COLUMN FORTY-TWO, FEBRUARY 1, 1999
(Copyright © 1999 Al Aronowitz)
KEEP THE DEVIL AT BAY!
No one is safe with Inspector Shithound, the Kennel Star, running amok in America. Anybody he doesn't like or gets in his way, he will impoverish that person by sicking a grand jury on him or on her, at the least taking that person broke with legal bills and at the worst throwing that person into jail.
Although agreeing with the Inspector that the President committed perjury, the ambidextrous New York Times, which claims to bat both from the right and from the left, featured a column by Anthony Lewis January 12 that described some of the prosecutorial terrorism practiced by the Inspector and his pack of legal hyenas.
"On the day that the Senate began its trial of President Clinton," Lewis wrote in The Knock on the Door, his column of that date, "Kenneth Starr had a grand jury indict Julie Hiatt Steele. She is a remote, and peripheral figure in the Starr campaign against the President, and a single mother without resources. Yet the independent counsel, unaccountable and obsessed, has set out to grind her to dust."
Columnist Lewis, bats from the left, as opposed to New York Times right-hander William Safire, a legendary Nixon apologist who still shills for the Republicans. As for the Times editorial page, the newspaper's attempts at objectivity are sometimes as lame or even as sickening as dinosaur Abe Rosenthal's columns. Independent of the Times editorial page, Lewis' pieces consistently argue convincingly for civil rights.
"Ms. Steele is a target of Kenneth Starr for one reason: She will not support the story of Kathleen Willey, a woman who said President Clinton made a pass at her in the White House in 1993. Ms. Willey said she immediately went to the home of Ms. Steele, then a friend, and told her about the episode. In 1997 Ms. Steele told Newsweek that she had had that visit from Kathleen Willey. But later that year, long before the Monica Lewinsky story broke, she told Newsweek that the tale was untrue---that Ms. Willey had asked her to lie. She has held to that position ever since."
History will show that when Inspector Shithound's relentless four-year hunt for shit to smear on the President started to come up not with shit but with bullshit, Starr's Christian Far Right friends and associates were already waiting for him with a plot to nail Bill Clinton in a perjury trap. With Clinton's sexual proclivities widely known to rival those of John F. Kennedy, members of the Shithound's far-right community enlisted Madam Goldfinger and Linda the Rat to learn whom President Clinton was currently dallying with.
Monica the Mouth, who had only her big mouth between her ears, a mouth that's equipped with a large, loose and wagging tongue, left a trail of boastful gossip which Linda the Rat quickly sniffed out, rodent-like. Linda the Rat and Madam Goldfinger have lots of experience playing spy. Both have been labeled as suspected CIA "assets." Shithound's far right friends such as Richard Mellon Scaife provided the foot in the door of the President's sex life by manipulating Long-Nosed Paula as a pawn to file her sexual harassment suit. The story is that whatever the President (then governor) did with her, he wouldn't have done it if he hadn't been informed that she was safe to do it with.
One of the many mistakes the President made was not to settle the suit from the outset but rather not to tell the Paula Jones lawyers and then the courts to go fuck themselves. He could have made an issue out of this invasion of his privacy by saying, "MY private life is none of your business." The Republicans would have tried to impeach him for his refusal to cooperate. Haven't they subsequently done so already? But the Republicans never needed a good reason. They needed only a pretext. The President would have stood as good a chance as now of being acquitted. But by telling the courts to go fuck themselves and forcing a Constitutional showdown, he would have been saying, "I'm not going to let the Christian Far Right establish a morality police in America." He would have created heroic history.
History will convict Inspector Shithound and his far-right cabal of treason. Linda the Rat illegally taped her phone conversations with Monica the Mouth and Paula Jones' lawyers knew exactly what questions to ask when they deposed both Monica and the President. The perjury trap was set. The strategy? Get Monica and Bill deposed in Long-Nosed Paula's lawsuit and they'd both lie.
All this much is so far obvious to America. But what still has not yet been cleared up is that Inspector Shithound's investigation into the President's private life should have been thrown out of court as having been based on illegal and thus tainted evidence. The President would have lost his case only by the bumbling of lawyers, all experts with reputations for never bumbling. Or maybe the President should have been hired Anthony Lewis, whose columns have been cataloguing the prosecutorial abuses of power practiced by Inspector
of Inspector Shithound's prosecutorial abuses
Shithound and his pack of legal hyenas. The Inspector is so dedicated in his quest to smear the President, he has let nothing or no one stand in his way. No matter how much the Republicans put him on a pedestal and demand that everyone salute him, America hates him. He doesn't care. As if he hasn't already done enough damage to the Constitution, the Inspector is still trying to round up more shit to smear on the President.
