Time: Wed Dec 03 13:03:41 1997
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: Hitchens On Impeachment -- 03-02-97 (fwd)
Bcc: sls

>	Hitchens is, perhaps, the most agreeable socialist I've ever
>read...mostly because of his style: I adore the way he writes.  His
>British manner of planar wit is naturally attractive to me, and his
>jaundiced take on events and themes makes me long to toss a pint with
>him over the play-by-play.  And, as with most *honest* lefties, he
>often maintains threads of truth as a natural result of the left's
>occupation of their half of the Analytic/Synthetic Dichotomy.  When
>something is true, it's simply true, no matter who says it.  Hitchens
>won my admiration with his 1993 anthology "For The Sake Of Argument",
>which was likely the most stimulating thing I read that year.
>	All Clintophiles should read this article again.  Understand
>that Hitchens holds dearly the principles of "social justice", etc.,
>which many of you would espouse...if only you weren't so devoted to
>your FuhrerBunker outlook.  You have no ideological bone to pick with
>Hitchens.  The difference between you is that Hitchens knows an
>honest-to-god criminal when he sees one, and he has not relenquished
>the belief that the aims of the left can be reached without resort to
>the likes of Bill Clinton.
>	Read it again:
>				~~~~~
>by Christopher Hitchens
>I REMEMBER it so well: that bright January, 1993, day on the
>Washington Mall when the newly minted President Bill Clinton
>came before us and spoke with such feeling about his debt to
>those who "work hard, play by the rules and pay our way." At
>the time, standing in a crowd of optimists who hoped that a
>new day was dawning, I felt a powerful emotion. It was the
>urgent need to throw up. I had already done a few stories on
>Gov. Clinton's fund-raising habits, and it gashed me to see so
>many suckers lining up for another fleecing.
>The euphony of the phrasing obviously pleased the man
>reading it out from a TelePrompTer, because he recurred to it
>in many subsequent speeches. I don't think, however, that we
>will be exposed to the trope in this presidential term. It has
>become painfully evident that this chief executive's "way" is
>"paid" by those who get others to do the work, and by those
>who play by only one rule - namely the Golden Rule (whereby,
>if you recall, the one with the gold makes the rules).
>An old piece of Washington wisdom comes in handy here:
>"The scandal is not what's illegal. It's what's legal." Many
>talk-show experts and self-confessed lawyers are knitting
>their brows together as I write, cogitating the mysteries of
>propriety, legality and (of course) the perception of illegality.
>This is all creating a mystery where none exists. We know
>about the quids - the massive donations that were made by
>people who seemed so uncharacteristically discreet that they
>preferred to keep them secret. And we know about the quos -
>the tax-breaks or policy changes or political favors that were
>done for the donors. Do we really need a huge investigation to
>decide that the two things were somehow "connected"?
>Well, yes we do, if we allow our attention to be distracted and
>our common sense offended  by Sens. McCain and Feingold,
>respectively the Republican and Democratic ornaments of
>Arizona and Wisconsin. McCain certainly knows whereof he
>speaks: He was one of the five senators handpicked by
>Charles Keating of Lincoln Savings & Loan to represent his
>interests in the world's greatest deliberative body.
>Feingold obviously has an uneasy feeling that this is somehow
>a good moment for a display of "bipartisan" fellowship and
>sincerity. The proposal (also endorsed recently by Sens.
>Moynihan and Lott, among other legislators) is for a special
>counsel to investigate the whole fund-raising and campaign
>finance boondoggle.
>No good can come of it. No good is supposed to come of it.
>The task of a special counsel or special prosecutor, slowly
>evolved over the past two decades, is to take an urgent issue
>off the public chessboard, accumulate a mass of already
>available detail, wait until an impending political recess and
>then announce that, by the narrowest of margins, those
>involved have managed to stay on the windy side of the law.
