May 24, 2016

A NYT headline: "Kenneth Starr, Who Tried to Bury Bill Clinton, Now Only Praises Him."

Bury... Only...?

Okay, I will read this for you....
The presumptive Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump, increasingly seems to be trying to relitigate the scandals that Mr. Starr investigated, dredging up allegations of sexual transgressions by Mr. Clinton to accuse Hillary Clinton — the likely Democratic nominee — of having aided and enabled her husband at the expense of Mr. Clinton’s female accusers.
"Sexual transgressions" makes what Bill Clinton did sound merely naughty and therefore forgivable. Submerged is the lying under oath, the sexual harassment in the workplace, and — as Donald Trump says (in what is definitely not relitigation) — the allegation of rape.
But Mr. Starr expressed regret last week that so much of Mr. Clinton’s legacy remains viewed through the lens of what Mr. Starr demurely termed “the unpleasantness.”

His remarks seemed almost to absolve Mr. Clinton, if not to exonerate him.

“There are certain tragic dimensions which we all lament,” Mr. Starr said in a panel discussion on the presidency at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
Starr was on a panel promoting a book about the Presidents, to which he contributed a chapter. His chapter is on Ronald Reagan. Somebody else wrote the Clinton chapter. Starr chose to minimize himself on the subject of Clinton, it seems.
For some time, Mr. Starr, a Christian who is now the president and chancellor of Baylor University, a private Baptist school in Waco, Tex., has sought to put his years as a political combatant behind him....

Mr. Starr now is contending with criticism of his own leadership over Baylor’s handling of sexual assault charges leveled against several of its football players....
The Times article goes on to discuss Starr's invocation of the reliable old topic of civility in political discourse. On that subject, Starr quoted LBJ, because what better exemplar of civility is there than LBJ? "Come, let us reason together." That's the quote. As if the take-away from the LBJ years is reasoning together.

But what about that Baylor football problem? The Times does give us a link. It goes to The Dallas Morning News. Excerpt:
And as the sex-assault scandal has grown to encompass at least eight alleged attacks involving football players, two of whom have been convicted in criminal court here, [Starr's] oddly timed written statements have grown more legalistic.

Even at this conservative and sports-mad college, students say they are frustrated by the muted response of the Baylor administration, which the 69-year-old Starr has led for the past six years....
As for that LBJ quote, if you Google it, the first hit is from the Lord:
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
LBJ was quoting God, and quoting him out of context, for which he was criticized by the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. God wasn't inviting the people of Sodom and Gomorrah to have a civil conversation with him:

18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:

20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

21 How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.

22 Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:

23 Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.

24 Therefore saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies:

25 And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin....
Tone down that rhetoric!

And here's Bill Moyers on LBJ:
Lyndon Johnson’s whole philosophy was, come now and let us reason together. Coming back in the helicopter from that speech in 1965 at Johns Hopkins University where he had promised a TVA for the Mekong Valley if only Ho Chi Minh would be reasonable. He leaned across to an assistant, put his hand on his knee, and said, “Old Ho can’t turn that down, Old Ho can’t turn that down.” See, if Ho Chi Minh had been George Meany, Lyndon Johnson would have had a deal. The failure to perceive that we were dealing not with men who acted, talked, fought, or saw, as American politicians do, was one of the fundamental uh misperceptions of our whole misadventure in Vietnam.
This is too rich a pot of ideas to keep going on this post that began with bland old Mr. Starr. So I'm just going to stir the pot one more time and say the key word in that Moyers paragraph is not reason... it's deal... Donald Trump's word. 

39 comments:

Sebastian said...

Thanks for the multidirectional fisking. The NYT BS, compounded by the Starr BS, compounded by the LBJ BS, almost makes me look forward to a Trumpian stable-clearing campaign. Almost.

M Jordan said...

Starr's star is falling ... at least in my sky.

tim in vermont said...

That's the kind of post that keeps me coming here first.

Oso Negro said...

"Old Ho can't turn that down" needs a trigger warning.

