Politics & Policy

Hearings Boring . . . Losing . . . Consciousness; Mistake of The Year; Nypd Who?


This is about as close as I’ve ever come to agreeing with Judiciary Democrats. The “What is perjury?” hearings are only exciting when the arguments break out between the committee members. The morning was filled with somber Republicans nodding to the sage advice of criminals. Republicans are literally praising the courage of convicted perjurers. The result may actually be to convince the public to let these people out rather than have Clinton join them. This afternoon Democrats get their witnesses. Then we will hear noted scholars and judges defend the President’s criminal behavior. It looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.

Among the witnesses will be Alan Dershowitz and Leon Higginbotham. Higginbotham was, and is, the James Carville to Clarence Thomas’s Ken Starr. He has dedicated much of his career since leaving the bench to attacking Thomas, reportedly because he is jealous that Thomas replaced Thurgood Marshall instead of him. Higgenbotham says it’s because Thomas is an Uncle Tom and because Thomas lied about Anita Hill. I see. That will be an interesting subject for the Q&A. Thomas shouldn’t be a Supreme Court Justice because he lied about flirting with a colleague. But the President should stay President because lying about one-way sex with an intern is private.

Dershowitz goes from television show to television show claiming that “sex lies” are no big deal. It’s okay for him to say that to the country, but if he told it to a client he’d be disbarred. The only thing worse than the hearings was MSNBC’s opening coverage. Their first commentators out of the gate were Lanny Davis and John Dean. Lanny Davis is no James Carville — he isn’t missing any chromosomes after all — but he is still the Energizer Bunny of Clinton defenders. John Dean, like Woodward and Bernstein, is horrified by these impeachment proceedings because they diminish his own historical importance. He devotes all of his comments to saying that Watergate was very important (it was) but the Clinton crimes are trivial. I suppose Dean was booked because he is nominally a Republican à la Kevin Phillips and William Cohen. He spent most of his time saying, “Well, Lanny makes a good point.” Dean dismisses the relevance of the witnesses because they “were not elected by the majority of the people” for the job of President. In short, Presidents are immune from perjury as long as its “private.”


We are at the crossroads. Matt Drudge reports that Time magazine is poised to declare Bill and Hillary Clinton “Couple of the Year.” The logic behind this auspicious decision is that because the Clintons have survived the slings and arrows of the last year and emerged victorious they are therefore worthy of the mass culture’s highest honor. Everybody loves a winner. Comparable reasoning would have put O. J. Simpson on the cover a few years back, as it did for Hitler and Stalin.

If the Clintons succeed in making it to the cover of Time then they will have succeeded in batfowling the American elite like no other First Couple, Kennedys included.


Former so-cute-he-must-die child star Rick(y) Schroeder joins NYPD Blue tonight. I am very excited for the Silver Spoons alum. The networks have caught on to this winning formula. Exciting cast changes for the coming year include: The Olson Twins join Law and Order: These spunky split zygotes may have come from the same egg but they’re on opposites sides of the scales of justice. The ugly one is a vengeful prosecutor out for blood on the gritty streets. The one who looks just like the ugly one is a Park Avenue defense attorney. She believes in civil rights — but only for a profit. Together they make for high-pitched mirror images of our legal system.

Gary Coleman joins Homicide: Life on the Street. The producers of the best dramatic series on television believe in taking risks. Gary Coleman, the successful product of a lab experiment by Brandon Tartikoff and star of 1980s’ hit, Different Strokes plays Huggy Bear Jr. It is a daring crossover from 1970s’ hit Starsky & Hutch. Coleman plays the stunted son of Starksy and Hutch’s pimp-informant Huggy Bear. The crack epidemic hit hard in the 80s, and Coleman paid the price in height, but not in grit. But this time he’s determined not to make the mistakes of his Dad. He’s a Mormon cop with a grudge. Keeping his distinctive catch phrase, watch every week as Coleman will ask a new perp, “What you talkin’ ‘bout slimeball?”


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