>There is then a White House press conference where it is
>announced that "mistakes were made." A special counsel's
>office is the memory hole into which controversy is fed: It is a
>defusing box for hot subjects. And it has this especial beauty -
>that while the "investigation" is under way, no further
>questions can be asked in public. "It would be quite wrong to
>speculate about hypotheticals (sometimes rendered as "to
>get into specifics") while the special counsel is at work on his
>Can't you just hear them saying it? I have heard them, and
>their predecessors, say it, many, many times, while high
>crimes and misdemeanors go unpunished.
>But you ask, why is the administration resisting such an
>appointment if it's such a beauty for procrastinators? Good
>question. Janet Reno - whose tenure at the Justice
>Department is itself a scandal - has obviously been told to
>postpone the concession until the last possible moment. After
>all, the appointment of a counsel does involve the admission
>that something stinks, and the president has been reluctant to
>admit even that much.
>Indeed, the mounting evidence of malfeasance only calls forth
>unsuspected new depths in Clinton's own bottomless, amoral
>self-regard. He has, for example, dealt a multiple insult to the
>national intelligence as well as to the democratic process, by
>insinuating  that inquiries into his bagmanship were motivated
>by prejudice against Asians. More recently, he has tried to
>explain away the donors he squired in the Lincoln bedroom as
>mere "friends" - as though most of us, after all, have 900
>hyper-rich intimates whom we would invite for two years of
>paid sleep-overs. It also bears remembering that two of
>Clinton's coffee-klatch companions, Arthur Coia, president of
>the Laborers International Union, and stock promoter Eric
>Wynn, are reputed to have links to organized crime. Wynn has
>been convicted of securities fraud in a deal connected with
>the Bonanno crime family, while Coia narrowly averted a RICO
>takeover of his union by brokering a "voluntary" deal to purge
>it of organized-crime influence - through the good graces of
>Janet Reno's Justice Department.
>No, the fact is that the stench is so bad, and the illegality so
>plain, that there is near-panic in the higher echelons. We are
>quite probably talking about impeachable offenses,
>bodyguarded by other impeachable offenses such as perjury
>and obstruction of justice. The only defense available will be
>that "everybody does it," and this is no defense in law, even if
>it does illustrate the true meaning of the term "bipartisan."
>Many senior Republicans, you will notice, are applying a soft
>pedal, because they know instinctively that any rigorous
>inquiry would implicate all parties. This repays the favor done
>by the president for Newt Gingrich: In the week before his
>inauguration, he sympathized in public with the speaker's
>difficulties and called for a moratorium; post hoc quid pro quo
>in action.
>So, if I can make the supposition that you are outraged at the
>franchising of the Lincoln bedroom, and about the mortgaging
>of United States foreign policy and domestic markets to
>foreign despots and native-born grafters, may I suggest that
>you write to your senator and representative? And don't
>waste their time - and your own - by demanding a safety-valve
>investigation that will take forever to conclude that the
>problem is too widespread for "simple solutions" and "easy
>Demand a straight answer and a simple solution. Get them to
>look up the Constitution's tersely worded section on
>impeachment (Article II, Section 4). Look it up for yourself -
>with its stipulation of "bribery" as an impeachable offense,  it
>makes for a gripping read. Demand that the wrongdoers be
>prosecuted, without benefit of plea-bargain. Insist that the
>Supreme Court hear a test case, arguing that the current
>system of campaign finance meets the common-law
>definition of outright bribery. Bring such a case yourself, even
>if it's only against a paltry local pol. Get hold of the Common
>Cause briefing on politics and money, which will harrow up
>your soul, and leave copies lying about.
>Outside the Philadelphia meeting house where the
>Constitution was being debated in secret, old Benjamin
>Franklin was taken by the arm by an elderly lady of the town.
>What have you given us? she wanted to know. "A republic,"
>he answered, "if you can keep it." We might now say: a
>republic, if you can keep it from being broken up and sold off -
>or if the breaking-up and selling-off have not already occurred.
>				~~~~~

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