The Truth, Mainly - 03/28/1994

Forget Whitewater; watch the kitche
by Leon Satterfield

As political scandals go, Whitewater provokes disappointingly low levels of indignation. Lots of conspiracy-impaired Americans can't quite get a grip on what the Clintons have done wrong.

"So far," Fred Brown writes in the Denver Post, "Whitewater is all cover-up and no apparent crime."

"Who," asks Mike Royko, "gets bug-eyed about details of a failed real estate development on an Arkansas trout stream?"

Rob Morse of the San Francisco Examiner says that while an ABC News poll shows 49 percent of us think Whitewater is serious business, it ignores the more basic question of whether we know what Whitewater is. "Nobody knows, not even the smarty-pants editors of the New Republic who claim to have actually read the entire Clinton health plan, or the guys who yell at each other on 'Firing Line.'"

And it doesn't help when Walter Kronkite says Whitewater coverage is "definitely overheated," and Barry Goldwater says we should get off Clinton's back and let him do his job.

It all sounds like the dilemma Lt. Scheisskopf faces in Catch 22. He wants to get rid of Clevinger for having a mind and using it too much. "The case against Clevinger was open and shut. The only thing missing was something to charge him with."

It would be easy to say that all the Whitewater confusion results from the opposition's failure to make a clear-cut case against the Clintons, but a real scandal aficionado—like me—knows better. The fact is that the confusion is all a part of the Clintons' game plan. Whitewater is a diversion designed to draw national attention away from the far more serious scandal of this administration, Dishwatergate.

You say you haven't heard of Dishwatergate? That's because all the media people are liberal dupes who have conspired to keep the story quiet. But a week or so ago Michael Kilian of the Chicago Tribune revealed the tip of the iceberg. Here's what he reported:

While the rest of us were trying to figure out what Whitewater was all about, Hillary was having a Wednesday Night Massacre in the White House kitchen. She fired three chefs and a dishwasher.

They just might have known too much.

The whole Dishwatergate mess might have remained just another of the dirty little secrets of this administration had not one of the fired chefs "lodged complaints with the Justice Department, the federal courts, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the White House counsel, the FBI and the Secret Service."

Kilian tells us that among other charges, there are allegations of—get the children out of the room—"favoritism in White House whipping cream purchases, nepotism and payroll padding in the Christmas cookie-baking operation, and a conflict of interest involving the top-chef and a glossy magazine."

Make your blood boil? Well I should say.

A spokesman for Hillary said the four firings were part of an effort "to get away from the French haute cuisine served by Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush and to emphasize American cooking instead."

Sure. Listen to this:

The aggrieved chef says he was born in Georgia, trained in Atlanta, and hired by Mrs. Reagan in 1988 specifically to add an American flavor to White House eats. What does that tell you?

He just might have known too much.

We don't know just yet what all this means, but what some might call the Scheisskopf wing of the GOP is pretty sure it adds up to impeachment.

Now that the lid's off, we can expect a press release from Sen. Alfonse D'Amato telling us that Dishwatergate is far worse than Watergate because there's more greasy sleaze involved—and calling for Congressional hearings to ratify his own careful finding of Hillary's guilt.

Pat Buchanan will drop dark hints about double agent plumbers in the White House kitchen, and urge that all unshredded grocery lists be turned over to a special counsel—and not to just any old Republican lawyer like Robert Fiske, but to a real law-and-order man like, say, Ed Meese.

Rush Limbaugh will point out that exactly a week before the firings, a second cousin of a Hot Springs, Ark., barber who once cut the hair of a nephew of one of the fired chefs dropped dead of what a physician who just happened to be a registered Democrat called a "heart attack." And here's the bombshell: Then-Governor Clinton's half brother had walked by that same barber shop only eight years before. Just a coincidence? Maybe.

Or the dead man just might have known too much.

And through it all, Sen. Robert Dole will look grim and say that until we determine what the President knew and when he knew it, Republican senators will have to oppose on principle all health care reform not approved by the insurance industry.

Talk about conspiracy. Those guys are real pros.


Satterfield is a college professor and writes as a means of discovery.

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