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Jewish World Review May 3, 2000 /28 Nissan, 5760

Greg Crosby

Greg Crosby
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Clinton’s Transparent Department of Duplicity and Demagoguery -- BILL CLINTON AND HIS GANG adhere to the same credo as do many sports teams and high-profile big time attorneys, which is, “Do whatever it takes to win.” Sometimes, in order to win, it takes more than playing fair. Sometimes it takes brute force. Sometimes it takes lying. Sometimes it takes manipulation and deceit. Toward that end, Clinton has developed an effective little propaganda machine (Let’s call it the Department of Duplicity and Demagoguery -- or DDD, for short). This machine’s sole function is to do and say anything that needs to be said and done in order to justify the actions and/or the positions of the Clinton administration.

Like any well-oiled machine, the DDD mechanism operates virtually the same way each time it’s turned on. Just as a washer will always wash clothes utilizing the same sequence of cycles, the DDD will act and react in any given circumstance utilizing the same pre-programmed responses. It’s modus operandi is totally predictable. For example, analyze the tactics used in the recent INS raid and kidnapping of Elian Gonzalez:

Tactic # 1. "Wag The Dog"
Consider the timing of the break-in. Earlier that week, President Clinton and Vice President Gore were called by prosecutors to answer serious, embarrassing questions regarding fund-raising abuses in their 1996 re-election campaign. Clinton was interviewed for four hours on Good Friday -- then, just a few hours later, he gave the order (or the approval) for the pre-dawn Saturday raid on the Gonzalez home, which instantly directed all media attention away from his fund-raising scandal and onto Miami.

This tactic is similar to slight of hand techniques used by magicians who do close-up card tricks and other prestidigitation. It’s called “misdirection” -- the art of diverting your audience’s attention away from where you do not want them to be looking. The Clinton DDD team has been using this tactic for years.

For instance, on August 18,1998, the day Monica Lewinsky appeared before the grand jury, Clinton attacked alleged terrorist centers in Sudan and Afghanistan. And the day before his impeachment he launched a massive missile attack on Iraq. Coincidence? There are many other examples. Some would argue that the US engagement in Kosovo, including the Serbian bombings, were primarily instigated to divert attention from various Clinton scandals at home while at the same time casting Clinton in a “presidential-leader of the free-world” role.

Whenever it looks as if the guy is getting into some grave, personal trouble, suddenly a crisis conveniently manages to erupt somewhere. It’s so predictable that it’s amazing more people don’t see it coming.

Tactic # 2. "For The Children"
In those first horrible early morning hours following the taking of Elian, the initial line was that negotiations had broken down and the government, having exhausted all other possibilities, had no other choice but to go in with “a show of force” -- for the sake of the child. This excuse is almost verbatim what was given as the reason the attack into the Waco, Texas compound occurred. They were going in “to save the children,” remember?

Tactic # 3 "The Polls Support Our Position"
Every day for a week following the taking of Elian, poll numbers supporting the administration’s action were released. With each passing day the percentage of people who agree with the INS storm-trooper tactics actually increased! First it was something like 53% in favor of the operation, then it became 59%, by the end of the week some polls had the favorable rating at 70% or more. Throwing out favorable polls numbers is a long standing ploy of this administration, as if public support has any relevancy to doing the right thing. During the Vietnam war, popular polls were always in support of the armed conflict; in the fifties and into the sixties, public opinion was flat out against civil rights. At the time the American Revolution was being planned, only 30% of the population was in favor of it. Popular polls and proper actions are mutually exclusive.

Tactic #4 "The Other Side is Evil"
From Paula Jones, to the Serbs, to the Republican Congress, anyone who opposes this president or his administration is “the bad guy.” What’s the best way to make your guy look good? Make everybody else look bad. It’s not enough to paint the opposition as simply wrong or misguided, they must be evil.

