DAVID’S NOTES:

>>> On Monday evening this week, a friend at National Public Radio emailed to say, “It’ll all be over by Thursday at 3:00 p.m.” Many of us in our naiveté thought that, I’d wager. Now it appears this thing will go on for at least two more weeks, maybe two more months.

The zealots can focus on something forever while the rest of us in order to keep fighting have to fight the additional battle of boredom and an odd kind of rage born of having to focus on something so stupid and partisan for so long.

The challenge for all of us now is to find the will to keep fighting. Rest assured the zealots on the Right Wing have no intention of quitting.

>>> In order to spur us on for yet another few weeks or months here’s the well known, yet worth hearing again, quote from Pastor Martin Niemoller, a Christian minister and a Nazi concentration camp survivor:

“First they came for the Communists and I did not speak out–because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Trade Unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

>>> As you will remember, in J.M.E. #7 Rachel Axelrod mentioned that David Duke is going to run for the seat vacated by deposed and disgraced Speaker-of-the-House-Designate Bob Livingston.

In an article by Wole Soyinka, Nigerian poet, novelist, critic and perhaps Africa’s most famous black playwright, plus the first African writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, called “The Burden of Memory, the Muse of Forgiveness” at , Soyinka talks about how David Duke has been courting Neo-Nazis in Germany and “a self-declared independent Free Boer Republic” of white racists in South Africa. Soyinka also mentions a southern woman who has given millions of dollars to white racists in South Africa to resist black majority rule.

THE JUDEVINE MOUNTAIN EMAILITE hopes to delve deeper into these connections in a future issue. In short, however, and for now, if anyone doubted that racism was at the heart of the Radical Right Wing’s agenda, the likes of Bob Barr, David Duke and their connections to these racists groups should make it clear once and for all.

>>> The issue here, to say it again, is not whether or not the President lied under oath or anywhere else, the issue is the ways in which the racist and a-number-of-other-ists Right Wing has pursued the Clintons for nearly a decade and how they have taken over the Republican Party and now control the Democratic agenda as well as the Republican agenda. To this end here are some comments by Lois Eby.

——————————-

THE RIGHT WING SNOWBALL

by Lois Eby (leby@sover.net)

From the beginning, I have been most concerned about the role of the right wing in the effort to “get” President Clinton. I do not see President Clinton as a great man, though I think he is a fascinating politician. In other words, he is not Dr. Martin Luther King (who also had affairs, as we know). Like John Kennedy–another philander who makes Bill Clinton look like Mary Poppins–there is much to admire and there are significant faults, though in Clinton’s case we know about them now, not 30 years later. But unlike John Kennedy, who was president at the time of a sea change for the better–the civil rights movement, for just one example–Clinton is president at a time of the growing power of the Right Wing in our country, and while many fault him for his compromises, I wonder if he is doing all he can under the circumstances to hold the line against a move to the right that is threatening to overwhelm us.

Paula Jones’ legal team was supplied and supported by wealthy right wing individuals and The Rutherford Foundation of Charlottesville, VA, which enabled them to keep the case alive and to dig for dirt unlike any normal citizen could do.

The Right Wing takeover of the Independent Counsel’s Office has allowed Ken Starr and his police state tactics free reign in what was once a genuinely independent procedure. This no more vividly illustrated than by Sam Dash’s withdrawal and protest.

 

Ellen Mendel, a woman who was young during the rise of Nazi Germany was quoted in the NEW YORK TIMES ( “Fighting the Republicans on Impeachment” 25 January 1999) as saying, that “she feels the same despair that she did as a girl in Nazi Germany when the efforts of a stubborn group of leaders snowballed, crushing the will of the people.”

I have also read that one of the moderate Republicans in the House wanted to vote against Impeachment but was told that he would lose the chairmanship of a committee that he highly prized if he did. So he had to vote with The Party which meant as the Right Wing told him to vote. We have all seen how even moderate Republicans, like my own “liberal” Republican senator Jim Jeffords, have been somehow coerced into voting with the Right Wing. We all have to ask whether ANY Republican can any longer be trusted, now that we have seen the power that the right wing has over that party.

——————————

>>> A final note, and something for a future EMAILITE perhaps: In Taylor Branch’s two volume history of the Civil Rights Movement, PARTING THE WATERS and PILLAR OF FIRE, Branch states that John Kennedy secured protection of his own privacy and reputation by selling out Martin Luther King. F.B.I. Chief, J. Edgar Hoover, blackmailed Attorney General, Bobby Kennedy, into authorizing wire taps on King–in order to expose King’s sexual affairs, among other things–in exchange for Hoover keeping quiet about all Hoover knew of Jack Kennedy’s sexual dalliances with East German spies and Mafia babes.

