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Jewish World Review Jan. 25, 2001 / 2 Shevat, 5761

David Limbaugh

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Consumer Reports


Clintonís disgraceful departure


http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- MY DESIRE finally to follow the Clinton admonition "just to move on," is outweighed by my obligation to comment on the distasteful nature with which Clinton handled his last days (and few hours following) in office.

Seriously, can you believe this guy? In terms of chutzpah, Clinton -- in his final 48 hours in office -- even put his previous eight years to shame.

When taking office and pledging to lead the most ethical administration in history, Clinton issued an executive order extending from one to five years the prohibition on administration officials becoming paid lobbyists after retiring from government service. But, shortly before relinquishing the presidential reins, he revoked the order when it could no longer serve his political purposes. Why? Members of his administration could hardly be successful lobbyists with a new Republican administration. When issuing the original order, he made no such qualification.

Anxious to secure for himself a legacy as the most environmentally friendly president, Clinton issued a spate of liberty-choking executive orders right up to the final hours of his tenure. In the last week he established six additional national "monuments," thereby confiscating over a million more acres of property for the rapacious federal government.

And what about Clintonís ballyhooed "admissions of guilt" to Independent Counsel Robert Ray in exchange for no criminal indictment and surrendering his law license for five years? Letís set the record straight:

We now know that the statement Ray extracted from Clinton had been the subject of intense, hands-on negotiations between Clinton and the independent counsel for more than a year. It was only announced at the last minute to allow both sides to avoid embarrassment. A quick perusal of the statement reveals the unique Clinton flavor in nearly every syllable.

Far from contrite, it is self-serving, disingenuous and rife with denial of intentional wrongdoing. "Iíve already settled the Paula Jones case, even after it was dismissed as being completely without legal and factual merit." So, we are to believe that Clintonís decision to settle was motivated by the same magnanimity he has shown his enemies throughout his career.

Clinton also bragged that he paid his legal fees "even though [he] disagreed with the findings" of Judge Wrightís contempt order. In other words, "Judge Wright was wrong in finding me in contempt, but I acted as a statesman in not contesting her order."

Now, get this one: "I will not seek any legal fees incurred as a result of the Lewinsky investigation to which I might otherwise become entitled under the Independent Counsel Act." Thatís rising above and beyond the call of public service, Mr. Clinton.

Or, how about: "I now recognize that ... certain of my responses to questions about Ms. Lewinsky were false." Donít you see? The timing of his awareness is critical. It turns multiple acts of perjury into some insignificant, negligent mistakes. What on earth was Robert Ray thinking?

Clinton then closes with yet another profession of a past apology: "I have apologized for my conduct." I hope you werenít expecting anything as forthcoming as a present apology.

While I was not salivating over a possible Clinton indictment because of the false ammunition it would have provided his shrill defenders to taint George Bushís early months in office, this statement and its inexcusable acceptance by Robert Ray is the worst of all possible results and a disgrace to the rule of law and to "equal justice under the law."

But the worst of Clintonís last-minute excesses were his unconscionable pardons. Sending the nation one last flip-off, Clinton nepotistically pardoned his brother Roger. Amazingly, ABCís Cokie Roberts reacted, "If you canít help your family, who can you help?"

Clinton also granted clemency to Whitewater co-conspirator Susan McDougal. If you canít exonerate your partners in crime, whom can you exonerate? And, he pardoned Marc Rich, who fled to Switzerland in 1983 to escape a 65-count federal indictment for tax fraud, racketeering and tax evasion charges (maximum sentence: 325 years in jail). He never served a day in jail, but his wife, Denise Rich, contributed almost $1.3 million to Bill's, Hillary's and Al's campaigns and other Democratic causes. If you canít repay your political friends, whom can you repay?

Clinton gave himself one last pat on the back as he was indulging in one last farewell speech after Bush was sworn in: He intoned repeatedly, "We did a lotta good." No argument from Roger, Susan and Marc.

