January 24, 2008

Let's Face It, It Will Be Fun

"The American people already know that Bill Clinton is a bad boy, a naughty boy. I'm going to speak out for the citizens of my state, who in the majority think that Bill Clinton is probably even a nasty, bad, naughty boy." Senator Larry Craig, speaking to Tim Russert about William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, circa 1999.

Okay, Senator Craig, you're batting .500 while playing Truth In Politics. You whiffed with the "I never have been gay" stuff a few months back (that misplaced adverb is a tell), which statement, in its studied and manifestly fraudulent vehemence, matched Bill's "I never had sex with that woman, that Ms. Lewinsky..." a decade or so ago. Remember Bill's face, as he pointed at the camera in self-righteous indignation? What man, who dares call himself a man, hasn't played that game? Richard Pryor summed it up with his deathless, "Who you gonna believe, me or your lyin' eyes?"

Of course, we realize now that Senator Craig's conjoined adjectives were simply intended to titillate himself. He was picturing President Clinton one stall over in a Union Station men's room. The esteemed senator from the Land of Potatoes (memo to Dan Quayle: the "e" goes only with the plural) was in the throes of a reverie: granted he's bad, most assuredly he's naughty, but could he even be nasty? How his heart must have thumped!

So now Bill is that close to being back in the general vicinity of the White House. He's overplaying his hand these days, of course, but that's simply a measure of how bad he wants it. I think Bill doesn't quite exist to himself if he's not in the limelight. If the Baby Boom's vast legions represent the Culture of Narcissism, then Bill Clinton is our patron saint, the personality around whom the cult coalesced. We can't hate him without hating ourselves, and to love him is to affirm ourselves, to authenticate our image-obsessed, amoral, ethically irresponsible dedication to our self-aggrandizement. He's so American. L'etat, c'est lui.

I think he's coming back to the center ring, where he belongs. And you know what that means: bimbos on parade. Seriously, gentle readers, whaddya think Bill's been up to between about January 20, 2001 and the present moment? The differences between the Bill Clinton of his presidential days and the Bill of Billary are these: now he's very rich, very independent, free-spirited, less scrutinized, and far less careful about what he says and does. In short, he's even more attractive, and not just to the Republican Senatorial caucus, although that's a gimme. He's been traveling all over the world since he left office. While Hillary is often in Washington D.C. , Bill has been based in New York, Southern California, anywhere he wants. Thus, the question: what kinda numbers do you think we're talking here?

Now it's true he had the multiple bypass surgery not so long ago, and he probably takes cardio medication which could slow him down some; but since 2001, medical science has also made great progress on what you could call compensatory pharmacology. Net result: no great loss of potential. So you take a lady's-catnip guy, give him a hip new wardrobe and millions and millions of dollars from speaking fees, fly him around in private jets to exotic spots all over the world in the company of female volunteers who share his passion for eradicating hunger, AIDS, poverty, the heartbreak of psoriasis, maybe even erectile dysfunction -- who share all his passions, in fact. Get out your calculators, folks.

We are, of course, going to hear all about it. What fun that will be compared to these dreary tales of waterboarding and wiretapping and subprime and all the rest of the dreary litany of tired subjects the present dibbick in the White House burdens us with in his sour, dyspeptic, buzzkill way. We're going to have a good time again! Dirty talk, the kind that made Ken Starr glad he was raised in a fundamentalist church just so he could savor the delicious feel of moral outrage (and excruciatingly tantalizing images that troubled his sweaty dreams) that another guy, much sexier than he could ever be, was playing around with the luscious...oh never mind. Moralists, fasten those seat belts. The front car has just reached the top of the roller coaster...

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