POSTSCRIPT: During the upcoming week of depositions and recess in Washington, The Editor-in-Chief and The Entire Staff of THE JUDEVINE MOUNTAIN EMAILITE will take a little time off also. We’re going to drive a truck-load of household goods to Brooklyn. More from here after February 12th.

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DAVID’S NOTES:

>>> Quite a chess game we got going here. Independent, objective Ken has gone and done it now. His calling Monica in for a grilling with the House Managers is a measure of his desperation. Oh, was it the other way ’round?

We saw Vermont Senator Pat Leahy on PBS a few nights ago, long before Ken pulled his latest trick, and even then Pat was so rip-shit-pissed he could barely contain himself.

>>> Senators and Representatives are saying that their email accounts are so swamped they are getting email messages two weeks late. Therefore, cease emailing your Representatives and use the phone.

>>> Once again Altoon Sultan’s reading brings more good recommendations. She writes to say: There’s another interesting article, a review of several books, in the NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS. It’s about the radical right, the Republican party and what’s happened to “The Class of ’94”–called “The Republicans’ War” and by Lars-Erik Nelson. Web address: www.nybooks.com.

>>> ATTENTION: COMPOSERS and MUSICIANS: Make sure you read to the end of this issue and find out what that kindly old teddy bear, Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, thinks about composers’ royalties.

>>> J.M.E. #7’s feature essay about Dennis Hastert is by Rachel Axelrod and follows here with a post-script on Hastert on the Arts. Rachel is looking for somewhere to publish this piece. Anybody out there have an idea? Contact her if you do.

—–

SLY AS A FOX: WILL THE REAL DENNIS HASTERT PLEASE STAND UP

by Rachel Axelrod (ionia2@yahoo.com)

Perhaps I was too gleeful about Speaker-Designate Bob Livingston’s [R – LA] resignation; perhaps I was distracted by the holidays; or perhaps I had just let down my guard, but it was not until reading the January 11th issue of THE NATION that an alarm sounded in my head about J. Dennis Hastert [R – IL], Speaker of the 106th Congress. Katha Pollitt made a passing reference to media portrayal of Hastert as a “paragon of geniality, honesty and fairness” [The Nation, 11-18 Jan 99, p.11] and noted his voting score of 8.3 % from the NAACP was worse than Livingston’s 16.7%. Pollitt then returned to her main topic – the impeachment – but I was stuck on Hastert, and the media’s presentation of him to the public.

What image appears when one thinks of J. Dennis Hastert? Right now, much of America envisions a man who is chummy and modest, a friendly midwesterner, a former wrestler and high school teacher, a father of two grown boys, raised in farm country. The more accurate image of a right-wing extremist; a rabid anti-choicer; or an evangelical Christian does not materialize in the mind’s eye. That latter image does appear, however, to many of us upon hearing names like Lott, Hyde, Barr, Livingston and Gingrich. Odd, when a little investigation reveals that Hastert’s voting history on a variety of issues is further to the right than that of all of the other aforementioned present or former Congressmen.

The media has virtually ignored this. Instead, they have introduced us to J. Dennis Hastert as “A lumbering man with an easy smile”[Washington Post, 5 Jan 99, p. A01], and have shared with us unassuming reflections from the new Speaker such as “It’s a very humbling experience…I’m just going to try to pull up every ounce of courage and strength to do the best job I can.”[Ibid.] Congressional colleagues eagerly encourage this cozy facade of Speaker Friendly, with comments like “People look at Denny and say, “This is a guy who might be running an auto parts store downtown” (Rep. Rick Lazio [R – NY]) [Ibid.]. While the Washington Post did briefly mention that Hastert is an evangelical Christian and a strong conservative, it quickly neutralized any negative impact by pointing out that “Hastert offers himself as an honest broker who respects the institution of the House” [Ibid.].

Shoving aside the warm fuzzies, Pollitt’s comment prompted me to do some research, and hopefully learn more about this man who is third in line from the Presidency. One of the first things I discovered was a little matter of chewing gum. As some may recall, there was some excitement last fall when someone discovered that an extra 1/4 million dollars had been tucked into the defense budge for an army experiment on the effects of nicotine chewing gum–line- itemed as “pharmacokinetics research.” Well, it just so happens that it was Hastert, with the help of his pal Tom DeLay [R – TX], who had slipped in that item. Why does this matter? The gum is solely manufactured by a company in Hastert’s district. Pretty sneaky for the friendly, lumbering, honest Congressman, no?