But alas, today marks the fourth day of a new era and Iím feeling pretty good about it.



JWR contributor David Limbaugh is an attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and a political analyst and commentator. Send your comments to him by clicking here.

Up

01/22/01: Ashcroft: Principle above self
01/17/01: Justice for Riady?
01/15/01: Ashcroft: A hill to die on
01/10/01: Returning to the supply side
01/08/01: Reasons for optimism
01/03/01: Bush's daunting challenges
12/28/00: Ashcroft: A triumph for the rule of law
12/26/00: A tinge of revenge?
12/20/00: GOP: Breaking the race barrier
12/18/00: Civility doesn't require surrender
12/13/00: Al Gore: Innocent victimizer
12/11/00: Judicial restraint and ordered liberty
12/06/00: The four years war
12/04/00: Debunking Gore myths
11/29/00: Defending the smaller principles
11/27/00: Albert O'Gore and the little people
11/22/00: Doing 'anything to win'
11/15/00: Enough is enough, Mr. Gore
11/13/00: Al Gore: Thy country or thyself?
11/08/00: Bill and Al: Your time is up
11/06/00:The impending Bush mandate
11/01/00: Can't stop thinkin' 'bout tomorrow
10/30/00: George: Give Gore the ball back
10/25/00: Mr. Gore: A few more questions
10/23/00: It's the big government, stupid
10/18/00: Gore's down, so will he panic?
10/16/00: We're fresh out of new Al Gores
10/11/00: Gore: Fuzzy math = dirty politics
10/10/00:Gore: Renaissance man or unbalanced?
10/04/00: Where have you been, Albert Jr.?
10/02/00: Clintonís fragmented presidency
09/27/00: Liberal media doth protest too much
09/25/00: AlGore: Turning dreams into nightmares
09/20/00: Something fishy's going on
09/18/00: It's the liberalism, stupid
09/13/00: An open letter to open-minded cynics
09/11/00: The virtues of going negative
09/06/00: On a mission for marriage
09/04/00: Al Gore's 'Trivial Pursuits'
08/30/00: Lieberman and the paradox of liberal 'tolerance'
08/28/00: A campaign divided against itself
08/23/00: Al Gore's trickle-down populism
08/21/00: Prosperity without a clue
08/16/00: AlGore can run but he can't hide
08/14/00: When hate speech is OK
08/09/00: Bush: The pundits' enigma
08/07/00: GOP convention: Live or Memorex?
08/02/00: The first attack dog
07/31/00: The Cheney taint?
07/26/00: The anti-gun bogeyman
07/24/00: The raging culture war
07/19/00: Is Hillary 'Good for the Jews'?
07/17/00: How dare you, George?
07/12/00: Jacoby's raw deal
07/10/00: The perplexities of liberalism
07/05/00: Big Al and big oil
07/03/00: Partial-birth and total death
06/28/00: Some questions for you, Mr. Gore
06/26/00: Supreme Court assaults religious freedom
06/21/00: Waco: We are the jury
06/19/00: "Outrage" just doesn't quite cut it anymore!
06/14/00: Al Gore: Government's best friend
06/12/00: Say goodbye to medical privacy
06/07/00: Elian: Whose hands were tied?
06/05/00: Who, which, what is the real Al Gore?
06/01/00: Legacy-building idea for Clinton
05/30/00: Clinton: Above the law or not?
05/24/00: Not so fast, Hillary
05/22/00: Gore's risky, fear-mongering schemes
05/17/00: Can Bush risk pro-choice running mate?
05/15/00: Right to privacy, Clinton-style
05/10/00: Patrick Kennedy and his suit-happy fiddlers
05/08/00: Don't shoot Eddie Eagle
05/03/00: Congress caves to Clinton, again?
05/01/00: The resurrection of outrage
04/28/00: A picture of Bill Clinton's America
04/19/00: President Clinton: Teaching children responsibility
