Clinton said he would not run for Presidentrnin 1992. Say claimed that Clintonrnowed him about $20,000 for campaignrnservices, which probably boiled down tornMcintosh not spoiling the campaignrnparty.rnCould be: it took Clinton till Januaryrnof this year to pay back $100,000 owed tornPerry County Bank, and Perry County isrnnowhere. At least Say is in Little Rock.rnDon’t get me wrong about the PerryrnCounty Bank. After all, a friend of mine,rnHerby Branscum, owns it. Now Herbyrnwas appointed highway commissioner byrnClinton before the big run. No complaintsrnhere, mind you. You see, Herbyrnwas instrumental in getting my sister-inlawrnelected County Judge of Perry County.rnRemember: all Arkansas life is interconnected.rnBack to the Perry County Bank. Peoplernin Perry County don’t really mind extendingrncredit for a while longer thanrnmost folks. But Say don’t extend muchrncredit to nobody. Yet don’t forget thatrnthe law of the land here is neighborliness.rnWhatever you feel compelled to do, do itrnwith some friendly contagion. Why lastrnsummer while I was going to pick myrnkids up at Sunday school at ImmanuelrnBaptist—Clinton’s church—there wasrnSay discharging his moral fervor by plasteringrnevery car windshield around thernchurch with flyers recounting Clinton’srnmoral failings in graphic depiction. Thernflyer included photos of Clinton’s supposedrnmulatto, illegitimate son and xeroxedrncopies of Gennifer Flowers’ Penthousernphotos. Long ago I found it wasrnbest to preempt Say. Greet him heartily,rnwith a smile, and you get back thernwarmest response possible: “How y’allrndoin’?” Crossing the big ethnic dividernsuddenly with another person can bernelating, feeling like a member of a Sartreanrngroupe en fusion. Some of thernbrethren confront Say over his literaturernand Say responds in kind. Not me; I askrnfor the literature, thank him, and tuck itrnaway before my kids see Ms. Flowers xeroxed.rnBesides, since we’ve had Chelsearnover to our house and helped child-sit forrnher while her daddy and momma ranrnfor the presidency, the kids might be upsetrnto see moral charges lodged againstrnher daddy.rnWhat are the alleged “facts” aboutrnthe pardons? According to Jewell in anrninterview on February 14, he had nornplans whatsoever to pardon anybodyrnwhen he became acting governor onrnSunday, January 17. No one spoke tornhim about the pardoning. Not Clinton;rnnot Tucker; not Say Mcintosh, nor any ofrnhis kin.rnSo what did happen? Sometime, Jewell’srnnot sure when, between Sunday andrnWednesday of his four-day term as governor,rnhe got to thinking about the inequitiesrnof the prison system in Arkansas:rnespecially how it turned young, first-timernoffenders into hardened criminals; howrnit reflected the racism in Arkansas. Jewellrnobserved the following on television:rn”One of the basic ingredients of societyrnis racism, whether you admit it or not.rnLook around Arkansas: What do blacksrnown? run? Do they really own a firstclassrnservice station or fast-food store?rnNo! The ugly face of racism can defeatrnyou.” Jewell then got to thinking aboutrnracial injustice as manifested in thernprison system. “Our legal system is anrnunfair system. Fines and sentences dependrnon who you are.” Actually, Jewellrnclaims he acted under the guidance ofrndivine providence: “I believe in the manrnupstairs. Whatever I did was guided byrnthe man upstairs.”rnSo what did divine providence providernJewell that got him thinking aboutrndoing some pardoning? Well, it so happensrnthat before Governor Tucker leftrnfor the inauguration he was reviewingrnsome files from the parole board and,rngoodness, he may have left one of thosernfiles on his desk as he left town, meaningrnof course to return it unapproved to thernboard. This is by Tucker’s own account,rnmind you, in a televised news conference.rnSo, Jewell arrives in the governor’srnoffice, casts about for something to dornand, mercy, discovers two files on convictsrnbeing recommended for clemency,rnone in jail, another on parole. ClaimsrnJewell: “I did not decide before thesernfiles were on my desk to pardon anybody.”rnAgain, Jewell claims there wererntwo files; Tucker admitted one.rnThose two files got Jewell curious, sornhe sent for two more files. Now he hadrnfour. Guess it’s better to mull over therninequities of the Arkansas prison systemrnwith four files in front of you than arnmeasly two. He tried to recall whosernfiles these were in the televised interviewrnand could only recall three of thernfour names. Now, if providence played arnhand in all this, it was certainly reasonablernof Him to make sure the good actingrngovernor didn’t pardon TommyrnMcintosh alone, because Say’s hand inrnthis would loom mighty large in the publicrnmind and all hell would likely breakrnout. What does Say’s son Tommy havernto say about it all? First off. Tommy wasrnsentenced to jail for 50 years in 1987 forrnbeing caught in a van with two othersrnand some cocaine. Tommy was 23 yearsrnold at the time. Was Tommy a youngrndrug kingpin? Tommy denies this. If hernwas a drug kingpin then Tommy wants tornknow why “I’m the only kingpin thatrndon’t have a car, that don’t have a house,rnor fancy rings on my fingers? No way Irncould have gotten 50 years on the first offense.”rnJewell maintains that Tommy’srn”sentence was too great for the crime.rnWho knows if he was set up? The sentencernwas too great because of whosernson he was.” Claims Say: “The sentencernwas about me!”rnSay also claims that Clinton and Tuckerrnprearranged the pardon, and that inrnreturn Jewell agreed to keep silent aboutrnthe deal. In fact, despite some dispatchedrnflyers. Say himself kept ratherrnsilent during the presidential election.rnHe publicly denies there was any dealrnbut told Max Brantley, a local newspaperrneditorialist, that Tommy’s situation “hasrnbeen taken care of.”rnArkansas politics is indeed driven byrnnegations. More is accomplished byrnwhat you don’t know or do than by whatrnyou claim to know or do. It’s good olernboy Southern politics and style, stretchingrnacross ethnic lines, to play down anyrnair of pretense or knowledge. It’s deathrnin Arkansas politics to act like a FlanneryrnO’Connor “innerlecshual.” Jewell initiallyrndenied that he knew either the firstrnnames or crimes of those he pardoned.rnSmart guy. That ignorance was to downplayrnTommy Mcintosh’s pardon. Tuckerrnclaims he knew nothing of this until hisrnstaff contacted him in Washington andrnwarned him on the day before the actualrnpardons. Why didn’t he contact Jewellrnat once to dissuade him? Well, Tuckerrnwent to bed thinking it was a “donerndeal,” only to find out it wasn’t done tillrnthe next day. And no one knows whatrnClinton knew. Why it’s a downrightrnhistorical coup, n’est-ce pas, that wernknow that King Louis XV knew what hernknew of the four Arkansas pardons ofrn1756.rnJoseph Pappin HI is chairmanrnof the department of philosophyrnand religious studies at the Vniversityrnof Arkansas at Little Rock.rnHe is author of The Metaphysicsrnof Edmund Burke (FordhamrnUniversity Press).rnOCTOBER 1993/43rnrnrn