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Jewish World Review Oct. 2, 2000 / 3 Tishrei, 5761

David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh
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Clintonís fragmented presidency -- WE NEED to take the White House back. No, Iím not talking about the selling of the Lincoln bedroom or the debasement of the Oval Office. The American people need to recapture the executive branch.

Presently, the executive branch is bereft of leadership and out of control. It is being held hostage to the political interests of Bill Clinton. The resulting chaos is a national embarrassment.

Surely even Clintonís defenders would agree that he is nothing if not a consummate political animal. From his incessant use of polls to formulate policy to his exploitation of gun tragedies, from sabotaging his own Medicare task force to orchestrating government shutdowns for partisan advantage, Clinton consistently puts politics above principle.

The framers considered, but rejected the idea of multiple presidents. They understood the importance of a single, energetic president speaking with one voice.

Repeatedly, President Clinton has permitted dissenting voices to disintegrate the slightest appearance of unity in the executive branch.

Take Hillaryís Senate run. The very idea of a first lady running for high office and subjecting the interests of the presidency to internal conflicts of interest would have been unimaginable before this narcissistic couple graced the White House.

Before some of you get your backs up, Iím not referring to any gender thing here. The same thing would apply if Hillary were president and Bill were the First Husband -- but while weíre at it, perish that thought.

Remember when candidate Hillary was urging President Bill to grant clemency to the FALN Puerto Rican terrorists? Do you recall them pretending to communicate through their public press releases and insisting they werenít discussing the matter privately, while they were weekending at Camp David? It is more than unseemly for such disharmony to emanate from the White House.

Since the self-indulgent Clintons got away with it, candidate Al Gore thought heíd try it, too. So he publicly lobbied President Bill to release the Strategic Petroleum Reserve -- while Iím sure the two never discussed it in private. Doubtlessly stricken by the utter novelty of Goreís ingenious suggestion, Clinton agreed to release the surplus oil.

Next, we had the president himself, publicly contradicting his top two officials in the executive branch, Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI Director Louis Freeh, about the handling of the Wen Ho Lee case and Leeís pretrial incarceration. Political Bill apparently experienced an irresistible impulse to distance himself from Judge James A. Parkerís stinging rebuke of the Justice Department and the FBI for misleading him and mistreating Lee. Then, we learned about candidate Hillary pandering to Chinese-Americans in New York, decrying stereotyping and discrimination in the Lee case. Hillary reportedly told her sympathetic audience that government officials ought not to let their racial prejudices and anti-Chinese emotions interfere with their duties.

Hillary made her disparaging remarks about her husbandís top executive officials just a few days before some of those same officials were defending their treatment of Lee in testimony before a Senate Judiciary Committee task force. James Robinson, head of the Justice Departmentís criminal division, said the judgeís criticisms were misguided because he was unaware of the extent of plea-bargaining that occurred with Lee. Attorney General Reno went further. ďDr. Lee is no hero. He is not an absentminded professor. He committed a very serious calculated crime, and he pled guilty to it,Ē she said.

Well, which is it, Mr. President? Is Lee a victim of racial profiling or a traitor? As long as Bill Clinton is president it will be impossible for us to sort out the truth among the disparate voices. The Lee case is a good illustration of the importance of leadership and character in the chief executive. Above all else, we must be able to trust our president on national security issues. But we cannot.

Can you imagine what would happen in a major company if top-level executives and spouses were forever publicly undermining the CEOís authority? Heads would roll.

They wonít roll at the White House, though, because President Clinton is deliberately allowing the dissemination of inconsistent messages. One way or another, disunity serves his various political purposes.

Itís time to reunify the executive branch. Itís time to restore leadership and trust to Pennsylvania Avenue. Hopefully, help is on the way.

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.



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09/13/00: An open letter to open-minded cynics
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08/28/00: A campaign divided against itself
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03/27/00: Treaties, triggers, tobacco and tyrants
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03/13/00: Deifying of the center
03/08/00: The media, the establishment and the people
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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
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12/06/99:The lust for power
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11/29/99: Are Republicans obsolete?
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11/22/99: Architects of victory
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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
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09/22/99: Have gun (tragedy), will travel
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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?
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07/30/99: Hate Crimes Bill: Cynical Symbolism
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