their minds. This is clearly the case with the National Father's Day Council. The council has, unbelievably, voted to make Bill Clinton Father of the Year. What were they thinking? Perhaps they wanted to smooth the political waters and help clear the air of partisan hostility.

If we are looking for model fathers to honor, we can surely look to Robert Griffin, Jr., the estimable dad of Washington Redskins quarterback, Robert Griffin III. A veteran Army NCO, Robert Griffin, Jr. coached his talented son on the field and off. He helped to guide "RGIII" on the straight path to success in sports and in life. Giving his son a name to be proud of, Robert Griffin, Jr., certainly deserves to be the Father of the Year, this year many years.

If we are seeking greater civility in public life, we can see it in Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. This week, Gov. McDonnell reached across partisan lines at the Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast. McDonnell, a Republican and a Catholic, prayed for President Obama, for wisdom and guidance from Above for the soon-to-be re-inaugurated Chief Executive of our country. Gov. McDonnell also prayed for First Lady Michelle Obama and for Sasha and Malia, their dear daughters. It was a powerful moment, a welcome oasis in the desert warfare of partisan politics.

We do not want to be harsh and censorious toward Bill Clinton. We do believe in the healing power of redemption. Every one of us has fallen short of the high purpose God has for our lives and the high standards we hold for ourselves.

We can applaud former President Clinton's efforts for relief of Haitian earthquake victims (provided that those efforts do not include spreading abortion and abortion-causing drugs in that long-suffering land).

Let us not forget, however, the dishonor Bill Clinton brought on his high office and the grief he brought upon his country. His affair with Monica Lewinsky led in 1998 to a national catastrophe. Seeing the U.S. distracted by this scandal, Saddam Hussein hastened to kick UN arms inspectors out of Iraq and Osama bin Laden jumped at the chance to declare war against the U.S. Nor do we exempt then-Speaker Newt Gingrich from criticism for exploiting the national emergency for partisan purposes. Hypocritically, he was conducting his own extra-marital affair.

Still, Bill Clinton's conduct was especially hurtful to his beloved daughter, Chelsea. How could the Father's Day Council airbrush that painful episode in her life and ours? George Stephanopoulos, a supporter, said that Bill Clinton "has no shame, and that's a great advantage in politics." But it's a positive disqualification in fatherhood.

We do not want to be partisan in these criticisms. We passed this week the centennial of Richard Nixon's birth. Unlike the Lincoln Bicentennial of 2009 or the Reagan Centennial of 2011, the hundredth anniversary of the only other president who faced impeachment in the Twentieth Century passed almost unnoticed.

Nixon dragged America through "our long national nightmare" for a year and a half before resigning in August, 1974. The expurgated transcripts of his White House tapes shocked millions of his own good and decent supporters.

Passage after passage included [expletive deleted]. Americans are not stupid. We could fill in the dotted lines. And we were appalled. His White House tapes revealed Nixon to be a foul-mouthed and foul-minded man.

Worse, Nixon sent his lovely daughter, Julie, out to front for him. This intelligent and sincere young woman was allowed to make statements of support, and to deny valid charges being made against the father she loved. All the while, Nixon knew the truth. All the while, he let her be exposed to public embarrassment. He should have been impeached for that.

That Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast brought together Virginians of different races, different denominations, different political parties. U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) is a regular attendee. He is one of the most liberal Members of Congress. U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), a strong conservative, is a long-time participant in this event. All Americans should hear Congressman Forbes's eloquent defense of religious freedom.

We have to think that when Bobby Scott and Randy Forbes both applaud the Virginia State University's outstanding Gospel Choir, when they hear those talented young people sing "Let us Break Bread Together on our Knees" -- and then actually break bread together -- it signals a good turn in American public life.

Let's have more of genuine goodwill shown by events like the Richmond prayer breakfast and fewer of these politically correct "feel good" events like the misdirected
award of the National Father's Day Council.


Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison are senior fellows at the Family Research Council.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison are senior fellows at the Family Research Council.