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MAGOO YOU! Bossie pens the latest cartoon—and Blankley rushes to print it:

TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2003

FORGIVE OUR LATEST DELAY: It’s always sad to leave the lucidity of the comedy club and re-enter the province patrolled by THE HOWLER. Beyond that, we had to spend all day Monday repairing some technical problems. For that reason, we delay our conclusion to “Margaret’s choice.” Sorry. But we don’t want to rush.

THE UNITED STATES OF MAGOO: You live in a land of propaganda and cartoon. And as you know, in the pundit corps’ latest Official Cartoon, Hillary Clinton must be a Big Liar. Here’s the nugget passage from David Bossie’s recital in this morning’s Washington Times:

BOSSIE: In her book, Mrs. Clinton does not address many important questions from her time as First Lady. Those of us involved in the investigations are not surprised by her continued fabrications. But it is important to establish a record of those lies, so that her fantasy will not go unchallenged as she begins her own bid for the White House.
The cartoonist knows which key words to use. And he knows that there is nothing so foolish that it can’t be fed to WashTimes readers. Believe it or not, this is Bossie’s first example of Clinton’s “fabrications” and “lies:”
BOSSIE (continuing directly): Fiction: Mrs. Clinton falsely claims that the Whitewater Independent Counsel exonerated her and President Clinton and that the investigations didn’t amount to anything. Truth: Mrs. Clinton fails to mention Mr. Starr’s 12 Whitewater convictions, including the Clinton’s business partner’s [sic] Jim McDougal, who died in prison, and Susan McDougal, who refused to testify, former Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker and Mrs. Clinton’s Rose Law Firm partner and Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell.
Bossie adapts a long-established, dim-witted spin-point. Clinton mysteriously “fails to mention” those twelve convictions recorded by Starr.

To start with the obvious, Bossie seems to be lying; every one of the convictions he lists is described and discussed in Clinton’s book. (For example, the McDougal-Tucker trial is described in her chapter, “War Zones.”) We all understand the caliber of a man like Bossie, but why on earth would Tony Blankley put such blatant misstatements into print? But moving beyond Bossie’s requisite lying, the sheer absurdity of his hoary old spin-point surely speaks for itself. Hubbell was convicted of stealing from the Clintons, and the Starr team eventually determined that McDougal had defrauded the Clintons. Later, Bossie offers another of the cartoonish “fictions” he attributes to Senator Clinton:

BOSSIE: Fiction: Mrs. Clinton tries to distance herself from Mr. McDougal and the Whitewater business venture. Truth: There were eleven loans and numerous fraudulent financial transactions completed to benefit Whitewater, including one loan to Mrs. Clinton from Mr. McDougal owned Madison Bank. Jim and Susan McDougal were both convicted for a series of fraudulent loans, including one to Bill Clinton, which was only discovered by happenstance after a tornado hit an abandoned car.
Times readers will never know how thoroughly they are being misled. In fact, it was the Starr team which “distanced” the Clintons from Whitewater. During his summation at that McDougal trial, Starr prosecutor Ray Jahn said this:
JAHN: The President of the United States is not on trial. Why isn’t the President of the United States on trial? Why isn’t he on trial? Because he didn’t set up any phony corporations to get employees to sign for loans that were basically worthless. He didn’t get $300,000 from Capital Management like Jim and Susan McDougal did by falsely claiming their use…The President didn’t backdate any leases. He didn’t backdate any documents. He didn’t lie to any examiners, he didn’t lie to any investigators.
Say what? Bossie knows about that, so does Blankley. But Times readers? They’re marks. They will never be told.

But then, you live in the United States of Magoo, where cartoonists simply lie in your faces. Remember—here in Washington, ruining people is considered sport. The very nature of American civilization is at stake as these weird men wield their power.

TOMORROW: Part 4, “Margaret’s choice.”

FAT AND FLABBY DOESN’T CUT IT: In the United States of Magoo, all stories must fit the Prevailing Cartoon. Last week, we saw Margaret Carlson airbrush away Bill Clinton’s Rhodes Scholarship so she could portray him as “undisciplined and flabby.” Amusing, too, was her account of Clinton’s 1974 run for Congress:

CARLSON (page 148): He said he was the most talkative kid at school, and who would doubt it? Not one to crack the books, he nonetheless did well. Things that didn’t come easily, he took a pass on. In high school, friends say he was too undisciplined and flabby to play sports, so instead he played sax in the band. He skated through college, borrowed Hillary’s notes at Yale Law, and lost his first political race because he ran an uneven campaign.
Too undisciplined and flabby to succeed, Clinton “ran an uneven campaign.” In fact, Clinton—just turned 28 years of age—ran a difficult uphill race against Paul Hammerschmidt, a popular incumbent in a Republican district. And he lost the race by an eyelash. In his award-winning Clinton biography, First in His Class, David Maraniss somehow failed to see how poorly Clinton had done:
MARANISS (page 337): The staff talked about challenging the election results, but Clinton chose not to. He realized that he had won for losing. His race was the most talked about contest in the state. He had become the darling of the Democratic party by taking on Hammerschmidt and coming within two percentage points of defeating him, by far the best showing any opponent had ever made against him.
In fact, Clinton’s performance made him The Man. His performance suggested what was to come. But remember: In the United States of Magoo—as in Pravda—every event must fit the cartoon. Rhodes Scholarships are airbrushed away. So are impressive early campaigns. Remember: Your culture is run by cartoonists and clowns. They tumble from the Volkswagen bus daily. And who will be willing to stop them?

The Daily update

KRISTOL CLEAR: Would any pundit ever dare say it? We wondered if any pundit would ever say how bizarre the Gray Davis recall is. Finally, someone did state the obvious. And that someone, of course, had to be Bill Kristol, speaking on Fox News Sunday. We congratulate Kristol for his frankness. Of course, no “liberal” pundit would ever dare say it. They’d be taking a major chance—they might lose their air time and meal money:
KRISTOL: One of the things that makes us a constitutional democracy and not a banana republic is regularly scheduled elections, I do think. And I do think that’s eroding now. You have people, and also candidates, once they’re nominated, standing for election.

The Torricelli pullout last November was, I think, very indicative of a certain kind of, “Well, hey, our guy’s losing, let’s just replace him on the ballot.”

This, frankly, though, is the flip side of it. I mean, this is—you know, they reelected Davis just last November. There’s been no great—you know, he hasn’t done anything personally impeachable, so to speak. He’s just a bad governor.

So now they want to have a recall election one year after the election? It is not a good sign for American politics.

Surely, the absurdity of this recall is plain on its face, for the reasons Kristol stated. But don’t expect Mara Liasson to notice. It fell to Kristol to state the obvious, while trembling “liberals” ducked and covered. By the way, we would compare the Davis recall to the Clinton impeachment and the Texas redistricting. But you’ll never hear such comparisons voiced in Pundit Land, because trembling “liberals” are too afraid to say what is plain on its face. To all appearances, many other puzzling pundits have made Margaret’s famous choice.