by L. Neil Smith
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
You know, it’s damned hard to write about Bill Clinton.
(I was about to say “a guy like Bill Clinton” when I realized that the last guy even remotely like Bill Clinton had his elderly mother’s belly cut open with a sword so he could see where he’d come from.)
It’s also damned hard to shift from fiction, which I’ve been writing the past several months, to what we laughingly call reality. At least I believe it’s reality — I think I’d hallucinate better than this.
But I digress.
I like to temper the outrage that seems to drive so much of my writing (it took the Littleton shootings — or rather the political vultures feeding off of them — to get me started doing columns again) with a little absurdity now and again, but Caligulito (as I’ve come to think of him) always seems to be just a little bit ahead of me in that department.
Take this business in the Balkans. Over the decades, to this baby boomer, Yugoslavia has meant Marshall Tito giving the finger to the Soviets, Montenegro as the birthplace of Nero Wolfe as well as the setting for one of his most interesting adventures, and finally, the most ridiculous automobile the world has seen since the three-wheeled Messerschmidt.
Like everybody else, I’ve been pretty unhappy that people in the remnants of Tito’s jackbooted stomping grounds haven’t been able to get along with each other. I knew they’d been pretty artificially jammed together at the end of World War I, an arrangement almost Clintonian in its arrogant stupidity. I knew that they’d been held together by the brute force of an almost Clintonian police state until recently. I’d watched the way Czechoslovakia quite peaceably became Czecho and Slovakia and wished the Newgoslavians could do it the same way.
Before you knew it, while the rest of the world was celebrating what looked like it was gonna be freedom by beheading countless thousands of statues of Lenin, the former people of that nation began beating up, raping, pillaging, and killing each other as if they’d fallen years behind schedule during the Tito regime and had to catch up.
It was ugly, it was stupid, and it was regrettable. But you know what? Never once did I imagine that it had anything to do with me. Or with you, for that matter. As a (now what’s the right expression, here?) student of Ayn Rand, I’ve always rejected the bald, unsupported assertion that I’m my brother’s keeper. But even if I didn’t, I think the brother that I’d most likely keep would live at least as close as Nebraska.
Or New Jersey.
But this was about Bill Clinton, wasn’t it? Look what we have in the absurdity department: the infamous Vietnam era draft-dodger and self-described loather of all things military, conducting what’s beginning to look like Johnson’s late, lamented war in southeast Asia by dropping ordnance on the Serbians in quantities rivaling those dropped on Hanoi during the bad old days of Barry Sadler and Joanie Phoney — and at the same time imitating Nixon by secretly sending in ground troops while publicly proclaiming he has no intention of doing so.
Remind me to call up the Fort Collins Peace Center tomorrow and ask them where the hell they are with their protest songs and picket signs.
Now what are we to make of all this? Clearly, much of it can be attributed to the now-famous “wag the dog” phenomenon. If you keep an eye on Matt Drudge’s wonderful website, you know that China, Inc.’s bagman Johnny Chung was never missing, he was just being hidden out in something like the witness protection program and is now eagerly ready (bulletproof vest and all) to vocalize like the proverbial dinosaur descendent. Combine that with the steadily increasing number of allegations of rape against a pitiful excuse for a man whose greatest crime (in the view of this child of the 60s) is giving oral sex a bad name.
What does it add up to?
I have a simpler (and sicker) explanation. Clinton, not very deep inside, is a cowardly pissant desperate to prove he’s a mensch by throwing away other people’s lives the same way liberals try to prove they’re charitable (they’re not, you know; they’re the meanest, tightest-fisted misers on the planet, and its worst racists, to boot) by spending other people’s money. This whole thing is nothing more than a disgusting little prick trying to buddy up to his classmates in PE.
Of course he’s carried overcompensation to a level that can hardly be called sane. That’s why my “exit strategy” for the Balkans (right after we crazy-glue Madeline Albright to Janet Reno and let them frighten each other to death) is to send the men in the white coats to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and let Algore take over for the rest of the term.
Stupid is better than crazy.
Reprinted from No, No, Kosovo! No, No, Kosovo! for May 30, 1999
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