Tuesday, January 05, 1999 10:30 PM

OK, I’ve kept kind of quiet about the whole Washington mess for long enough. Sure, I make jokes about the absurdity of the entire process, but I haven’t done a full-blown stack blowing Cory!! rant on the whole thing. What do I think of it? It’s weird how people who haven’t seen me in a few years ask that question first. Like I’m some kind of flaming expert on the machinations of the Rebloodlicans and the Democrips. I’m not. I’m an expert on the 70’s game show Match Game, Redheads and rotten movies that were shown on small time TV stations through the 70’s and early 80’s. Politics? I know about as much about that as anyone who shows up on TV calling themselves a pundit...in other words Jack and Squat.

So, all that being said, I will weigh in on the whole thing. Sadly, the roots of the Clinton mess go back to the 60’s, but not in the way most people think. No, it doesn’t have to do with Bill Clinton being one of those guys who can’t even smoke a joint right, but the fact that people were smoking joint. In the 60’s, the normal tenor of political discussion (us against them) got turned up to a fever pitch. By the time we got to the 1968 election, whoever won was going to be hated by about half of the population.

Or, in other words, Richard Nixon.

I don’t need to go into a big discussion of Nixon, as people have their minds made up about him, and haven’t changed them for a long, long time. Me, I think he was a psychologically disturbed individual on the level of an Ed Gein, except Nixon caused a lot more deaths and dressed a lot better, but there are people who’s opinions I used to respect who think that Nixon was a good president. Come on, even Steve Gutenberg’s acting has some admirers, so I let them have their happy delusion.

Anyway, after Nixon resigned rather than be impeached, there was a big shift in American politics. For years, there had been jokes about politicians being lying, low down snakes, but it was all out in the open. And we didn’t much like it. For a while, the vast mainstream of America felt that maybe the people on the left who were decrying the Government for all of those years were right. We found out about tons of dirty little and big scandals through the mid 70’s. The CIA being involved in all sorts of distasteful things, and George Bush as the head of the CIA to tell us he’d cleaned it all up and we weren’t to look anymore, thanks. J. Edger Hoover died and we discovered that he taped everyone he didn’t like...kind of Linda Tripp in drag, except he worse dresses and Tripp wears pants. While we are talking about current sex scandals, there were few back then that have since been forgotten, most involving secretaries who couldn’t type and later posed in Playboy to show us their skills and talk about how they liked moonlight walks on the beach with paunchy, bald, pasty old white guys.

After Jimmy Carter got elected by running as an outsider who wasn’t part of the corrupt Washington mess, the Republicans tried for his entire Administration to bring him down. They blocked legislation and launched investigation after investigation. Eventually, they rendered him politically powerless, and the economy was in such a morass that anyone they threw up to face him would have won. Hell, even a bad actor who had been the President of the most corrupt union in the history of the United States could get elected.

And he did. Under Reagan, the Repubodem War got notched up again. There were a lot of reasons, the fact that he stuffed his administration with pissed off Nixon people, he courted the fringe groups to support him while never actually doing anything about their agendas, and that no matter what he did, the news people would just report whatever they were told to. For all the talk of a hostile news media, the didn’t start reporting Iran/Contra until investigations had started. Does anyone remember that the story was broken by an Israeli newspaper (who kind of had reason to be upset that we were selling weapons to Iran). By the end of it, the Democrats who had been stepped on during Carter’s Administration were ready to go to war. They went to battle over Robert Bork’s Supreme Court nomination (and now he’s writing books about how the American public is a bunch of stinking degenerates. I thank Mr. Bork for noticing and am damn proud of being a member of De-Generation X), Iran-Contra and anything else they could find. By this time, the Rebloodlicans had their own pit bulls, and were fighting back both in Congress and in Lee Atwater attack ads. Still the proceedings of the Iran Contra hearings were sedate and dignified next to what was on our TVs a few Saturdays ago, which was about as dignified as Dr. Ruth in a thong bikini contest.

Back in the 80’s Newt Gingrich used C-SPAN to further his agenda. Then, he got mad when someone figured out he was giving a speech and asking for responses from an empty chamber making it look like he was talking to Congressmen during a full session. When Newt figured out who had done that, he got him ran out of the House for campaign finance tricks and slimy book deals. A few years later, Newt would be censured for campaign finance tricks and slimy book deals. Hmm.. Clarence Thomas gets accused of talking about porno movies and being hooked on one of his subordinates and now must say "Why the Hell is everyone looking at me?" whenever a case about sex is before the Supreme Court. Michael Dukakis was trussed up like a redneck’s road kill dinner and sacrificed on the altar of George Bush burying the fact that he was once called a wimp. Back and forth and back and forth until the 1992 election.

Bill Clinton enters the national stage. We all feel like we know Bill Clinton now, and it’s not just because we have every detail of his sex life, but because we all know guys like that. When we were in college, he was the guy at the bar asking you about English Lit while eyeing your girlfriend. At the gym, he’s the guy in the locker room talking about how the woman running the aerobics class wants him. In your neighborhood, he’s the guy who borrows your lawn chairs and forgets to give them back until next spring when he asks if he can borrow them again. He knows a good dirty joke, shows up at the funerals and knows the right thing to say, and will talk about how close a friend you are. Everyone knows he’s sleeping around on his wife, but we pretend to be shocked when we hear about it.