"In an attempt to break Miss Steele," Lewis wrote, "Mr. Starr has called her before two grand juries---and called her brother, daughter and former lawyer. His agents have gone around Ms. Steele's neighborhood in Richmond, Va., questioning neighbors about the adoption of her son, Adam, in Romania eight years ago. Mr. Starr was asked by members of the House Judiciary Committee whether his office had raised the adoption to pressure Ms. Steele to change her testimony. He said that was 'absolutely false.'
"But not only did agents ask neighbors about the adoption. At the grand jury Ms. Steele's brother and daughter were asked about it. Where did she get the money for it? Whom did she talk to? The questions assumed that there was something wrong about the adoption.
"Not many of us could stand up to pressure like that. Ms. Steele's reward is an indictment that repackages her refusal to support the Willey story into four counts of obstructing justice and making false statements."
Lewis' column characterized the indictment as "20 wandering, unprofessional pages" which included "a charge that she spoke falsely on 'Larry King Live.' Characteristically, the Starr office leaked word of the indictment before it was handed down."
Lewis wrote that he did not believe that even Kenneth Starr would actually indict Julie Hiatt Steele.
"It seemed so gratuitous, so indecent," Lewis wrote. "But I was naive. For him, everything must yield to the aim of destroying Bill Clinton. And if he could steamroll Ms. Steele into supporting the Willey story, it would be something else for Hyde & Co. to use against the President.
"It is not irrelevant that Julie Steele is a lonely woman, financially vulnerable. Mr. Starr and his brutal deputies have a thing about women. They kept Susan McDougal in prison for 18 months because she would not testify as they wanted. They ruined the life of another Arkansas woman; Sarah Hawkins, by menaces and threats of indictment. And there was the bullying of Monica Lewinsky and her mother."
Echoing right-wing Justice Antonin Scalia, who, strangely enough, dissented on the Constitutionality of the Independent Counsel law, Lewis' column pointed out what "is evident today to all but the willfully blind: An unaccountable prosecutor menaces the Constitution and, for all of us, freedom under law. It is hard to find words for Kenneth Starr's behavior as a prosecutor. The ones that seem to me to fit are the adjectives Hamlet had for his murderous uncle: 'remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless.'"
Meaning, if he can do it to the President, he can do it to anybody. Inspector Shithound has been given unlimited power under a law that should have been ruled unconstitutional. And his use, or rather his abuse, of his unlimited power is a demonstration of how the Far Right would prefer to rule---if we let the Far Right succeed in getting the power to rule.
In a way, this whole impeachment process represents an attempt to refight the civil war. The South is where the following of the Christian Far Right lives, for the most part. For all the talk of Republican "moderates," the Party is now the absolute prisoner of the South, and of its white supremacists. The South imposes a totalitarianism which leaves no room in the party for "moderates," and so, when push comes to shove, there are NO Republican "moderates." Just as the Republicans impose their own loyalty oath, the allegiance of the Republicans is to Dixie, not to the United States of America.
Toupee Trent of Mississippi, the Senate majority leader, has been exposed as a member of one of those white supremacists groups---despite his lame and laughable denials. The Republican House leadership belonged to the south until Georgia's Lizard Newt the Perjurer and then Raunchy Robert, the Louisiana Lech, outdid themselves, letting the leadership fall to an anonymous but obedient party servant, Coach Hastert of Ohio, who ought to worry that he's gonna become minority leader in 2000. Coach Hastert notwithstanding, it seems to be perjurer Termite Tom of Texas who is running things in the House. Waffle King Bush, who lost the Gulf War for us, tried to move Texas to Maine, but the South wouldn't let go. Besides, there also were too many Mexicans hanging onto the border.
The Republican impeachment managers wanted to call witnesses so they could turn the impeachment trial into a circus even though the public was against impeachment and said it would be a waste of time. But the Republicans thought that turning the impeachment trial into a circus would help change the public's mind. The Republicans thought they could elect a new public. Like all fascists, they insisted on everybody seeing things the way they see things. Putting the people to sleep had always been the GOP's best ploy but not until the impeachment did the public start to object.
House impeachment Manager Pitbull Jim, the Wisconsin carnivore, promised to knock everyone dead with his speech on opening day. Instead, he put the Senate and everybody else to sleep. Pitbull Jim exhibited proper Republican mean-spiritedness; he had jaws that could clamp but he turned out to be no Cicero.
