THE JUDEVINE MOUNTAIN EMAILITE, #2, 10 January 1999

Dear Emailites,

EMAILITES. . . have we finally found The Lost Tribe of Israel?

For those of you who didn’t see and hear the following items:

From THE BOSTON GLOBE, the Sunday before Christmas, I think, this letter from Mo Lotman of Somerville:

“Let me get this straight:

“If I’m the president and I cheat on my wife and then try to hide it, I get impeached. However, if I create a secret government, illegally sell arms to our nation’s enemy, then use the profits to fund a right-wing military coup in Central America, deliberately circumventing the will of Congress, and then lie about it later, I get an airport named after me.

“No wonder Americans are morally confused.”

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From NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO’S ALL THINGS CONSIDERED for 7 January. An interview with: Dubra Lazard.

Dubra Lazard: “Moral indiscretions are not impeachable, and I think that in the past people’s personal sexual peccadilloes have always been treated that way, and then it comes out 50 years after they are out of office. And I think this should have been treated that way too. I got more than I needed to know about something that was to me a personal moral failure.”

Noah Adams: “What about the issue of perjury? As you know there are people in prison right now on charges of perjury.”

Dubra Lazard: “Yes, and they had to dig like ferrets in order to find enough people who were actually serving time for perjury in order to parade them before . . . you know, to convince the American people that in fact people are tried for perjury. If you think about the O.J. Simpson case with that police officer who lied over and over and over. He’s not serving any time for perjury, and that was in a criminal kind of thing, but he perjured himself; it was a big deal about his perjury and for some reason he could not be tried for the perjury.”

Noah Adams: “You’re speaking of Mark Furman.”

Dubra Lazard: “Mark Furman. That’s Mark Furman, that’s who it is. He was not tried for perjury. Everybody talked about it and just sort of dismissed it that, well, you know, rarely do people serve time for perjury or face charges for perjury.”

I can only go by speech patterns and intonation, this was a radio interview, and I know plenty of black folks who don’t “sound” black, but I’ll lay money Dubra Lazard is African-American, proving once again that we white folks had better listen when our black brothers and sisters break it down for us, because they understand how the white world works–the essence and the mechanics of America–far better than we in our white privilege ever have or will.

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FRANK RICH in the NEW YORK TIMES for 9 January thinks we should go ahead and have it out, a nice long trial, a street fight until everyone is bloody and exhausted. He says, “A no-holds-barred trial, meanwhile, might actually be good for the country, . . . . Such a trial . . . might help resolve the unfinished 30-year-old culture war that has raged out of control since Mr. Clinton took office. The alternative — a perfunctory show trial — will only leave both sides at least as angry as they are now. So let Bob Barr, whose rage at Mr. Clinton led him to demand impeachment long before Monica and who sees this battle as ‘civil war,’ actually have his day in court.”

Maybe that’s not a bad idea. Let’s really have this civil war, this culture war, out in the open and go at it.

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And speaking of Bob Barr, in THE NEW YORK TIMES for 7 January, Bob Herbert in an OpEd piece points out that both Bob Barr, the most rabid right-winger on the House Judiciary Committee, and Senator Trent Lott have both been intimately connected to The Council of Conservative Citizens an anti-black and anti-homosexual group that is the reincarnation of the racist White Citizens Councils of the 1950s and 1960s.

Part of this culture war, civil war, is the prominence of women and blacks in the Clinton administration. Obviously the age of The Old White Man is coming to an end and Bill and Hillary Clinton seem to be the magnet for resentment surrounding this fact. All this is at the heart of this war and this impeachment.

Finally, I am getting increasingly irritated with the vocabulary the media, ESPECIALLY National Public Radio, uses to describe what is going on in Washington. This morning, Sunday, for example, NPR began it’s news broadcast with “Ceremony! Tradition! History! . . .” This careless and stupid use of vocabulary legitimizes an illegitimate process. It distorts the view of what is really going on which was better put by Richard Cohen in THE WASHINGTON POST for 5 January when he described what is going on in Washington as “a legislative putsch–a coup by the DeLay wing of the Republican Party . . .”

Enough for the moment. Please don’t quit writing to your senators, your papers, radio programs and so forth. This battle, this culture war, this civil war, is just beginning.

We’ve had 13 inches of snow in the last 24 hours here and the temperature is in the single numbers or below zero, so finally this winter it looks and feels the way it’s supposed to around here.

More, as you know all too well, anon.

David