Moving on, I began looking at scorecards from various organizations. Website after website reconfirmed what I was rapidly realizing–not only is Speaker Hastert conservative, he is more right wing than most of Congress. Longtime prochoice activist that I am, I began with the NARAL scorecard. In the 105th Congress, Hastert voted prochoice 0% of the time on votes relating to women’s reproductive freedoms [www.naral.org]. Hastert voted with labor 0% of the time in 1997 [www.aflcio.org], and has a whopping lifetime voting record of 9%. For comparison, Almost-Speaker Livingston voted with labor 25% of the time in 1997 and has a lifetime record of 11%; Henry Hyde [R – IL] voted with labor 25% of the time in 1997 and has stuck with them 16% of the time throughout his career.

I doggedly went on to the ACLU website [www.aclu.org]. Hey, you never know, maybe some of these guys at least SOMETIMES, SOMEWHAT support the constitution. But no luck. From the 105th Congress Hastert had an ACLU rating of 6%. On to the Human Rights Campaign [www.hrc.org]–why did I even bother?–in the 103rd, 104th and 105th Congress, Hastert voted against HRC’s positions 100% of the time.

The emerging figure of Hastert was much more extreme than I had realized. Just to make sure I wasn’t jumping to conclusions, I visited the Christian Coalition website [www.cc.org]. In the past two Congressional Sessions, Hastert voted with the Christian Coalition 100% of the time, as did Livingston, Gingrich and Barr. Lott and Hyde–those rebels!–came in at 92%.

So, what’s the point? Does this prove that Hillary Rodham Clinton was right, and that there is a conspiracy, with the election of a stealth right-winger to the position of Speaker one part of the master plan? Is Hastert really the modest, unassuming guy he pretends to be, who was talked into becoming Speaker by others with a stronger agenda–others to whom he may owe favors (Delay/chewing gum)? Or is this all just speculation stemming from watching too many Chris Carter television programs? I’m really not sure, but I do find it peculiar that rather than highlight the extremity of Hastert’s positions on so many issues, the media focuses instead on how he delivered seed corn as a boy to Illinois farmers, and other Rockwell-esque tales. If nothing else, I hope those who read this piece are at least better informed about our Speaker’s perspective. Metaphorically speaking, as I think a renegade AP reporter mentioned, Speaker Hastert is not a friendly cozy bear, but rather, a sly fox.

In a final odd twist, the likely victor in the race to replace Rep. Livingston will be none other than David Duke, Grand Wizard turned family man. If indeed David Duke does win this seat, beating his opponent named–I kid you not!–Monica Monica, he may be the only Member of Congress whose positions will be more to the right than those of Speaker Hastert’s. Lest you forget, Duke will get a vote, in most instances, Hastert won’t.

One wonders again; could this have been a plan, masterminded by some Republican party members? It accomplishes both getting a conservative Speaker AND finally getting David Duke into Congress. I used to shrug off such hypotheses, thinking that these right-wingers couldn’t possibly be that smart, but I am now chilled by these thoughts.

At the very least, Speaker Hastert’s reign will probably pull mainstream America even further to the right. I can only hope that the impeachment debacle will result in the Republicans losing many seats in 2000.

—–

>>> And more on Hastert from Rhoda Carroll: Dennis Hastert is opposed to any federal funding of the National Endowment for the Arts, according to People for the American Way Foundation (PFAW) and ARTS ON THE LINE. Hastert voted to end all funding to the NEA on July 10, 1997. On July 21, 1998, he voted against the NEA on the Johnson Amendment to restore funding, according to PFAW.

>>> AND THIS SPECIAL NOTE TO MUSICIANS AND COMPOSERS: Arts on the Line reports that Representative Hastert was Co-Sponsor of HR789 to end most royalties to Composers and Songwriters. And what about us book writers?

>>> Hastert also favors Internet censorship. He has received 100% ratings from the Christian Coalition, the National Rifle Association and the National Right to Life and 0% ratings, as Rachel mentioned, from the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Association of University Women. The Human Rights Campaign has also given him a 0% scorecard rating for the 102d, 103d, and 104th Congresses.

