Jewish World Review Jan. 31, 2001/ 8 Teves, 5761
http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- WHERE have all these wise guys been for these long, long eight years?
You couldn't blame a few of us — a very, very few — for saying we told you so. But of course, being well brought up, we would never do that.
But suddenly the wise (and sleepy) old guys of the mainstream media, as they regard themselves, have discovered what some of us have been saying forever, that Bill and Hillary Clinton were what landed at the nation's feet the day the body politic threw up.
The Washington Post, the New York Times, even Mary McGrory, have finally applied to join the vast right-wing media conspiracy. I offered to vouch for Miss Mary myself, being a longtime admirer of her gift for the language, but alas, as rich as they are they can't afford the back dues. Not so long ago no television screen was safe from the faces of James Carville, Lanny Davis, Paul Begala and George Stephanopoulos, elbowing each other out of the way to testify to Clinton political virtue and moral rectitude. But where are they now? Somebody said they saw James Carville hiding out under the Taft Bridge over Rock Creek, roasting a dead crow on a stick and eating cold beans out of the can.
The Post, always eager to apply the tarbrush to Christians, Republicans, straights and other poor, uneducated and easy-to-command conservatives while savoring the aroma of Democratic, feminist, gay and other liberal corruption, is particularly upset by the Clintons' theft of White House furniture and silverware (even though they only did it to have something suitable to entertain with on the nights Mrs. Graham goes to dinner on Whitehaven Street): "The list demonstrates again the Clintons' defining characteristic: They have no capacity for embarrassment. Words like shabby and tawdry come to mind. They don't begin to do it justice."
The overstuffed entities of the editorial page of the New York Times employed as usual an overstuffed paragraph to do the work of a simple sentence to harrumph: "We were particularly troubled by the numerous instances in which Mr. Clinton granted pardons or commutations without proper consultation with federal prosecutors, often to reward friends or political allies or gain future political advantage." What these entities really wanted to say, as it turned out in the final paragraph, was that George W., who has never been accused of selling pardons, should never do what it would never occur to him to do.
"I won't use the label superior Northerners pejoratively use to describe Southern crackers," writes Michael Kramer in the New York Daily News. "I won't call them 'white trash.' But if not that, then what?" Well, why not? Others already have, a long time ago, and without the delicate quotation marks. And the label did not originate with "superior Northerners," as Mr. Kramer supposes, but with plantation blacks outraged by the trashy behavior of inferior whites. Bill Clinton, however, is not white trash, but worse. He's Flem Snopes' grandson, the more dangerous redneck who stoops to white-trash guile and cunning to rise above himself only when he needs to. (A Southerner knows the difference on instinct.)
The irony here is that Bill Clinton's newly outraged one-time defenders are the same wonderful folks who overlooked Bonnie and Clod's bank-robbing days in Arkansas, Webb Hubbell's stealing from his friends, Travelgate, Filegate, Hillary's manipulation of the cattle-futures market (speaking of "mad cow" disease), the health-care task force disaster, the harassment of Paula Jones, the rape of Juanita Brodderick, the leasing of national-security secrets to the Chinese, the renting of Abe Lincoln's best satin sheets, and finally the lying to grand juries and federal courts. All that was winkable-at. Not until we got to the White House silverware — there's something about somebody else's silver that makes Yankee eyes go goo-goo — did mainstream media antennae begin to quake and quiver.
Just as these just deserts are served, Hillary, with the unerring timing for which has been famous since she arrived in Arkansas with her matched set of carpetbags, announces that she will vote against John Ashcroft because he does not meet her high standards of morality and ethics. She joins Teddy Kennedy, the Senate ethicist, and Chuck Schumer and Patrick Leahy, the Senate theologians, as the master trashers.
All this as George W. begins Week II, hardly able to
believe his luck in enemies. His tormentors, who have been
telling us how dumb and ineffective he would be, are now
only trying to get out of the way of the wagon. He presented
his faith-based initiative yesterday, continuing to do what he
said he would. He had to hide a grin while pretending not to
notice the fried crow on the menu in the press
01/26/01: The gathering storm over Jesse Jackson
11/10/00: Something sinister in Palm Beach
11/07/00: Low days in the life of the ruptured duck
11/06/00: A little race baiting in the final hours
11/01/00: Creator gets a hard time on the hustings
10/27/00: The sorcerer rides to rescue his apprentice
10/25/00: The founding father with a story to tell
10/23/00: A lonely passion for religious rights
10/16/00: Spending blood on the folly of fools
10/11/00: A big night for the embellisher-in-chief
10/06/00: AlGore's black problem
10/04/00: In headlong pursuit of the bigot vote
10/02/00: A modest proposal for Rick Lazio
09/27/00: When folks at home give up on a scamp
09/25/00: Gore plot exposed! The secret minutes
09/18/00: Playing politics with the blood supply
09/14/00: Al sets out to find his 'tolerance level'
09/12/00: When it's time for a thumb in the eye
09/07/00: Making a daughter a campaign asset
09/04/00: A footnote to the lie: How he beats the rap
08/30/00: Unbearable lightness of a cyberjournal
08/21/00: Clinton chickens on AlGore's roost
08/16/00: The long goodbye to California's cash
08/09/00: Innocence by proxy is a risky scheme
08/07/00: After insulin shock, an authentic rouser
08/02/00: When it gets hard not to get a little giddy
07/31/00: George W.'s legions of summer soldiers
07/26/00: He's set a surprise --- or a trap for himself
07/24/00: How do you serve a turkey in August?
07/19/00: Would Hillary sling a lie about a slur?
07/17/00: Process, not peace, at a Velveeta summit
07/12/00: The Texas two-step, a nudge and a wink
07/10/00: The Great Mentioner and his busy season
07/05/00: No Mexican standoff in these results
07/03/00: Denting a few egos in the U.S. Senate
06/28/00: Bureaucracy amok! Punctuation in peril!
06/26/00: The water torture of American resolve
06/21/00: The happy hangman is a busy hangman
06/19/00: Dick Gephardt finds a Dixie dreamboat
06/14/00: Taking a byte out of innovation
06/12/00: 'Go away, little boy, you're bothering us'
06/07/00: When a little envy is painful to watch
06/05/00: Fire and thunder, bubble and squeak
05/31/00: South of the border, politics is pepper
05/26/00: Running out of luck with home folks
05/24/00: The heart says no, but the head says yes
05/22/00: A fine opportunity to set an example
05/17/00: The Sunday school for Republicans
05/15/00: Hillary's surrogate for telling tall tales
05/10/00: Listening to the voice of an authentic man
05/08/00: First a lot of bluster, then the retreat
05/02/00: Good news for Rudy, bad news for Hillary
04/28/00: The long goodbye to Elian's boyhood
04/25/00: Spooked by Castro, Bubba blinks
04/14/00: One flag down and two memorials to go
04/11/00: Consistency finds a jewel in Janet Reno
04/07/00: Here's the good word (and it's in English)
04/04/00: When bureaucrats mock the courts
03/28/00: How Hollywood sets the virtual table
03/24/00: Dissing a president can ruin a whole day
03/20/00: When shame begets the painful insult
03/14/00: The risky business of making an apology
03/10/00: The pouters bugging a weary John McCain
03/07/00: When all good things (sob) come to an end