In entrechats each fluttering insectrntherernRose two steep yards in air,rnThen slowly floated down to climbrnonce more,rnSo that thev all composed a manifoldrnAnd figured scene.rnAnd seemed the weavers of somerncloth of gold,rnOr the fine pistons of some brightrnmachine.rnWatching these lifelong dancers ofrna dayrnAs night closed in, I felt myselfrnalonernIn a life too much mv own.rnMore mortal in my separatenessrnthan they—rnUnless, I thought, I had beenrncalled to bernNot fly or starrnBut one whose task is joyflilly to seernHow fair the fiats of the caller are.rnAlan Sullivan is a poet and critic fromrnNorth Dakota.rnDoe Feverrnby Karina RollinsrnThe Case Against Hillary Clintonrnby Peggy NoonanrnNew York: Regan Books/HarperCollins;rn181 pp., $24.00rnThe Case Against Hillary Clinton is arnstrange book. It would be lessrnstrange if it were titled Peggy Noonan srnPsychoanalyses, Future Speculations, andrnGeneral Meanderings, Which Are AllrnWell-Written and Witty. But a bookrnbilled as an indictment of the First Lady,rnwritten by none other than Ronald Reagan’srnmost lauded speechwriter, createsrncertain expectafions.rnOne expectation is that conservatives,rnright-wingers, and anyone else who alreadyrndislikes and distrusts Hillar’ Clintonrnand her agenda will naturally whooprnand cheer as they turn the pages. Anotherrnexpectation is that Noonan would atrnleast try to present the charges againstrnMrs. Clinton in such a way as to keeprnHillar’ sympathizers from dismissing herrnas just another Clinton hater before sherneven presents her case.rnBut Noonan starts off with an imaginaryrnscene set in the future, v’ith Hillaryrnabout to give her acceptance speech afterrnwinning the New York Senate racernagainst Mayor Rudy Giuliani (updaternthat to Rick Lazio). Noonan describesrnthe First Lady’s manner of dress, the roaringrncrowds, and Hillary’s thoughts —arnmultifaceted barrage of “Hah, I showedrnthem!” attitude and utter self-indulgence.rnIt seems real. You can just picturernit. You just know the First Lady’srnthoughts would indeed be as puny as thernones so well described by Noonan —zfrnyou already are a Hillar}’ foe. But for anyonernon the undecided list, there is no reasonrnto iew this very funn’ concoction asrnanything more than entertainment a larnSaturday Night Live—nor to take any ofrnNoonan’s subsequent criticisms seriously.rnIf Noonan hoped to do more thanrnpreach to the choir, she blew it in herrnpreface. (One suspects she is a bit too enamoredrnof her own talent and wit to resistrnshowing off before making an actualrncase.)rnThis ingenuity provides the high pointrnof the book, a fictional 15-page address byrnMrs. Clinton to Steven Spielberg, JeffreyrnKatzenberg, Ted Turner, et al., the who’srnwho of the entertainment industry. Herrnspeech is about the cultural morass ofrndeath, sexual license, and deviance byrnwhich American children are surrounded.rnIt is so all-consuming that parentsrncan’t simply “change the channel if theyrndon’t like it” because another channelrnwill have more of the same. This fictionalrnHillary has found a real voice and truernguts. She presents the gathered Hollywoodrnmight)’ with a chance to do thernright thing for the sake of doing good:rnMake funny, quality entertainment thatrncelebrates the goodness in people, notrntheir dark sides; realize that just becausernFirst Amendment rights protect any expression,rnno matter how useless and vile,rnnot all artistic expression must be uselessrnand vile.rnThe speech dazzles with its cleverness.rnThese 15 pages alone are worth the pricernof the book. It is Peggy Noonan at herrnbest because it’s a speech, and writing effectivernspeeches is what Noonan doesrnbest. The speech brings to mind thernwoman who, after the Challenger explosion,rnquoted poetry to describe how thernastronauts will “touch the face of Cod,”rngiving President Reagan one of his greatestrnlines.rnBut the fact of the matter is that thisrnwonderful speech is not a ease againstrnHillary Clinton. It is about what Hillaryrncould have said, and didn’t; but whilernboth Clintons could hae used their positionsrnto do good, the missed opportunity’rnof persuading media moguls to stop producingrnsmut isn’t exactly a damning indictment.rnAnd not taking positive actionrnis hardly a trait unique to the Clintons.rnOther building blocks of the casernagainst Hillary include dead-on projectionsrnof what her Senate race against Ciulianirnwould have looked like (no smokingrngun there); a seven-page speculation ofrnwhat thoughts might pass throughrnHillar”s mind during idle time on an airplanern(including amusing but gratuitousrninsults of Al and Tipper Gore); and Noonan’srn14-page plea to her childhood girlfriendrnnot to vote for Mrs. Clinton. Thisrnis Noonan at her worst. Trying to exposernthe hollowness of Hillary’s claims thatrnshe “shares the concerns” of New Yorkrnhousewives, Noonan veers off into classrnwarfare, blasting Mrs. Clinton for a privilegedrnlifestyle. The attack is so cheap thatrnit could cause even card-carrying membersrnof the “vast right-wing conspiracy” tornfeel the First Lady’s pain.rn’The Case Against Hillary Clinton is asrnmuch about the President as it is aboutrnthe First Lady, since, as Mr, Clinton hasrn(in)famously said, “you get two for thernprice of one.” Noonan gives a good accountrnof the essence of the couple’srn”Clintonism” —their soulless powergrabbing,rnmanifested in the countlessrnscandals and “snafus” of their seven-yearrnreign. “We can stop it here, in the battlernof New York,” she proclaims at the book’srnend.rnYou will decide it. Either they willrncontinue to deform and lower ourrnnational politics, or they will not. Itrnis up to the people of New York.rnAnd that is the great thing aboutrndemocracy: Before Hillary Clintonrngets to decide ‘our future, you getrnto decide hers.rnThis is good stuff; but it is too little, toornlate. During a recent TV interview withrnJudith Regan, Noonan proclaimed thatrnshe intended her book to “have the urgencyrnof a pamphlet.” It would havernbeen more urgent had it been a pamphlet.rnThe failure of Noonan’s casernagainst Hillary Clinton is not that sherndoesn’t make it—she illustrates the myriadrnshady dealings and lies in which thernSEPTEMBER 2000/29rnrnrn