Have We At Last No
Judge Robert Bork
was seen on Larry King stating that if a Chief Justice was found to have an
intern "servicing" him in his chambers, we should never have
anyone so "depraved" in any high office.
History is funny: When I was a kid, my parents, keyed in on me every single time I picked up a novel to read for "fun" between 1968 and 1973. In retrospect, given that I've written for a living for 21 years now, those "frivolous" novels they railed against me for were the single most important use I could have made of my time. So, too, we tend to miss the "big picture" for the obsession of the moment. This is YOUR chance to get back on the right side of history.
In the past week, we've witnessed yet another fine mess, courtesy of the Republican Party in Congress. Having released Ken Starr's porn novel (see last issue), Monday of this week was spent in the surreal spectacle of President Clinton's "grand jury" testimony being endlessly replayed on commercial channels and C-SPAN. All four deadly dull hours of it. If you are stifling a yawn right now, you know precisely of what I speak.
But, as the man said, I don't come to praise Bill, I come to bury him. You see, this doesn't really have anything to do with THIS particular person, at this particular time. No: it has a lot more to do with whether or not the Constitution has become a piece of toilet paper for Right Wing wackos to wipe their asses with, or if it still has any meaning. Let's start with that "Beloved" paragon of virtue, Congressman Henry Hyde ....
A MAN FOR BAD REASONS
I thought it a moronic move on Henry Hyde's (R, Ill.) part to quote the film "A Man For All Seasons" so often in the now-forgotten debates of the past couple of weeks. Why? Well, Thomas Moore (whom Hyde quoted several times, from the MOVIE, mind, NOT the person) was Archbishop of Canterbury, who was beheaded for refusing to swear that Henry VIII was perfectly correct in cutting loose the Catholic Church so he could divorce Catherine of Aragon. Thomas' "conviction" in the movie, consisted of perjured testimony on the part of the PROSECUTORS, and a silly idea that 2+2=5.
In the past week, Hyde has ruled that 2+2=5, has told the Democrats that he was keeping his promise of bipartisanship, even though THEY didn't think so. Well, what do Democrats know about what Democrats think, after all? And what does the Archbishop of Canterbury know about theology?
[Hyde, you'll recall, that "state's rights" advocate, is currently busy ramming through a bill to rescind our "Death With Dignity" law, now that we've voted on it TWICE. He feels he has veto power over Oregon voters, you see.]
What an absurdly odd choice for Hyde to quote Thomas Moore, one thinks. But then there's ....
HIGH TIMES AND MISNOMERS
Funny. Even the legally unschooled among us can rapidly understand that "high crimes and misdemeanors" refers to crimes against THE STATE. English Common Law (which the framers relied on) makes this point clear. But, the Republicans - advocates of "original intent" which says that the original intent of the Framers has to be the rule for Constitutional interpretation - don't care to hear that here. Instead, "high crimes and misdemeanors" turns out to be whatever they happen to decide it is.
Why even that staunch advocate of "Original Interpretation" Judge Robert Bork (any resemblance to Star Trek's "Borg" is entirely a good idea) was seen on Larry King stating that if a Chief Justice was found to have an intern "servicing" him in his chambers, we should never have anyone so "depraved" in any high office. A lawyer asked the "Judge" if that was illegal, and Bork refused to answer. Of course it's not illegal. But perhaps that's why "Bork's Law" never became a Supreme Court sitcom - thank God! [Note: someone finally pointed out that we wouldn't HAVE an Independent counsel law, had not Bork illegally fired IC Archibald Cox during Watergate.] Speaking of which ....
The Press (about whom more later) endlessly is delighted with itself in pointing out the "parallels" to Watergate in all of this: "Whitewatergate" was tried, but it didn't fly. "Filegate" was attempted but didn't catch on. "Zippergate" has been tried, but hasn't really caught on. The parallel of tapes is brought up - and we must admit that Linda Tripp and Richard Nixon do share a calculating, reptilian aspect. Reporters like to point out at least once a week that Monica Lewinsky's Mom had an apartment IN the Watergate complex (an office/condo building).
