Doesn’t every traitor need and deserve anrnorganized constituency trying to get himrnout of jail?rn—/.O. TaternCLINTON-BASHING IS a temptingrnsport, as indicated by the phenomenalrnpopularity of Rush Limbaugh. But likerneverything that is too easy, it has its pitfalls.rnIt will be a fruitless enterprise if itrnmerely succeeds in tearing down Clintonrnto make way for a lackluster Republicanrnadministration onlv marginally better onrnthe critical issues.rnClinton’s band of lowlifes does pro-rn’idc a good target—his awful wife, hisrnzoo of appointees (Trachtenberg, Shalala,rnElders, Bentsen, Christopher, ad infinitum).rnYet these indicate not so muchrnthe evil of Clinton or of the DemocraticrnParty as what American society and thernAmerican political system have become.rnThe Republican Party, after all, gave usrnJustices Brennan, Blackmun, Thomas,rnand Souter; “Condom” Koop; Packwood;rnFrohnmever; proscription of seriousrnChristians from policv-making; doublernprosecution of the L.A. cops; NAFTA;rnSomalia; and “no new taxes.” The distinctionrnis nothing to get excited about.rnDespite his public and private shortcomings,rnit is not apparent to me thatrnClinton is of a quality significantly belowrnthe general level of American leadership.rnHe is more intelligent than any Republicanrnof recent history except Nixon.rnThere is no reason to believe he is lessrnsincere or competent or more prone tornlust and greed than many other politicians.rnM’ friend Murray Rothbard has complainedrnthat Clinton is “an Arkansasrnpeckervood in the White House.”rnWould that it were so. That would berncause for rejoicing. But he is not: he is arntypical Southern liberal—i.e., a horriblernopportunist but also generally less dangerousrnthan a real liberal. It is a peculiarrnfeature of the mainstream Americanrnpublic consciousness that an evil andrnbumbling Southerner seems even morernc’il and bumbling than his mainstreamrncounterpart. Thus Clinton, like Carter,rnmakes an easy target for demagoguer)-.rnEven more peculiarly, reflecting thernambiguity and love-hate with whichrnthe South has always been regarded, arnSoutherner also seems more decent,rnwhich made it possible for Carter andrnClinton to be elected when a real liberalrncould not.rnI have never been able to get exercisedrnabout the harm Clinton could do.rnMore opportunist than George Bush?rnDumber than Jack Kemp? Meaner thanrnBill Bennett? Clinton seems to have arncore of authenticity, measured by thernfact that he has made no effort to changernhis native accent (unlike Albert Gore,rnJr., who is a museum-quality specimenrnof the Southern rich boy who went awayrnto prep school in the East and came backrnsounding and acting like a completernphony).rnI have always thought that given Clinton’srnnaturallv cautious and compromisingrnstyle, and his election as a minorityrncandidate (something he owes entirelv tornPat Buchanan and Ross Perot and not tornthe Republican Party), he would not bernable to accomplish anything very significantrn—despite his execrable companyrnand symbolism—and would thereforernbe less dangerous than an effectivernGeorge Bush.rnAt least the Democrats, unlike the Republicans,rnactually try to represent theirrnconstituency, which is what they are supposedrnto do in a democracy. This seemsrnto me a moral advantage over the RepublicanrnParty, which has been repeatedlyrnelected to represent the middlernclass, limited government, and traditionalrnvalues, to none of which it has anyrnhonest commitment. It has basicallyrnperpetrated a fraud, thus promoting arncvnicism and despair among decentrnAmericans that is much more destructivernthan any watered-down socialistrnschemes Clinton may be able to getrnthrough.rnThe Republican Party is not andrnnever has been able to meet a challengernsuch as our times present. The best itrncan do is call out Dan Quayle to defendrnthe family and promote scmisocialistrnschemes of “empowerment.” Conceivedrnin greed, hypocrisy, and fanaticism, thernRepublican Party has never performedrnan^ positive role, except tacitly. It seresrntwo functions in the American bodyrnpolitic: defending the interests of Americanrnbusiness, which it docs incompctentl)’rn(in regard to legitimate small business,rnthough competently with respect tornthe illegitimate demands of big business),rnand ratifying and consolidatingrnprevious Democratic programs (thus, thernKemp-Bennett empowerment programrnprovides a final prop and validation forrnL.vndon Johnson’s failed Great Society).rnThere are a number of good youngrnRepublicans in Congress. But, witnessrnmy point, it has been the young NewrnDemocrats who have taken the effectivernlead on budget reduction, anti-NAFTA,rnand immigration control—a lead thatrnRepublicans by their nature are incapablernof taking.rnIf we care for the fate of our dispiritedrnand decaying Republic, if we want tornmobilize the good qualities of the Americanrncharacter and not just reap temporaryrnbenefit from the natural public revulsionrnto Clintonism, then our firstrnorder of business must be to find a vehiclernother than the Grand Old Part.rn—Clyde WilsonrnRiVERBOAT CASINOS are giantrnmoney-sucking machines. A $30 millionrnriverboat casino operated by Harrah’srncan suck in $200,000 a day fromrnbettors, assuming a typical daily loss ofrn$50 per customer. This kind of highstakesrnbetting used to be called gambling.rnBut liberals have come up with arnnew name—”gaming.” It was formerlyrnrecognized as a vice. But it is nowclassedrnas “recreation” and “entertainment.”rnThe difference is that state and localrngovernments have taken over the gamblingrnrackets, now known as the “gamingrnindustry.” The St. Louis Port Authorityrnestimates that the new “gaming industry”rnon its riverfront when fully operationalrnwith four casinos will bring inrn”revenues” of $240 million a vear andrnprovide the city with $53 million in newtaxrndollars.rnThe truth is that state and local go-rnernments are hooked on the myth thatrnthey can gamble their way to prosperityrn—a notion every bit as ludicrous asrnWashington’s belief that it can tax-andspendrnthe nation to boom times. Riverboatrncasinos are the ultimate expressionrnof the fantasy—expressed in state-paidrnTV ads—that the way to become a millionairernis not through hard work andrnsaving but to bet the grocerv moneyrnagainst the long odds of lotteries andrncasinos.rnArmed with these odds, gamblingrnpros on the riverboats reel in chumps byrnthe thousands and systematically striprnthem of their cash before dumping themrnashore. It all takes place in an atmospherernof great fun and frivolity whilernlocal and state governments cheer themrnon in anticipation of sharing the loot.rnThe people who own and run thesernboats are essentially fast-buck artists whornMAY 1994/7rnrnrn