>>> Sources/resources:

ARTS ON THE LINE -

PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY FOUNDATION –

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David’s Notes:

>>> Just because we are well into the trial in the Senate, does not mean you should stop writing your Senators. Keep hounding them. Don’t give them a chance to forget how you feel. Think of it this way, if we can save Bubba’s neck, and things are looking better every day, he gonna owe us BIG TIME!

>>> This issue of THE JUDEVINE MOUNTAIN EMAILITE is about Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation and how they relate to the Impeachment and Trial.

>>> Everybody says that Slick Willy will do anything, make any compromise, to save his political neck, and most of the time it does seem that way. Yet consider just a few of the apparently principled and politically reckless acts–all infuriating to the Radical Right–he and his wife have engaged in lately.

>>> Last October Clinton nominated James Hormel who is openly gay to be ambassador to Luxembourg. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott refused to permit a confirmation vote on Hormel saying, among other things, that homosexuals were like “kleptomaniacs and alcoholics.” (New York Times, 2 Aug 98) At that time, Clinton said he might nominate Hormel again next year. He did. Last week. In the middle of his own trial in the Senate.

>>> A few weeks ago, just before or after the Impeachment vote in the House, Mrs. Clinton gave a brief interview standing on a lawn somewhere near the White House. I think there was a helicopter in the background. To her left was a Black woman dressed in a business suit and to that woman’s left a Black man. To Mrs. Clifton’s right was a Black boy about ten years old and to the boy’s right another Black man. There Hillary was standing before the TV cameras giving an interview with four Black people. They weren’t all Secret Service and no explanation was ever offered for who they were or why they were there, but people on the Radical Right all across America got the message.

>>> Then two nights ago, during the State of the Union speech there was Mrs. Clifton sitting in the balcony with Sammy Sosa on her left an Asian kid in a hooded sweatshirt from AmeriCorps on her right, and just a few seats down: Rosa Parks. Cheap symbolic shots? Not in my opinion.

>>> And yesterday, lawyer, Cheryl Mills, a young Black woman, argued a case–for the first time in history?–before the Senate.

>>> All these events, these pictures, I argue, are not only principled but deliberate, in your face, thumbing of the Clinton noses at the Radical Right. As you all know, from the very beginning I’ve felt that the Impeachment is only one battle in the war between The Clintons and the Radical Right that has been raging since long before the Clintons ever got to Washington.

>>> In a letter here a few days ago, a friend who has a friend who has practiced law with the “born again” types says, of lawyers on the Radical Right, “They all seem to be anti-Semitic, anti-any ethnicity, and of course anti-Black–which is the primary reason for their complete hatred of Clinton.”

>>> Which brings up the featured essay for this issue, another one of my commentaries still looking for a place to be published or aired.

BLACKS, WHITES AND THE IMPEACHMENT PROCESS

Why is it a large majority of Black Americans support The President in his Impeachment battle and what can we white Americans learn from this overwhelming support?

Here is a list of some titles of books by Black American writers: THE OUTSIDER, I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS, INVISIBLE MAN, THE SLAVE, NOBODY KNOWS MY NAME, THE WEARY BLUES, BENEATH THE UNDERDOG.

It is this particular vantage point: OUTSIDE, that qualifies Black Americans to see what goes on in America in a way almost all white Americans cannot. So when you hear some young white, male college student talking on the radio or Ken Starr and his cronies going on and on about “the rule of law,” understand that it is a question of WHOSE rule of law.

Black Americans know that the rule of law used to say that slavery was just fine and only two generations ago the rule of law prevented them from drinking at certain water fountains or sitting in the front of the bus. So much for the sanctimonious old white guy appeal to “the rule of law.” THE RULE OF LAW DEPENDS ON WHO YOU ARE AND WHO IS AFTER YOU.

Which is why, On Sunday December 13th at a newsstand in Canton, Ohio, when asked about what he thought of the attempt to impeach the President, Jack Mayle, a retired steel worker said, “It’s wrong. I’m an African-American and I recognize a lynch mob when I see it.”

It’s why when Noah Adams asked Dubra Lazard on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED recently: “What about the issue of perjury? As you know there are people in prison right now on charges of perjury,” it is why Dubra Lazard replied: “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 . . . the American people . . . . If you think about the O.J. Simpson case with the police officer [Mark Furman] who lied over and over and over. . . . He’s not serving any time for perjury; it was a big deal about his perjury and for some reason he could not be tried for the perjury.”

Proving yet 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–they know from painful personal experience about the essence and the mechanics of “the rule of law” in America–far better than we in our white privilege ever have or ever will.

