Finally, a headline of my dreams: "Rand Paul: Democrats Should Be `Embarassed' To Be Seen With Bill Clinton."
In fact, the headline is stronger than Paul's actual statement -- Democrats "ought to be a little embarassed" -- but I'll gladly take it, and extend my heartfelt thanks and congratulations to Sen. Paul for being the first political leader I can remember (maybe ever?) to state the obvious: Bill Clinton, sexual predator and accused rapist, not to mention creator of the Chinese military threat (for campaign contributions), is a national disgrace, and, yes, Democrats -- Americans -- should be "embarassed" to be seen with him.
But the reality is they -- Americans generally -- celebrate Clinton, making him party convention keynoter (2012), reach for his coattails, scrap for his attention, his autograph, memorializing him as a perennial political rock star.
I became a columnist and editorial writer at the Washington Times (1999-2002) in the aftermath of Bill Clinton's December 19, 1998 impeachment -- I put out the flag to mark the occasion -- but the impeachment beat was still busy through the next election cycle. (See, for example, "Al Gore, enabler.") There was all sorts of fallout to wade through -- contempt of court, disbarment in Arkansas, disbarment at the US Supreme Court, etc. For a shining moment, Clinton was in disgrace -- eclipse, certainly -- and he only continued to disgrace himself (Madame continued, too) in ways important and petty, even after they were out the White House door (don't forget Pardongate, Giftgate.) On November 5, 1999, I even wrote a column headlined:
To shake or not to shake hands with Bill Clinton?"
You are at the White House. You are on a receiving line. You are face-to-face with Bill Clinton. You are also face-to-face with the president of the United States. Quick: Do you shake hands? In the peculiar atmosphere of post-impeachment Washington this is a recurring question of etiquette, the subject of heartfelt debate, if not direct action. ...
(As I recall -- the column's behind the Wash Times' paywall -- one conservative's solution was always to have his notepad in one hand and his tape recorder in the other.)
This is not about one man who was president. This is about moral balance. So long as Bill Clinton is celebrated and not shunned -- or, at least, not chastened into a more reclusive retirement, complete with marked reluctance to trespass on the generosity of others and thereby sully their reputations -- there is none.
The consequences of this moral vaccuum in society, however, affect more than one punkish predator's "legacy." This is the hollow center of our "world with without grown-ups," a metaphor I developed in my first book, The Death of the Grown-Up. That's where we live now, a landscape that would be unrecognizable to our forbears in every way, wholly undermined and remade by the subversive influence of amoral Marxism -- the first totalitarian wave. This "world without grown-ups" is only too well primed to submit to amoral Islam -- the second totalitarian wave. With the overlay of Islam on Marx, it is not only perpetual adolescence (Sodom and Gommarah, too) that is our future; unrebuffed, it is perpetual dhimmitude. The end is the same, though: We become subjects, not citizens.
From Chapter 9, "Men, Women, or Children?" of The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization:
...This should begin to explain why a world without grownups is such a dangerous place. I didn’t realize how dangerous it was a decade ago, when I first began thinking through the death-of-the-grownup theory. At the time, it seemed to culminate in a Bill Clinton, a presidential phenomenon whose tastes and behaviors, from fast food to quicky sex, were flash-frozen in a punky adolescence from which he never evolved. I thought the theory offered a novel, possibly useful take on the cultural shifts that had brought us up to the Clinton years, and a way to understand the era through its defining “death-of-the grownup” moment. This, I submit, took place on the very day the former president’s lewd liaison with an intern was revealed in some--not yet all--lurid detail. It was the day Bill Clinton thought he was a cooked goose. At least, as anyone who recalls his first filmed reactions to the Lewinsky scandal, he looked as though he thought he was a cooked goose. More important, he acted like one, doing everything he could from that point forward to cover up a scandal for which the American public, it turned out, had no intention of penalizing him. But Clinton didn’t know that. He didn’t know there would be no collective wrath--despite the best efforts of the “vast, right-wing conspiracy”--and not even a collective frown. The fact is, Bill Clinton, our first adolescent president, thought his country was more grown up than he was.
