culture, politics, commentary, criticism

Thursday, June 24, 2004
The wrong club. William Saletan on the conservative reaction to Illinois Senate candidate Jack Ryan's sexual peccadilloes in
Phyllis Schlafly, one of the chief agitators for Clinton's impeachment, told the Sun-Times she still supports Ryan because the charges are unproven and were made during a custody fight. "Sure they're disturbing. They're unpleasant," said Schlafly. "But considering where they're coming from, I would wait for the proof before judging him."

Robert Novak, the conservative commentator, said on Crossfire, "The judge allowed joint custody of their now nine-year-old son to the two parents. Number two, it was Mrs. Ryan, not Jack Ryan, who was guilty of adultery. … Jack Ryan, unlike Bill Clinton, did not commit adultery and did not lie."

House Speaker Dennis Hastert "still has a Thursday fund-raising event for Ryan on his calendar," according to Wednesday's Sun-Times. Hastert's spokesman told reporters Hastert had no comment.

Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, R-Ill., who voted to find Clinton guilty on both articles of impeachment five years ago, said, "Divorce cases and child custody cases are by nature acrimonious, and allegations on all sides are often unreliable or sensationalized. The Jack Ryan that I know very well is a good and decent man. … I support him and continue to support him with enthusiasm and confidence."

Bill O'Reilly, the Fox News host, fretted about the politics of personal destruction. After O'Reilly's legal analyst pointed out that Ryan hadn't denied the story and "in a Clintonesque way, splits hairs" about it, O'Reilly complained, "Just think about it, any politician or somebody thinking about running for office, if they have an ex-wife who is mad at them or an ex-girlfriend, they are dead, they are toast, because you can make any accusation in the world. … It discourages everybody from getting into the arena."

Now we know why Bill Clinton got impeached. He was in the wrong club.
The reaction to Jack Ryan right now has everything to do with the insane, trumped-up perjury entrapment of Bill Clinton by Kenneth Starr six years ago. No one really gives a shit about Jack Ryan's stupid sex life, but a lot of us are still quite angry that 1998 was a wasted year in American discourse and progress, a year in which Clinton attacked Osama bin Laden (remember him?) and was loudly accused of wag-the-dog tactics.

If the arena gets smaller, as Bill O'Reilly complains, the Republican hate machine has only itself to blame.

Greatest Hits · Alternatives to First Command Financial Planning · First Command, last resort, Part 3 · Part 2 · Part 1 · Stealing $50K from a widow: Wells Real Estate · Leo Wells, REITs and divine wealth · Sex-crazed Red State teenagers · What I hate: a manifesto · Spawn of Darleen Druyun · All-American high school sex party · Why is Ken Lay smiling? · Poppy's Enron birthday party · The Saudi money laundry and the president's uncle · The sentence of Enron's John Forney · The holiness of Neil Bush's marriage · The Silence of Cheney: a poem · South Park Christians · Capitalist against Bush: Warren Buffett · Fastow childen vs. Enron children · Give your prescription money to your old boss · Neil Bush, hard-working matchmaker · Republicans against fetuses and pregnant women · Emboldened Ken Lay · Faith-based jails · Please die for me so I can skip your funeral · A brief illustrated history of the Republican Party · Nancy Victory · Soldiers become accountants · Beware the Merrill Lynch mob · Darleen Druyun's $5.7 billion surprise · First responder funding · Hoovering the country · First Command fifty percent load · Ken Lay and the Atkins diet · Halliburton WMD · Leave no CEO behind · August in Crawford · Elaine Pagels · Profitable slave labor at Halliburton · Tom Hanks + Mujahideen · Sharon & Neilsie Bush · One weekend a month, or eternity · Is the US pumping Iraqi oil to Kuwait? · Cheney's war · Seth Glickenhaus: Capitalist against Bush · Martha's blow job · Mark Belnick: Tyco Catholic nut · Cheney's deferred Halliburton compensation · Jeb sucks sugar cane · Poindexter & LifeLog · American Family Association panic · Riley Bechtel and the crony economy · The Book of Sharon (Bush) · The Art of Enron · Plunder convention · Waiting in Kuwait: Jay Garner · What's an Army private worth? · Barbara Bodine, Queen of Baghdad · Sneaky bastards at Halliburton · Golf course and barbecue military strategy · Enron at large · Recent astroturf · Cracker Chic 2 · No business like war business · Big Brother · Martha Stewart vs. Thomas White · Roger Kimball, disappointed Republican poetry fan · Cheney, Lay, Afghanistan · Terry Lynn Barton, crimes of burning · Feasting at the Cheney trough · Who would Jesus indict? · Return of the Carlyle Group · Duct tape is for little people · GOP and bad medicine · Sears Tower vs Mt Rushmore · Scared Christians · Crooked playing field · John O'Neill: The man who knew · Back to the top

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