Is it any surprise that the publication of Clinton's memoir My Life has revived the vitriolic bleating from those on the right who just can't seem to stop salivating over blue dresses and beret-wearing interns ?
But if these self-appointed morality police were truly committed to upholding ethics and promoting values in government, they would begin challenging the House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who is hands down one of the most corrupt politicians in the United States.
"The Hammer"--DeLay got that nickname because he runs the US House of Representatives with an iron fist--has allegedly bribed his GOP colleagues to win their votes for legislation that he desperately wanted to pass in the House. He's engaged in quid pro quos with corporations seeking legislative favors, and violated campaign finance laws in Texas during the 2002 state house election contests. Now, after a seven-year truce in the US House that discouraged members from filing ethics charges against one another, Rep. Chris Bell has gone to the ethics committee and filed a 187-page bombshell charging that DeLay engaged in extortion, money-laundering and other abuses of power.
One of the big sports stories of the year was the Detroit Pistons' amazing upset of the formidable LA Lakers in the NBA championship series. Paul Richards, veteran Democratic Party activist and onetime member of the Montana House of Representatives, thinks the Pistons' win has lessons for his party in this November's battle.
What I Learned From the NBA Finals
(Detroit Pistons 4-1 over the Los Angeles Lakers)
* That ordinary guys who get in shape, hustle and persevere can win
* That blue collar workers playing pristine ball can upset spoiled rich prima donnas
* That reality can outshine glitter, despite all the PR to the contrary
* That dynasties can fail and storied empires fall
* That radical restructuring can occur at a moment's notice
* That hard work, courage and initiative can create windows of opportunity
* That if we play cohesively as a team and contest every single possession, we can dominate
* That, given the above, domestic regime change is inevitable
Former President Bill Clinton can add another line to his rÃ©sumÃ©: bestselling author.
Clinton's autobiography, My Life, looks like it could achieve sales of 2 million. It had topped the amazon.com sales list even before its release. And by the time it was officially available, at midnight on Tuesday, crowds were lined up outside the bookstores that were smart enough to stay open. Some even had to put on extra help to handle the demand, providing evidence that, even as an ex-President, Clinton is still better at creating jobs than George W. Bush.
But what is the significance of this latest bout of Clintonmania?
When former Clinton special prosecutor Kenneth Starr resurfaced in a sanctimonious interview on PBS's new Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered last Friday, it seemed like a nightmarish time warp. This right-wing legal zealot, who twisted the law into a political vendetta, quoted from the scriptures at least three times during the eight-minute interview. When asked what Clinton had done wrong, Starr fumbled lamely, and directed Carlson to "the referral." The prosecutor who abused his legal discretion (according to many legal experts, including former Iran/contra independent counsel Lawrence Walsh ) couldn't admit that his exhaustive investigation came up with nothing, yet cost taxpayers over $70 million and consumed the time of twenty-eight attorneys and seventy-eight FBI agents over four years. (For more on Starr's abuse of power, see the just-released documentary The Hunting of the President, based on Joe Conason and Gene Lyon's bestselling book of the same name.)
(When asked why the once bitterly hostile inquisitor seemed so mellow these days, one of the show's senior producers grinned and speculated that it was a side effect from Viagra.)
The political strategist Niccolo Machiavelli once observed that the proper place for saints was in the convent, not the councils of state. He also advised citizens and their representatives to take ruthless action against leaders who steal from the public purse or subvert constitutions. Wise advice as we reflect on how historically disproportionate was the punishment demanded of Clinton to the crime. The Nation still has its problems with the former President--but they have to do with his policies when it came to welfare "reform," Rwanda and dealing with post-Communist Russia. Those were Clinton's wrongdoing--not illicit sex and attempts to conceal it.