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Jewish World Review March 29, 2000 /22 Adar II, 5760

David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh
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Phantasma-Gore-ia -- WE CAN ALL SNICKER about Al Gore's fantastic delusions about inventing the Internet and his connections with the Love Canal and "Love Story." But the growing evidence of his personal corruption is not a laughing matter.

I'm not sure which is more cynical -- Gore making campaign finance reform the centerpiece of his campaign or his iced tea defense (i.e., his statement to FBI investigators that he may have been in the bathroom during discussions about illegal hard-money solicitations from the Oval Office).

His assertion that he is particularly qualified to lead the charge for reform because of his own campaign finance "mistakes" is as laughable as a felon running for prosecutor on the theory that he is intimately qualified in criminal matters.

Gore's iced tea whopper takes me back to my brief stint as a criminal lawyer early in my legal career. An appointed client, accused of stealing a TV, protested that he had not stolen the television set the police caught him carting down the street on a dolly at 3 o'clock in the morning. He had just left his girlfriend's house when a stranger approached him on the dark street and made a gift to him of the TV. My client would have been better off entering a plea than to try to sell that tale to the jury. But so far, Al Gore has no reason to fear his jury -- the American people. He and Clinton have yet to pay for any of their outrageous behavior, let alone their outrageous whoppers about their outrageous behavior.

I admit I'm alarmed at how lightly we are treating Al Gore's corruption. We now know that there is no real remedy for gross presidential misconduct by a Democratic president. Democratic congressmen and senators constitute an absolute shield for their miscreant presidents. And the electorate has no stomach for removing felonious presidents from office. Elections are the only way to keep misfits out of that office, so we better start paying attention during the campaign season. And we better insist on character being a major issue -- for both congressional and presidential candidates.

The level of corruption pervading the entire Clinton/Gore administration is staggering. After sitting on the allegations for over a year, the Clinton/Gore Justice Department just opened an investigation last week into whether e-mails from Gore's office and other parts of the White House were hidden from criminal and congressional investigators who had subpoenaed them. Is it a coincidence that Justice was finally motivated to act at the same time a congressional inquiry opened in this matter?

How far will Gore go in straining our credulity? Consider:

  • He just unveiled a proposal to finance American elections with a public-private endowment fund after raising $2 million of soft money for the Democratic National Committee last week.

  • In an effort to establish credibility for his finance plan, he said, "I know firsthand what is wrong with the way we fund our political campaigns." Yet, when pressed by FBI agents about his knowledge about the nuances of the law, such as the distinction between hard and soft money, Gore told them that while "he had been a candidate for 16 years," the details of donations are "a science he did not involve himself in." So does he have firsthand knowledge or not?

  • While taking up the reform mantle and proclaiming his own integrity, he staunchly defends his campaign coordinator Tony Coelho. Coelho is not only the original poster child for harvesting soft money, his career has been shrouded in charges of corruption. Though Coelho is currently the subject of a criminal investigation involving his activities while serving as U.S. commissioner general of Expo '98 in Lisbon, Portugal, Gore says, "Tony Coelho is doing a terrific job day after day. He will continue to do a terrific job."

  • The National Journal reports that "Gore was in such a hurry to announce that he was bringing Coelho aboard that he decided to go ahead without a routine background check; he instead relied on Coelho's 'nothing there' assurances."

  • Clinton and Gore ran in 1992 on a promise of "fixing" the campaign finance system, then egregiously exploited loopholes in the system and never seriously attempted reform.

Al Gore has even developed Bill Clinton's insufferable habit of rubbing our noses in his corruption and daring us to hold him accountable. At Saturday night's Gridiron Dinner, Gore, in a mocking reference to the Buddhist temple event, quipped, "Oh, before I forget to ask, this isn't a fundraiser, is it? My antennae go up whenever I'm in a room where everyone's dressed the same."

Very funny, Al. I agree. If you manage to get elected with this kind of behavior, the joke is on us.

JWR contributor David Limbaugh is an attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and a political analyst and commentator. Send your comments to him by clicking here.



03/27/00: Treaties, triggers, tobacco and tyrants
03/22/00: Media to Bush: Go left, young man
03/20/00: Stop the insanity
03/15/00: OK Al Gore: Let's go negative
03/13/00: Deifying of the center
03/08/00: The media, the establishment and the people
03/01/00: McCain's coalition-busting daggers in GOP's heart
02/28/00: Bush's silver lining in McMichigan
02/24/00: A conservative firewall, after all
02/22/00: Bush or four more of Clinton-Gore?
02/16/00: Substance trumps process
02/14/00: The campaign finance reform mirage
02/09/00: President McCain: End of the GOP as we know it?
02/07/00: From New Hampshire to South Carolina
02/02/00: SDI must fly
01/31/00: Veep gores Bradley
01/26/00: The issues gap
01/24/00: GOP: Exit, stage left
01/20/00: Nationalizing congressional elections
01/18/00: Do voters really prefer straight talk?
01/12/00: Media's McCain efforts may backfire
01/10/00: Conservative racism myth
01/05/00: Just one more year of Clintonian politics
01/03/00: McMedia?
12/27/99: Al Gore: Bullish on government
12/22/99: Bradley's full-court press
12/20/99: Bush: Rendering unto Caesar
12/15/99: Beltway media bias
12/13/99: White House ambulance chasing
12/08/99: Clinton's labor pains
12/06/99:The lust for power
12/01/99: In defense of liberty
11/29/99: Are Republicans obsolete?
11/24/99: Say you're sorry, Mr. President
11/22/99: Architects of victory
11/17/99: Trump's tax on freedom
11/15/99: GOP caves again
11/10/99: Triangulation and 'The Third Way'
11/08/99: Sticks and stones
11/03/99: Keyes vs. media lapdogs
11/01/99: Signs of the times
10/27/99: The false charge of isolationism
10/25/99: A matter of freedom
10/20/99: Clinton's mini-meltdown
10/18/99: Senate GOP shows statesmanship
10/13/99: Senate must reject nuclear treaty
10/11/99: Bush bites feeding hand
10/06/99: Jesse accidentally opens door for Pat
10/04/99: Clinton and his media enablers
09/29/99: Reagan: Big-tent conservatism
09/27/99: The Clinton/Gore taint?
09/22/99: Have gun (tragedy), will travel
09/20/99: Hillary's blunders and bloopers
09/15/99: GOP must remain conservative
09/13/99:Time for Bush to take charge, please
09/10/99: Bush's education plan: Dubya confounds again
09/07/99: Pat, savior or spoiler?
09/02/99: Character doesn't matter?
08/30/99: Should we judge?
08/25/99: Dubyah's drug question: Not a hill to die on
08/23/99: Should Dubyah start buying soap ... for all that mud?
08/16/99: 'W' stands for 'winner'
08/11/99: The truth about tax cuts
08/09/99: Hillary: Threading the needle
08/04/99: What would you do?
08/02/99: No appeasement for China
07/30/99: Hate Crimes Bill: Cynical Symbolism
07/26/99: Itís the 'moderates', stupid
07/21/99: JFK Jr. and Diana: the pain of privilege
07/19/99: Smith, Bush and the GOP
07/14/99: GOP must be a party of ideas
07/12/99: Gore's gender gap
07/08/99: Clintonís faustian bargain: our justice
07/06/99: The key to Bush's $36 million
06/30/99: Gore: a soda in every fountain
06/28/99: 'Sacred wall' or religious barrier?
06/23/99: GOP must lead in foreign policy
06/21/99: Crumbs of compassion
06/16/99: Compassionate conservatism: face-lift or body transplant?
06/10/99: Victory in Kosovo? Now What?