Blood Libel for Fun and Profit

One strange development personally from the era of Former Preznit Carnage One-Term Loser Twice Impeached Inciter of Insurrection is that it has forced me to reassess the impeachment of President William J. Clinton.

For most of my life following that event, I had classified it as an impeachment “just for a blow job.” Living through the Carnage Era, however, has changed my thinking dramatically. I mean, it’s downright hypocritical to speculate and ponder the incredible capacity presidency 45 might have had to have been compromised without also thinking that, perhaps, a president who had an inappropriate affair with an intern and lied about it might also be considerably open to compromise.

So. While I still think there was considerable overreach by the Starr investigation—and we’re going to discuss another bit of that in a moment—I find that, in this, the Post-Carnage Era, the impeachment of President Bill Clinton doesn’t look that askew after all. I can no longer honestly spit that Clinton was impeached over a mere BJ.

Because as long as Clinton was arm-in-arm with his lie, anyone who knew about it, say, Linda Tripp, could really jack him up. Capacity for being compromised is a real danger of that office. And Clinton invited it in like it was a pretty girl. Aside from the considerable mission creep in his practice, Ken Starr may have done us a favor. It almost makes me regret wishing I had a huge spitball on me that one day when I walked past him on 18th Street that one day.

So. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Talk about a person who became a household name right quick. QAnon adherent and U.S. representative for Georgia’s 14th district. She’s said that “Q” is a “patriot.” She has said that the United States is experiencing a “Muslim invasion” because some of that faith had won national office. (For those who did not get the memo, the United States Constitution explicitly bars any religious test for holding office. Article VI. Clause 3. “…no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”) She’s said that Democrats are “trying to keep black people in a modern-day form of slavery.” She has said that if she were black, and she walked by a statue featuring a figure from the Confederacy, “I would be so proud.”

And this is just the stuff she plays on the Borscht Belt.

I read this morning that this person believes in something called “frazzledrip.” And I am not going to explain to you what that is except to tell you that it is hideous blood libel. And, as we have just gotten done observing Holocaust Remembrance Day, I do not mind that what little hair I have left is on fire that BLOOD LIBEL is what got us THE HOLOCAUST. And this country is just playing with it like it’s a paddle-ball. It is horrifying.

But this didn’t just start last week. Oh, no. These Untied States of America has been been up to its belly button in this muck for decades. Remember when I was writing about Ken Starr and that spitball I wished for?

On July 20, 1993, a man named Vince Foster was found dead in Fort Marcy Park off the George Washington Parkway in Virginia, outside Washington, D.C. If you know the parkway, you know that one could probably find some isolation on that road pretty easily. It winds around a lot, and the traffic is whizzing by and doesn’t care. Many convenient pull-offs. This tragedy quickly spun up conspiracy theories, mainly and ridiculously placing Foster’s death at the feet of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Vince Foster was a friend of Bill Clinton’s since childhood. I cannot imagine having to face these lies on top of facing a friend’s self-inflicted end. Losing someone one cares about to suicide is incomprehensible enough on its face without having to face horrific lies implicating you as the culprit. How un-peaceful. How horribly cruel.

Starr’s predecessor Robert Fiske had included mention of Foster in his interim report, concluding that Foster had committed suicide. In fact, as a piece by Sean Wilentz reported in September 2018 in the New York Times: “Official accounts by the National Park Service in 1993 and by a Republican congressman, William Clinger, the ranking member of the House Government Affairs Committee in 1994, came to an identical conclusion, as did a bipartisan report of the Senate Banking Committee early in 1995.”

As Wilentz continues to report, there was a fellow in Starr’s office who was still interested in pursuing this lie, despite it now being rebuffed by the previous investigator, the National Park Service, and a congressional committee. Wilentz reported at the time that this fellow wanted a “‘full-fledged’ investigation of the Foster matter.”

And that fellow now sits as a United States Justice on the Supreme Court. His name is Brett Kavanaugh.

