Let's try this one more time. I'm finally onto something big.
I know. You're tired of Whitewatergate. You agree with Garrison
Keillor that what this country needs are quick and dirty British-style
scandals lasting no more than three days and involving kinky sex. For
example, a Tory MP distressing his constituents by being found dead
wearing women's undies. No outlay of public funds for congressional
hearings and special prosecutors. Just three days of titillating
headlines and then they move on to something entirely new concerning a
Labor MP and his rubber duck.
But Whitewatergate drags on and on. Just when we think it's over,
there's yet another revelation that in 1962 Hillary failed to report $48
she made by babysitting for a woman who would later become a failed
Attorney General nominee. There's yet another story about Bill Clinton
and an Arkansas state trooper getting coked to the gills without
Where do all these stories come from? I'll tell you.
Hold your hat.
They come from the highest levels of the Democratic Party.
There. That bugged out your eyes a little, didn't it?
Why, you ask, would Democrats put out stories that make the First
Family look bad? It violates common sense, doesn't it?
Columnists like me are paid handsome sums of money to go beyond
common sense, to see and explain the wickedness that lurks beneath the
surface. Here it is:
Democrats keep Whitewatergate going as a way of making Republicans
look gullible and mean-spirited and ineffectual while they themselves
appear high-minded, above the fray, and dedicated to the public weal.
James CarvilleClinton's heavy-lifting Prince of Darkness who
comes up with the administration's nastiest political ideassuffered a
fit of hubris and let the cat out of the bag earlier this month. Drunk
with the success of the Whitewatergate ploy, he bragged about it in
"We want to have Whitewater hearings in perpetuity," he told
columnist Lars-Erik Nelson. "We'll have a Permanent Select Committee on
Whitewater. Then we'll go to the voters and you [Republicans] can be
the Whitewater party, and we'll be the health-care party."
So how do you keep the scandal going? Carville says it's easy:
"You drag hundred dollar bills through trailer parks and there's no
telling what you'll find. I know these people, man. You give me a
whole bunch of hundred-dollar bills and stick me in a trailer park.
I'll get them to say anything you want."
Of course, the plot only works if Republicans take the bait. So
far, Nelson says, Republicans are taking the bait: "Republicans have
found themselves making charges that don't stick, pursuing conspiracy
theories that don't hold water, and, worst of all, in bed with an
assortment of fanatics and zanies, ex-beauty queens, professional
Clinton-haters, disgruntled Arkansas politicians, innuendo-peddling
'investigative' reporters, supermarket tabloids, and TV sleaze-for-cash
The Truth, Mainly
The Democrat goal, Carville says, is to let the GOP define itself
"as the party of obstruction . . . .Let every Republican go out and say
let's go back to the '80s tax code; let's say there's no health-care
crisis, and let's say Whitewater's the biggest issue in the campaign.
If that's what they truly believe, I would be more than willing to run a
campaign on that basis. Let's play ball."
But surely, you say, the Republicans will see through that strategy
and not be taken in by it. Maybe. Maybe not. The problem is that the
GOP is too pure of heart to plumb the depths of Democratic depravity
here. They're not used to such perfidy. They focus on the trees
without seeing that the forest is a sham. They zero in on the little
plots without seeing the overarching metaplot. They're like Boy Scouts
trying to outwit the KGB.
Take, for example, our own Clayton Yeutter, former cabinet member
and current GOP partisan. He told the Star's Don Walton last month that
the biggest benefit of Whitewater is that it has "slowed down the health
reform train"a train he clearly thought needed slowing down.
You can almost hear Carville's evil cackle.
And when a Republican like Barry Goldwater, who got snookered by
Democrats 30 years ago, sees through the plot and urges his party to get
off Clinton's back and let him do his job, he's accused of heresy.
Republicans had better wake up soon to what's really happening.
Otherwise, like lambs all dewy-eyed in their innocence, they'll be led
to electoral slaughter by Carville and his evil ilk.
That would be a damned shame. Yes it would. Really. I mean it.
And I'm not kidding.
Satterfield is a college professor and writes as a means of discovery.