If Today Is Tuesday, This Must Be Carthage
A Historical Caution for the Politically Blinkered
By Norman Liebmann
We will not attempt to chronicle here the unhappy demise of Ancient Carthage - lest historian Doris Kearns Goodwin claims it as her own original version. The Carthaginians are gone, and it isn't because they got too carried away in practicing contraception. It is enough to say, Carthage fell because it underrated Rome, and if the United States follows it into the abyss, it may be because it overrated Clinton. Here are some other symptoms of Clintonism and its spawn, political correctness, and the other flotsam in the flood of encroaching decadence best called Klinton Kultur: We are in a national debate about whether a woman who drowns her five children in a bathtub is, or is not, a good mother - whether Nicole Simpson got what was coming to her, or whether we should implant and satellite-track honest citizens with computer chips while we just let the homeless wander around off their leashes.
[Note: One gains some perspective into the intrinsic nature of the legal profession when one considers Mother Yates who killed her five children had no trouble finding two lawyers to bicker about whether or not this should disqualify her from adopting. At least Lucrezia Borgia was scrupulous enough not to administer poisoned wine to anyone under the legal drinking age.]
In Providence, R.I., people of the delicate persuasion have pressured the mayor into ordering that city's fire department to march in a gay parade - presumably celebrating Take a Domestic Partner to a Conflagration Week. The firemen take the position that they will see the city in flames first. In the event of fire, citizens will then be obliged to call 911 and wait for the cast of "A Chorus Line" to put on their asbestos tap shoes and stamp out the sparks to the captivating rhythms of "Tea for Two." It is rumored the mayor will next make it mandatory for all city employees to eat their lunch in selective clientele restaurants called faggoterias.
This nation is currently run by George W. Bush's compassionate gestures, a kind of arsenic lite. Amnesty for illegal aliens is his latest tender of subservience to Mexican padrone Vicente the Fox and move to devalue American citizenship. The first illegal baby born under the new rule will be named Jose Juan Ramon Amnesty Rodriguez, and incarcerated until he's 21 or becomes eligible for parole - whichever comes first. Accordingly, California will be renamed New Spain. Just as Clinton's term was the Pardon Administration, Bush's term is the Amnesty Administration. The difference is all but imperceptible, except the latter comes with rice and beans.
It is clear Clinton's foreign policy has been replaced by Bush's foreign policy, called the New Duplicity. His is selling out Israel at the urging of his lapdog Secretary of State, Colin Poodle, who has convinced him the way to establish peace in the Middle East is to divide Jerusalem between Palestine and Powell's native island of Jamaica. Powell has made the Middle East into the Muddle East, but is still best remembered for his surrender bender in the Persian Gulf.
Nor are the rest of us faultless ...
We play financial tricks and games to destabilize the value of American money under the auspices of the "infallible" Alan Greenspan, the Doctor Prankenstein of the Federal Reserve System.
We allow environmental policy to be determined by pressure from the hollow figurines that colonize the neon world of Hollywood.
We allow Hamas to sue the United States for tying up their funds, obliging them to conduct their terror war by charging Armageddon on their Visa card.
We encourage the American theater to replace Hamlet's soliloquy with "The Vagina Monologues." Now we know what feminists have been talking through.
We encourage the media in their creation of a journalistic climate in which the predator Bill Clinton can always sleep well. We allow the Voice of America to be shouted down by such liberal propaganda outlets as People for the Abyssinian Way and Radio Station KTWAT - The Voice of Feminism.
We defer to racist Maxine Waters, the Maya Angelou of mau mau.
We allow the Clinton mystique to spread to the next generation like a pox.
We have not commented on the epidemic of ethnic apostasy among the Jews in the Senate, and in the editorial offices of the mainstream media.
We have tolerated rampant law bending by the ultra-liberal judiciary.
We have dis-inspired students by dispatching Paula Poundstone to the Hasty Pudding Club, presumably in order to give Harvard boys a chance to see what a real longshoreman looks like close up.
We have allowed the "shrinks" to call drugs not addiction, but pathology, and have become a nation of cocainiacs.
We have subsidized the homeless and allowed them to turn San Francisco into an al fresco urinal.
