With Bill and Hillary, it's scandal du jour

Milton Bates

March 30, 1992|By Milton Bates

CAN this man ever be trusted?

Just when innocent Americans thought there was nothing more to be learned about Bill Clinton's sordid past, new, unsettling revelations come to light. Jerry Brown, that paragon of virtue, speaks of a "scandal a week." How right he is! Look for the following stories in weeks ahead:

1. Bill Clinton once cheered Willie Horton. On Oct. 3, 1968, in the second game of the World Series between Detroit and St. Louis, Horton, a pudgy Tiger outfielder, hammered a home run. The Arkansas governor-to-be, then a 22-year-old draft-dodger, was heard to to holler: "Way to go, Willie!"

2. Clinton often writes checks and, over the years, several may have bounced. Granted, there is no proof this occurred, but, to be scrupulously fair, can we be sure it did not? Only dyed-in-the-wool liberals would contend that there is no possible linkage here to the outrageous check-kiting scandal in the Democrat-controlled Congress. The press must expose the Arkansan's habit. This cunning politician claims to be close to the working stiffs of the country, yet he often fails to use good old American cash to pay his bills. Where is his patriotism?

3. The smooth-talking Democratic front-runner is known to have bought stamps at post offices and affixed them to letters. To continue this outrageous behavior in light of the House post office scandal would reveal the extent to which the duplicitous governor thumbs his nose at a trusting electorate. Sure, apologists will talk about the $300 billion savings and loan rip-off, the $4 trillion national debt (quadrupled since Ronald Reagan took office), but these are mere smokescreens. Besides, when did several wrongs make a right?

4. Hillary Clinton, who wants to be First Lady of the land, is said by reliable sources to have pulled the pigtails of a classmate while in elementary school. The attack occurred in the third grade and was unprovoked. Documentation, sadly, is no longer available. George Bush, a man of integrity, will not raise this charge in the campaign. But is it not directly relevant to a First Lady's capacity to be First Lady?

So-called logicians on the left might ask whether whispers about such conduct are fair. Millions, they may say, root for ballplayers, write checks, use stamps, pull pigtails. Ah, but how many are running for the nation's highest office? We can't be too careful. These allegations are but samples of the ready-to-drop shoes about which the press unceasingly warns should the Democrats be beguiled into choosing Clinton.

Please, ladies and gentlemen of the press, continue to do your job. Ask no questions about the commander-in-chief's past conduct -- about his fidelity, his sons' finances, his wife's behavior, while you rummage furiously through Clinton's shoe closet.

Milton Bates writes from Baltimore.

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