Linda Tripp began keeping an extensive diary of her conversations
with Monica Lewinsky about the time this essay was first
published. The forecast at the end of this column would make Ms.
Tripp the Alexander Butterfield of the Clinton Administration.
William Safire’s characterization of First Lady
Hillary Clinton as a “congenital liar” fulfills yet another of
the forecasts made in our 1994 Special Election Report. On 28
September we wrote:
“Media attention will turn decidedly negative on
the Clintons after the fall elections. The major American media
have tried to downplay these stories [Whitewater, Mena, Vincent
Foster] because of their ideological sympathy with the Clintons
and their big-government agenda. When faced with the reality of
public Congressional hearings, in which their own failings will
be prominently on display, they will become the Clintons’ most
vocal and savage critics, to save themselves. Media coverage will
be intensely negative.”
Those who watched the President’s State of the
Union address may remember his salute to his First Lady. Say what
he would with his words, Mr. Clinton’s facial expressions, his
gritted teeth and clenched jaw while he stared from the podium at
his wife, even as the chamber erupted in applause at his defense
of her, his look was one of pure, unbridled loathing.
This White House is a cesspool of lawyers and
liars. From the President down through the First Lady, ebbing out
into their respective staffs, permeating the vast bureaucracy
that surrounds them, there is not one who does not daily employ
dissembling pronouncements and then hide behind the tattered rags
of government privilege when caught naked in a new lie. They do
this not to preserve the Union, as has been the prerogative,
indeed the duty of leaders, from time immemorial. Rather they do
it out of petty and prurient self-interest and aggrandizement.
Intelligent, educated, and gifted people; tragic failures to a
man and woman, unable to confront their own failure. Unable,
even, to remember any wrongdoing.
There is much talk in the press today of
“obstruction of justice” and spirited speculation about whether
the First Lady will be so charged. Following the death of Vincent
Foster, Jr., the shredders at the Rose Law Firm worked overtime
digesting Mr. Foster’s papers while those in the White House
assured us that no stone would be left unturned in the effort to
uncover all the evidence surrounding their friend’s tragic death.
Yet the FBI and the Park Police were impeded in
their investigations; intimidated by the power of the Presidency.
A suicide note was hastily fabricated and gratefully received by
the press. Reporters lamented over their own harshness toward
America’s public-minded servants. The announcement two years
later by three of the world’s top handwriting experts that the
note was a forgery was received with a yawn. No time for old
news; too busy making Washington safe for a Brave New World.
As the crippled investigation of special
prosecutor Robert Fiske and later Kenneth Starr moved forward,
subpoenaed documents were found to be misplaced or unavailable;
when located they were suddenly remembered to be privileged, the
trusted communications of lawyers and liars, one to another, made
in secret, serving their own self-interest, the dark province of
thieves and murderers.
As the Clintons conducted their personal lives, so
they conducted their public lives. First Lady Hillary Clinton
preached honestly and openly about the virtues of big-government
taking over health care to make it somehow fair. Behind the scenes
the same First Lady manipulated names and titles to keep her real
activities secret. One day she was a government employee; the
next, merely a loving wife serving her husband’s desires. She
decried the number of abortions in the country, while demanding
that the procedure be paid for in full under the new insurance
plan. She concealed the cost, motives, and desired outcome from
those most affected: doctors and patients, husbands and wives,
sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers. Lawyers
and liars, every last one of them.
Yet through it all, perhaps the saddest
recognition is that the Clintons deceived no one. The press knew
in the 1992 campaign exactly what the Clintons were. Reporters on
the campaign trail knew them to be corrupt politicians from a
small, poor state, beholding to a few moneyed interests. In the
pocket. Bought and paid for.
Voters who pulled the lever for Bill and Hillary
Clinton in 1992 were likewise not deceived. The press had told
them that character didn’t matter. They knew it to be false, yet
they believed it because they wanted to believe it. They
swallowed the Clintons hook, line, and sinker because they wanted
what the Clintons were selling: the crushing power of the state
to erase individual liberty and provide absolution for their own
failures. A way to implement their own unique notions of justice
and equality, with delivery at the point of a federal gun barrel.
Political correctness and moral debauchery made the law of the
land. The land of milk and honey: trickle-down largesse surely
would flow from this pair who knew how to deliver the goods.
Likewise, those who voted against the Clintons did
so because they knew what the Clintons were. They understood that
character not only mattered; but that it was the single element
of governance that must never be compromised. Their downfall was
that they disagreed on the alternative. Forty-two percent of
America elected the Clintons because they wanted what the
Clintons were serving up. Bon Appetit.
Will the Clintons be indicted for obstruction of
justice? Few who have examined closely the circumstances
surrounding the death of Mr. Foster believe that he left this
life of his own free will. If he did not, then the indictment
would not read “obstruction of justice.” It would more properly
read, “accessory to murder after the fact.”
During the investigation into Watergate, perhaps
Hillary Clinton herself can remember Alexander Butterfield’s meek
and lowly “yes” response to the question about whether recordings
might have been made of conversations held in the White House.
That response sealed the fate of the Nixon White House.
The Apostle Paul spoke to just such a situation as
this, in the days when Rome ruled the world:
God has chosen the world’s foolish things to put to shame the
learned; and God has chosen the weak in the world to shame the
strong. God also has chosen the world’s insignificant and
despised people and nobodies in order to bring to nothing
those who amount to something, so that nobody may boast in the
presence of God.
Someone in the Clinton administration is getting
ready to turn.
[Reprinted in its entirety from the January 31, 1996 issue of