Historians over the coming years will be very interested to learn who was writing Bill Clinton's speeches for him in the days following the blast in Oklahoma City.
Perhaps Hillary is the likeliest culprit; stylistically at least, they bear a certain similarity to the temper tantrums she treated everybody to when her national health-care schemes fell through. More than anything, since the moment Clinton first tried to use the Oklahoma City explosion as a bludgeon on his political enemies -- and failed -- his public pronouncements resemble the embittered maunderings of the psychotics you see stumbling along big city streets.
It's vital to understand what really happened here. Acting as a kind of national psychic travel agent, with Oklahoma City as a one-way ticket, Clinton and his cronies planned a long, elaborate collective guilt trip for everybody -- everybody -- in the past couple of years who ever thwarted their socialist ambitions. However with the absurd, undignified exception of a handful of especially pusillanimous Republicans (Robert Dornan blackened his oath as a military officer and U.S. Congressman by declaring that he opposes the repeal of Clinton's blatantly illegal rifle and magazine ban, while Senator Orrin Hatch jumped on the occasion to weasel out of hearings on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Federal Bureau of Investigation) -- nobody came.
Hatch's lapse may prove the worst (if not the most disgusting) because, as The Wall Street Journal pointed out in a remarkable editorial just a few days into these particularly "interesting times", what the country needs most at the moment is justice, with regard not only to Oklahoma City, but to Waco, Ruby Ridge, and, others may add, less well publicized atrocities committed by the government (the name of Gordon Kahl comes to mind) over the last several decades.
Clinton thought that Oklahoma City would make it politically incorrect (or at least insensitive or unfashionable) to bring up Waco any more, and even that backfired on him. Thanks to his misguided and incompetent efforts, the national focus on Waco became tighter instead of more diffuse. People began asking themselves (and each other) why the lives of the children of federal bureaucrats should be any more precious than those of mere mortals. And by forcing the comparison, Clinton even managed to make Gordon Liddy look like a statesman.
Be that as it may, nothing is more pitiable than authority, successfully defied. Even with the dubious help of flunkies like Leon Panetta and Janet Reno (who, more and more with every passing day, seems to visualize herself, in her dull, bovine way, sitting in a glass box like Adolf Eichmann, answering the world's angry questions about Waco) none of these old-fashioned, formerly reliable liberal tactics was working for Clinton any more. Within just a few days, he was beginning to wail and moan and stamp his feet exactly like Rumplestiltskin.
And with exactly the same political effect.
Which is to say, none.
Perhaps the most heartening, historically important consequence of this ugly business will prove to be the long overdue and potentially formidable alliance -- in response to smugly bipartisan threats posed to the Bill of Rights by pending "anti-terrorist" legislation -- between the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Rifle Association. It will be equally interesting to learn the position taken -- especially on Waco -- by Amnesty International.
At the same time, it used to be observed of China that their possession of nuclear weaponry was not quite the threat it appeared because they lacked the missile know-how that went along with it -- in other words, they had no "delivery system". Speaking politically -- by which I mean, electorally -- the ACLU and the NRA have no such "delivery system", and neither does Amnesty International. But -- however tiny and insignificant it may be at the moment -- the Libertarian Party is nothing but delivery system, and due to Waco, Oklahoma City, and their aftermath, it may not stay tiny and insignificant much longer.
The gibberings and ravings of William Jefferson Clinton, while devoid of meaningful content, are nevertheless as momentous -- simply because they're occurring -- as the demolition of the Berlin Wall. While nothing for America in the 21st century is likely to be the same, in terms of politics, as it is now, thanks to Clinton (in an odd, perverse, backhanded way) it will be light years closer to something the Founding Fathers would recognize than we happen to be at this moment -- or have been, pretty much since the War between the States.
L. Neil Smith is the award-winning author of 19 books including The Probability Broach, The Crystal Empire, Henry Martyn, The Lando Calrissian Adventures, Pallas, and (forthcoming) Bretta Martyn and Lever Action. An NRA Life Member and founder of the Libertarian Second Amendment Caucus, he has been active in the Libertarian movement for 34 years and is its most prolific and widely-published living novelist.
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