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The Last Redoubt Left By: Lowell Ponte
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, May 27, 2003


SIDNEY BLUMENTHAL’S REPTILIAN BRAIN squirmed nervously as the talk host’s question lit up his hiding place.  Wasn’t it true that President Bill Clinton perjured himself?  You could see the fight-or-flight response in the Clinton apparatchik’s eyes, followed by the flick of his forked tongue.

“Well,” the former White House hatchet man responded, spitting venom, “he was answering questions that should never have been asked.”

Half a century ago, the Left seemed on the verge of conquering the world.  Within only a few decades the red banners of Marxism had swept across Russia, Eastern Europe, China, and the northern reaches of Korea and French Indochina.

But by May 2003 the Soviet Union had disintegrated.  Russia was not only capitalist but also was leading the world towards the egalitarianism of flat taxation.  Eastern Europe was free, with many of its nations joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and supporting the United States.  In China and Vietnam, making money had largely replaced Marxist ideology. Only North Korea retained the socialist fervor of Blumenthal, but its famine-plagued totalitarian society was a failure by any measure and its dictator of the proletarians was a certifiable megalomaniac and madman.

“By the year 2025 there will be only two True Believer Marxists left in the world,” prophesied the great international economist Gary Bauer, “and they will be two nuns in Brazil.”

And now “Sid Vicious” Blumenthal and his Leftist ilk have been reduced to saying: “Don’t question us.  Don’t look at us.  Just take on faith everything we tell you and do as we say.  It’s your fault if your questions force us to tell you anything untrue.”  This pathetic pose is the Left’s last redoubt, its last toehold on political power.

It was a surreal pose for someone flogging The Clinton Wars, an utterly unbelievable whitewash of Clinton sins and shortcomings for which Leftist publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux reportedly paid a $750,000 advance to this slithering socialist defender of wealthy Clintons and, he would tell you, the poor.

“Politicians need to be more honest about lying,” says political scientist Glen Newey of the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

“Politics,” he says, “should be regarded as less like an exercise in producing truthful statements and more like a poker game.  And there is an expectation by a poker player that you try to deceive them as part of the game.”

No, this revelation that politicians lie was not published in the scientific journal of the obvious, Duh.  Dr. Newey’s study was funded by the United Kingdom’s prestigious Economic & Social Research Council.

“When journalists or parliamentary colleagues start to probe at that area which the government wants to keep secret,” writes Newey, laying out the most disturbing aspect of his analysis, “you are more likely to be pushed further and further toward the territory of lying.”

In other words, if politicians such as Bill Clinton lie, the fault is not theirs but ours.  The sin is in our questions – “questions that should never have been asked,” in Blumenthal’s arrogant phrase – that require politicians to concoct false or misleading answers. 

“Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies,” goes the old saying, now given new meaning by the serpentine, Orwellian twists of Dr. Newey and Sid Blumenthal.

“The more the electorate expects from the politicians they elect, the more likely it is that politicians will be economical with the truth,” says the euphemistic Dr. Newey. “Such deception where it is in the public interest may be the price of a healthy democracy.”

This begs the question: apart from rare instances of national security secrets, when is a politician’s falsehood, deception and dissimulation ever “in the public interest?”  This columnist naively thought that in a democracy it was for the public, not some secretive elite, to decide what was in “the public interest.”  Who rules here – politicians or the people?  (Didn’t we settle this question in 1776?)

What do votes mean in a democracy if the voters make their decisions based on falsified information or the ignorance resulting from hiding information, where consent of the governed comes from concealment by the government?  (The Federal Trade Commission can punish a business that lies in its advertising, but Congress exempted the ads of politicians from any such requirement to tell the truth.)

Two things would disgust people if they saw close-up what goes into making them – “sausages and laws” – said Prussian Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck during the waning days of his decaying government. Would we be better off if we saw what offal goes into our sausages, or what filthy politics kept the likes of a Bill Clinton in power?  Dr. Newey thinks not.

“Demands for openness and accountability create a culture of suspicion which makes it even more likely that politicians will resort to evasion and misrepresentation,” Newey writes. “These demands often arise because of increasing alienation by voters from the political process that they democratically control. Yet the greater the demands for truthfulness, the less autonomy we give to our democratic institutions and the harder it is for democracy to function effectively.”

So what is Dr. Newey recommending?  “Discontent with democratic politics is both the cause and the consequence of political deception,” he writes. “Deception brings politics into disrepute, while politicians in their efforts to assuage popular disaffection impose on themselves unsustainably demanding standards of truth-telling.  Unless we are more honest about this, we are in danger of causing lasting damage to our democracy.”

