"IT was through the Declaration of Independence that we...

salmagundi

July 03, 1995

"IT was through the Declaration of Independence that we Americans acknowledged the eternal inequality of man. For by it we abolished a cut-and-dried aristocracy. We had seen little men artificially held up in high places, and our own justice-loving hearts abhorred this violence to human nature. Therefore, we decreed that every man should thenceforth have equal liberty to find his own level. By this very decree we acknowledged and gave freedom to true aristocracy, saying, 'Let the best man win, whoever he is.'

"Let the best man win! That is America's word. That is true democracy. And true democracy and true aristocracy are one and the same thing."

-- Owen Wister, "The Virginian"

* * *

THIS clarification of recent events comes by way of "Hotline," a compendium of political news put out each day by the American Political Network Inc:

"Rep. Dave Obey, D-Wis, won 'Quote of the Day' honors [recently] with, 'Most of us learned some time ago that if you don't like the president's position on a particular issue, you simply wait a few weeks.'

"Should Clinton worry?

"In January '92, Obey called Clinton a 'goddamn liar' for running TV ads against the congressional pay raise, claiming that Clinton told him months earlier that the raise was a good idea.

"Two months later, Obey endorsed Clinton in the Wisconsin primary, calling him 'the only candidate in the race who has a sound view of the kind of changes this economy needs.' "

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