Cultural Revolutions

A Tempting Sport

Clinton-bashing is a tempting sport, as indicated by the phenomenal popularity of Rush Limbaugh. But like everything that is too easy, it has its pitfalls. It will be a fruitless enterprise if it merely succeeds in tearing down Clinton to make way for a lackluster Republican administration only marginally better on the critical issues.

Clinton's band of lowlifes does provide a good target—his awful wife, his zoo of appointees (Trachtenberg, Shalala, Elders, Bentsen, Christopher, ad infinitum). Yet these indicate not so much the evil of Clinton or of the Democratic Party as what American society and the American political system have become. The Republican Party, after all, gave us Justices Brennan, Blackmun, Thomas, and Souter; "Condom" Koop; Packwood; Frohnmeyer; proscription of serious Christians from policy-making; double prosecution of the L.A. cops; NAFTA; Somalia; and "no new taxes." The distinction is nothing to get excited about.

Despite his public and private shortcomings, it is not apparent to me that Clinton is of a quality significantly below the general level of American leadership. He is more intelligent than any Republican of recent history except Nixon. There is no reason to believe he is less sincere or competent or more prone to lust and greed than many other politicians.

My friend Murray Rothbard has complained that Clinton is "an Arkansas peckerwood in the...

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