Caldwell have any influence in the RepublicanrnPart)’, however, this idea of thern”Southern captivity” of the GOP is nowrnconventional wisdom, and it portends anrnabandonment of the venerable “Southernrnstrateg}’.” One thing is certain: It isrnunlikely that the Republican presidentialrncandidate in 2000 will be wavingrnaround the Tenth Amendment duringrndebates. If the recent record of the GOPrnestablishment is anv indicadon, the resultrnwill be another defeat, perhaps disastrousrnenough to sweep Democrats intorncontrol of both houses of Congress, atrnwhich point the political musings ofrnFinkelstein and Caldwell will be moot.rnWith Al Gore as president and a Congressrncontrolled by House Speaker DickrnGephardt and Senate Majority LeaderrnTom Daschle, Finkelstein and Caldwellrnw ill get their wish; The influence of thernSouth in such a government will certain-rn] be minimal. For the rest of the us,rnhowever, the prospect of a federal governmentrnunshackled by any conservativerncounterweight will probably not be quiternso welcome.rnRobert Stacy McCain is an assistant nationalrneditor for the Washington Times.rnRELIGIONrnarnClinton and thernClergyrnby Mark TooleyrnWe ought to string up Clintonrnand Monica by their feet, ju.strnlike the Italians did to Mussolini and hisrnmistress at the end of World War II.”rnThis comment came from a caller tornWisconsin Public Radio, on which I wasrna guest last fall. When I was invited tornspeak, I had assumed most callers wouldrnbe pro-Clinton. After all, it was public radio,rnin a liberal Midwestern state. Instead,rna host of angry callers vituperatedrnagainst the President and his transgressions.rnI was a little taken aback, especiallyrnby the Mussolini comparison. Understandably,rnthe program host cut thisrncaller short.rnMost callers were considerably lessrnvengeful but still adamant. Apologiesrnfrom the President are not enough. Thernprogram host pleaded that forgivenessrnwas surely in order. No, insisted the indignantrnmajority. They weren’t ready tornforgive so easily.rnAt one point, the host flippantl}’ referredrnto himself as “reverend” and to hisrnstahon as “Wisconsin Christian radio.”rnHe probably was not used to an hourlongrndiscu.ssion on the theological implicationsrnof sin and repentance.rnIn sharp contrast to these exacting radiornlisteners in Wisconsin, many—if notrnmost—mainline religious leaders whornhave spoken publicly about Clinton’srnplight have urged quick and easy forgiveness.rnThe President, after all, has said hernwas sorrv.rnThe Interfaith Alliance, a coalition ofrnmainline (i.e., left-leaning) religiousrnleaders, made this plea at a Septemberrnpress conference. “No other Presidentrnhas had such a positive impact on thernmoral character of our societ,” announcedrnRabbi Jack Moline, formerrnpresident of the Washington Board ofrnRabbis. “I believe he has the moral authorityrnto lead,” agreed Dean NathanrnBaxter of tiie Episcopal Church’s WashingtonrnNational Cathedral. “A majorityrnof people still believe in the progressiverndirection he is leading the country.”rnBaxter stressed his disgust at Clinton’srnbehavior. But, he said, “I think it’s appropriaternfor the President to apologize.rnThen wc moe on.”rnJoan Brown Campbell, general secretaryrnof the National Council of Churches,rnhas followed the Wliite House line atrnevery step of the scandal: first skepticalrnof the charges, then minimizing theirrnmoral weight and urging a rapid redirectionrnof attention to other issues. Shernshares Moline and Baxter’s trust in thernPresident’s continued capacit)’ for leadershiprnbut said her granddaughter hadrnrecently awakened her to the scandal’srnimportance. ^Affer she was told about thernPresident’s problems (in a sanitized explanation),rnthe little girl exclaimed,rn”Then there should be a ‘time-out’ forrnhim!” Maybe Clinton should have arn”time-out” in the form of a censure fromrnCongress, Campbell suggested. “Wernmav have to say deeds have conse-rnCjuences.” Yet even with this conclusion,rnthe NCC head is still in step with thernWhite House, which has long hintedrnthat a light censure would be acceptable.rnJames Dunn of the Baptist Joint Committee,rna liberal church lobby not affiliatedrnwith the Southern Baptist Convention,rnsaid Clinton’s moral authority wasrndiminished but not destroyed. He reservedrnmuch of his fire for Clinton’s critics:rn”There were two immoral playersrnhere. And the other one was not Monica.rnIt was Ken Starr.”rnDunn blamed Starr’s “legalism” andrn”dogmatism” on the special prosecutor’srnconservative religious upbringing in thernChurch of Christ. “They believe they’rernthe only ones going to heaven,” Dunnrnscoffed. {Starr now attends a nondenominationalrncongregation.)rnPraising the clergymen whom thernWhite House has announced will be thernPresident’s ongoing spiritual counselors,rnDunn said evangelist Tony Campolornand Methodist pastor Philip Wogamanrnare as “tough-minded as anybody. Theyrnwon’t be snookered.”rnBut Wogaman was indeed snookeredrnwhen, for seven months last year, he defendedrnhis most prontinent parishionerrnin a host of media interiews. Clintonrnwas not guilt)’ of the charges against him,rnWogaman assured reporters, even as herncondemned the “personal interest andrnbias” of Ken Starr, whose investigativerntactics were a “moral outrage.”rnIn anv case, it’s questionable how offendedrnWogaman could be by the President’srnsexual misconduct. A prominentrnadvocate for liberalizing teachings onrnsexuality within his own denomination,rnWogaman has told the New York Timesrnthat sexual fidelity is merely a “culturalrnexpression” that can become idolatrous.rnWogaman, the president of the InterfaithrnAlliance, has been joined as confessorrnto the President by Campolo andrnMassachusetts pastor Gordon MacDonald.rnCampolo is liberal politically butrnmostly traditional in his theology; so isrnMacDonald, who lost his ministerial positionrn12 years ago in the wake of his ownrnadulterous affair. After several years outsidernthe ministr)’, he now has a full-timernpastorate.rnThe clerical trio conversed and joinedrnin a group hug on the White House lawnrnafter the President’s breakfast for religiousrnleaders on September 11. It will berninteresting to hear how the three, whornrepresent ver)’ different theological perspectixes,rnwill jointly counsel Mr. Clinton.rn”[ regret it was announced publicly,”rnsaid Unitarian Universalist presidentrnDenise Davidoff about the President’srnspiritual team. “It felt manipidative.rnThere was a press release for what shouldrnhave been an exclusively private affair.”rnAPRIL 1999/45rnrnrn