Our National Nightmare
Nov. 20, 1998
Many say the House impeachment hearing changed nothing. They are wrong; everything has changed. America is now, officially in what historians must recall as the "O.J.-Clinton era."
During the "Nixon era" Gerald Ford pardoned an earlier version of criminal president, assuring us that our "long national nightmare" was over. That may have been a bad dream, but this-this-is a nightmare.
In the O.J.-Clinton era, right is wrong; wrong is right; wisdom is worthless; law is denounced, duty desecrated, honor mocked.
In the O.J.-Clinton era, an honest man is vilified for enforcing the law; the cop is the villain, the criminal the hero.
Thus, the president of the United States lies under oath, obstructs justice, abuses his office (and, maybe, sells our enemies our secrets for campaign cash). But we don't care.
Maxine Waters and Barney Frank are seriously regarded, while Ken Starr is dismissed as a zealot? I am not a religious man, but God help us.
From the opening moment of the third impeachment hearing in our history, it was history stood on its head. The chief executive stands accused of vile behavior and criminal conduct, but it is the investigator that is put on trial. Not one Clinton defender defended Clinton. They did not need to. It was Ken Starr under fire. Then, the next morning, Democrat ethics advisor (an oxymoron, like jumbo shrimp) Sam Dash resigns because of Starr's conduct. Classic O.J.-Clinton era stuff.
Did you see Ken Starr? He was temperate, logical, judicious, reasonable, factual, courtly. What an anachronism! He represents the old America.
Did you see Maxine Waters and Barney Frank? Rude, loud, obnoxious, unreasonable, disrespectful, mean-spirited and, in Waters' case, irrational. They represent the new America. Get a good look: Here is the face and intellect and temperament of the O.J.-Clinton era.
Bill Clinton will not be impeached. There are too few patriots and too many cowards in Congress to honor the Constitution, which may as well now be retired as an interesting by irrelevant antique. Besides, it is so politically incorrect.
Bill Clinton will continue as President of the United States. The standards we would automatically apply to a friend, a babysitter, a teacher, an employee, or the guy who re-surfaces our driveway do not apply the chief executive, the highest law enforcement officer in the country, the commander-in-chief.
Here's a message to the two thirds of you who are untroubled by that: just wait until you, and all of us, are hit by the awful hangover this party of stupidity is sure to deliver.
Bill Clinton disgraces us and thrives. Ken Starr serves and is condemned. Maxin Waters and Barney Frank setting the agenda?
This is not an America I recognize. It is the O.J.-Clinton America.
And I, for one, do not pledge allegiance to it.
Jay Severin is a veteran campaign consultant for conservative causes and a political analyst for MSNBC.
--used with permission from MSNBC--
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