When he takes office, the battle hardened Rebloodlicans are already hating him. He embodies all of the things they are out to destroy. He’s one of those long haired, pot-smoking, draft-dodging hippie type pinko fags that ran Richard Nixon out of office in the 70’s. The Republicans who are in power now were sent by the most radical portion of the Republican Party, and feel they were sent to Washington to fight a Jihad. A War against the evil hippies and liberals who destroy the country back in the 60’s and by God they are going to have their culture war, even if the American people just want to be left alone with the prospect of 500 cable TV channels. Never mind that there aren’t any hippies any more, and the last liberal was hunted down in 1989 and is now being kept in a nature preserve. William Bennett, who used to talk about how the American people were the best and wisest people when they were voting for his Republican friends, is now making the talk show circuit, decrying that our Family Values are broken beyond repair and he will let us know what is moral and right and wants to lead the charge against the evil leftists. He has even said in a recent interview that if the American People don’t see that Bill Clinton needs to be removed from office for committing the worst crimes in the history of government, the Republicans are duty bound to teach them that lying is wrong. Side note, William, taking credit for a book written by ghostwriters is technically lying, so quit throwing stones.

It didn’t matter than Clinton spouted all the same programs and platitudes that those on the right did, death penalty for everyone who did more than jaywalk, ending welfare, cutting the size of government and all the buzz words that had been so popular during the 90’s election season. It didn’t matter than he bit the bullet and finished up George Bush’s work on NAFTA. It wouldn’t matter if he got a crew cut and enrolled in basic training during the months between the election and the inauguration. They hated him, and would do anything they could to bring him down. Why? Well....as a get back.

There is a level of hatred for Clinton among the people who dislike him that confounds me. "He’s a liar!" Yeah, and Oliver North, who is one of the people leading the charge against him proudly declared that he lied under oath and to Congress and he ran for Senate and is only out of prison on a legal technicality. Damn those criminals who are set free by scheming lawyers. "He cheated on his wife!" Who in Washington didn’t? Hell, half the people I know either cheated or were cheated on. Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and according to a number of sources, George Bush all cheated on their wives while in the White House. Let’s get them too. "He’s a liberal!" Yep, about as liberal as Gerald Ford, who his legislative record most conforms to. "He had an affair with a subordinate in the White House!" Well, according to a bunch of different sources, so did George Bush (I read the story in SPY back in 1992).

No, Clinton is to pay for the sins of the past in an ever growing culture of revenge that makes the East Coast/West Coast rap wars look like a game of red rover. Clinton was attacked and investigated from the day after his election, and all I have to say is that all they could pin on him is a squalid little trailer park relationship that inspires a late night joke crisis, not a Constitutional one. And the wars continue. The list of people who have affairs that are going to be outed is about to become a Battan Death March of people apologizing to their families before Larry Flynt can put them on the cover of Hustler. I want the charges to go away. My ex-wife cheated on me, lied about it in court and didn’t even get a stern talking to, let alone told she couldn’t hold political office. Hell, Kenneth Starr caught him for something that he hadn’t even done when Starr started his investigation. Are we going to just appoint investigators to wait around and follow people until they do commit a crime?. If anything, Hillary should be allowed to throw a drink in Bill’s face at every nice restaurant in America. If you want to be outraged at Clinton, be outraged that he ignored the land mine ban, or that he ignored the Genocide treaty we signed after WWII he ignored because Bosnia didn’t have any oil, or the fact that he hasn’t done a damn thing about human rights abuses in China, or he continues to ignore child sexual exploitation in Thailand (Which is Government sponsored and sanctioned. Don’t! Buy! Thai!), or that he is a typical snake oil weaselly rat bastard who would wear a tie made of wood and stand on his head if it would raise his poll numbers! Of course, if you did that, you have to be outraged at his opponents, who are the exact same person in a different suit, getting the same money from the same special interests who are the only ones politicians listen to anyway.

The reason people don’t care about politics is because those in power don’t want us to. They know that if they craft a message that hits on the core group of fanatics on each side that will vote no matter what. The Republican’s didn’t "care deeply" about the Impeachment. They "care deeply" about the 30% of their Republicans voters who always go to the polls and hate Bill Clinton so much they are giving televangelists money for video tapes proving Bill Clinton has murdered people, runs an evil international cabal and was behind "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" being cancelled. And, as long was we keep saying, "I don’t care, they’ll do whatever they want," they will. Sure, it’s entertaining in a Jerry Springer way, but is this any way to run the last remaining superpower? The only time things change is when We The People get pissed and start shouting into phones that we’re mad as hell and not going to take it any more. Call your representative and in your best Howard Beale voice, tell them what you really think. If you think Clinton should be run out of town on a rail, tell them. If you think this whole exercise gets way too close to a classic case of Gladys Cravits peeping in Samantha’s window to prove she’s a witch, tell them. If you think that Cory needs to shut the hell up and either get a girlfriend or surf the internet for porn, keep it to yourself, because I’ve got a good head of steam here.

Now, it’s not that Clinton is blameless in the whole thing. His ruddy, frat-boy way of dealing with his enemies gave them a sword, and they promptly fell on it, bleeding all over his shoes. He should have told the truth instead of relying on polls that told him that people didn’t believe him anyway, and wouldn’t care if he did mislead us. But, then he would have been up on criminal charges. Which is worse? In my mind, having to tell people that you’re the leader of the free world and can’t get a good looking mistress is a worse punishment than any of us can devise. He’s a small man, in a small time, doing a job that no one in their right mind would want. When he’s gone, he’ll be remembered much like Millard Fillmore...he didn’t screw things up too bad. The person I feel real pity for is the next Republican who is elected President, because already the Democrats are sharpening the skewers, preparing the impeachment papers, and all they need is a name and body in the Oval Office to get started. Guess who will pay for the next investigation.....

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