Friday, October 21, 2005

NOSTALGIA FOR SLICK WILLIE

This morning in the Pacific Northwest we have a story from David Goldstein at Horsesass.org http://www.horsesass.org/index.php?p=1098 concerning David Irons, the Republican candidate for King County Executive.

The Seattle P-I second guesses the story - what else when you've been scooped - at http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/245457_irons21.html while Joni Balter of The Seattle Times already delivered a much more temporized version three weeks ago available at http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=joni29&date=20050929&query=joni+balter

Joni's version is so much milder Goldi certainly deserves the kudos here... Or venom, depending on the outcome.

Goldi admits it's personal, he admits the timing of his expose is deliberate; he implies it's Karma:

"And so tonight, as I prepare to air Irons’ dirty laundry on the eve of the absentee ballots being mailed, I do so without remorse, and without regret. What goes around comes around."

The story is basically a character assassination piece, except, if the story is true, it's a character badly in need of it. David Irons is painted as abusive, profane, and even violent, certainly unfit to hold public office.

So what gives with the conservatives, especially the Republicans, lately?

OK, it's incumbent on any thinking person - especially those who stand up on their hind paws and think out loud - to avoid stereotyping, assigning individuals group characteristics. But it's getting difficult to avoid.

Rush "jail them all" Limbaugh a drug addict who likely broke the law to maintain his habit. Bill Bennett, Mr. Virtue, a million-dollar player in Vegas.

In Washington DC, we have the two most important Republicans in Congress, Bill Frist and Tom DeLay, one under indictment; the other under investigation and possibly headed the same way as Martha Stewart. And let's not get going on the White House. The last honest man there left long ago.

Here in the other Washington we have the example of Jim West, and now this. And then there was the Oregon leader of the christian coalition, who recently resigned after his family outed him as a molester.

Maybe it's isolated. Maybe it's just the degree of scrutiny. Maybe everyone is like this and we just don't tell each other. But increasingly as I lay on the yellow line and look right I see the pattern: Public moral icons privately immoral. Conservative perverts. And a political machine on the Right that seems to be promoting liars and control freaks.

And every bit of it dripping with the simplest, worst "moral" failing of all: Hypocrisy. The self-proclaimed party of morality anything but.

All I see when I look the other way is Slick Willie, whose greatest failing was being a slave to his penis, a failing any healthy man can understand. I don't understand, I can't understand, the impulse to control that must drive the Right.

It makes me nostalgic for Slick Willie.

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