US Senate In Total Disgrace -
And Loving It
by Norman Liebmann
History is not famous for being kind, but it has shown its mercy in allowing the Founding Fathers not to be witnesses to the Senate's dishonor. The Senate has demanded and will find its rightful place in the bowels of ignominy. Its members were charged with determining whether two hundred pounds of out-of-control erectile tissue should continue to degrade the office of the Presidency. Only among this gaggle is this a matter with nuances. One finds it reasonable the designation "Senate" derives from the Latin word "senility." Being a Senator is a kind of on-the-job-retirement, a category for which the AARP has printed no brochure.
If the Clinton trial were a mystery movie, Americans would already have walked out. The entire nation knows "who dunnit?" but the Senate is still going through the motions of trying not to find out. (Now you know why film smells that way when they burn it.) With the verdict not yet in, Clinton has promised the Senate he will not gloat. It is an insult so gross, we can only expect the Senate will do everything within its authority to deserve it.
It is admirable to have the courage of your convictions. Lamentably, this Senate has the convictions of its courage. It is a white O.J. jury bent on Constitution-nullification. The question is no longer, do Clinton's crimes rise to the level of impeachment, but why can't the Senate rise to it. The sham trial of William Jefferson Clinton will be remembered as "The Cop Out at the O.K. Corral."
Fear is the crazy glue that binds these solons together. You know there is some inner fortitude lacking when the Senate starts each session by reciting "The Cringe of Allegiance." The legend above the Senate chamber's door should read, "Through these portals pass the most pompous mice in the world." This is a Senate that would be congenial to the politics of ancient Rome at its most decadent, and they are ready to treat the nation to an epic convulsion of conscience. In a supposedly open society this Senate wheels and deals behind closed doors more than Mafia; just one of the many devices it uses to exhaust Americans beyond caring. If the Senators do not act with integrity it's because he have none to act with.
The U.S. Senate likes to call itself "the world's greatest deliberative body." Apparently, it does not discern a disparity between "deliberative" and "hesitant." The Senate is a Home for the Chronically Indecisive, Incontinent, and Integrity Bereft. It's members have a foxhole mentality, and when they saw this coming, they jumped in and pulled the hole in after them. Their natural state is one of intellectual vapor lock. Hence, they have never encountered a problem it felt couldn't be "waited out."
The rules of the game of cricket are more abstruse and convoluted than Einstein's time-space continuum, but simple pie compared to the rules of the Senate. (Characteristically, baseball is absurd to the "Brits" because its rules do not require each player to carry an umbrella.) Still, every Senator holds in reverence at least Rule 1 of Senate procedure. i.e.- "A Senator must keep talking until he thinks of something to say." The rest is embroidery. (In floor debates, most Senators prefer to debate themselves, which they feel gives them a "home court advantage.")
These Doges of the Senate's principal objective is to boost the chamber from a quaint talking shop to a cavernous hangar whose echo can make small talk sound like oratory. The actual discourse involves caressing each other with verbal peacock feathers, the extending of cheap courtesies, and stringing the Senate chamber with mucous compliments; in short, telling each other what a great bunch of guys they are. It's a cheap trick but it works for them. In truth, they lack the courage and integrity to insult each other, as properly they should, and they lack the wit. This last is unpardonable.
We are coming to the end of the Great Integrity Scavenger Hunt, to decide if the Senate has the guts to say Clinton's crimes reek to the level of impeachment. No one is surprised these political hacks, who spent all that time and money to get into the Senate, are now running for the hills. Ten seconds after they swore not to make up their minds before hearing all the evidence, their verdict was inscribed on asbestos and on its way to a Nevada landfill where it is sure to create an environmental hazard. Sir Thomas More, Robert Bolt's "man for all seasons", took a trip to the chopping black for embarrassing King and Council with his indefectible character. As none in this clutch possesses More's qualities, no Senator will suffer the same fate (irrespective of how much it would improve his appearance.)
