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Xmas in the Year of the Locust

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"Well, let me see if I have this straight. Bill Clinton may be removed from the presidency as a consequence of having allowed a woman who wanted to perform sex on him to do so. However, he is suspected of having tried to unsuccessfully stave off impeachment last week by taking the popular step of bombing and killing innocent people in Iraq, including women and children.

Now the people most outraged at him for consensual sex are mostly in favor of killing Iraqis. They only question the timing. After all, wouldn't any high official accused of making love want to kill some people as quickly as possible to get the heat off?

What a country, as Yakov Smirnoff used to say.

Now then. Let me make my position perfectly clear. Naturally, most readers of this column think I sign my paycheck over to Pyongyang, and dream of a world where all of us are forced to sort beets in a drafty, unheated factory.

The truth is that I am a left conservative. I share the proud old myths about a country where a man is free to make his own way and all humanoids get an equal shot. Trouble is, I want those ideals to apply to everyone. I want blacks and gays, Muslims and recent immigrants, to be able to watch Jimmy Stewart movies and not feel left out.

What is so disappointing about Slick Willie is that he talked such a good game, back in '92. He genuinely appeared to want to make things better.

Though skeptical, I was cautiously optimistic. Without any doubt, he seemed superior to the deeply weird aristocrat-clerk, George Herbert Walker Emptysuit Bush.

Well, I was wrong. "What is clear is that whatever his flaws and failings (blowing the chance for any kind of national health care, for instance) he hasn't pulled any harebrained stunts to screw things up." That's me, in this column, exactly a year ago.

Yet we still haven't quite gotten it. Clinton's worst failing is not his predilection for cheap and insanely reckless sex. What is far worse is that he has no concept of the presidency as anything sacred, or anything other than an extension of his ego.

Would President Clinton sacrifice anything at all for his nation? We have absolutely no reason to think so. Does anything other than his own ego/id matter at all to him? I cannot see it. He is, in this way only, unique among modern presidents.

Last week, as they took up impeachment, the golden boy of Arkansas decided to make war on Iraq. Clinton sent bombs and cruise missiles raining down on the bunkers and buildings of the best postwar enemy we ever invented. My suspicion is that this all stems from that great early '70s cult movie, Harold and Maude. There is a scene in there where Harold's uncle, the demented general, cries to the heavens in frustration.

He wants the Germans back. "They fought hard. They fought tough, and we could beat them," he says, or words to that effect. Well, thanks first to Bush and now to Willie, we've got our perfect Wobbling Weevil enemy, who can be depended on to act just bad enough to justify our whacking him every few years, at little or no cost.

Without any doubt, had ClintonBush been in charge during World War II we would have stopped the Allied advance at Germany's prewar borders and left a battered Hitler in power. Every few years thereafter we would have bombed Hamburg, if we heard rumors about heavy water experiments or that he was killing too many Jews again, but hey. We can't be overthrowing foreign leaders.

Meanwhile last week, as we spent our treasure killing Iraqis for nothing, our leaders debated the real issues, such as exactly where the Prez groped the valley girl. (One Republican congressman actually said he was upset because while he admitted he'd touched her, he hadn't said exactly where.)

Larry Flynt, poet laureate of the Age of Clinton, fired back, aborting the newly designated Speaker of the House, a dim bulb named Bob Livingston, who apparently was astonished to get in trouble for power wick-dipping at the precise moment he was trying to get the president fired for the same thing.

Truth is, nobody thinks Clinton will be removed. Nor do the Republicans really want him ousted, with the possible exception of a few idiots like Oakland County's own U.S. Rep. Toilet Joe Knollenberg. Put in the apparently nonwomanizing Al Gore, at a time when things are otherwise good, if you aren't a dying Iraqi child?

No, sir. We'll be happily fused to the corpse of this administration for two years to come, unless I again miss my guess. Bill Clinton came out of an era when young people protested the seeming contradiction in which a government with such high ideals had gotten us into a hopeless and immoral war.

Thanks in large part to him, we now know our leaders today stand for little except hypocrisy, greed, shallowness, and the desire to destroy opponents. Had Bill Clinton any respect for the office or his people, he would have resigned in February.

Were there still statesmen in Congress, they would now call a halt to the savage sexual McCarthyism that has only begun to destroy.

Dream on. Merry Christmas, by the way. The year of the locust is at hand.

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