REVIEWSrnMr. Clinton’s Legacyrnby Clark Stooksburyrn”Feeling Your Pain”: The Explosionrnand Abuse of Government Power inrnthe Clinton-Gore Yearsrnby James BovardrnNew York: St. Martin’s Press;rn426 pp., $26.95rnBill Clinton has often been comparedrnto Warren C. Harding, and consideringrnthat president’s scandals and adulterousrnaflair within the White House, thernparallel seems valid. The better comparison,rnhowever, may be with Harding’srnpredecessor, Woodrow Wilson. At leastrnthat is the impression one gets readingrnJames Bovard’s book. Under Wilson, therncountry witnessed a huge growth in governmentrnthrough such things as the income-rntax amendment, the Federal Reserve,rnand the Espionage Act. Therncentury’s teen years also witnessed thernGreat War, the Creel Commission, andrnthe Palmer raids. The 1990’s gave us thernbombing of Yugoslavia, Barry McCaffrey’srninsertion of drug-war propagandarninto network TV, and Janet Reno. WhilernClinton’s record is modest compared tornWilson’s, Bovard—a libertarian journalistrn—has still assumed a formidable burdenrnin documenting eight years of liesrnand abuse of power.rnThe more benign aspects of Clinton’srnlegacy are found in those few remainingrngovernment agencies, such as the FederalrnEmergency Management Agency,rnwhose calling cards aren’t submachinernguns, tanks, and no-knock warrants. FEMArnwas created in the Carter years torncope with natural disasters or nuclearrnwar; President Clinton has turned it intornan open spigot, freely dispensing cash.rnAfter an earthquake in California inrn1994, FEMA sent checks to many residentsrnon the basis of their ZIP codes, includingrnmany who had made no damagernclaim; the agency has performed similarrnacts across the country, even in less electoral-rnvote-rich states.rnThe AmeriCorps “service” program,rnone of Clinton’s proudest accomplishments,rnis a massive boondoggle on whichrnBovard has shone a penetrating light.rnAmeriCorps would be a waste of moneyrnif it consisted of earnest, ponytailedrnyouths collecting aluminum cans in thernname of public service. It is, however, farrnmore insidious, much of its purpose beingrnto serve as a backdrop for Clinton propagandarnrallies and to engage in illegalrnpolitical agitation. “Some AmeriCorpsrnprojects seem to be largely federally paidrnrabble-rousing,” Bovard writes.rnAmeriCorps is paying four membersrnto work with the Political AsylumrnProject of Austin, Texas. Programrndirector Nidia Salamancarndeclared: “There are a lot of immigrantsrnwho are in detention rightrnnow—we see how their rights arernbeing violated by police officers andrnby detention officers—we documentrnINS encounters with immigrantsrn—if they are respecting theirrnrights.” AmeriCorps support for thernWhatcom [Washington State] HumanrnRights Task Force is paying forrnAmeriCorps members to “organizernthe Hispanic population . . . to developrna program of monitoring, reportingrnand stopping INS .. . abusesrnof the Hispanic population.”rnWhen not serving as the ClintonrnYouth or aiding illegal immigrants,rnAmeriCorps members recruit people tornsign up as food-stamp recipients, engagernin toy-gvm buy-back programs, agitate forrnhousing subsidies and rent control, andrnencourage child sex-abuse witch-huntsrnin Janet Reno’s old South Florida stompingrngrounds. Americorps has also takenrnup the cause of child literacy, despite thernfact that thernlargest single item that AmeriCorpsrnspends for training its own membersrnis for General EquivalencyrnDegree (GED) preparation—helpingrnAmeriCorps members get theirrnhigh school degree.rnThe meat of “Feeling Your Pain” lies inrnits dozens of examples of federal assaultsrnon the liberty and property of averagernAmericans in the last eight years. Muchrnof what Bovard recounts is old hat, but itrnis useful—and terrifying—to see it gatheredrnin one place. The Waco assault wasrna defining moment in the Clinton years:rnIn this single episode, the administrationrndisplayed its dishonesty, contempt for humanrnlife, and deadly desire to help “thernchildren.” Bovard covers territory familiarrnto anyone who has studied the raid,rnbut his account still makes for chillingrnreading as he quotes Democrats, terrifiedrnby the prospect of any examination of therngovernment’s actions at Mount Carmel,rnattempting to cover up the disaster. Accordingrnto then-congressman CharlesrnSchumer, attempts to bring the perpettatorsrnto justice were “an attack on the ATE.rnThis planned hearing was simply somernred meat to some of those extieme rightrnforces.” Treasury Secretary Robert Rubinrnperversely explained that the Waco raidrncould not be understood “outside of therncontext of [the] Oklahoma City [bombing]”rnthat occurred two years later, the implicationrnbeing that only some sort ofrnNazi terrorist would question the raid.rnWhen, in 1999, the cover was strippedrnfrom some of the government’s lies, JanetrnReno attempted to preserve a few shredsrnof credibility; the investigation she calledrnfor, however, had problems. “Reno couldrnhave recused herself from any role inrnchoosing a new person to reinvestigaternWaco,” Bovard suggests. “Instead, shernpersonally chose John Danforth, a formerrnsenator and a golfing buddy of Clinton’s,rnto be in charge of the reinvestigation.”rnAs Bovard observes. Bill Clinton hasrnbeen the most anti-gun president in U.S.rnhistory: He signed the Brady Bill into lawrnin 1993 and the “assault weapons” ban inrn1994. Truth, however, has been thernbiggest casualty in Clinton’s war on guns.rnThe President, who has enjoyed panderingrnto the police, made a special show ofrnappearing with the widows of policernofficers killed by “cop-killer bullets,”rnwhich can penettate police body armor.rnMemorializing Daniel Doffyn, a Chicagorncop killed in 1995, Clinton proclaimedrnthat, “if a bullet can rip throughrna bulletproof vest like knife through hotrnbutter, then it ought to be history. Wernshould ban it.” But Bovard reveals a minorrndetail that the leader of the free worldrnleft out: “Dofiyn died after being shot inrnthe head as well as being shot in the chestrn30/CHRONICLESrnrnrn