In other words, both Newey and Leftist Democrats such as Blumenthal argue that we should accept behavior that cannot stand the light of day as politically acceptable. Politicians are scummy. Get used to it. And do not vote against them because of this. Their filth, dishonesty and corrupt deal-making is just “the price of a healthy democracy.”

This columnist is apparently old-fashioned.  I prefer to stand with Thomas Jefferson, the founding father of the Democratic Party, who said: “Never suffer a thought to be harbored in your mind which you would not avow openly. When tempted to do anything in secret, ask yourself if you would do it in public. If you would not, be sure it is wrong.”

It’s no wonder that Democratic Parties in the most Leftward states now declare it politically incorrect to celebrate their once-traditional Jefferson and Jackson Day dinners.

The Democrats have become a party that “dares not speak its name,” dares not to declare its now-socialist ideology and rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul schemes for social and racial redistribution of the nation’s wealth. 

Democrats now must lie. If seen by the American people in the light of truth, Democrats would be hard pressed to win even 20 percent of the nation’s votes. And so it is that Leftists now declare lying respectable, indeed necessary to a “healthy democracy.” 

Without such lies, people might become suspicious and stop supporting ever-bigger government.  Do you begin to see why Leftists have worked so hard for so many decades to control the levers of the national media?

The truth is, a government whose “mandate” depends on lying to and deceiving a majority of voters has no legitimacy.  A Democratic Party unwilling to come clean about what it really stands for, and what policies it would impose if returned to power, has no legitimacy. 

Moreover, when laws get made through backroom politicians’ deals to include each other’s pork spending and crooked provisions, said Nobel laureate economist Dr. Milton Friedman, the result is not “healthy democracy.”  It is bad laws and corrupt government.

“Political language,” wrote George Orwell, the author of the dystopian novel 1984,  “is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."

Such is the lying political language of Sid Blumenthal’s Sophistic new book to justify the Clintons and his behavior as their political bedfellow.  

Orwell understood, as the heartless Blumenthal and abstract Newey might not, that politics is not poker.

Poker is a game. Politics – the way of controlling and manipulating immensely powerful, intrusive, heavily armed governments – can kill people and shatter lives. Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party, to satisfy their own lusts for power, have done both with reckless abandon.

“I always thought that it was very clever of Clinton to make a mystery where none existed about when, and even where, he had touched Monica Lewinsky,” writes Christopher Hitchens in a must-read review of Blumenthal’s self-serving book in The Atlantic. “Since his denial was made partly under oath, and involved a legalistic definition even of certain orifices and appendages, it necessitated a minute inquiry. And this allowed Clinton’s defenders to paint his critics – his critics – as ‘obsessed with sex.’”

Hitchens, who was crucified in the Leftist press for honestly making public his personal knowledge of Sidney Blumenthal’s untruthfulness in Clinton’s service, continues: “It comes down to this: Clinton asserts to the present day that he was innocent of perjury because although he did ejaculate in the intimate presence of Monica Lewinsky, she derived no pleasure or excitement from the moment. Thus, by a sort of psychopathic reasoning, it wasn’t ‘sex’ at all. I think this one of the coldest and nastiest things ever said, and I believe it should call our attention to a crucial distinction.

“The President did not lie about sex, as Arthur Schlesinger in the pre-impeachment hearings assured us a gentleman is expected to do,” writes Hitchens. “He lied about, and defamed, women…. He had to say that the unfortunate but truthful females were liars, fantasists, job-seekers, and even blackmailers. Their veracity versus his voracity.”

Arthur Schlesinger “is probably not the man I would resort to for advice on sex or, indeed, on how to be a gentleman,” writes Hitchens.  Far from a “private matter,”  President John F. Kennedy’s affairs with an intern and others (unrecorded by sychophant-courtier-propagandist-idolmaker Schlesinger) opened JFK to potential blackmail by organized crime.  Bill Clinton’s telephone sexcapades with Monica reportedly were intercepted by a foreign nation’s intelligence operatives and in theory could have been used to blackmail him.

Blumenthal, who as a Clinton hit man walked almost daily on the stained carpet of the Oval Office, now incredibly writes that he didn’t know if Clinton had an affair with an intern.  It was not his, nor anybody else’s, place to ask the President.  “Everybody,” he now writes, “does something.”

What everybody, Blumenthal included, ought to do is re-read Christopher Hitchens’ book about the Clintons, No One Left to Lie To.  Those who wink at lying, forked-tongue politicians should not be surprised when they give us dishonest, reptilian government that nobody can rely upon or trust.

Mr. Ponte co-hosts a national radio talk show Monday through Friday 6-8 PM Eastern Time (3-5 PM Pacific Time) on the Genesis Communications Network. Internet Audio worldwide is at GCNlive .com. The show's live call-in number is 1-800-259-9231. A professional speaker, he is a former Roving Editor for Reader's Digest.

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