We have acted as a tool of Allah squeezing Israel to negotiate a cease-fire - knowing that an Arafat cease-fire is about as enduring as the vows at a Vermont wedding.
We have shrugged off the stampede to homosexual status. (Gay advocate Rosie O'Donnell seems someone more likely to come out of a clock than a closet.)
We have embraced Clinton's war on decency and his self-justifying mission to make sexually scrupulous people seem weird and be embarrassed by their normality.
[Note: Clinton Democrats have turned for spiritual guidance to sex guru Larry Flynt. Clinton long ago made an "adjustment" in his own morality by letting him delete the word always from the marriage vows since we realized always - means all the time.]
We have disregarded the University of California at Berkeley's course in kinkiness - Sex Circus 101. (Can we look forward to the establishment of a Kennedy School of Deviance?)
We have failed to discredit political correctness, affirmative action, social promotion and other of academe's attempts to achieve not diversity, but the homogenization of the excellent and the ignorant - nor have we been led to suitable despair by: The Lamentable Legal Laxity of Robert Ray
As Justice is the most exalted of Mankind's aspirations, there can be no failures more egregious than those that occur in the Law. In that spirit, we dispatched independent counsel Robert Ray to make Clinton pay for his many contraventions against the Republic (a few of which we alluded to above.) His discharge of his duty in this matter supports the contention that Ray would have let the infamous Professor Moriarty off with a good talking-to.
After an epidemic of criminality, treachery and perversion, a token penalty was exacted requiring Clinton to temporarily give up his license to practice Law in Arkansas (castration not being an option). It was not considered that Clinton rarely obeyed the law in Arkansas, much less practiced it. Exhibiting a chronic preference for irony over equity, the courts ruled that Clinton will "skate" and Tonya Harding will not.
Since the Clinton administration, the Justice Department has been in a legal limbo between inertia and paralysis; hence it was an exercise in futility to send independent counsel Robert Ray to weasel some expression of remorse from this prodigal president. Ray determined the best way to assure equality before the law was to refuse to enforce it. Having been appointed to bring Clinton to justice, he elected to drive the getaway car. This contemptible episode indicates that, contrary to the opinion of the estimable Dr. Samuel Johnson, it is the legal profession, not patriotism, that is the last refuge of the scoundrel.
Clinton probably spent the morning of Ray's visit trying to decide on the right color tie to wear to a Brinks job. He was heartened when he saw Ray entering the White House pushing his pastry cart full of legal exemptions, extenuations and exonerations. He knew he was home free when he noticed Ray's car in the White House parking lot with a bumper sticker that read "I brake for rapists."
Ray arrived at the meeting with a light briefcase and left with a heavy bedpan.
As expected, he was unable to discern daylight between Clinton's credo and his libido. The atmosphere could hardly be considered adversarial when all they did was sit and chat about Monica Lewinsky, that rest stop for nomadic sperm, and watch highlight films of Clinton's rapes.
Likely, Ray was awed to be in the presence of Clinton, who, after all, is credited with the discovery of sex. It should be remembered in his last run for office, Bubba received the endorsement of an association of streetwalkers called the N.O.T. (National Organization of "Tricks").
[Note: It is remarkable that Clinton enjoys the representation as sex symbol despite the general understanding that, even when excited, his penis resembles a cashew nut.]
Clinton and Ray are a study in contrasts. Folks in Arkansas expected young Billy to grow up to be a child molester because he was "good with his hands." Ray has that neat, scholarly, teacher's pet look, and one might suspect him of being a closet lepidopterist. It may yet be that attorneys are the most na´ve among us or Ray would know one can feel more secure making Don King a signatory on your Swiss bank account than you would trusting Bill Clinton around your underage sister.
In the Oval Office, Ray went from independent counsel to dependent idolater and quickly became a snake's dinner, swallowed whole, and curled into a lump inside Clinton's small intestine. During his hondling with Bordello Bill it may well be that Ray's resolve to indict was sapped by the unnerving cacophony outside the Oval Office window by Democrats along Pennsylvania Avenue waving signs and shouting, "Honk If You Love Treason!" That is when the charges were reduced - from treason to conspiracy to jaywalk.
