NRO's Byron York takes a trip down memory lane today, noting that Vincent Foster would have been 64 today had he not committed suicide in 1993, apparently, over pressures linked to the Clinton White House Travel Office scandal. Byron writes:
The Travel Office affair was a serious matter, one that warranted serious investigation and one that should have resulted in people in the Clinton administration losing their jobs. It was an outrage that Billy Dale, the longtime Travel Office head, was prosecuted. (He was almost instantly acquitted.) But Foster's suicide put it all in a pretty terrible perspective.
And even though the scandal went on for quite a while, it seems very long ago now, especially when you look at all the Clinton types who are playing enormously important roles in today's affairs. Hillary Clinton — who the independent counsel concluded gave "factually false" testimony on the Travel Office firings — is going to become Secretary of State. Her husband is an international statesman. John Podesta runs an influential think tank and has orchestrated the Obama transition. George Stephanopoulos is sitting in David Brinkley's chair at ABC News. And Vince Foster has been dead for 15 years. Make of it what you will.
Of course, Byron has committed Faux Pas Numero Uno. No one, least of all a reporter, is ever, ever supposed to mention Vince Foster, Mrs. Clinton's "factually false" testimony, or any other black spots on the Clinton escutcheon. Such facts are effectively verboten. Make of that what you will.
I make of it that we are a fast-sinking (sunken) culture of corruption. The Clintons, having brazened out scandal after scandal unshamed and unbowed, provided a transformative impetus to this culture. Their legacy is shamelessness. And their legacy is also silence about the shamelessness--omerta, Arkansas-style.
Worth noting is that Mrs. Clinton's one vote on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee opposing her nomination to Secretary of State this morning came from Sen. David Vitter, Louisiana Republican, who himself brazened out revelations about his patronage of a DC prostitution ring. Good for him. Not for brazening it out, but for voting no on Madame--Secretary, that is. Of course, his no-vote was due only to the vast and varied conflcts of interest posed by Bill's chronic fund-raising from world despots to float his vanity-foundation, which I wrote about last week here and here. Nothing about her past--or their past--so much of which should disqualify them both from ever holding the public trust.
But apparently not.