The GOP's ratings kept falling though the floor. But these creeps are so pompous, arrogant and unyielding in their Christian righteousness, they refused to listen to anyone but themselves. What they heard was only their own echoes. Yes, they were talking only to themselves and to their true believers, who make up only a tiny minority in America. They do not accept that they are in a state of denial. Their stubbornness, narrow-mindedness
Hypocrite politicians accuse the President of immorality, as if morality were ever a prerequisite for becoming a politician
and refusal to face reality is helping them do themselves in. It's obvious to the whole world that, for all their sanctimonious prattle about the solemnity of the oath and of the sacred words, "I do," these hypocrites are doing nothing but trying to pull off a plot to railroad the President not so much for crimes as for "immorality." Time and time again, that's what the House Impeachment Managers kept accusing the President of: Immorality. As if morality were ever a prerequisite for becoming a politician.
The largely Republican-controlled media helped the Christian Far Right try to impose its morality---or digusting lack of it---on America. One item of proof was the way the media treated Hustler publisher Larry Flynt's exposť of Bull Barr of Georgia, who started calling for Clinton's impeachment practically since before Clinton was elected. A fiery anti-abortionist, Bull Barr's the guy who put up the money to pay for the abortion that one of his three wives had to have. The New York Times didn't consider Larry Flynt's exposť fit to print. And Disney's Rugwearer Sam, whom I once so admired, shat on the story. Sam, casting aside his cover as an "objective" journalist to reveal his true identity as another reactionary Republican shill, conducted not an interview with Larry but rather subjected Larry to an interrogation in the style of Inspector Shithound on Sam's prime time ABC-TV show.
I think Larry's a Civil Rights hero and I hail him for his counterattack against the hypocrisy of the morality preachers. Larry's already partly a martyr. One cowardly would-be assassin, firing from a hiding place, has left Larry bound to a wheel chair for the rest of his life. In his ABC interview, Larry said he was exposing the hypocrites because he liked Bill Clinton, even if Bill Clinton didn't like him. No doubt Larry can use the publicity, but that doesn't necessarily rule out the possibility that, like most of the country, he was revolted by the dirty tricks of Inspector Shithound and his far right co-conspirators. Meanwhile, the largely Republican-controlled media, for the most part, has either ignored or played down the Larry Flynt exposť.
The Republican hypocrites thought they were going to lift their ratings by prolonging the trial even though the public kept telling them that was exactly what the public did NOT want them to do. You could tell from the pomposity with which Hypocrite Hyde and his House impeachment manager cohorts got desperate in their attempt to present the case against the President, with each of them grandstanding so that, while the rest of us slept, they could get their lackeys to pat them on the back.
They tried to turn the trial into a never ending circus by crying for the witnesses they never bothered to call during their own partisan proceedings in the House of Representatives. They knew they were loosing; hence their desperation. Maybe it would have been a good idea for the Democrats to help the Republicans drag out the impeachment trial right up until the 2000 elections. With typical arrogance, the Republican leaders had predicted that the electorate would forget about the impeachment trial by then.
Meanwhile, the chickens are coming home to roost for Inspector Shithound and his pack of hyenas. Just as this column long ago revealed and A.J. Weberman clearly documented (long before the New York Times corroborated the story, incidentally) the Inspector and his pack are guilty of collusion with the Paula Jones lawyers, their right-wing paymasters, plus Linda the Rat and Madam Goldfinger in a plot to set a perjury trap for the President. Obviously, the Inspector lied when he testified the accusation was "abslutely false" that he started investigating the adoption of Ms. Steele's son as an attempt to pressure her.
Hypocrite Hyde, the Illinois fatass, argued that the presidency could be "permanently damaged" if the Senate failed to remove the President from office and then even went so far as to boycott the President's State of the Union address.
The Republicans argued that white is black and then that black is white. The nation is not blind to the fact that Inspector Shithound's extraConstitutional invasion of the President's personal life has already permanently damaged the office of the Presidency. Or that the highly partisan impeachment by the party in power has already changed the rules of the game.
I think it's now easy to see why the public should kick the GOP out of office. The electorate has got to start organizing for the next election immediately. No matter what differences might exist among those who see the Christian Far Right as the fascist Devil, the electorate must unify.
Hopefully, those on the left, whether communist, socialist, environmentalist, independent, pacifist, anarchist, pro-choice, black, tan, yellow, green, Democrat or even Republican, will set aside their differences to keep that devil at bay. ##
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