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The end of Clintonitis?

By Bruce Walker
web posted September 24, 2001

As we saw on Thursday night a true President, it makes all the more appalling the recent selfish vanity of ex-President Bill Clinton, to wit: his lame excuse for the damage caused by his own restrictions on CIA operations. These CIA agents and their operatives had to have the highest possible moral character.

Really? Remember Craig Livingstone? Clinton placed this goon, a bar bouncer, an ignoramus, and a liar as the Chief of White House Security. He ruthlessly used the internal security apparatus of the United States to collect FBI security files on hundreds of prominent Republicans. These unsavory operations did not only place an immoral dummy in charge of a very sensitive role (and recall, no one even knew who hired him for years) but these crude prostitution of the FBI meant that the effectiveness and credibility of this vitally important law enforcement agency was terribly weakened.

If Craig Livingstone had been on the job September 11th, I wonder how well he would have done? Would he have made the quick, wise, and tough judgments needed? Would he have hurried back into the White House to shred papers - not national security papers, but incriminating political documents? If he called the FBI for information, would the career agents of that fine agency have considered him interested in the nation's good or political spin?

What Clinton - the Typhoid Mary of American politics - also did was seriously infect the Democrat Party. His Vice President Al Gore was the first major party presidential candidate in modern history who refused to address the American Legion (he seemed much more concerned with insuring that felons had a better chance of casting a ballot in Florida than soldier and sailors).

Until at least the horrible terrorist attack on America, Dick Gephardt, man who proudly opposed the impeachment of Clinton, made another clear statement about how the Democrat leadership felt about security against terrorism: Gephardt backed off his earlier calls that Gary Condit be taken off the House Intelligence Committee.

Ponder that for a moment! Right now - today - a high ranking Democrat on the very committee assigned to review terrorist threats is the sicko from California. Does anyone doubt that terrorists and other bad guys have had a lot of blackmail information on this House Democrat in a key legislative position?

Gore has been, thankfully, silent. Gephardt and Daschle have closed ranks behind the President. Their actions six months from now will say whether or not their Democrat Party has gotten a true wake-up call, and seen the true danger of making America a tool of partisan and personal ambition instead of doing with President Bush as most obviously done: place values about selfish interests.

Hillary! apparently could not sit through a stirring call to arms from a great Republican leader without rolling her eyes, gabbing with Chuck Schumer, and otherwise showing New Yorkers just how boring all this patriotism is to her. Not coincidentally, Hillary! has been exposed to the pathogens of Clintonitis longer than anyone else. The question now is not so much whether Hillary! will ever be President (no, she won't) but whether her effective political career is over. Her "sister" Congressperson Lee of California, also could not force herself to stand up for America. She is another Marxist dinosaur, the sort Clinton use like Kleenex and then threw away. Surely she soon will be away.

But it is important to remember stout fellows among the Democrats who were never infected with Clintonitis. David Boren, who is today President of the University of Oklahoma and was long Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, left Senate rather than serve under President like Clinton. Sam Nunn of Georgia, who first spanked Clinton over gays in the military, also chose not to run for re-election in 1996.

And there are others, like Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who shown a willingness to support things that he truly believed (most recently, Social Security, but in the 1970s, a lonely Democrat voice for American values in the world). Indeed, Moynihan is particularly appealing because he was an institution in New York Democrat Party politics, and may well be the maddest man in America right now.

While Clintonitis is at least dormant, if not dead, the President might bring together a group of these stout fellows - the Democrats already proven to put America above party - and form a group of trusted loyal opposition. Moynihan, Nunn, Boren and others have left politics, but they were enormously popular and respected Democrat Senators for many years.

If President Bush does like this, it would be wise to act soon. Ask Daschle, Gephardt, Bonior, et al. to publicly praise these loyal and wise Democrats, and ask Congress to pass a resolution endorsing each individual as a person of integrity, intelligence, loyalty, and knowledge. Whether Clintonitis is, like smallpox, a dead disease or not is a question for future years. One fact is abundantly clear now: we never want to see it again.

Bruce Walker is a senior writer with Enter Stage Right. He is also a frequent contributor to The Pragmatist and The Common Conservative.

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