Cultural Revolutions

An Administration Riddled With Scandal

Bill Clinton, in David Brinkley's estimation, is a bore, and the majority of the American electorate probably agrees. Moralists deplore a nation that seems willing to indulge an administration ridden by scandal and characterized by every sort of personal vice and immorality. Commentators have suggested that had President Clinton been accused of two or five indictable or impeachable acts, he would not today be President of the United States, but the 250 or so offenses of which he is suspected both deaden the imagination and protect the President. More important than their number, perhaps, are the banality and tawdriness of his administration's alleged crimes and misdemeanors; bank and real estate fraud, money laundering, and influence peddling; illicit fundraising, perjury, and the subornation of witnesses; adultery, fornication, solicitation It is the stuff of cheap novels, bad movies, and worse television concocted by small, conventional, and unimaginative minds for the enjoyment of still lesser intelligences. Even a public titillated by Hollywood and numbed by the national news media becomes jaded. The banality of the Clinton presidency is less the banality of evil than it is the banality of venality. So who cares? Life is short; and the lives of ordinary Americans are filled with banalities and venalities of their own.

Unfortunately, the world—in particular, the political world—is full of banal and boring things...

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