04/17/00: Elian, Marx and parental rights
04/12/00: Elian, freedom deserve a hearing
04/10/00:The fraying of America
04/05/00: Noonan: End Clintonism now
04/03/00: Bush: On going for the gold
03/29/00: Phantasma-Gore-ia
03/27/00: Treaties, triggers, tobacco and tyrants
03/22/00: Media to Bush: Go left, young man
03/20/00: Stop the insanity
03/15/00: OK Al Gore: Let's go negative
03/13/00: Deifying of the center
03/08/00: The media, the establishment and the people
03/01/00: McCain's coalition-busting daggers in GOP's heart
02/28/00: Bush's silver lining in McMichigan
02/24/00: A conservative firewall, after all
02/22/00: Bush or four more of Clinton-Gore?
02/16/00: Substance trumps process
02/14/00: The campaign finance reform mirage
02/09/00: President McCain: End of the GOP as we know it?
02/07/00: From New Hampshire to South Carolina
02/02/00: SDI must fly
01/31/00: Veep gores Bradley
01/26/00: The issues gap
01/24/00: GOP: Exit, stage left
01/20/00: Nationalizing congressional elections
01/18/00: Do voters really prefer straight talk?
01/12/00: Media's McCain efforts may backfire
01/10/00: Conservative racism myth
01/05/00: Just one more year of Clintonian politics
01/03/00: McMedia?
12/27/99: Al Gore: Bullish on government
12/22/99: Bradley's full-court press
12/20/99: Bush: Rendering unto Caesar
12/15/99: Beltway media bias
12/13/99: White House ambulance chasing
12/08/99: Clinton's labor pains
12/06/99:The lust for power
12/01/99: In defense of liberty
11/29/99: Are Republicans obsolete?
11/24/99: Say you're sorry, Mr. President
11/22/99: Architects of victory
11/17/99: Trump's tax on freedom
11/15/99: GOP caves again
11/10/99: Triangulation and 'The Third Way'
11/08/99: Sticks and stones
11/03/99: Keyes vs. media lapdogs
11/01/99: Signs of the times
10/27/99: The false charge of isolationism
10/25/99: A matter of freedom
10/20/99: Clinton's mini-meltdown
10/18/99: Senate GOP shows statesmanship
10/13/99: Senate must reject nuclear treaty
10/11/99: Bush bites feeding hand
10/06/99: Jesse accidentally opens door for Pat
10/04/99: Clinton and his media enablers
09/29/99: Reagan: Big-tent conservatism
09/27/99: The Clinton/Gore taint?
09/22/99: Have gun (tragedy), will travel
09/20/99: Hillary's blunders and bloopers
09/15/99: GOP must remain conservative
09/13/99:Time for Bush to take charge, please
09/10/99: Bush's education plan: Dubya confounds again
09/07/99: Pat, savior or spoiler?
09/02/99: Character doesn't matter?
08/30/99: Should we judge?
08/25/99: Dubyah's drug question: Not a hill to die on
08/23/99: Should Dubyah start buying soap ... for all that mud?
08/16/99: 'W' stands for 'winner'
08/11/99: The truth about tax cuts
08/09/99: Hillary: Threading the needle
08/04/99: What would you do?
08/02/99: No appeasement for China
07/30/99: Hate Crimes Bill: Cynical Symbolism
07/26/99: Itís the 'moderates', stupid
07/21/99: JFK Jr. and Diana: the pain of privilege
07/19/99: Smith, Bush and the GOP
07/14/99: GOP must be a party of ideas
07/12/99: Gore's gender gap
07/08/99: Clintonís faustian bargain: our justice
07/06/99: The key to Bush's $36 million
06/30/99: Gore: a soda in every fountain
06/28/99: 'Sacred wall' or religious barrier?
06/23/99: GOP must lead in foreign policy
06/21/99: Crumbs of compassion
06/16/99: Compassionate conservatism: face-lift or body transplant?
06/10/99: Victory in Kosovo? Now What?

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