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There’s one reason and one reason only that Bill Clinton will not
personally dispute the charges of rape levied by Juanita Broaddrick.

He fears another Paula Jones-type suit — this one for defamation –
by Mrs. Broaddrick. Such an action would open the president up for
discovery and depositions again — the same scenario that resulted in
his impeachment last year.

This time, with the accusations of force, coercion, violence against
a woman involved in a business regulated by then-Arkansas Attorney
General Bill Clinton, it’s difficult to imagine even Barney Frank and
his kid sister enthusiastically backing the rapist-in-chief.

So, the strategy will involve Clinton hiding behind his office,
sending out clowns like attorney David Kendall to do the denying.

“Any allegation that the president assaulted Mrs. Broaddrick more
than 20 years ago is absolutely false,” said Kendall in response to the
charges. It’s the last official response to come from the White House,
other than a terse no comment by Clinton himself in a news conference.

When that strategy fails to get the story off the national radar
screen, the next phase of the Clinton defense, I predicted, will be the
revving up of the smear machine. We’ll hear from White House surrogates
that Broaddrick is a liar, a slut, a member of the vast right-wing
conspiracy.

We have already entered phase two.

It began with the publication by the National Enquirer
of a cover story proclaiming Broaddrick
a liar.

“She did have sex with Clinton that day — but it wasn’t forced,”
claims the story in the trashy tabloid. At least the magazine didn’t
claim it was Clinton’s evil twin or that aliens impersonating the young
politician were responsible for the crime.

The story is based on the work of yet another private investigator,
this time Jack Harwood of Palm Beach, who claims to have analyzed
Broaddrick’s televised statements with a “Verimetrics Instrument,”
described as a high-tech truth machine that measures stress in a
person’s voice. Again, at least the National Enquirer didn’t use a Ouija
board this time. But is it really any wonder a rape victim might have
unusual detectable stress in her voice when reliving a brutal moment in
her life?

The most interesting and telling angle to this story, however, is the
fact that it was told in the National Enquirer. It wasn’t the Star, the
Globe or Weekly World News. It was the National Enquirer, the king of
the tabloids, and, more importantly, a magazine represented legally by
none other than, you guessed it, Mr. Inverted Smile, White House lawyer
David Kendall.

Does it surprise you that the world’s leading sleazy tab employs
Clinton’s lawyer? Or vice versa? No, it makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

And, as I said, this is just the beginning — the opening salvo.
Broaddrick is about to get the Linda Tripp treatment, the Gennifer
Flowers two-step, the Kathleen Willey skidoo, the full Monica.

This is what the Clinton White House does best — victimizing women,
blaming them for the commander-in-cheat’s disorders, laying waste to
those little human inconveniences that get in the way. They’ve perfected
this part of the game, turned it into an art form, written the book on
sliming enemies and burying skeletons.

And now that even The New York Times is denouncing him for his
silence, what alternative does Clinton have but to turn to the familiar
offense? Here’s what the Times said in an editorial Saturday: “By all
accounts, the White House is banking on the Broaddrick story’s lacking
legs, and it hopes to be able to squeak by on Mr. Kendall’s unelaborated
denials. But if the president remains in his customary defensive crouch,
perhaps he will at least accept the advice of Patricia Ireland,
president of the National Organization for Women. Mindful of the base
attacks on previous accusers by presidential agents such as James
Carville and Robert Bennett, she urged Mr. Clinton to prevent such
tactics being used against Ms. Broaddrick.”

Even the newspaper of record is beginning to get it, to understand
the pattern, to comprehend the presidential pathology.

But what the president’s best friends don’t get is he has no
alternative but to attack — or, more precisely, have his loyal shills
in the media and political establishment do it. Calling Broaddrick a
liar — openly and personally — could backfire the way it did with
Paula Jones.

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