At this writing the Senate is considering a "bi-furcated verdict." Nobody knew what a bi-furcated verdict was until Barney Frank explained, it's someone who "furcates" both ways. (The White House considers Frank their "stand up guy", because it hurts whenever he sits down.) The Senate's selective reading of the Constitution tells them, crimes and misdemeanors have to be high and that it doesn't say anything about them being plentiful. If Bill Clinton's removal is not in order because "it's just about sex", the appropriate punishment is not censure, but castration. After conducting a trial without witnesses, there is not much more contempt the Senate can bring down on itself. Presently, it wallows in a moral bog and finds the ooze congenial.
Here are a few of the principal characters that bring dishonor to that institution as it fumbles to a finish:
SENATOR ORRIN HATCH Senator Hatch brings to mind the words of that world-class neurotic, Oscar Levant, who said, "Once I make up my mind, I'm full of indecision." Hatch made up his mind about Clinton impeachment a long time ago, but he can't remember which way. A tower of uncertainty, he has taken more positions than are shown in the Kama Sutra. Hatch exercises the kind of exquisite caution employed by Edward Scissorhands when he's trying to masturbate.
SENATOR TRENT LOTT Lott is Bill Clinton's pigeon. Democrats love Lott the same way gamblers love a bookmaker who can't win a bet. It was their Majority Leader who convinced the Republicans they would have a better chance in the game of politics if they were not dealt any cards. Lott's cowardice has spread through the Senate like a pox. By his laxity and disconnected handling of Janet Reno's cover up and collusion with the criminal activities of the White House, Lott segued from derelict to complicit. He has allowed the personification of Justice, the lady with the blindfold and the scales, to be run back in time to when it was a fat cop stealing apples off a pushcart. A radarscope picked up a basic truth in the approach pattern of the Senate, but Lott hastily scaled the Capitol Dome in time to give it a wave-off. If Lott has any future in Republican politics it is as a cuspidor. The Democrats are asking the Senate to vote on whether or not the Republican Party should be disbanded. The Washington media is betting Lott will vote "Present."
SENATOR JOSEPH LIEBERMAN People as far as North Carolina can tell the Senate has gone into session when they hear the sound of Senator Lieberman's knees buckling.
SENATOR JOHN KERRY Had they been exposed to Kerry's political philosophy, the Minutemen of Lexington and Concord would claim they were mercenaries from Puerto Rico. Kerry married well, and that remains the only thing he is ever likely to do well.
SENATOR DANIEL PATRICK MOYNIHAN Moynihan saves his more profound irrelevancies for Meet the Press, as Tim Russert is his creature. In the last episode of Dan and Tim Go to Washington, Moynihan revealed, he did not know whether Bubba is guilty but he's sure Buddha was Irish. Russert, NBC's altar boy-in-residence, works at being likeable, knowing, should he ask anything pertinent, he will be choked off from the sources of his misinformation. His emasculated approach to newsgathering has made the Meet the Press interview akin to being wheedled by Little Goody Two Shoes on Quaaludes. The interview invariably begins with Moynihan saying, "Ask me whatever you like, Tim - just as long as it isn't about anything", and then they go on to discuss whatever it is leprechauns like to talk about.
SENATOR TOM HARKIN Harkin made a big "to do" about whether he should be called a juror or a judge, ignoring the real question; Is trying Bill Clinton a job for a Senator or a janitor? Harkin lacks the integrity or intellect to be either.
SENATOR ARLEN SPECTOR Specter has passed not knowing what he's doing, having lost sight of what it was it was he was trying to do.
SENATOR CHARLES SCHUMER Charles Schumer, anti-gun fanatic, has all the self-preservation instincts of a trustee in a concentration camp. He would have disarmed the Jews to make sure they couldn't sneak out of Buchenwald at night and "knock over" a liquor store. What a shmuck.
SENATOR ROBERT TORRICELLI The weaseling and furtive Torricelli keeps gnawing away at the roots of the Constitution. Having him represent your interests in Washington is approximate to trusting Fredo Corleone to keep an eye on your wallet.
