Don't Leave Town, James

I've been watching too much television lately. I know I have, because all of a sudden I got the urge to become "empowered" and "proactive." All of this led to an overwhelming compulsion to "look inside myself" and find my "moral and spiritual center," which could prove to be a task of alarming possibilities.

I know I'm getting all this jargon from television, because I wouldn't read a book or magazine that promoted such jive; well, I do read Rolling Stone, but I have to skip over much of it. And besides, it's basically just a slick paper sandwich of advertisements anyway, nothing like the tabloid pulp of old that was "out there on the cutting edge," giving us Dr. Thompson at his zany best.

It seems Jann Wenner's youthful revolutionary zeal has been replaced over the years with a penchant for designer suits and corporate boardrooms. He has certainly empowered himself, which is I suppose the ultimate goal of someone in the magazine publishing business. It ain't wrong if it works. Or is it?

I got a kick out of something I was watching on television this past Sunday morning, a couple of things in fact. One was former Watergate counsel Sam Dash talking about James Carville's zany vendetta against independent Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr. On another show, Carville, Clinton's court jester and liberal social conscience, was waxing wild as only the "Ragin' Cajun" can, daring Congress to call him up on The Hill to raise his right hand and give his honest opinion about Starr and the whole parade of right-wingers, whom Carville believes have made it their life mission to see Bill and Hillary Clinton wasting away in a Federal country club.

Dash, along with some others on the Republican side of things, believes that Carville is treading on ground near unto an obstruction of justice charge. These folks say they think Carville has a right to say what he thinks about anyone, Starr included, so long as his rhetoric doesn't intimidate any of the Federal grand jurors currently probing allegations of Clinton wrongdoing. The conservatives have become a bit more alarmed lately because Carville has been talking about promoting an extensive advertising campaign designed to flush some smelly skeletons out of Starr's closet.

Carville, who officially resigned as a Clinton strategist back in 1994, apparently for the purpose of taking on the dogs of war and keeping his buddy Bill out of the (unofficial) fray, has a different opinion. He's inclined to believe that he has a Constitutional right to say what he wants about Starr or anybody else, obviously with the notion that what he says he can prove. He believes that Starr is a right-wing conservative hatchet man whose goal is not to get to the bottom of Whitewater, but to bury the Clintons.

In response to questions from journalists, Carville denied getting any sort of direction about his project from Bill Clinton. He tried to leave the impression that he and Clinton haven't discussed the matter, which I find hard to believe; Clinton refuses to address it himself, so it's not unusual that Carville is going to play dumb. He said only that he assumed the president went along with him, because he hadn't heard anything to indicate otherwise. If the president was displeased, he would know it, he said.

Somebody wondered why Janet Reno, who appointed a special prosecutor in the first place, is still around if Starr is out to simply do a number on Clinton. Our old Cajun buddy tap danced all around that one, obviously not wanting to step on anyone's toes, and more especially those of Slick Willie Clinton.

Maybe the Democrats should take a lesson from Richard Nixon, who didn't have any problem dealing with Archibald Cox back when that liberal special prosecutor was bugging him on Watergate. Nixon simply fired him.

If Bill Clinton is all that worried that Starr is out to do him in unjustly, he should follow Nixon's lead. And while he's at it, he can do the rest of us a favor and fire Reno, who's nothing but a deficit at this point anyway.

While I don't agree with James Carville about a lot of things, I like the guy. I don't want to see him leave the public eye and maybe I've got selfish reasons for that.

Carville is quick to point out that he's a strange looking guy, which may be one of the more true admissions he's ever made. I own a mirror too, and it dawned on me that long as James is around, I might not be the homeliest dude around.

Hang in there, James, I right there with you, buddy. We odd looking fellows have to stick together, to heck with our political differences.

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