Of the Politician and the Patrician:
So over the last two nights, Larry King, the 600 year-old interviewer for CNN, who used to be famous for hanging up on callers that annoyed him on the radio, spoke first to George Bush, Sr. and then to Bill Clinton. Watching the two nights and reading the transcripts was akin to licking broken glass while kneeling bare-legged on rice grains. King's modus operandi is the "I-don't-know-jackshit-about-jackshit-and-I-don't-fucking-care" approach that has been taken and improved to the Nth degree by his descendants on Fox, on MSNBC. But the interviews, typical King hum jobs in obeisance to the powerful that they were, offered a couple of insights into the two ex-presidents:
A. Bill Clinton is the greatest politician of our lifetime. And he proved it all night on King's show. See, the reason Clinton is a master in a way that gives Karl Rove IBS is that he says what he means. Unlike, say, the current President Bush, who lies blatantly and talks in circles about that which he is ignorant and then sometimes just babbles incoherently, like a meth addict on his second day cold turkey, until a real and actual thought lodges in his alcohol and coke-pickled remnant of a brain, Bill Clinton knows exactly what he wants to say and how to say it. Motherfucker can slice and dice you and do it in a way that leaves you smiling, where you don't realize it until you take a step and your pieces fall apart.
Look at Clinton's answer to King's question about stem cell research: "I think the more moderate proposal put forward by Mike Castle, the Republican from Delaware -- who was once a colleague of mine, who was once governor of Delaware -- and some of the Democrats and Republicans together that passed the House, I think that's the right position.
"You know, I understand where the president's coming from. You can draw up all these kind of scary scenarios with stem cell research and, indeed, you may have seen the private scientists recently -- that panel issued-ethical guidelines, and they said, for example, you can't put human brain cells into an animal because of the odd chance that you could have a human brain in an animal. It was really, you know, kind of scary stuff.
"But the truth is that, as long as you're not essentially, you know undermining potential life solely for the purpose of harvesting these stem cells, which is not what we're talking about doing here, there's really no problem. We're talking about cells that will not be used for other purposes, that will not be fertilized, and I think they have unique medical properties that adult cells don't have. So I favor the position adopted by the House of Representatives."
Okay, did you see what Clinton did just then? He triangulated, saying he agreed with the Republican House of Representatives. He feinted at sympathy for the President's position. And then he quietly, with a fuckin' smile on his face, whipped out his razor blade and de-pantsed George W. Bush. The President and others believe in fantasy shit, and they'd be idiotic fuckers for stopping the research: that's what Clinton said. They're primitive fools. But he did it in a way that anyone can nod and agree with. Jesus, it's so fuckin' beautiful.
B. Who gives a fuck what George H.W. Bush says about anything? Poppy Bush had fuck-all to say worth writing about. Sure, yeah, he said that Jeb oughta run for President because "this guy's smart, big and strong." But Jeb ain't runnin' with that drugged-out daughter of his hangin' around. What else did we learn? Li'l George shore likes his Bible, Li'l George didn't do nuttin' wrong in the Air National Guard, and Babs loves all her spawn equally.
'Course, Poppy did say this about his place in potential disagreements with Li'l George: "He's elected. I'm just sitting by here, sitting, you know, as a bystander these days. And the reason is, I don't want to say anything, do anything, publicly sign anything, op-ed anything that has one nuance of difference between myself and the president, because that would be the story. Rush down, the nutty father says this. Or look what the stupid son did. I mean, we don't need to get into that."
Now, King didn't say anything about the "stupid son." It's just interesting, is it not, that "stupid" is the first word that popped into Daddy's head.