Cultural Revolutions

Cognitive Dissonances

Only lucky strikes and a pitcher of Tanqueray martinis could resolve the cognitive dissonances of the Clinton administration. One newspaper I saw on March 25 carried a story about hearings on regulating tobacco alongside another story about Dr. Jocelyn Elders' opposition to banning tobacco products. Since then FDA Commissioner Dr. David Kessler has been ranting before Congress about the evils of tobacco, insisting that tobacco is a drug and should be treated like one. Meanwhile, the Whitewater affair has been unfolding, the most alarming aspect of which seems the somnolent: Bill Clinton's aw-shucks press conference and poker-faced twaddle about his wife's "moral authority." Mr. Clinton has also appeared at ball games and gone on record in favor of health. Clinton is most dangerous when he affects the most stupidity, a trick of Southern politicians that the national press just doesn't get. Ah, but what is the connection between tobacco and moral authority? The answer is power.

Deeply moved by Mr. Clinton's recent televised intimacies about prayer and spirituality, I nevertheless noted during one of my brief periods of lucidity the discordance between his tone and his policies. The one thing I keep remembering is Bill Clinton's promise to give us a government that looks more like the American people—and I wish he had. The American people, as far as I know them, not only look a lot better than...

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