Look. I’m sure Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony held weight for many folks. But I would have preferred to hear more during those hearings about Kavanaugh’s involvement in pursuing this horrible blood libel against the Clintons.

Which gets me back to ol’ frazzledrip. A word of advice. Do not google this unless you have a strong constitution. It is a horrific scenario. I have framed for you how horrifying I find the Vince Foster lies to have been. This is worse. Much, much worse. And Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is in the United States House of Representatives, is reported to believe it is true.

This did not start with Marjorie Taylor Greene. It did not start with Brett Kavanaugh. This stuff may be as old as the dirt that grows your potatoes. And it is wicked and injuring. But of my examples here, one of its proponents is a lifetime appointment on the highest court in the land. The other is 1/435th of the power of the purse.

Why do we keep rewarding this?

Reclaiming the Bully Pulpit

I have met J. Danforth Quayle twice. Both times, my fellow liberals acted in a way toward him that made me feel digusted.

This is not to say that I have a towering modicum of respect for Quayle himself. I do not—in fact, I find Quayle to have been one of the more repulsive American political actors in recent memory. However, I did not think that county Democrats should have attempted to shout the man down as he tried to speak, and I did not think that reporter in our little press pool should have asked him to spell “potato.” It’s called “respect for the office.” And most presidents—except, perhaps, the one who did not actually acquire the office via voting—deserve a bit of it.

People seem to have forgotten that the President of the United States is actually several jobs in one. It is true that he or she is the primary leader on public policy for his or her party. However, he or she is the country’s ceremonial leader as well. He or she is prime minister and queen all rolled up into one. This aspect of the job affords the luxury of the “bully pulpit,” named such by President Theodoore Roosevelt—back when the word “bully” was not archaic as an adjective meaning “sublime.” The President is supposed to lead not only on politics and policy, but to provide leadership on social and cultural mores as well. A good President will not only produce results, but he or she will inspire as well.

I say that people seem to have forgotten about this role because many “conservatives” made a lot of hay regarding President Barack Hussein Obama’s speech today to America’s school children. It is disgusting that this non-issue issue reared its ugly head. But it is not surprising. It is the continued perpetuation of the meme of Obama as “the other,” the meme of the “terrorist fist bump,” of the dashiki-donning Obama, of the “birthers.” What it is, specifically, whether conciously or unconciously, is, “You’re going to allow that Negro to speak directly to your kids? Really?”

It is pathetic, because part of what Obama’s presidency is about is the reclamation of the bully pulpit following its sheer neglect during the years of the office’s previous occupant. Go out and shop, W. Boosh told us after September Eleventh. That, friends, should have been the BP’s finest hour, but it was squandered on an idiot. And now, we’ve at last got a President who might be the most effecitive bully-pulpitter evar, and all’s you morons can do is whisper and buzz that he’s trying to turn your kids into some kind of weird socialist-fascist hybrid that doesn’t exist?

The discussion that’s taken place over the last week regarding this issue may be—no, IS—is the most stupid, most vapid, most disrespectful, and most vile thing I’ve seen Americans do since the macarena. The President of the United States, who won in November with the most electoral votes since 1996, wants to tell America’s kids to do their friggin’ homework, and people fuss and fret about it like he’s Genghis Khan?

Stay classy, America!

May Your Shit Come To Life and Kiss You

Were Rep. Barney Frank allowed to use such language in public, he might have used my personal favorite curse in the world, “May your shit come to life and kiss you.” Because it is so special, it is a curse I reserve for very special occassions only. I think he would have been justified in this case. This woman was ignorant and terrible. He did pretty well, though, with “On what planet do you spend most of your time?”

This is, by the way, the correct way to handle these twisted racist troglodytes. Don’t give them an inch. Were I one of these legislators, I’d come armed with an air horn. I’d set off the sprinklers. I’d certainly hire a few bouncers to work the crowd. And I would not tolerate this ugly, misinformed drivel in my meeting.