A reader writes: “How does the most corrupt president in U.S. history, possibly linked to treason with China, who has a lifelong track record of abusing power in office (ask Paula Jones), get an all-time-high approval record of 64 percent?”
Good question, indeed. Let me take a stab at it.
Have you been watching the campaign finance hearings on television? I didn’t think so. Few Americans are. I watched several hours of testimony repeated on C-SPAN last night and the night before. It was quite enlightening.
No, it wasn’t that I really learned any significant new details about the corruption within our political system — and, specifically, in President Clinton’s re-election campaign. What was more interesting to me was the color that doesn’t show up in an Associated Press story the next day.
What do I mean? For those of you who missed the testimony of Richard Sullivan, the 33-year-old finance chief of the Democratic National Committee, you missed quite a show. I simply couldn’t get over one fact — this guy was scared, very scared.
Do you think it was the incisive and penetrating questions posed by Republican senators that made him so nervous? Don’t make me laugh. These guys wouldn’t intimidate a 10-year-old girl if they were interrogating one. No, I don’t believe that was it. Not for a minute. There was something else going on here — some other force at play. This was a man, it seems to me, who has seen others fall on their swords — or be pushed — for this president. And he didn’t want to make the slightest mistake. In other words, he was afraid he might say the wrong thing — to implicate someone inadvertently. He wasn’t afraid of his enemies. He was afraid of his friends.
But few saw Sullivan stutter and stammer his way through two days of testimony. CNN wasn’t really interested. Even C-SPAN’s heart wasn’t in it. For those of you who have access to National Empowerment Television, it is the only source of gavel-to-gavel coverage of these important hearings. So, since television didn’t cover the hearings, the Washington Post didn’t either. At least I guess that was the excuse for not having a story on the front page after the revealing and compelling first day of testimony.
And, since the Washington Post didn’t think it was important, hundreds of local papers throughout the country took their cue from the experts. That lack of interest thus convinced the geniuses over at CNN that their instincts were right all along, so even less coverage of the hearings was offered yesterday.
Do you see the point? The establishment media have never been particularly enthusiastic about scandalizing this president — this administration. After all, they have a lot invested in them. They helped elect him. They have soft-pedaled every scandal in which Clinton has been involved — from Whitewater, to Vince Foster’s death, to Travelgate, to Paula Jones, to Clinton’s meetings with the shadiest, most notorious characters since the fall of Berlin.
So, it’s no wonder the Washington Post is trumpeting its ABC/Washington Post poll showing Clinton with a 64-percent approval rating at the top of page one Thursday and zero front-page coverage of the testimony before Sen. Fred Thompson’s committee. The two decisions go hand in hand. And a million other news judgments like it all across America for the last five years have left this country in what Jimmy Carter would call a “malaise.”
I call it a national mental illness. Our countrymen are infected with the same disease the greedy corporations had leading to the handover of Hong Kong to the Communist tyrants in Beijing. It was good for business. For some reason, because the economy is OK in the United States today, no one is interested in rocking the political boat. It’s pretty short-term thinking.
But, most of all, the poll numbers reflect not what Americans know about the Clinton administration, but what they don’t know. They’ve been spoon-fed pabulum on the evening news and like good little robots have responded accordingly.
If we’re not careful, Clinton could parlay this kind of unprecedented support into another four more years. It’s unconstitutional, you say? Oh, sure, that will stop him. Did you know there is already a bill co-sponsored by Democrats and Republicans to repeal the two-term limit on the presidency? You haven’t heard about it yet. But, any day now, the media lapdogs will start promoting it. Just watch.