Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review Sept. 29, 2000/ 29 Elul, 5760

Marianne M. Jennings

Marianne M. Jennings
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Debbie Schlussel
Sam Schulman
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

The capacity for truth -- RATHER THAN TAKE ON the postmodernist theorem that there is no absolute truth, I ask only that we reach consensus that Pinocchio and his puppeteer, Stromboli, i.e., Al Gore and our boy president, have pushed the envelope on the verifiable. Somewhere in between fact and the meaning of the word "is," there is some room for judgmentalism on yarns.

The latest whopper of these Clinton vaudeville years was Mr. Gore's daft statement that he was lulled to sleep as a tot with the lacey lilting lyrics of the "Look for the union label" jingle. Such fodder comes this columnist's way in far too generous amounts lo these many Clinton years.

You may recall that Mrs. Clinton explained her $100,000 gain on a $1,000 commodities investment, an investment field in which even cows lose their hides, with the tall tale that her father read to her from the Wall Street Journal each day. Putting aside the truth issue for a moment, could there be consensus that Democrats had odd childhoods? These parents sound like Windsors setting their children up for miserable marriages and English tabloid coverage.

My parents read "Dr. Goat put on his coat and went out to make some calls" to me. Words in the books rhymed and my parents never once mentioned call or put options until offering their thoughts on how I might finance college. I can't recall which lullabies my mother graced me with, but I am fairly certain they were more along the lines of "Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral," not the melodious "Duck and cover" civil defense ads.

Ignoring for a moment the absolute truth that Mr. Gore was 27 years old and a reporter when the union label jingle came about in 1975, and that the thought crossed likely voters' minds that Big Al is odd enough to have had Tipper, or perhaps a still-present nanny, sing union ditties to him before bed, this latest Al Gore braggadocio has analytical merit for its revelations. If the made-up stories are this bizarre, what was his childhood really like? What kind of personality feels the need to spout such a fabrication to a group that will endorse him anyway?

The lullaby story offers insight into the inner workings of the mind of the man who seeks to hold world's most powerful position, that of renting out the Lincoln bedroom.

This is one creepy guy.

Gratuitous lies don't faze the man in the cowboy boots and earth tones. His conduct is eerie because it is, at once, an act of defiance and one of arrogance. Did he honestly believe no one would notice? Or does he believe that he speaks to the terminally stupid? Or does he believe that the media wouldn't dare call him on the story? The latter may be the reason the man knows no fear on fabrications. One envisions New York Times editorial as follows: "Insiders say that Mr. Gore did indeed still have a nanny when he was 27 and that nanny came from a long line of longshoremen and textile workers. Her aprons were cotton, U.S.-made, and heavily starched, but she was prone to facial hair and comfortable shoes."

Hi-diddle-dee-dee, a fabricated life for me. There's a Clinton-Gore pattern here. Gratuitous tall tales. Gore invented the Internet. Gore and Tipper were the inspiration for Eric Segal's Love Story. Gore uncovered Love Canal and fixed it. His sister uttered her dying anti-tobacco words to him, but he was not even in the state. Hillary said, in a trip to New Zealand, that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary. Nice trick. He wasn't famous until after he climbed Mt. Everest in 1953, and she was born in 1947. Either Mrs. Clinton is lying or people in Chicago called her "Hey, you!" while waiting for word from the Sherpas that Sir Edmund had conquered the summit.

Mr. Clinton's lies have not been limited to those under oath. He witnessed churches burning in Arkansas. Ignoring for a moment the fact that no churches were burned in Arkansas in his youth, why didn't he get a hose and help? Why was he standing around watching fires for presidential inspiration? There is a contagion surrounding the presidency. Tall-tale syndrome.

Lieberman best be careful or he'll be traveling to Texas to spin yarns about how much he enjoyed the hoedowns at the synagogue as a youth. Folks who seek national office are often not the most stable personalities.

Remember Jimmy Carter's claim that a vicious rabbit emerged from the pond where he was fishing and attacked him? The Secret Service helped him escape his imagination by a hare. Is it too much to ask that leaders at least respect voters? Is glib fabrication a desirable trait in those who are entrusted with so much?