—–

POST SCRIPT: Not long ago Toni Morrison declared that, except for the color of his skin, Bill Clinton was American’s first Black President. I think one of the reasons she said this was because Bill Clinton knows THE RULE OF LAW DEPENDS ON WHO YOU ARE AND WHO IS AFTER YOU. Toni Morrison sees clearly that Bill Clinton is an OUTSIDER: outside the Inside-the-Beltway crowd, outside the Radical Right and outside the Radical/Liberal Left (cf. The New York Times Magazine, 17 Jan 99).

—–

>>> Finally, Another Apology: By now, you’ve all gotten a spam note–why is it called that?–from FarmConnection called UNDERNEWS from the misnamed “Progressive.” As I know you know, I did not approve this mailing. You got this because, as I mentioned in J.M.E.#3, in my earlier ignorance, I unwittingly sent out The Emailite with your addresses attached. Again I need to apologize to everyone. I’ve written to the woman who did this and asked her NOT to send any more of her spam notes to my email list. She’s written back apologizing saying she didn’t know she did it, thought she was sending it only to me. Another someone learning the email ropes.

>>> Coming in J.M.E. #7: Rachel Axelrod’s SLY AS A FOX: WILL THE REAL DENNIS HASTERT PLEASE STAND UP.

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DAVID’S NOTES:

>>> Well, it’s a good thing the English language is the flexible, resilient creature it is. If you compare Henry Hyde’s oratorical flourishes to those of say Martin Luther King you can see what the word “parody” means. Clearly, behind any serious form there must be content.

As an Emailite friend said in a letter here, “I was struck yesterday by how much Mister Manager Lindsey Graham of South Carolina sounded like Mister Rogers. The voice, the delivery, and often, of course, the words themselves: ‘Boys and girls and senators, it’s not nice to tell a lie.'”

Contrary to what many media pundits said, the hyperbole and bombast, the bathetic metaphors coming from Capitol Hill were enough to make anyone but a House Manager faint dead away.

>>> Another Emailite, Bob Hundley (Fakfrro@aol.com) who writes from Inside the Beltway and who was on Capitol Hill to watch the presenters last week offers these comments and this suggestion regards White House Council GREGORY CRAIG AND HIS MOTHER, LOIS:

“Gregory Graig will utterly destroy the House case, I am convinced. He is a remarkably thorough and compelling attorney who has rarely lost a case. Having five children and a very good humored and tough minded wife may be part of the reason for his success. If he is as successful as I think he will be . . . I would like to suggest some in your group [who live in Vermont near Burlington] recognize his Herculean work by taking flowers to his mother, Lois, who lives at Wake Robin in Shelburne.

She’s had hip replacement, 2, and uses a walker, but she is a terrific person, quite bubbly, an old Kennedy (John) hand, and terrifically proud of Gregory. Someone might tell her I suggested they call. She is very popular among the folks there. . . .

Of course, once the trial is over, it might make good political sense to have Pat Leahy and Jim Jeffords present the flowers, media in tow, not only as a tribute to Greg and to Vermont for stabilizing a profoundly unstable situation, but also as a recognition that in a gerontophobic society we are capable of remembering our forebears, our ancestors.”

>>> And I thought this comment regarding Art and Politics which I’ve titled ENGAGEMENT AS A SOURCE OF HOPE from Poet, Playwright and Equity Actress, Nadine Mozon (NMmaylast@aol.com) would be of interest to everyone:

“Scripture says we must pray for our leaders. Surely, our President stands in the need of prayer.. BIG TIME! It’s all an outrageous surreal mess! It makes a mockery of government, exposes among many things its misuse of time and money, while exposing the self righteous notions of men (as in mankind, not simply gender) pointing fingers and judging morality by self serving fickled standards–as opposed to consistently Biblical standards to which they selectively allude, and which none of them have upheld perfectly.

But you know what? It does not put a damper on my outlook for this new year. While I am affected by it all, and concerned, I am somehow inspired to become stronger and more clear about what I believe, why I do what I do, and to exercise my political efficacy, my prayers and my pen to paper.

These are strange and strained times we live in everywhere we turn. History will be recorded in many ways. And in many ways, the media is to be trusted the least. So we–artists with a passion, a penchant, a “calling”– must record, review, redress, express life; the human condition, the times we live in, the understanding of whatever we record.

No matter the size of the audience we imagine having access to now, the future will expand the records kept. We, who are deeply affected by this era will create work that is, on various levels, reflective or responsive to the state of government, the dismantling of the President.

