In Plain English
Democratic congressional leaders have joined with others in calling
for plain language in dealing with the president's affairs. The
following is an attempt to explore how far we might go in doing
The most disturbing questions staring us in the eye are these:
Why do some people want the Clintons to go, no matter what? Why
others want the Clintons to stay, no matter what? Why not a single
person has resigned from the cabinet, the White House staff, the
legal team, the general entourage? Finally, why does a majority
of Americans continue to answer pollsters as if they had been indoctrinated
under hypnosis in Manchuria (as in "The Manchurian Candidate")?
We hear much talk of "Clinton haters," "right wingers,"
and other Ken Starr-like aberrations who "just want to bring
down this president." There is truth in that. A sizable constituency
believes that every day Team Clinton remains in the White House
adds to the clear and present danger for this country - its political
persona, its institutions, its national security. For these Americans,
l'Affaire Lewinsky is simply the first time Team Clinton didn't
get away with murder - speaking symbolically, of course - and therefore
an opportunity not to be missed. Some plain speaking about this
might be both welcome and instructive.
Then there are those desperate to hang on. To what? In plain English,
to the socialist agenda. A couple like the Clintons that feels contempt
for The People, for the Constitution, and for the concept that government
officials are public servants has been a priceless asset for the
cause. Respect for the people, the Constitution, the idea of service
interferes with socialist realism. When the Clintons were elected
to a second term, socialism's triumph seemed close enough to touch.
The faithful were even willing to watch the president "move
to the center" and his wife step into the shadows as they exchanged
winks of understanding with one another.
Only the determination to change this country from top to bottom
explains why Mario Cuomo swapped intellectual honesty for hysterical
demagoguery on CNN's "Larry King Live" (September 14).
Only the determination to change this country from top to bottom
explains why Maxine Waters committed the Congressional Black Caucus
to a collision course with the rest of America on NBC's "Meet
the Press" (September 13), declaring that "the entire
American legal system is on trial, the Constitution is on trial,
Ken Starr is on trial, Congress is on trial" (everything and
everyone but the president). And only the determination to change
this country from top to bottom explains the current campaign for
The fact that "censure" is not part of the constitutional
process is being carefully hidden from Americans bombarded daily
by pollsters. Censure is but the latest attempt to change the Constitution
de facto, just as Mr. Clinton has been trying with his "sampling"
scheme to subvert the census, his Executive Order 13083 to do away
with the checks and balances in our system, or his national ID card
to keep tabs on every adult in the land.
"Censure," newest brainchild of America's socialists,
was carefully launched into the public consciousness as if it were
a legitimate course of action, then nurtured by the media, finally
peddled by pollsters who can do so because the founding documents
had been removed from our schools and most people will not bother
to check. The package now includes a suggestion by the editors of
The New York Times (September 16) that Mr. Clinton pardon himself.
Even more troubling is the absence of resignations and the reticence
of many in public life to deliver the level of condemnation that
could at last dampen the laughter fits the Clintons must be having
nightly at our gullibility. Some, as we have seen, hang on for the
cause. For others, there is a more ominous explanation.
Message from the White House: if Americans insist on repossessing
their country, there won't be a whole lot left of it. Before they
are through, no person of stature - dead or alive - will be left
standing. Deploying a network of operatives, they have been systematically
destroying every image from America's past, and smearing enough
among the living to make the rest tremble. In case someone has failed
to notice that the path of Team Clinton is littered with corpses
- speaking symbolically, of course - henchmen such as James Carville
or Bob Mulholland of the Democratic National Committee serve notice
in plain English. Most people prefer not to see their lives and
livelihood destroyed. This explains both the muffled criticism,
and why otherwise decent and capable persons have not resigned.
The credible threat of personal destruction has been the Clintons
tool to stifle the democratic process. "Come on," they
beckon, "who wants to be the next Dan Burton or Helen Chenoweth?"
And, "Welcome to your sunset, Chairman Hyde!"
But the majority of Clinton appointees knows deep down that their
time in the stratosphere of government has little if anything to
do with merit and is solely contingent on an administration using
the classic socialist recipe: mediocre people who have a score to
settle with society. Gestures of personal honor and valor are not
part of their make-up.
And what of the sand in which two out of three Americans appear
to have buried their heads? Perhaps it has to do with the two untypical
elections of 1992 and 1996. The former was carried by outright lies
about the state of the Union - not the standard partisan exaggeration
of virtues and failings, but outright lies. The latter is reputed
to have been achieved through the kind of fund raising that borders
on treason by the president and felonies by the vice president.
Is the electorate acting as the person who had made a colossal booboo
and, out of sheer embarrassment, insists on "having done the
Those of us with an unshakable faith in the ultimate political
wisdom of the American people might consider a message that does
not show up in focus groups and street interviews. This country
is supposed to be a representative republic. The constitutional
duty of dealing with the president's conduct rests with Congress.
Perhaps - am I naive? - we are witnessing an instinctive desire
for a return to constitutional government. "Don't ask us to
do what we have elected Congress to do," the people might be
And so it is a time for honor and valor in Congress. While the people
say "you deal with it," the White House says "try,
and you will regret it."
Damage to individuals, as well as to our system of government,
will continue every day this administration remains in power. The
only way to cut America's losses is through acting with dispatch.
Time is not on our side. While everything we hold dear is at risk,
damage to our political institutions serves the socialist agenda.
Having successfully divided our nation into opposing camps, socialists
have already destroyed our common political ground on which to proceed
in the national interest. Adding insult to injury, they now cry
foul because we are "too partisan." Arsonists, shouting
Speaking on CBS's "60 Minutes" on September 13, Linda
Bloodworth-Thomason - she and her husband both intimate friends
of the Clintons - did not mince words. "[Mrs. Clinton] knows
what road she is on, and she will never get off that road. Ever!"
And why the couple would never split up? "They have a country!"
Mrs. Bloodworth-Thomason exclaimed in plain English.
In equally plain English: No - it's our country.
And we want it back.