What Color Is The Sky in Bill’s World?; Correction Correction Correction

by Jonah Goldberg

At some point isn’t effrontery an impeachable offense? Like when Caligula appointed his horse to the Roman Senate or Al Gore said at the White House pep rally that the man just impeached was a “great president.” Effrontery is not mere shamelessness, it’s arrogant shamelessness, a brazen flogging of the rules and mores. It is gall. Yesterday White House spokesman Joe Lockhart claimed the president’s lawyers weren’t filing any motions that would delay the Senate trial. They are doing this because the White House feels it is best for the country to get on with the trial. “We have very good and clever lawyers,” he said. “I’m sure they could have come up with 15 or 20 constitutional arguments that could have tied this process up . . . But we think this should move forward expeditiously.”

I see. So, after a year of abusing existing privileges and minting new ones to abuse, the president is eager to get this over with for the sake of the “people.” After appealing every ruling and fighting any attempts to expedite the appeals through the courts; after refusing over a half-dozen invitations to testify voluntarily to the grand jury; after arguing the president can’t be sued because he’s on active military duty; after behaving like a lawn sprinkler of lies for a year, the White House is subscribing to the Clinton dictum “More rather than less, sooner rather than later.”

Well, wait, that’s not quite right either. Because the president doesn’t want any witnesses. In fact, he thinks his lies will do just fine for him after all. As the Washington Post’s lead editorial puts it, “It is difficult to find a single honest sentence in the factual defense on the perjury charge.” Here’s just one example: The president is still saying that though he really couldn’t remember being ALONE with Monica Lewinsky, he can remember the bizarre details of their sexual encounters so vividly that he can guarantee he never touched her there, there, there, or even there while receiving oral sex. Here we have another case where taking the president’s word for it, it seems to me, is worse than believing the truth. The president says that while he was receiving oral sex while talking about, say, sending troops to Bosnia (with a Congressman), he wasn’t sure if there were people milling about the room, wandering in and out of the Oval office, etc. Imagine it. “Oh, hi, Madeleine! Could you hold on a second, I’m on the phone.”

No, seriously, this is what he’s saying. Here’s another example: Defendant William Clinton says that when he was talking with Betty Currie he “was trying to find out what the acts were.” The sex acts. He is claiming that he wasn’t sure what the Paula Jones lawyers were talking about and needed Betty to refresh his memory about what went on when he was alone with Monica Lewinsky. Now there is an internal perverted logic to this. If, as he claims, he never really knew if he was alone with Monica, it is possible that, just like any secretary, Betty might come into the room, drop off papers, clean up the desk, — you know, perfectly normal office stuff. Except, of course, for the fact that one of the interns had her tongue in the president’s butt (a space usually reserved for Sid Blumenthal). One does wonder how that conversation goes. “Okay, Betty do you remember? Was I assuming the ‘frisk’ position? Or was it more clinical? Like what a proctologist might do if he didn’t have arms?”

Regardless, this is essentially what the president of the United States would rather have us believe as the truth. This, and a zillion billion other lies, is what the president is offering to Senators Byrd, Moynihan, Lieberman, et al. All Caligula did was send his horse over as a joke.

For reasons that remain murky, the file did not appear on Friday. I wrote one. It just didn’t make it. Preliminary investigations reveal that cocaine, adultery, midget tossing, and cruelty to animals were not involved — but I’m still turning over every stone to get to the bottom of things. Friday’s file, I am told, can be found in the archives. It wasn’t particularly good — just a few potshots at Joe Lockhart.

But there is a problem: In accordance with my New Year’s resolutions, Friday is corrections day. So below are the corrections for last week. This Friday there will be corrections from this week — there are already plenty. That is unless some adulterer, torqued out on coke, doesn’t toss a midget on the team of dogs which drives the treadmill which powers the machinery that runs our web page.

First, I got the quote from Caddyshack slightly off. Bill Murray doesn’t say “So I got that going for me, which is good.” He says “which is nice.” In my reference to the Pentaveret from So I Married an Axe Murderer I substituted the Rockefellers for the Rothschilds. Many of you caught this and I even got a memo from Zog. I used the word Christendom in a way that some of you thought was inaccurate. I meant it to mean a geographical area rather than a community of believers, which isn’t quite right. But I should point out that what I said was still accurate considering Christians do revere the Ten Commandments. A while back I quoted Conan — Crush your enemy, see him driven before you, etc. — and a number of you claim that quote actually comes from Ghengis Khan and others say it’s from Sun Tsu. I don’t really care. Movies often plagiarize from, what do you call it? Oh yeah: life. Some die-hard Conan defenders were VERY upset that I said that Oliver Stone wrote Conan, instead of John Milius. Well, they both have writing credits. But Milius did direct. One reader pointed out to me that Milius is the only Hollywood director who serves on the board of the NRA. And in my Monday (1/4/99) column I failed to make any pop culture reference whatsoever. I should also point out that nobody got, or pointed out, the Animal House reference about “double secret probation.” That really surprised me.