Jewish World Review Oct. 20, 1999/10 Mar-Cheshvan, 5760
http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- RECENTLY, A CONVERGENCE of factors has caused Bill Clinton to become apoplectic. Republicans should capitalize on this temporary window of vulnerability.
There is no question that Clinton is the consummate politician, a man who can turn almost any situation to his political advantage. He is at his political best when he is cool and collected, which is most of the time, considering his sociopathic nature. When he is on his game, he is cunning, calculating and manipulative.
But he may have finally exposed his Achilles' Heel. He simply cannot handle defeat or rejection of any kind. He appears to lose his Machiavellian edge when emotionally reactive.
Last week, after the Senate's stinging rejection of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, he threw a temper tantrum disguised as a press conference, where he lambasted the Senate Republican majority for placing politics above national security.
Never mind his usual misrepresentation of the facts for now. I'm talking about his temperament. Both the Washington Post and New York Times featured photos from that press conference showing the president looking quite unpresidential.
The Post, in its story under the photo, noted that although Clinton was chiding Republicans for playing politics, it was he who was completely politicizing the issue by attacking Republicans for rejecting the pact.
Sometimes, people unwittingly provide glimpses into their own mindset in their criticisms of others. Such was the case when Clinton was asked whether Republicans voted down the treaty as part of a vendetta against him.
"It has been my experience that very often in politics when a person is taking a position that he simply cannot defend, the only defense is to attack the opponent," said Clinton. Exactly.
And remember him accusing the FBI of turning on him to divert attention from its own culpability in the Waco tragedy? There, too, Clinton was accusing others of engaging in an activity that he wrote the book on: the politics of personal destruction.
In response to a separate question, Clinton again revealed his distaste for defeat. When asked about Judge Wright's contempt ruling against him for intentional lying in his Jones deposition, he replied, "When I am out of office, I will have a lot to say about this." (This doesn't sound like the repentant sinner Clinton and his spiritual advisors have insisted he is.)
Clinton has increasingly let his guard down, which the Post, in another story, attributes to his having "reached a certain, coveted point in his presidency after seven turbulent years. It is that time, at last, when he feels free to say whatever he likes."
His admission before a gay rights group in New York earlier this month was especially chilling, given what we know about his character.
"It has occurred to me really that every one of us has this little scale inside, you know. On one side, there's the light forces, and the other side, there's the dark forces in our psyche and our makeup and the way we look at the world."
Clinton's recent inability to mask his true feelings could be a result of a combination of things:
They should deny him the opportunity to burn them again by refusing to enter into his requested budget summit. And, they should implement an across-the-board spending cut in submitting their final package of spending bills to him before the deadline this week.
They must keep him off balance by continuing to fight him toe-to-toe,
deriving strength from their latest legislative victory on principle and
10/18/99: Senate GOP shows statesmanship