The Truth, Mainly - 04/25/1994

Straight from the Democrats
by Leon Satterfield

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 inhaling.

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 Carville—Clinton's heavy-lifting Prince of Darkness who comes up with the administration's nastiest political ideas—suffered 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 public:

"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 programs."

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.

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