We can’t help but be creating in a critical historical/political context.”

>>> Nat Hentoff has a disturbing column in last week/s (1/13-1/18) VILLAGE VOICE with the self-explanatory title:
“The Trashing of Clinton’s Women: Obstruction of Justice by Threats and Coercion of Discarded Women” (http://www.villagevoice.com/columns/9902/hentoff.shtml). This trial by innuendo in the press makes me wonder once again why the radical left seems so often sided with the radical right in matters surrounding President Clinton.

>>> An interesting answer to my question above emerges from an article in yesterday’s, Sunday’s, THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE (available on-line?) called, “The Governor-President” which explains how Clinton has succeeded in alienating the Washington Insiders, the Radical Right and the Radical Left.

>>> The-Patience-of-Job-Torture-of-the-Month Award goes to CHARLES SCHUMER who had to sit through the Impeachment Hearings in December as a member of the House of Representatives and now as the new Senator from New York gets to sit through it all AGAIN in the Senate.

>>> And finally–during the week before Christmas I wrote the little essay that follows here. I’ve been peddling it ever since. It’s gotten turned down by four radio news programs and a newspaper so far. I’m still peddling, but since the nature of the thing is “time sensitive” as they say in the trade, I fear it will not find its way onto the air-waves or into print before it is “out of date,” so here it is for you all at least. This piece seems like a natural follow-up and flip side to Lois’ Scarlet Letter essay in THE JUDEVINE MOUNTAIN EMAILITE #4.

PUT ON YOUR SCARLET LETTER

Nathaniel Hawthorn’s novel THE SCARLET LETTER is everywhere these days. You remember the story. Hester Prynne bears a child fathered by someone other than her husband and, as condemnation for her sin, is forced to wear the red letter A as a symbol of her adultery and shame.

Now the Republicans in the House of Representatives have said The President has to wear the scarlet letter also, for he must be punished for his sin and for lying about his sin. They argue there cannot be a double standard for justice, one for the president, one for the rest of us.

There also cannot be a double standard for honesty. We cannot insist the President tell all while the rest of us cower, hoping–as Henry Hyde and Bob Livingston did–that our own adulteries will not be discovered. We have absolutely no legal or moral right to know what we know about the President’s private life, but since Ken Starr, Linda Tripp and the Morality Police have forced all this on us, the only way out of this devious, hypocritical mess is for all of us to come clean now.

So, if you have had sexual intercourse, the President’s definition, with someone other than your wife or husband while you were married, or if you have had sex by the definition Ken Starr prefers, whatever that is, or if you have committed what Jimmy Carter, and Jesus, called “adultery in your heart,” by lusting after someone other than your spouse, then you too must confess. For the sake of our country. In the name of honesty. It’s only fair.

Let me begin. I have been married for 32 years. I am guilty of adultery by at least one of these three definitions. Any more than that I won’t say. We do not need to go into the lurid details Ken Starr lusts after. We can be discrete about this, but, in the name of what is right and just, we MUST do this.

Therefore, with this confession I join the President and put on my scarlet letter. I cut mine out of cardboard, painted it red and duct taped a safety pin to the back. Make yours any way you want, but join me, please. For the sake of honesty and unity, all of us who are guilty must step forward. And I mean ALL of us. I assume Henry Hyde and Bob Livingston will put on their scarlet letters, and I hope those in the media will do so as well. Think how nice the scarlet letter will look on Sam Donaldson’s black camel hair coat as he stands out in front of the White House or on Cokie Roberts’ blouse pinned there just above her left breast. I mean, of course, if they are guilty.

So, please, put on your scarlet letter, let it say that you too are fed up with this divisive, sanctimonious, self-righteous finger pointing.

If the President has to wear his scarlet letter, then so must we. Put on your scarlet letter. Let’s see how many scarlet letters there will be.

—–

MORE SOON

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SPECIAL NOTE:

Being a babe in the woods to email I’ve made some serious mistakes with these mailings.

First, I’ve sent them out in such a way that others could get your email address. I wasn’t even aware I was doing this until today. I apologize for that and with this mailing have learned to send these messages out without anyone seeing your name or email address.

Second, I’ve sent these mailings to people who have not asked for them, and, although almost all are glad, a few have let me know they are angry; to them I apologize.

To the rest of you: IF YOU GET THIS AND DON’T WANT IT, PLEASE, NOTIFY ME AND I’LL REMOVE YOU FROM THE LIST IMMEDIATELY.

Sincerely,

David Budbill

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