Ray has resurfaced on television to rupture the bonds of trust and confidentiality that the American people invested in him. Hemorrhaging Styrofoam candor, he acknowledged that Bill Clinton could and should have been indicted, but he did not indict him, and launched into a rationale larded with statutory margarine. His pretexts were like a cook giving you a recipe for making an omelet without ingredients. Even the calories get served on the side. So, once again, the prosecution rests, but not nearly as well as Bill Clinton.
Note: Subsequently, counselor Ray went on television to spackle in the cracks of public misinformation with legalese, cipher-speak and a fine spray of self-vindicating saliva. He deploys his legalisms as sprigs of parsley and, like a chef, he puts them on your plate knowing the customers are not expected to swallow them.
It has never been explained why failures go public on the media when they should feel a need to be discreet. We know that independent counsel Ray saw fit to disclose that he considered his obligations and did not acquit them. Those kinds of admissions are like M&Ms for the press.
Ray explained his forgiveness of Clinton's crimes speaking in that juridical lint they learn in academe that invariably leaves the listeners asking each other, "Where were you when the fine print hit the fan?" Listening to Ray on TV is like trying to get a foothold in smoke.
His explanation of the Clinton crimes sounded like a driver telling a motorcycle cop he could not have run that red light because he was in the back seat playing solitaire. Ray is now identified in perpetuity with his contemptible dereliction, proving that people with a desperate need to be famous do not care what they are famous for. ("Vanity of vanities ..." Ecclesiastes 1:1- 11 12:13.)
For his furtherance of Bill Clinton's brazen criminal ambitions, Ray can blame history for thrusting upon him this opportunity to exert a reckless unconcern. Due to his dereliction, Bill Clinton, the Arkansas' spansule for time-release degeneracy, retains his status as a president-at-large.
Clinton and Ray are icons of their times. Their meeting confirmed that Clinton cannot be touched by any law that any independent counsel refuses to enforce. It raises the question not of whether Clinton is above the law, but how far Ray is beneath it (although if Clinton ever gets what is coming to him, Ray will probably be the first guy to "pile on").
Thanks to such legal ciphers as Ray, the "arrived," no matter how culpable, remain invulnerable. A government that is a milling herd of political cowards has determined, however obtusely, that Bill Clinton, not Social Security, is the third rail of American politics. Even Mohammed Ali, enclosed in a telephone booth with Bill Clinton, could never have laid a glove on him. Likely, Bill Clinton bit Yasser Arafat on the neck, which accounts for his immunity to humanity's retribution.
It is no longer remarkable how easy George W. Bush finds it to "move on" from an eight-year national humiliation. Clinton not only "put it behind him" but got Robert Ray to kiss it. The bureaucratic dishevelment left in the wake of the Clinton administration established a field of legal proctology, and Robert Ray has hung out his shingle as Aperture-at-Law. We authorized Robert Ray to exact justice. The lesson we learned is never send a lawyer to do a man's job.
Perhaps Ray did not prosecute Bill Clinton because the Law has no Latin translation for "rabid criminal ambition." Nor, in Washington, is it against the law to drain the word hypocrisy of its juices and exhaust its ability to provoke revulsion in the face of corruption, political window dressing and general bullshit. Perhaps the simple charge of Conspiracy to Commit Clintonization will find its way into the statute books. At all events, Ray will be remembered for the things he did not do, among them, invent the electric light, climb Mount Everest and indict Bill Clinton.
Where We Are on the Road to Carthage
As long as Bill Clinton has a mouth and people will buy him an airline ticket, the spread of his treason and depravity will continue. We are now on the Yellow Brick Road to becoming a dodo civilization, following Bubba, our spiritual leader, as he leaves behind not a legacy, but a trail of droppings.
Adios, Carthage - RIP.
About the Author
Norman Liebmann is a former television writer [Johnny Carson; Dean Martin; wrote and produced "Chico and the Man" and created the characters for "The Munsters" (who are all named after his relatives)] and a brilliant and insightful columnist/humorist.
E-mail: Norman Liebmann