Just a few days before the raid, Janet Reno stood in front of a microphone and referred to the Miami Gonzalez family as “loving caregivers” -- but after the family refused to hand over the boy without due process, they suddenly became “Cuban thugs,” “stubborn trouble-makers” who probably have an arsenal of weapons inside the house and are putting the child in danger. Crazy, Castro-hating zealots who refuse to obey the law. In short, they became “the bad guys.”

On Friday April 28, almost an entire week after the Miami incident occurred, the administration all of a sudden claimed that the Gonzalez family shoved sofas in front of the door in an attempt to keep INS agents out of the house. Then the agents were “ambushed” by the family who tried to trip them with cords as they ran through the rooms. What evil thugs those loving caregivers must be!

And think about those poor government troops -- the Gonzalez family must really have waged quite a war against them -- so much so that it took the agents a full three minutes to break into the house, grab the boy, pepper spray the crowd, and jump back into their vans and drive off! Oh, and one other thing -- why did it take a week for this information to come out?

Tactic # 5 "It's Costing The Tax Payers a Fortune"
We heard it all the time during the Independent Council investigations of Clinton. “Three years and thirty million dollars ... four years and forty million dollars... five years and fifty million dollars.” It seems that when all other devices fail, the tactic is “tell them how much it’s costing them.” Well, here they go again. This past Thursday Clinton’s DDD released to the press itemized dollar amounts on exactly how much the Elian Gonzalez affair has cost the US government since Elian was rescued last Thanksgiving to date. Funny that we never get itemized amounts of Hillary’s trips back and forth between Washington and New York as she campaigns for her senate seat, or the total cost of Clinton’s recent India-Pakistan boondoggle.

Tactic # 6 "It's Time To Move On"
Last but not least, we have the ol’ reliable Democratic chant: “The American people are sick and tired of this. It’s time to move on. The Senate has better things to do than to waste its time with one little Cuban refugee. It’s time to move on. The President has to get back and do the job he was elected to do. It’s time to move on. The media has more important things to cover (besides, the story’s cold). It’s time to move on. The Justice Department has to get back to more meaningful activities, like slicing and dicing Microsoft. It’s time to move on. Our courts have other cases on the docket. Time to move on.

And you, little Elian Gonzalez. America has spoken to you. You’re not wanted here. Go back to Castro. Go back to Cuba. It’s time to move on.

JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. You may contact him by clicking here.


04/24/00: For The Children?
04/19/00: Liars And Cowards And Bums, Oh My!
04/11/00: Gripe, Gripe, Gripe
04/05/00: Counting the Race Cards
03/30/00: Speed Bumps
03/22/00: The Eyes Have It
03/15/00: Academia and Media --- They’re Just Not Right
03/09/00: Sweat The Small Stuff -- It’s Okay
03/02/00: Actors And Other Animals
02/23/00: Campaign 2000 --- Wake Me When Its Over
02/15/00: Who Wants to be Regis Philbin?
02/08/00: Aftermath of a Tragedy
01/31/00: Ask Mr. Politically Correct Man
01/25/00: I’d Like To Thank All The Little People
01/20/00: Merger Mania
01/11/00: Just Say JA-GWAAR
01/04/00: Who Was That Masked Man? My Hero!
12/28/99: New Millennium --- New Rules
12/21/99: Bubba’s Visit From Saint Nick
12/14/99: Call Me Mister
12/08/99: So Much Going On, So Little Time
11/30/99: Sunday Afternoon
11/22/99: The Best Money Can’t Buy
11/15/99: My Peter Pan Generation
11/08/99: Fall Invasion
10/29/99: When my wife was young and Gay
10/22/99: Too Late for Dinner
10/15/99: Pondering, Musing and Supposing
10/05/99: A Message From Your Journalistic Human Interest Commentator
09/24/99: The Getting Away With It Decade
09/17/99: The Scoop of the Century
09/09/99: Important Millennium Advisory
09/03/99: Ask Mr. Politically Correct Man
08/26/99: Broadcasters, Please mind Your Manners
08/19/99: The Golden Age of Jerkdom
08/12/99: Dressing Down...and Out

© 2000, Greg Crosby