It wasn’t. The United States slouched its way through the 1990s--the decade Charles Krauthammer dubbed “our holiday from history”--as if to prove the point. Rather than censuring Clinton (as Clinton himself so obviously expected) the electorate acted more like a posse, circling the wagons around a man who had demeaned himself, his family, his office, and his country for all the world to see, including, of course, Osama bin Laden and his jihadist gangs of thugs.
It may have been our holiday from history, but it certainly wasn’t history’s holiday from us. On February 26, 1993, thirty-eight days into the Cinton era, the World Trade Center was bombed (killed 6, injured 1,000) by an Islamic network with ties to Al Qaeda and Iraq. On October 3-4, 1993, the debacle known as the Battle of Mogadishu took place, in which 18 American soldiers were killed; it is now believed to have had al-Qaeda participation. (It certainly drew al-Qaeda attention, with Osama bin Laden subsequently citing our retreat as a sign of exploitable weakness.) In 1995, the Clinton administration learned of an interupted plan by al Qaeda operative Hamzi Yousef (mastermind of the first WTC attack) to hijack 11 airlines and smash one of them into CIA headquarters in Langley, VA. On June 26, 1996, the Khobar Towers Barracks was attacked (killed 19 US servicemen, wounded 273) by Iranian-backed Hizbollah, quite possibly aided by al-Qaeda. On August 7, 1998 US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed (killed 220, injured 4,000) by al- Qaeda. On October 12, 2000 the USS Cole was attacked by al-Qaeda (killed 17 sailors, injured 39). Holiday from history? Looking back now on just some of the bloody milestones to jihad against the West, it’s becomes apparent that we, as a people, navigated the Clinton years in blinkers along an alternate route—a deep, dark tunnel marked, indeed, made by tawdry domestic scandal.
Byron York has highlighted the unmistakable Clinton-era pattern that pit scandal management against fighting terrorism. “Nannygate,” which brought down Clinton’s nominees for attorney general Kimba Wood and Zoe Baird, served as a distraction from the first WTC bombing; significantly, Janet Reno’s subsequent confirmation hearings to become attorney general never once mentioned the attack. When the Khobar Towers were blown up by Iranian terrorists, we were deep into “Whitewater” and “Filegate.” At the time of the twin embassay attacks in Africa, the focus was Monica Lewinsky and the blue Gap dress she didn’t take to the cleaners. Even as the administration was winding down at the end of 2000, when it came to the October suicide bombing of the USS Cole, negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, ultimately futile, “took the edge in preoccupying senior administration officials,” reported the Washington Post, because “it presented a broader threat to Clinton’s foreign policy aims”—i.e., The Legacy. As York summed up, “Whenever a serious terrorist attack occurred, it seemed Bill Clinton was always busy with something else."
From this perspective, the post-grownup president was a dangerous man. And from this perspective, the post-grownup world was a perilous place. No one, least of all the political class charged with national security, bothered to notice we were living in a period of resurgent Islam, an imperial faith now into a phase of jihadic expansionism for the first time since before the rise of European colonial empires in the 18th and 19th centuries. As the Europeans returned home from their empires in the 20th century, they were followed—or, rather they invited—their former subjects, many of whom were Muslim, into Europe. The resulting demographic shifts of Muslims into Europe in the last several decades were actually part of a strategic policy engineered by Euro-Mediterranean elites—oil for immigration, political power through political alignment--to compete with Superpower America by creating what Bat Ye’or has identified as “Eurabia.” The policy has led not to the Westernization of Islam in Europe, but rather to the Islamization of Europe--a process, Bernard Lewis told the German publication Die Welt in 2004, that will turn the continent Islamic by the end of this century. If true, this represents a tectonic shift in world history.
Even now, has post-grownup America noticed? What will it do about this? What should it do? What can it do to stop it? Or does it even want to? Does America need to take precautions against Islamization at home? (Yes.) Such questions may expose a widespread, sleepy ignorance, even impotence, but they are the questions of the century, and they must be addressed now. But who will address them?
The book came out in 2007. The questions are still unanswered.