When Will Clinton
Be Held Accountable?

"It's a slap in the face of Catholics everywhere," said Sen. Trent Lott, in response to President Clinton's recess appointment of the openly gay James C. Hormel as Ambassador to Luxembourg.

Lott got it half-right; Clinton's action was a slap in the face, but not to Catholics. Clinton gave a smack to the homophobic bigots who provide the lifeblood of the conservative political movement in America. Why did Clinton make an important stand for homosexual rights, at the risk of further angering the Religious Right? After all, we all KNOW that Clinton could never do anything based on principle or because it was the moral thing to do, right?

Clinton's critics, who span the political spectrum, often bemoan that this president's legacy will be the permanent loss of accountability in American politics. Clinton has been able to get out of all immoral shenanigans through spin and deception, so the story goes.

I agree there is no longer accountability in American politics, but accountability is supposed to work both ways. If you screw up, you are supposed to be blamed, be "held accountable," perhaps even apologize. But the flip side of accountability, one that is as essential as the notion of good is to evil, is that when something goes well, you deserve credit, praise, even admiration.

I'm more than willing to concede that Clinton has not been held accountable by his wife and family for his personal misdeeds, but more important, Clinton has not been held accountable for his public accomplishments. There is no good deed Clinton could even conceive of committing that would not be spun as an act of craven duplicity by 90% of political observers in the media.

Clintonian spin may be annoying, but it is but a puff compared to the full force gale of anti-Clinton spin that has surged during the last seven years.Clinton stands up to bigots like Sen. Jesse Helms who blocked the Hormel Ambassadorship? Must be because Clinton secretly hates traditional families and he wants to "promote the homosexual lifestyle."

Unemployment at a 29-year low? The balanced budget? New business starts at an all-time low? Inflation non-existent? After seven long years of Clinton being in power, obviously the tens of thousands of appointments, regulations and policies of his administration have had zero positive impact on the economy. Every economic good fortune can be traced rightly to Reagan's tax cuts on the wealthy in the early 1980s.

Divorce, teen pregnancy, even abortion -- all way down in the age of Clinton? Presidents have no impact on the culture, except when Clinton has a negative impact on the culture.

Murder and violent crime have plummeted -- a 30-year low in some parts of the country? Presidents have nothing to do with violent crime -- unless you are Michael "Willie's my man" Dukakis.

Oh, and that little thing known as THE WAR in Kosovo. Last time I checked, every left-wing, right-wing, and hug-the-middle of the road military expert said Clinton's Kosovo bombing strategy was bone-headed. Every retired Army man with a rank above Corporal was on a news chat network calling Clinton a fool, imbecile or a jerk for either being in this war or trying to win it with a bombing strategy.

It looks like Clinton won the war to end ethic cleansing in Kosovo, without losing American lives, and, oh yeah, it was the first time in history anyone has won a war simply through strategic bombing. Have any of Clinton's critics admitted that they were wrong and he was right? That Clinton might even deserve a brownie point or two?

Don't be naive, instead the punditocracy just moves to more spin: "Clinton caved in to end the war for evil political purposes, he didn't want to hurt Gore's chances in 2000" (somehow it is supposed to be evil to want to help political allies who share your policy goals).

We are not quite to the point where Nihilism -- the belief in nothing -- dominates our politics. But Nihilism's bastard stepson, the belief that anything you do is motivated by evil or ulterior motives, now reigns supreme.

Don't believe me, dear reader? Try to name for me a single political accomplishment or action Clinton could possibly take without being instantly and viciously denounced by 90% of political commentators. (I am precluding the act of resignation or suicide)

If every American were to wake up tomorrow with a million dollar-a-year job, thanks to some Clinton alchemy, it would be a matter of seconds before Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and others would be denouncing Clinton as anti-Christian, because the Bible predicts that there will always be the poor.

If alcoholism and drug abuse disappeared? Clinton would be denounced as an anti-capitalist (hey, this would hurt Budweiser) American.

Try to stump me if you dare, please post your entry on the www.TJWalker.Com message board. The winner will be a featured guest on the www.TJWalker.Com radio show and given a free copy of Impeachment Conspiracy.

T.J. Walker is the executive producer of TJWalker.Com, a news and information web site featuring original audio/video/text news and perspective. See (

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