SENATOR FRANK R. LAUTENBERG Lautenberg is Torricelli's New Jersey accomplice, His officious manner suggests he would have made a great sidewalk kibitzer at the building of the Tower of Babel. Asked by a gawking apostate, "Do you think it will offend God?" he would reply, "Gonna need more mortar."
SENATOR TOM DASCHLE Daschle's abrasive manner and dogged pushiness is said to be motivated by an inferiority complex. It is not a complex. He is genuinely inferior.
SENATRIX BARBARA BOXER As Clinton's number one poodle in the Senate, she has been trying to characterize his exposing his genitals as an act of "refreshing candor." Likely, Satan knew what he was about when he sent Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, two viragos, to afflict California and the nation. Boxer is "Rosemary's Senator"; though it is impractical to believe anyone would leave Hell for a chance to impregnate her. I do not wish to imply she is unattractive, but the last time I saw anything that looked like Boxer a dermatologist was about to excise it.
SENATRIX DIANNE FEINSTEIN Feinstein is a meddlesome presence of Biblical proportions, even to forcing her way aboard the space shuttle after its return to Earth, to make sure none of the male astronauts left its toilet seat in the up position. The simple-witted Ms. Feinstein holds that Clinton is "good on women's issues" because he always puts a woman on a pedestal before he rapes her. She also feels he is coming from the right place on racial issues, promoting Clinton as a latter day Robin Hood who robs from the rich and gives to the blacks. His quiver stuffed with welfare checks and grants, he won their political fealty as the hero of Sherwood Ghetto. (Clinton always knows where to get money for this purpose. As he alluded in his State of the Union message, after he gets through looting the U.S. Treasury, he's going to get a crowbar and "jimmy open" Switzerland.)
One wonders how Boxer and Feinstein, who are of the Hebrew faith, feel when they visit the White House, which Clinton has made into his Berchtesgaden-on-the-Potomac. Sadly, they cannot be confronted by the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust and who doubtless would like them to explain why they are giving Clinton and his fascism another chance.
SENATOR TEDDY KENNEDY After the Chappaquidick incident in which Mary Jo Kopechne lost her life, Teddy did not send flowers, but just carved another notch in his steering wheel. Knowing his record, the state troopers have reserved a parking space for him at every sobriety checkpoints. He failed his last test when he couldn't pronounce Massachusetts. The caretakers at Arlington Cemetery, fearing an explosion, never let Teddy exhale anywhere near his brother's Eternal Flame.
SENATOR JOSEPH BIDEN Biden, long in therapy for delusions of oratory, suspects his condition has worsened after losing a debate to a Republican in a coma.
SENATOR JOHN GLENN Colleagues believe, Glenn returned from his space shuttle flight having gotten some of that outer space permanently stuck between his ears.
SENATOR CARL LEVIN The follicle-impaired Carl Levin has only four strands of hair left, three of which are in extremis. These hirsute stragglers that run across his head to connect his ears seem embarrassed to be there. The manner in which his barber has arranged them to disguise his hair loss will go down in tonsorial history as "Pompadour's Last Stand." He should ask the Justice Department to do something about his balding pate. If Janet Reno can't cover it up, nobody can.
SENATOR ROBERT BYRD Senator Byrd comes from a small town in West Virginia, located more up the creek than down in "the holler." He is the self-appointed Senate Historian, whose function it is to sit on his ass in an easy chair and just let history wash over him. It's not as easy as it sounds. It's easier. Considered an oratorical spellbinder, the mellifluous tremolo of his voice has been explained by doctor who diagnosed, "Senator Byrd has always had a frog in his throat and recently the frog brought along a friend."
Byrd is the hood ornament of a Senate in which all the members are older, but not wiser than each other. Though his rural intellect is in advancing dilapidation, he is said to be the guy who most represents the mindset of the Senate. If there is really an age at which people are supposed to "know better", at 81 Robert Byrd still hasn't reached it.
Byrd has stated his belief (especially since the President already confessed to it) that Clinton is guilty, but suspects some terrible retribution will be visited on him if he votes accordingly. Consider the grotesquerie of being 81 years old and still insecure about your future. Recently, his prostate won third prize at an antique show. If Byrd were a racehorse they would have shot him twenty years ago. Byrd also has moved for adjournment. At 81, what more does this man have to lose? The mellifluous tremolo is over, but the sanctimony lingers on.