The recently released biography of Grover Cleveland covers Cleveland's reaction to the impending disclosure he faced during the 1884 election about his illegitimate child. Mr. Cleveland told his campaign manager, "Whatever you do, tell the truth."

Today, imagining for a moment that an illegitimate child would be an issue for a Democrat for surely such a revelation would just spawn another plank in the health care giveaway (free birth control for all), the instructions to the campaign manager would be, "Just make sure it polls well," or "Tell them I sang to the child every night. Union lullabies, most of the numbers from Rent - stuff like that, run it by the focus groups to see what plays well, lullaby-wise."

Oh, for a fallen but honest Grover Cleveland over the politically correct banana republic twits who lead our nation today.

JWR contributor Marianne M. Jennings is a professor of legal and ethical studies at Arizona State University. Send your comments by clicking here.


09/22/00: Charity with strings and an agenda
09/15/00: The taming of the shrew: Gloria Steinem takes a husband
09/09/00: Why rich folk don't bother me none
08/28/00: Survival of the not-so-fit but conniving
08/25/00: Conventions: A study in contrasts
08/18/00: Resenting the accusations of racial prejudice
08/04/00: Women: Their own worst enemy
07/21/00: Hillary: Our longshoreman First Lady
07/21/00: SUVs: The root of all evil
07/14/00: The basketball gene and white men not jumping so well
07/07/00: I wanna be around
06/23/00: The liberal conversion
06/14/00: Sex and the City: The shallow but vulgar female
06/08/00: No excuses schools
06/02/00: Oh, Canada: Our Nutty Neighbors to the North
05/23/00: The new mollycoddling coach
05/16/00: On adultery and leadership
05/12/00: Taking your lumps
05/02/00: Elian: There's never a liberal around when you need one
04/25/00: Life's circle and tenderness
04/18/00: Womyn who want it both ways
04/11/00: The monsters we're raising with the ergo proposition
04/05/00: Endowing the Hooters Chair for Literature Appreciation
03/28/00: Dr. Laura: The passive/aggressive kid's mom
03/21/00: Dough and campaigns
03/14/00: The volunteerism of conscription and pomp
03/07/00: Hope and pray that religion remains a force in politics
02/29/00: Ditzes in TV Land
02/22/00: Cranky nitpickers make writing a [sic] experience
02/15/00: Those chameleon 60s activists
02/08/00: McCandidate McCain: Flirting with principles
02/01/00: The demise of marriage
01/25/00: Stroke of the pen, law of the land: Clinton's Camelot
01/18/00: Off the Rocker Rorschach Test
01/11/00: Oprah's lemmings
01/04/00: Struggling mightily amidst the comfort
12/23/99: Confused fathers
12/14/99: Drop-kicking the homeless
12/07/99: Turtles and teamsters, side-by-side in Seattle
11/29/99: When conservatives behave badly
11/22/99: Compassionate conservative: Timing and targets
11/18/99: The elusive human spirit and accountability
11/11/99: Succumbing to the intellectual child within with the help of crackpots and screwballs
10/28/99: Live by litigation, die by litigation
10/22/99: Jesse, Warren, Cybill, Donald and Oprah
10/14/99: Inequality and injustice: It's the big one
10/05/99: Dan Quayle, morals and schoolyard bullies
09/30/99: The monsters of epidermal parenting
09/21/99: The Diversity Hoax
09/15/99: Waco Wackos
09/09/99: Selective censorship
09/01/99: The village, the children, judicial imperialism and abortion
08/24/99: Naughty Newt?
08/17/99: In defense of Boy Scouts and judgment
08/10/99: Ruining the finest health care system in the world
08/03/99: Nihilism and politics: ethics on the lam
07/26/99: Of women, soccer and removed jerseys
07/23/99: Not in despair, a mere mortal doing just fine
07/20/99: "Why me?" How about "Why us?"
07/13/99: Bunk, junk & juries
07/06/99: An Amish woman in a Victoria's Secret store
06/30/99: That intellectually embarrassing Second Amendment
06/24/99: Patricia Ireland eat your heart out --- but check out the recipe in 'women's mags' first
06/22/99: Dems and the Creator coup
06/17/99: True courage is more than just admitting troubles

© 2000, Marianne M. Jennings