Clinton telegraphed earlier yesterday that the pressure others have tried to apply on Reno, including calls for her impeachment were misguided. "It should be a decision based strictly on the law, and not outside political pressure," Clinton said, "and I have scrupulously avoided saying anything one way or the other, publicly or privately, that would be that kind of thing.
"There's a statute here," the President remarked, "…And we cannot get in the position in this country of basically bringing politics to bear on every legal decision that has to be made. That's not the right way to do this."
You Questions bet.
But that won't stop the presses or the GOP spin doctors from mauling Reno, Clinton and Gore as early and as often as possible. Television and print journalists across the nation breathed a collective sigh of relief when Reno said the campaign finance task force would continue its work in high gear – signaling a compromise with Director Freeh.
But not one national commentator nor opinion writer pointed out that the task force is focusing equally on Republican malfeasance and that likely candidates for the Grand Jury are Haley Barbour, Newt Gingrich, Grover Norquist and a raft of other GOP non-profit officials who participated in the widest money-laundering scheme ever perpetrated in United States history.
A great reason to undo the self-gratifying laws passed too hurriedly in a congressional knee-jerk reaction to the Nixon/ADM White House of the seventies.
That's not to say that Democrats are off the hook. But the investigations won't touch the President or his cabinet, save Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt who along with smooth-talking Harold Ickes may have to pay a dear price for Babbitt's nix on an Indian gaming casino license — ostensibly done as a quid pro quo for massive campaign contributions from a competing tribe. Also on the hot seat is former DNC chairman Don Fowler and a variety of DNC fundraising executives who have admitted converting soft money donations solicited by Gore (and without his knowledge) into hard money cash without donor approval. It will be tough for the Attorney General to pass on that — and she probably won't.
Republicans, so blind to their own shaky position here, continue their diatribes with Senators Thompson, Specter, Hatch and Lott and chief House Fool Dan Burton spinning Reno's decision to make it appear she has now broken the law.
One wonders aloud just how stupid Republican strategists can be, and I find myself longing for the pre-Gingrich days of RNC Chairman Bill Brock and chief strategist Dennis Whitfield. They may have been conservatives but they ran a clean show and didn't engage in Neo-Nazi thought control designed to confuse and convert voters. They were respected then and now — on both sides of the aisle.
One thing's for sure, Brock and Whitfield will have the last cross-pressured melancholy laugh when American voters wake up to the realization that they've been had by one of the most insipid propaganda machines conceived by man in a Democracy — and vote straight Democrat, Reform or Independent "tickets" as a result.
That will happen. And it won't be pretty for incumbents.