THE ARKANSAS ADULTERER What is it the Senators find so redeeming in Bill Clinton that they are willing to let him dishonor his office and savage the Constitution? Is it that smug leer of Damian as a Boy Scout winning his merit badge for Satanism? Is it his resemblance to Dudley Do-right after taking a bribe? Is it that smirk of a teller who has just hoodwinked the bank examiners? How do they rebuke someone with so many winsome traits? Clinton is impossible to insult. Call him a communist, he says, "Thank you." A woman screams "Rape!" and he considers it as an invitation. His high school softball team voted him The Boy Most Likely to Throw the Game. There is still much ambivalence about Clinton, even now in his native Arkansas, where people confide, "We didn't like him, even when we liked him." (Arkansans began to distrust Bubba after he started showing off by wearing shoes.)
For all Clinton's mawkish bleating about "caring", he doesn't. He regards the average person with the same detachment as an undertaker - just another client he doesn't have to please. His crocodilian boohoo-ing about people's wellbeing is like the media's small craft warnings. It falls into perspective after you ask yourself whether Peter Jennings really gives a shit if you drown. As for their "hard-sell" advertising of the Clintons' love of "the chil'run", well - Chelsea is their only child. (Bill and Hillary ate the others.)
A compulsive hypocrite, Clinton must cloak his crimes with mitigating circumstances and self-exonerating "spin" - like a holdup man who levels a gun at the cashier at a box office and says, "I didn't enjoy the movie. Give me everybody's money back." (Hillary, of course, possesses the same streak of shifty enterprise. If she worked in a tollbooth, the Golden Gate Bridge would be hiding its other set of books.)
Nobody actually eyeballed what transpired between Bubba and Monica, but the circumstantial evidence was overpowering. Each time Monica left the Oval Office, the air in it was so moist, the Secret Service men couldn't get their knuckles to crack. Clinton still insists what went on wasn't sexual. He was just trying to adjust the thong of Monica's bikini, after she complained it was following her too closely.
Hoping to get off the hook, the Senate has hoped some administration insider would come forward à la John Dean, knowing well it would never happen. If one aide in the White House suddenly turned honest, it would be tantamount to a full-scale mutiny. Nor did the Senate turn up "the smoking gun" even though they knew Bubba still keeps it in the same place as he did when he showed it to Paula Jones in a hotel room in Little Rock (small caliber, but it still smokes.)
Punishment? None. Contrition? You've got to be kidding! Clinton is a man of pulp, capable of feigning emotion, but incapable of feeling it. The only exception came with the news a Congressman has proposed sculpting Ronald Reagan on Mount Rushmore, which must have felt to Bubba like he was having his hemorrhoids removed with a grappling hook. It was an unexpected jolt in light of a reliable prediction he would be next. (His legacy Czar, Sid Blumenthal, is said to have received a fax from Nostradamus.) If Bill Clinton is added to Mount Rushmore he will be the President wearing a ski mask.)
In the Catholic faith it is said, "Act as if you have faith, and faith will be given to you." The Senate's contortion of that is - act as if Clinton is beyond retribution and that's how he'll beat the rap. This misplaced clemency over the last six year confirms - crime pays! And when the Ken Starr and his bloodhounds get too close, Bubba hops aboard Air Force One to do mischief abroad, or slithers into a helicopter to take his ease at Camp Judas.
This Senate has found it necessary to function as a rubberstamp Reichstag. Hitler couldn't get the German Reichstag to be as compliant as Bill Clinton has made the Senate - so he burned it. The dispossessed representatives met one last time in an open field and voted a resolution saying the torching of their assembly hall did not rise to the level of high flames and conflagrations. The rest is history. So it is with this clique in the upper chamber. Had they been in Parliament instead of the Senate, we'd be viewing films of Hitler in an open car tooling around Trafalgar Square, and dropping his lederhosen for young secretaries on their way to Whitehall. This Senate apparently does not remember the fifty million who lost their lives, a continent devastated and only the Marshall Plan preventing Europe from becoming another Arkansas - the fallout from exonerating a tyrant.
