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Jewish World Review / June 19, 1998 / 25 Sivan, 5758

Cal Thomas

Cal Thomas The Clinton hare vs.
the Starr tortoise

THERE ARE MANY ANALOGIES that could be applied to the Clinton-Gore team of obfuscators, stonewallers, deceivers and flat-out liars.

One is a baseball analogy. The administration is good at fouling off every accusation thrown at it because it had ample opportunity to hone its skills in the minor leagues before coming to the majors. Corruption was practiced on a small scale in Little Rock until they got it right.
Maybe a hare is more like it?
Then this tight-knit group of friends who shared a common conviction that they could do anything and not be held accountable moved to the big leagues. There they have attracted others to not only defend them but to accuse the independent counsel and other people of integrity of being guilty of crimes in order to make others, not themselves, the focus of attention.

But a better analogy is that of the hare and the tortoise. Clinton is the hare, using anything and everything at his disposal to delay his day of accountability. He races about, speaking of new solutions to old problems. He wants to save our children from everything, including an Internet-free life, cigarettes and school shootings. He denies any wrongdoing, even the most minimal mistakes, his life so pure it qualifies him for sainthood. While his minions confidently predict the president will win his race against time and the law, they fear the steady, slow and methodical course of the tortoise, Ken Starr.

The latest smear is that Starr has violated the law by talking to a small number of journalists. But White House personnel and other Clinton defenders have done the same thing, even telling what subpoenaed individuals testified before the grand jury. Top aide Sydney Blumenthal, who violated journalism ethics (are they any left?) by being a conduit to the Clinton-Gore campaign with information about the Dole campaign while still wearing his journalist's hat two years ago, may be the biggest leaker of all.

Watergate independent counsels Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski met regularly with reporters to brief them on developments before their grand juries and to comment on decisions by Judge John Sirica. Some believe both men shared information that probably broke the same rule restricting dissemination of evidence that Starr is being accused of violating. Because the hated (by the press and so many liberals) Richard Nixon was the target in the Watergate cover-up, there was no outrage from journalists or others in established institutions about illegally leaked information. The press was quite content to get as much as it could on Nixon, from whatever source, including the still-anonymous ``Deep Throat,'' made famous by the Washington Post's Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

As Starr, the tortoise, gets closer to the finish line, Clinton, the hare, sees that he's too far back to win the race. So others along the course throw as many obstacles in the way of the tortoise as they can. But Starr has the rule of law on his side, while Clinton has only the rule of the outlaw.

A New York Times editorial defends Starr, noting Justice Department rules allow him to discuss matters that do not come directly from grand jury testimony. And, cheering on the tortoise, it says: "Clinton's stature has declined steadily for definable reasons: deceptive or missing answers about his personal and campaign finances, his response and that of his associates to legal inquiries, his own abandonment of the plan to explain his mystifying dealings with (Monica) Lewinsky."

As in the ancient fable, the tortoise wins, not because he is faster but because he's smarter and keeps his eye on the goal. So far the hare is winning only the battle for public opinion. But the tortoise will be victorious because the goal is the truth, and not even Bill Clinton and his co-conspirators can hide it forever.

6/17/98: The President's rocky road to China
6/15/98: Let the children go
6/9/98: Oregon: the new killing fields
6/5/98: Speaking plainly: the cover-up continues
6/2/98: Barry Goldwater: in our hearts
5/28/98:The Speaker's insightful remarks
5/26/98: As bad as it gets
5/25/98:Union dues and don'ts
5/21/98: Connecting those Chinese campaign contribution dots
5/19/98: Clinton on the couch
5/13/98: John Ashcroft: another Jimmy Carter?
5/8/98: Terms of dismemberment
5/5/98: Clinton's tangled Webb
4/30/98: Return of the Jedi
4/28/98: Desparately seeking Susan
4/23/98: RICO's threat to free-speech and expression
4/21/98: Educating children v. preserving an institution
4/19/98: Analyzing the birth of a possible new nation
4/14/98: What's fair about our tax system?
4/10/98: CBS: 'Touched by a perv'
4/8/98: Judge Wright's wrong reasoning on sexual harassment
4/2/98: How about helping American cities before African?
3/31/98:Revenge of the children
3/29/98: The Clinton strategy: delay, deceive, deny, and destroy
3/26/98: Moralist Gary Hart
3/23/98: CNN's century of (liberal) women
3/17/98: Dandy Dan
3/15/98: An imposed 'settlement' settles nothing
3/13/98: David Brock's Turnabout

©1998, Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Inc.