Brando said...

Ah, Clintonite Pravda strikes again! The greatest coup the Clintonites pulled off was convincing everyone that he was just a bit naughty in stepping out of his marriage for consensual blowjobs (for which his wife forgave him, so why can't we?) and the GOP were just a bunch of hypocritical prudes.

It's 2016, and the rhetoric on the Left has decidedly gone in more of a "believe the accuser" direction. Will they give Clinton a pass again? Can the Clintons pull off one last big score?

David Begley said...

Ho was no 'hoe.

Rick said...

Even at this conservative and sports-mad college, students say they are frustrated by the muted response of the Baylor administration, which the 69-year-old Starr has led for the past six years....

So the NYT complains that Starr is following the NYT playbook regarding sexual assault: that the appropriate response to any complaint should be determined by how it impacts other priorities?

AprilApple said...

Every day a fresh example of our biased, unprofessional, pro-one-political party(D) agenda-driven pravda media.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Bury...?

The bury is needed for the Shakespeare paraphrase.

traditionalguy said...

So the Lord is a counter puncher too.

AprilApple said...

Leftwingers are generally Christian haters. Leftwingers find God only when it boosts their corrupt agenda.

buwaya puti said...

Starr was obviously bought at the time.
He had huge conflicts of interest due to the business of his law firm; their revenue stream was mainly representing large clients in government litigation. In the interest of the firm it would not do to make enemies in the bureaucracy.
His performance was deliberately slow and obtuse.
He made it easy to distract the public, delay resolution and confuse the issue.
It was no accident.
His subsequent career shows obvious payoffs in university appointments. Starr is an obvious case of the bipartisan insider mafia.
The current situation with controversies at Baylor is also a matter of judicious pressure to keep him in line.

Brando said...

A little off-topic, but thinking of LBJ just reminds me that America and the world would have been far better off if Nixon won in '60 instead of JFK. Just think:

1) No JFK assassination.

2) No LBJ economic nonsense.

3) Less likely to be in Vietnam as Nixon didn't have anything to prove, and LBJ's personality made him more determined to run into that wall repeatedly.

4) Still would have had civil rights advances, as Nixon had a better record by 1960 than JFK or LBJ. Riots probably still would have happened.

5) Without Great Society and Vietnam spending in the '60s, we may not have had such bad inflation in the '70s.

6) No Watergate because Nixon's likely reason for the break-in was Vietnam related, and thus moot if he won in 1960.

7) Earlier d├ętente with the Russians.

8) No Cuban Missile Crisis, as Khruschev had mostly underestimated JFK but knew Nixon was an old Ike hand.

We probably wouldn't have had quite the space program, but for the rest it's a small price to pay.

Bob Boyd said...

Rowanne Brewer
Gell-mann Amnesia effect

traditionalguy said...

Baylor has had its trouble in football. It is spelled T C U. They lost to them again last November in a double overtime game for the ages.

Keeping their best sexual assaulting athletes on the team is one strategy. Too bad it did not work.

Herb said...

my sources say Starr is scapegoated at Baylor by the end of the month and let go. fwiw.

CWJ said...

"...dredging up allegations of sexual transgressions by Mr. Clinton to accuse Hillary Clinton — the likely Democratic nominee — of having aided and enabled her husband at the expense of Mr. Clinton’s female accusers."

"Dredging"? Really? More like lying on the surface.

"Allegations"? At a minimum, Monica Lewinsky was more than just allegation.

"Accuse Hillary Clinton"? The last part of the sentence is fact, not accusation.

Wow! That's a boatload of propaganda packed into one sentence.

buwaya puti said...

On a larger point, it is becoming clear that the practice of drawing political leadership from the legal profession is fundamentally flawed. The lawyer is principally an intermediary between the state and non-state entities. It is usually the case that the lawyer has interests in maintaining good relations with the institutions of the state, the actual persons populating the bureaucracies. If the institutions of the state have become the enemies of the people, the bureaucrats their own jealous tribe at war with the people, lawyers as a class are their allies, and also enemies of the people.

Fernandinande said...

His remarks seemed almost to absolve Mr. Clinton, if not to exonerate him.

Translate from Newspeak to English: "His remarks didn't absolve or exonerate Mr. Clinton."

madAsHell said...

If I suffer from sexual transgressions, then which bathroom should I use??

MadisonMan said...

We probably wouldn't have had quite the space program, but for the rest it's a small price to pay.

But then the Silence would still be on Earth!

Ann Althouse said...

"Translate from Newspeak to English: "His remarks didn't absolve or exonerate Mr. Clinton.""

Ha ha. Exactly.

damikesc said...

So, Starr is a cuck. Good to know. Guy has his minions attack and slander you and you want to make amends? I have less than zero respect for anybody who does that.


It's 2016, and the rhetoric on the Left has decidedly gone in more of a "believe the accuser" direction. Will they give Clinton a pass again? Can the Clintons pull off one last big score?


Keep in mind, a year before Clinton won the WH, we had the contents of Clarence Thomas' rental history as proof positive that he was a sexual predator. Not only will they give him a pass, they will do so brazenly.

The only good thing of that time was that Packwood got tossed. Fuck that asshole.

And, Brando, Nixon also gave us several of the agencies that abuse their power more than anybody would've thought possible. He would've been better than LBJ in theory, but fiscally, it'd have been a shit show. The EPA was his baby and they were shit from the start (the unscientific ban on DDT was really early in its existence)

On a larger point, it is becoming clear that the practice of drawing political leadership from the legal profession is fundamentally flawed. The lawyer is principally an intermediary between the state and non-state entities. It is usually the case that the lawyer has interests in maintaining good relations with the institutions of the state, the actual persons populating the bureaucracies. If the institutions of the state have become the enemies of the people, the bureaucrats their own jealous tribe at war with the people, lawyers as a class are their allies, and also enemies of the people.

I'd also argue that lawyers, frequently, are happy that they can defend the worst scumbags on Earth. They seem to have little actual core morality outside of one of two pet causes --- and then they are worse than the most oppressive regime imaginable in pursuing them.

Rick said...

damikesc said...
Keep in mind, a year before Clinton won the WH, we had the contents of Clarence Thomas' rental history as proof positive that he was a sexual predator.


Wasn't this Bork? They certainly looked at his rental records although they didn't find any porn. Revealingly the right to privacy was not a concern. What principle can we extrapolate to explain when and why the left violates every other principle they claim to believe in?

Brando said...

"And, Brando, Nixon also gave us several of the agencies that abuse their power more than anybody would've thought possible. He would've been better than LBJ in theory, but fiscally, it'd have been a shit show. The EPA was his baby and they were shit from the start (the unscientific ban on DDT was really early in its existence)"

There's that--Nixon on domestic policy had no real philosophy but went with the flow. Depending on who controlled Congress in the '60s he easily could have given us another Great Society. And without a Vietnam War, it might have been even more expansive.

Dude1394 said...

""Sexual transgressions" makes what Bill Clinton did sound merely naughty and therefore forgivable. Submerged is the lying under oath, the sexual harassment in the workplace, and — as Donald Trump says (in what is definitely not relitigation) — the allegation of rape. "

No wonder so many non-washington-elite-type folks love Trump. There is no "sexual transgressions" there is common ordinary plain language. It is quite nice that Trump just will not play with the tools/toys the media tries to give him.

Delicious.

Brando said...

"Keep in mind, a year before Clinton won the WH, we had the contents of Clarence Thomas' rental history as proof positive that he was a sexual predator. Not only will they give him a pass, they will do so brazenly."

THey'll try, but how well will it fly? We already see younger leftists rejecting her for Sanders on a lot of these same grounds. The entreaties of the Steinems of the world don't have the pull they used to. And there's more alternative media these days to keep the conversation going, despite the best efforts of the Times to pretend it's just "rascally Bill" stuff.

Jason said...

Starr is wholly irrelevant. But he's unpopular and uncharismatic, personally. So natch the order-takers at the NY Times will dredge him up to inoculate Hillary against Trump's attacks on Bill's womanizing and her enabling of Bill and bullying of women who came forward.

damikesc said...

Feminism is dead for most women. Clinton killed it. But it will always dominate colleges since they need jobs so it will always be there, even though it really is superfluous.

Bob Boyd said...

Jason said..."the NY Times will dredge him up to inoculate Hillary against Trump's attacks"

But that will also backfire. It will only serve to remind people what the Clintons put the country through. It will stir up negative emotions that can only attach to Hillary because, as you say, Starr is irrelevant. He's not running for anything.

Brando said...

"So natch the order-takers at the NY Times will dredge him up to inoculate Hillary against Trump's attacks on Bill's womanizing and her enabling of Bill and bullying of women who came forward."

Pretty much, but it's even simpler. Starr evokes a memory for liberals and enough moderates that they recall the "glory days" of Clinton, when the Dow was soaring, we ran a surplus and unemployment was going under 4%, and Starr the Puritan was going after Clinton for what was just a rascally blowjob. Just bringing up his name does this (who heard from him since then?) and may by extension warm people up to Hillary.

It won't work, but the Clinton Pravda Times has to do its best.

Brando said...

"But that will also backfire. It will only serve to remind people what the Clintons put the country through."

I don't know about that--the people they're aiming for blame the GOP for the whole thing, because Clinton just had a blowjob and the GOP hates blowjobs and prefers to cheat on their wives in private. Or something.

The reason I don't think it'll work though is the people who will fall for this are already in her corner. Younger people looking this stuff up might have too many uncomfortable questions.

Comanche Voter said...

Absolve--if mot exonerate? My bleeding backside! Is there no place too low for those knee pad wearing clowns at the New York Times?

jacksonjay said...

If I remember correctly, and I do remember correctly, this self-righteous, holier than thou, scold was involved in springing Clinton's pedophile pal, Epstein. Now he's implicated as the cover up agent in the scandal at Baylor. All those Clinton defenders were right about Ken Starr!

buwaya said...

Ken Starr has just been removed -

"The Baylor board of regents on Tuesday removed Kenneth Starr as school president and chancellor after six years and offered him a leadership position in the BU law school, sources told HornsDigest.com."

JaimeRoberto said...

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.

CWJ said...

Herb @ 9:19 ftw!

hombre said...

The morons at NYT evidently think "distinguishing" is a synonym for "praising."

JamesB.BKK said...

Nixon made the US dollar irredeemable, defaulting on the US debt and the money itself, allowing constant debasement of the currency, and unleashing the present central bank debt-fueled, banker-and-government-favored-all-the-time-and-not-just-wartime economy. Of course, that was after Roosevelt stole (er, "confiscated" our US ancestors' gold and made it illegal for some time to come to hold gold in other than a few approved forms), marking yet another default by the US government on its obligations which preceded Nixon's.

The Nixon-birthed economy also eats the income of savers and always debases what passes for money (we are told by important sounding people and their press promoters that good debasement is at 2% per annum - but not less; that's bad - according to government selected data). Most folks nod in agreement or parrot the claim as truth; you pay taxes on that 2% or whatever it is if you pay taxes, and yet you get zip out of the trade. Nixon seeded the coming collapse of the out-of-bounds debt creation and the underlying falsity of asset prices and illusion of prosperity, which is going to be extremely painful. Aside: Paul Krugman says that US Federal debt is the safest and soundest debt on the planet, presumably because its government threatens us with violence as part of its "full faith and credit" guarantee. Heckuva guy.

Nixon, on advice of Kissinger (who won a Nobel Peace Prize! (invalidating that award for all time, even before Arafat and our current mass-killing chief got one)), made the Wahabbism-promoting Saudi monarchy a protected monarchy and its cartel pricing protected for the most important resource on the planet, using American guns. He was disastrous. So was Johnson. So are they nearly all.