Return of the He-Man Clinton-Haters' Club
The Clinton library dedication brings out the Clinton-dissers, the Hillary-bashers and a backer of the less-than-existent Counter Clinton Library.
By Terry Krepel
It happens every time a Clinton does something public -- the ConWeb comes out to try and slap them down.
So it goes with the November 18 dedication of the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Ark. The usual suspects have trotted out to peddle their tired stories about what evil people the Clintons allegedly are.
First and foremost, of course, are NewsMax and Dick Morris, the discredited, disgruntled ex-Clinton adviser. A Nov. 19 NewsMax article regurgitates a Morris column from the New York Post that claims that the events of the library dedication "had less to do with a library retrospective of the Bill Clinton years than a campaign launch for the prospective presidency of Hillary Clinton."
The problem with Morris' statement is that the library, as do all presidential libraries, belongs to the federal government now.
The article alleges that "The Saudis kicked in somewhere between a million and $20 million, according to columnist Robert Novak," failing to note that a Saudi prince gave $1 million to the presidential library of George H.W. Bush. A Nov. 22 article peddles the same allegation with the same omission.
Morris and NewsMax have a lot invested in Hillary running for national office -- after all, both have discovered that Clinton-hating pays handsomely. Morris insisted that Hillary would be the Democratic vice presidential candidate for 2004 (at least when he wasn't offering his prediction on whether she'd run for president in 2004, or 2008 or whenever). NewsMax CEO Christopher Ruddy also insisted that Hillary would be the Democratic VP in 2004 and implied that skullduggery would ensue: "And at that point in time, Vice President Rodham Clinton will be just steps away from the Oval Office and a proverbial heart beat away from the top job. Anything could happen." NewsMax has in the past been a promoter of the Clinton-as-serial-killer meme.
NewsMax also attempts to criticize the Clinton library's interpretation of the events surrounding Clinton's impeachment in a Nov. 17 article. The article calls the "Arkansas Project," a $2 million Richard Mellon Scaife-funded attempt to dig up dirt on Clinton in Arkansas, "a set of long-ago discredited allegations by pro-Clinton partisans who claimed that most of the witnesses against Clinton had been bribed by his enemies to testify against him." It also falsely references Clinton's "perjury before a federal judge and grand jury" (Clinton was never convicted of perjury, therefore he did not commit perjury) and brings up the spectres of Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick while failing to point out that the allegations made against Clinton by both Willey and Broaddrick are suspect at best.
With all this talk about the Clinton library brings the thought of that great example of the inability to move on, the planned Counter Clinton Library that ConWebWatch wrote about back in 2002. Surprisingly, NewsMax has avoided any new reference to it, even though co-founder John LeBoutillier is a NewsMax columnist. LeBoutillier made up for that oversight by making goofy false claims on TV.
(Update: We knew LeBoutillier couldn't resist. His Nov. 23 NewsMax column, posted Nov. 22, tries to paint the statement "Hillary - barring some unforeseen event - is the odds-on likely Democrat nominee in 2008" as a threat, adding: "Would you doubt that the Clintons are already grooming some third-party independent to run in 2008 to again allow a Clinton to win?" He ends with the inevitable plea for donations: "The first step is to stand up to all their lies, mis-statements and distortions. That is why we have begun the Counter Clinton Library.")
So, what has happened with this factually challenged facility championed by factually challenged partisans in the intervening two years? Not much. LeBoutillier and friends have spiffed up their web site, deleting any mention of its previously stated intention to be "the headquarters of the Stop Hillary Now campaign," a partisan political activity that would not be permitted under the granting of a nonprofit 501(c)3 status to the "library" by the Internal Revenue Service earlier this year. That doesn't mean the "library's" intention toward Hillary has changed one whit, of course. And the original mission statement is posted at NewsMax for posterity.
(NewsMax has its own murky history of political spending, with its possibly illegal championing of campaigns and refusal to disclose how much it spent airing an anti-John Kerry documentary the weekend before the Nov. 2 presidential election, something that may violate federal election law.)
The "library" itself, meanwhile, seems to have hit a wall. A Nov. 11 Arkansas Times article notes that it still lacks a site in Little Rock and that fund-raising continues. The "library's" home page, ironically, offers a signup for an e-mail on "construction site updates." (ConWebWatch's attempt to sign up returned an error message stating: "This script can not be executed.") But finding a location "within walking distance" of the real library, a stated goal of the counter "library," may prove to be more expensive as time goes on given that the Clinton library has spurred $1 billion worth of development in the neighborhood around it.
Coverage of the Clinton library on WorldNetDaily and CNSNews.com, meanwhile, have been rare, as if by ignoring it, it would go away. CNS columnist Rich Galen makes a lame attempt at either humor or pithy commentary in a Nov. 19 column by stating: "If you look at the photo on the official library website you can come to one of two conclusions: It is either a bridge to nowhere, or it's a double-wide." The "bridge to nowhere" line has been around since at least 1996, and Clinton himself has made light of detractors like Galen likening the library's look to that of a house trailer.
Galen's lack of originality, though, is right in line with the rest of the Clinton-bashers.