Lots of average Americans who don't have benefit of my anonymous sources are puzzled about how the President, despite all the recent revelations of White House horrors, maintains his lead in the polls.
I'll bet you're one of them. You see the White House staff get caught monkeying around with FBI files on Republicans; you see Hillary get caught talking to Eleanor; you see Bill get caught agreeing with Bob Dole.
So you wonder why the polls continue to show the President running about 15 percentage points ahead of Dole. Right?
It doesn't help to read other pundits because they are just as puzzled as you are. Puzzled pundits are much fun to read anyway.
But I am not at all puzzled. I have reliable, anonymous sources who tell me all kinds of secret stuff.
They tell me the key to understanding Clinton's lead lies in fathoming the murky depths of the fiendishly clever Dirty Rotten Tricks department of the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP).
You think CREEP went out of business when President Nixon resigned? Hah! Exactly what the current CREEP wants you to think. The fact that it's what you do think shows just how fiendishly clever CREEP is.
Here's what my sources say the neo-CREEPsters are up to: they are fanatical followers of the notion that elections are not won because voters like the winner, but because voters can't stand the obnoxious opposition the winner generates. So CREEP goes about inventing very obnoxious opposition to the President via very dirty rotten tricks.
The real opposition, the Republicans, cannot be counted on to be churlish enough. They are, after all, well-bred gentlefolk whose only desire is to let their benign noblesse oblige trickle down on the rest of us.
So that leaves CREEP to do the dirty rotten work of inventing opposition so disgusting that public sentiment will stay with the President.
Specific examples will help you understand. CREEP has a two-pronged program. One prong creates obnoxious opposition inside the beltway; the other prong creates obnoxious opposition at the grass roots.
It was the beltway division that came up with the idea of "Gary Aldrich" and his book, "Unlimited Access: An FBI Agent Inside the Clinton White House."
"Here's what we do," my anonymous sourcessay Stephanopoulos told CREEP. "We'll have one of our guyscall him Gary Aldrichwrite a book full of obnoxious charges. Then we'll have him on the Brinkley show saying he won't reveal his sources. We'll also have him saying that since the charges can be proven false, they must be true. How's that for obnoxious?"
The Truth, Mainly
And that's what happened.
"Aldrich" charged that the President sneaks out of the White House under cover of blankets, that Hillary had an affair with Vince Foster, that women on the White House staff sometimes have to be ordered to wear undergarments. And so forth. If it's not provably false, it must be true.
The result: voters found the chargesand the logicso obnoxious that they ignored Clinton's real weaknesses and came over to his side.
Fiendishly clever, eh?
Meanwhile the grass-root division of CREEP had its own project going to discredit GOP opposition in the hinterlands.
"Let's plant a bogus Republican county vice-chairman in, say, Nebraska," my anonymous sources say James Carville told CREEP.
And they did. They locked the real vice-chairman in the biffy, then had an imposter tell a reportersee the Lincoln Journal-Star, July 2that the Clay County GOP platform refers to "Jesus Christ as the Savior of all Mankind."
When the CREEPster was asked if such language might alienate Jewish and Moslem Republicans, he said "Who needs the Jews or the Arabs? It is time for the party to be me exclusive. Not inclusive."
Kept a straight face when he said it too. Then he crawled under some blankets in the back seat of a waiting limo and was driven by Bruce Lindsey to a secret aerodrome in the rural part of Clay County where he caught Air Force One back to Washington.
So you see now, don't you, how Clinton is maintaining his lead?
If you have any doubts about any of these dirty rotten tricks, try checking with my anonymous sources. Or prove it didn't happen.
And, please, no Pulitzer. No, really. Please don't. Well, if you insist.
Coming up next: Inside evidence from reliable anonymous sources of more fiendish cleverness, the dirtiest, rottenest trick of all, the story of Rush Limbaugh, chief agent provocateur for the Committee to Re-Elect the President.
Lincoln English Professor Satterfield writes
to salvage meaning from his confusion.
His column appears on alternate Mondays.