The thinking is, Clinton's crimes are too heinous to be absolved by the clergy so they must be endorsed by the Senate. Being politicians, they admire his skills of treachery and bribery, his appetite for deference and ceremony, and the daring of his on-site depravity. He's already been called dirty names by seafaring men and others who can swear far more eloquently than me. So, I will just say, after a marriage filled with drunken abuse, the birth of Bill Clinton was his father's final insult to his mother - and the nation.
The Senate hates criticism but is eerie in its ability to provoke it. It has inspired the Internet to become an underground, no less dedicated than the Maquis who fought the Nazis in France, and made it as noble and as dedicated a cause. Whether in Arkansas or the Ardennes, fascism is fascism. To believe Clinton will be gone in two years is a naive assumption. Linda Blair will tell you evil is no respecter of eviction notices. Clinton already has his White House Nazi moles at work undermining the 22nd Amendment. This is sure. In two years Clinton will be two years more ambitious and arrogant, and the Senate will be two years more craven and enfeebled.
As a Senator's mind is always vulnerable to habituation, one concludes, the Senate's affinity for Clinton is not affection, it's addiction. They don't like him, but they need his "fix" of demagogy and cynicism. The Senate has become a den of Clinton junkies. He is their narcotic, their aphrodisiac, their Brylcreem. The Senators need to inhale the fumes of his ordure, roll themselves in his sleaze of his lies and racism, and rub his gooey socialist pomade in their hair. The Senators want to keep his addictive charisma off the street and in the Oval Office where it belongs. Anxiously, they raise the question, "If we remove Clinton, who knows if we will get the same 'buzz' from his successor. Let's face it. Gore is not methadone. He's mud."
The symptoms of both cultures dovetail neatly. Clinton has made the Senate into "Needle Park", distributing used hypodermics with dirty needles, leaving the Senate susceptible to infections for which The New England Journal of Medicine will have to dream up new, soon to be dreaded Latin names.
Like "druggies", the Senators must addict the rest of America, because junkie's need corroboration - if not the ensuing epidemic. Like all "trippers", they rationalize, in two years their addiction to Clinton will be over and promise they will "kick the habit" then - a promise all "hop-heads" make over and over again. As we do with those in chemical dependency, we will say the Senate's "Clinton- dopers" are just "sick", and need our help, presumably in the form of anther expensive government program which they themselves will vote to fund. (They don't care if they have our scorn, as long as they have our money.)
The Clinton narcotic will wear off and require the Senate to take increasing doses of White House hypocrisy to stay "high." The next step is increased dosage, a third term for Clinton and the Betty Ford Clinic, who have no idea in the world what they'd be in for. The Senate will no longer be Clinton junkies, but Clinton "pushers." The Democrats long ago made Clinton corruption their drug of choice. Those members of the House of Representatives may have to try once again to reform a Senate in "denial."
The Senate must kick the habit - now! The time for "get-along, go-along" is over. America cannot leave questions of war and peace, and right and wrong, to a hayseed Hitler and a Senate strung out on expediency. Common to all addicts, dependency and degradation have a weird kind of romance for them, and that is the cruelest part of their addiction. We'll know that has happened the moment Clinton "walks." If that occurs, these Senators can begin a fast that goes on until Doomsday, and they will not atone for their sin against the Constitution, the American people, and God.
One almost hears an anguished prayer for the Senate coming from Calvary Hill. "Forgive them, Father, for they know not who they forgive."
Norman Liebmann is a free lance political commentator and staff writer for Ether Zone Online! Published in the February 10, 1999 issue of Ether Zone Online! Copyright © 1999 Ether Zone Online ( Reposting permitted with this message intact. -------------- I knew of one corrupt, gutless, despicable, and unprincipled clod in high government places... I now know 101. DUMP the ENTIRE SENATE! -me The Patriot Resource Center: