Magazine article The Spectator

Moving the Goalposts

Magazine article The Spectator

Moving the Goalposts

Article excerpt

Gstaad

On Sunday night, when things looked extremely bleak for the occupant of the Oral Office, I offered 5-1 odds that he would keep his job. I was dining at Aleko Goulandris's chalet. There were no takers. Which goes to show that a) Greek shipowners are wise; b) the American people are very naive; and c) the traditional codes that once regulated social conduct are extinct.

In fact, as the great cover-up continues, I am reminded of a variation of Norma Desmond's great line in Sunset Boulevard, `It is the presidency that got small.' Blow-jobs, hand-jobs, unpaid trainees with big hair and national security clearance, the Lincoln bedroom for rent, illegal donations in the millions, can it get worse? The answer has to be a definite yes, but not right now. It will all come out one day, when the Draft Dodger's Come-a-lot will be a distant nightmare. The best line by far was John O'Sullivan's in the Sunday Telegraph: `The man who looked for a loophole in the Ten Commandments.' (Oral sex does not constitute adultery nor sexual intercourse.)

Why am I so convinced that nothing will come of all this? Easy. Nothing will crack because too many people will end up doing hard time for a very long time if it does. The Clinton people are all corrupt and all up to their ears in it. They will tough it out by lying and by assassinating the characters of those who wish to end the sleaze. Clinton apologists in the media will go along with them. Already, reputed tough-onClinton pundit William Safire is busy extricating splinters from his fence-sitting bottom. 'I sincerely hope the allegations are false. . . blah, blah, blah.'

Par for the course. After all, in these the times of Clinton, we now condemn the fuzz almost as much as the criminal. Mind you, the Republicans are just as bad. Twentyfour years ago, Richard Nixon was booed as he gave his last State of the Union speech. …

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