Monday, July 16, 2001

Week of 07/16/2001

Return of the Sexual Sideshow
- by David Matthews 2

"When authorities warn you of the sinfulness of sex, there is an important lesson to be learned. Do not have sex with the authorities." - Matt Groening, creator of "The Simpsons"

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages! Mudrakers Unlimited, in association with the glorious members of the world media, proudly present the return of the show that you just can’t pull yourself away from. The one, the only, SEXUAL SIDESHOW!

That’s right, my friends, the show that turned President Bill Clinton from a political Don Juan to a constantly repentant sinner is back to once again boggle your senses and feed that unending appetite for schadenfreude.

Featuring, for his return appearance to the sideshow, and the first time in a starring role, the distinguished gentleman from the great state of California, Congressman Gary Condit!

Condit, you may recall, was one of many Democratic representatives who urged President Clinton to "come clean" in regards to his dalliances with an intern. Well, now it is Condit himself who will be walking the political and moral tightrope, balancing admissions and denials… but this time without the benefit of the safety net of Executive Privilege. Will he make it to the other side and get that next term of office? Or will he plummet to a certain political death? See for yourself!

You know one of the things that I thought was always missing from these political scandals is a ringmaster.

Not a ringleader, mind you… although some of the more insidious scandals were often in dire need of one. No, I mean a ringmaster. Someone to keep the show moving when it appeared that all of the acts were going on at the same time.

And let’s get brutally honest here… political scandals have replaced Barnum and Bailey as the premiere entertainment for the masses. I mean, forget Jerry Springer and his collection of trailer park characters. That’s purely amateur hour compared to the sheer mastery of the media in full scandal mode!

I mean, we have politicians taking acrobatic "leaps of faith". We have lion-tamers – although they are more aptly referred to as the "liar-tamers" – which stick their heads in the gaping mouths of ferocious spin-doctors and lawyers. And we even have the clown acts in the form of all of the talking heads and so-called "experts" and consultants who constantly try to second-guess the motives and methods of the major players. And in the case of the Clinton Sideshow, there even were souvenirs in the form of "Presidential knee-pads".

Now some people would like to think that now-retired special prosecutor Ken Starr was the ringmaster of the last sideshow. But his role was nothing more than one of the many "liar-tamers" that tried to cut through the pure spin that Clinton exuded like you and I exude sweat. Nor were the so-called "right-wing conspiracy" that Hillary Clinton preached about anywhere near the category of ringmasters. Instead, they were simply just another clown act.

No, I don’t think there were any ringmasters in the Clinton Sideshow, and that, I think, was the real reason why Clinton managed to get away with his crimes. With all of the other acts going on at once, nobody paid attention to whether or not Clinton traversed his tightrope walk, or if he fell and was caught by that "Executive Privilege" net.

That certainly appears to be the pattern that is emerging in the current sideshow featuring Condit. While the "liar-tamers" are busy trying to tell whether or not the congressman is telling the truth, the clown acts are already engaged in trying to find everyone whom Condit has been "just friends" with.

Condit hasn’t publicly opened his mouth to either refute or admit the various allegations against him, and perhaps that is the wisest move he has made. He’s simply letting the acts go on as they may and hopes to squeak through his tightrope walk without anyone noticing.

But there is something different in today’s sideshow: the disappearance of one of the major performers. Unlike the Clinton Sideshow, where all of the principal players would have their say, former intern Chandra Levy cannot be found to tell her side of the story. Indeed, relatives and friends have said all that they ever could so far say about the circumstances surrounding Levy’s relationship with the congressman. But she cannot.

And it should be pointed out that it is her disappearance that started this sideshow in the first place. If Chandra Levy did not seemingly vanish from the face of the earth, none of these allegations of Clinton-esque dalliances would have ever emerged! Even if (and I hope she’s still alive) a dead body had been found in a relatively short period of time, I don’t think the bulk of these allegations would have even come out. But no, Chandra is still missing, and the refusal of Condit to be forefront with his relationship to the young woman only complicated matters.

Basic human nature, folks. Tell someone not to look at something, and we’ll look at it! Tell someone not to look for adulterous relationships, and we’ll dig faster than you can admit to it. You would think that Condit, of all people, would know that from the Clinton Sideshow.

By the way, this is also yet another prime opportunity to test the validity of so-called blue-balls laws. After all, Condit DID supposedly admit to the police of having an affair with Levy, right? Well, in Washington DC, that is STILL a crime! Now, if conservatives like Trent Lott and Bob Barr think these laws are important for society, why aren’t they pushing to have these laws enforced against Condit?

I mean, here we are, in the midst of a renewed effort by anti-freedom moralists to censor anything involving sex, and these so-called "moral champions" lack the courage to hold one of their own accountable for the laws that they say we need. Are they really so sure of their self-righteous convictions, or are they just spineless, impotent cowards?

Of course, in all likelihood, those adultery charges will be completely forgotten. After all, this isn’t about adultery, this is about a missing young woman, right? Besides, the moralists and bible-thumpers are petrified to think that one of their blue-balls laws could be thrown out in the courts.

And that really is the sad part about this whole sideshow, that all of this effort HAS to be made in order for information to come out about this missing young woman. That the power structure in Washington is so corrupt, and so self-preserving, that we have to go through all of this demented three-ring circus – complete with the "liar-tamers", and the political tightrope walkers, and the clown acts – just to try to track down a young woman who made the mistake of fooling around with a married man in Washington DC.

It is utterly pathetic. And yet, we cannot turn away from it. We’re drawn to it like rubbernecks to an accident, eager to see what the next act will be. Anxious to see the next twist, the next turn of events.

So hurry, hurry! Get your tickets now! Don’t miss out on the great, never-ending sideshow that nobody wants to see, but everyone is curious to know all about.

Come one, come all…

Just don’t "come"… if you know what I mean.

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