But it seems strange that no one notices the duces. The bundle of sticks with an axe in the middle is an ancient Roman symbol of law. The society kept in place by "law" or the power of life and death symbolized by the axe. We see something of the same symbol on South Eugene High in the double-bladed axes. Another ancient European symbol of law.
And so it seems strange that no one has made the connection between the duces (pronouced DOO-ches, as in Il Duce, Mussolini's nickname) and Newt Gingrich. After all, Nero often spoke with the symbol of the duces behind HIM too.
THE LIBERAL PRESS
A favorite catchphrase of the wacko Right and on CBN (The "Christian Broadcasting Network") "news" is the "liberal media."
Hmmm. That means, of course, that the media have been unremittingly supportive in their reportage of President Clinton and the First Lady, right?
Er ... not EXACTLY.
Or, it means "liberal" in the dictionary sense: "tolerant, progressive, generous, reformer" etc.
Er ... not EXACTLY.
Here's an open letter to Dan Rather and CBS (once KNOWN for their reportage):
I wonder what you think you're hiding from us? Elizabeth Calladin's "report" on "man in the street" reaction from Hillary Rodham's hometown (Sept. 23) featured prominently the bloody Republican committeewoman from the district. What did you expect her to say? But it's all part of a trend isn't it? The very roots or the Constitution are under fire (the founders very specifically excluded the Parliamentary model in the Constitution) but you allow yourselves to be led by he nose by spinmeisters like unto DeLay (no "bright" CBS reporter ever questioned HIS accusation that the "timing was suspicious" on the Hyde revelations, while omitting the suspicious timing of the Starr Report's release?!?!).
Obvious, isn't it, that CBS has an agenda to "get" Clinton for "embarrassing" 60 minutes what? SIX years ago! (OK nearly SEVEN years ago). The fact that two national elections have been "stolen" by red herrings about ancient "land deals" (as ancient, perhaps as Hyde's vicious little affair) doesn't matter.
The only thing that matters is that your egos have been crunched by your failure to do YOUR job. Well and good, except that you have NO IDEA in what contempt you are held here in Springfield, Oregon after your horrible circus act at our grief. Nor do you seem to care that "journalism" carries with it a duty. I had never seen CBS vicious before. But you let the mask slip, and, while you're still not the gutter trash of a, say, Fox News, or NBC Nightly Newz, I'm opting for ABC, who are just as bamboozled as yourselves, but have the good grace not to try and "settle a score" so overtly. I've never, in twenty years, been ashamed to be a journalist. Now I am. Thanks, folks. Now, why don't you get back to pretending to run the Universe?
Or, you might try to quit acting like journalists in a Tom Clancy novel. I used to think it slander: now it's merely reportage.
Speaking of "gutter trash" and Fox News, ever notice that every time you channel surf past it, people are yelling? I think it's a VERY VERY bad idea to allow Rupert Murdoch to own American Media, when he's NOT a US Citizen, and has no stake in what might happen should he use the First Amendment to destroy our country. But that's a subject for another day.
Hmmmm. Guess they'll never read THAT on the air. But "liberal"? Perish the thought.
N.O.W. HATES BLOWJOBS
NPR carried the press conference this morning, as the official spokespersons of the National Organization of Women reluctantly said that NOW supports Clinton, although they deplore his awful conduct. Strange. I've gotten some great blowjobs from NOW members. But perhaps the organization has changed. I guess the Dworkin/McKinnon "all sex is exploitation of women" philosophy finally won out. Pity.
In the interest of "fairness" the "New, Republican Funded" NPR quoted some dried up spokeswoman from an ORGANIZATION I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF! Naturally, the Republican/Christian "Women's" group thought it all disgusting, etc. Anybody out there noticing how OFTEN Right-Wing shills show up with initials from a front-organization that almost SOUNDS legitimate in front of their names? You haven't? Well, that was the point.
HAVE WE AT LAST NO DECENCY?
This was, of course,[more or less] the famous line with which Mr. Welch finally caught the conscience of the king, after Senator Joe McCarthy (R. Wisc.) had all but destroyed the country during a prior Republican witch hunt. Joe McCarthy never answered the question.
The current Republican "leadership" and Congress finally has managed to answer it, though:
Have we at last no decency?
[Mad Scientist type cackle]
copyright © 1998 Hart Williams