Brave New World
Maher, Steve (SD-MS)
SMAHER at GI.COM
Fri Feb 27 10:17:00 MST 1998
From: tesseract at juno.com (Faugh ? Ballagh!)
THINKING WITH YOUR CLINTON
A college friend called me last week very excited about the state of
American Politics: He thinks it couldn't be better.
My friend's sudden interest in politics is unexpected. He's finishing up
his residency at MUSC in Charleston (there IS another one, believe it or
not!) and, as a psychiatrist, he has always diagnosed my career in
political consulting as the result of a massive head trauma suffered
in my youth. Not anymore.
"Michael, this Clinton sex thing. Isn't it GREAT!?" He shrieked into
I asked him when he had become a Clinton-basher. He stopped me cold.
"No, no, Michael. I'm not bashing the President. He's going to get away
with it, and I think it's wonderful!"
I didn't want to sound like Bill Bennett thumping on a copy of the Book
of Virtues, but I confessed that the silver lining on the public's
current celebration of Presidential perjury had not yet caught my eye.
"Michael, here we are in our late thirties, middle age staring us coldly
in the face, and the President has made it OK for older guys to screw
around with younger women! We are on the verge of a new sexual
revolution and our age group is the target demographic! I say: 'It's
about damn time!"
"Think about it this way: Our generation missed the 1960's free love
movement. We missed the permissive 1970s, too. When we finally hit
the sexual dance floor, so did the AIDS virus. I thought we were doomed.
And now--we're the Clinton Generation! Is this a great country or what?"
I started to explain that the story was far from over, that there
were more political peaks and valleys ahead, but he stopped me.
"Michael, stop fighting it. When the boat's a rockin', don't start
knockin'! Women's attitudes have completely changed, almost overnight.
Feminists I work with who just last week were ready to turn every
lingering glance into a lawsuit have decided it's OK to be a dirty
older man. Younger nurses and med students are eyeing me with an
almost expectant look."
"We're on a teeter-totter, with President Clinton on one side and
every moral conclusion of the history of western civilization on
the other, and Bill's winning! You the man, Bill! You the man!"
I tried again to argue that the President might, in fact, pay a
political price when the facts reveal--as they almost certainly
will--that he did have sex with his 21-year-old intern and lied
about it, but my friend laughed in my face.
"You thought the nation's moral character was going to bring down
Bill Clinton, but instead the President has brought down the
nation's moral character. And who are we to judge?" my doctor friend
went on. "He's the President; I'm a resident. Instead of condemn his
failings, you and I should cheer him on. We're going to be the big
A few more years of President Clinton, Woody Allen can be elected
"In fact," he continued, "that's why I called. On behalf of every
middle-aged man--and those of us headed for middle age in the
all-too-near future--I want to start a Draft Clinton movement and
elect the president to another term. Can you help me?"
I pointed out that, if he was serious, he first needed to change the
name of his movement given that, last time someone tried to draft
Bill Clinton, he fled to Europe. I also noted that the United States
Constitution prohibits presidents from serving more then two terms.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," he answered. "And 50-year-old married men aren't
supposed to fondle the office help, either. Michael, you're still
thinking under the old paradigm. Don't you understand? The President
of the United States met privately with a witness who had been
subpoenaed to testify against him and, after she changes her story
and lies under oath, his pals get her a high- paying job.AND NOBODY
CARES! It's a whole new world!"
Hmmm. When you put it that way, I suppose President Clinton could
claim that he had never served his first term ...
"Now you're thinking with your Clinton!" he shouted. "That's it. He
can look right in the camera and tell the American people 'I never
served as president before 1996--these allegations are false.' Hell,
no one even has to BELIEVE him! They just want Bill to be
president--they couldn't care less about the facts. And Hillary can
say anyone who disagrees is part of a vast, right-wing conspiracy."
There might be an easier way, I went on. The President can claim he
was never officially sworn in the first time. He can say he thought the
oath of office was a deposition, so he lied.
"Now you've got it. Look, a couple of young interns have asked me for
career advice and, being the sensitive, gregarious guy I am, I'm
counseling them at a friend's Jacuzzi."
"If anyone can figure out how we can get President Clinton in for a
third term, you can. Just remember: if you give the American people
a choice between the integrity of the US Constitution or a
good-looking, silver-tongued politician who says whatever the voters
want to hear--we'll be in like Flynt! Life is good, my friend!"
After he hung up, I thought: "You know, at the White House right now,
it probably is."
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