Jewish World Review August 11, 1999 /29 Av, 5759
Is it just me, or does this once-great nation seem sentenced to being the unwilling audience for the Clintons' long-running soap opera? With each new installment of their squalid, never-ending tale, one positively pines for the dullness of the Bush years. Or, to quote P. J. O'Rourke, "Ah, the '80s -- when sleeping with the president meant attending a Cabinet meeting."
Proving once again that her reputation for high intelligence is overblown, Mrs. Clinton has unburdened herself to Talk magazine and coughed up some whoppers.
"He couldn't protect me," she explained, "so he lied." Now, leaving aside the skein-like interpersonal dynamics this nugget suggests, is this quite the party line? He lied? Lanny Davis, call your office! The president has acknowledged that he "misled" people, he has never admitted lying. That's why we've had to endure statements like, "It depends on what your definition of 'is' is."
Oh well, that was last year's tactic. Now, relying upon the electorate's short attention span, the Clintons are changing the story to suit current needs. As a Senate candidate, Mrs. Clinton evidently did not wish to be viewed as a doormat wife (even if this was her most popular persona with voters). And so she offered her own psychological diagnosis of poor Bill. He was torn between two women, mother and grandmother, at the tender age of four, she explained. And this, she has been told, "is the worst possible situation. There is always the desire to please each one."
Several psychologists interviewed by the Denver Rocky Mountain News weren't buying. One pointed out that lots of adults who had difficulties as children nevertheless manage to stay faithful to their spouses. Another could not think of a psychological reason why enduring a conflict between mother and grandmother would lead a man to cheat on his wife.
Jeff Dolgan, chief of psychology at Children's Hospital in Denver, observed that it sounded like someone -- most likely the president -- had told Hillary this. And Dr. Audrey Brodt speculated further that young Bill Clinton had probably learned to play his mother and grandmother off against one another and later played his wife off against other women.
Now we're getting somewhere. Let's not kid ourselves, Hillary has been a full partner and co-conspirator with Bill from the word go -- particularly where his catting around was concerned. In every crisis involving Bill's women, it was Hillary who rallied the troops, defended her husband publicly, and spat accusations in every direction. It was she who called Gennifer Flowers a liar. It was she who impugned Paula Jones as trailer-park trash and bitterly resisted any talk of settlement. It was she who blamed "a vast, right-wing conspiracy" for the Monica Lewinsky story and she who wondered whether "anti-Arkansas bias" accounted for the many stories of Bill's abhorrent conduct.
Say she was blinded by love if you like, but that's no compliment to a fully grown woman. If she actually thought Flowers was lying, how did she account for the fact that Bill apologized to Mario Cuomo for comments Flowers recorded while also maintaining that the tapes were fraudulent? But enough about the Clintons. For true uplift it seems we may soon be able to turn to Senate candidate Jerry Springer.
Yes, the man who has made millions peddling toxic waste on television says that his "true passion" has always been politics. He is considering the overture by local Democratic politicians that he run for the senate from Ohio. National Democrats are cringing at the idea (the Senate minority leader called it a "joke"), but Ohio Republicans are gleeful. Bob Bennett, the state's Republican chairman, floated the names of other potential candidates for the Democrats: Howard Stern, Dennis Rodman, and Tanya Harding.
The Democrats have already come close. In 1998, they nominated Jeffrey
Fieger, Jack Kevorkian's foul-mouthed lawyer, for governor of Michigan. He
was trounced by incumbent John Engler. Perhaps we are seeing the beginnings
of the Clinton legacy after