Well, there she goes again. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-
IL AR NY) has trotted out her classic whine about the “vast right-wing conspiracy” again. Normally, I’d just shrug (or giggle) and MoveOn, but this time she decided to cite as evidence a particularly nasty black mark in our history here in New Hampshire: the 2002 phone jamming scandal.
Let me recap that sordid incident for you: in 2002, the race to succeed Bob Smith in the United States Senate was a particularly close one. Republican Congressman John E. Sununu (who bumped Smith off in a primary race) was going up against Democratic former governor Jeanne Shaheen, and it was a real nail-biter. A high-ranking Republican official got the clever idea of screwing with the Democrats’ “get out the vote” move by hiring a telemarketing agency to repeatedly call into the Democrats’ offices, blocking calls from voters needing rides and keeping them from calling out to voters to remind them to get to the polls. Sununu won a narrow victory.
Senator Clinton told a New Hampshire audience that “”To the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s credit, they sued and the trail led all the way to the Republican National Committee.” That’s not quite how it happened.
Before the Democrats’ lawsuit was heard, there was a criminal investigation. And as a result of that, three people — two Republican officials and the head of the telemarketing agency — went to prison. THEN the Democrats sued the state Republican party, and eventually settled out of court.
Personally, I was glad that these guys went to the slammer. One thing we can NOT afford to tolerate is anyone — ANYONE — for ANY reason assing around with elections. In fact, I was actually disappointed in the settlement. The Republicans will end up paying a little over $100,000; I ran the numbers a couple of ways, and thought they should have had to fork over about $2,000,000.
OK, Senator, you’ve brought up the mote in our eye. I don’t particularly appreciate it, but it’s a fair cop. It happened, it’s documented history, It’s a black mark that us New Hampshirites — Republicans, Democrats, and Independents — will have to bear. But would you mind if I took a look at a few beams in your eyes?
1) I know you’ve made your husband’s impeachment a verboten topic, but it seems germane in light of the Scooter Libby trial. Under your administration, what would your Justice Department’s position be on lying under oath in federal proceedings — just when would it be acceptable, or at least not worthy of prosecution?
2) In the 1970’s, you made a singular foray into the cattle futures market. Thanks to a skilled and knowledgeable “friend” who managed your trades (as in absorbed all your losses), you parlayed $1,000 into $100,000. Could you use that same keen financial acumen to perhaps bring down the federal deficit?
3) All throughout your husband’s administration, you stood by him while he repeatedly affirmed that Saddam Hussein was a threat, even to the point of launching military strikes. You persisted in that belief to the point of voting for the Authorization of Military Force in 2003, which led to the invasion of Iraq and deposing of Saddam, in accordance with the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998. At what point did Saddam suddenly stop being a threat, and just when did you realize it?
4) When Congress subpoenaed your billing records from your tenure at the Rose Law Firm, you were “unable” to produce them for over two years. Then, they “turned up” in your private quarters in the White House. Did the maid misplace them? Did Chelsea play a prank on you?
5) In 1996, you were allegedly involved in the improper acquisition of literally hundreds of FBI files of some of your husband’s political enemies. Was there any good dirt in there?
6) In the last days of his administration, your husband did as several other presidents have done, and issued some rather controversial pardons — including some Puerto Rican terrorists and some Hasidic rabbis who had been caught in a tax evasion scheme. Both groups had significant support in New York City, among your then-would-be constituents. Did you have any foreknowledge of these pardons? Were you involved in any way in these pardons being issued?
7) In the early 1970’s, you served as a counsel for the House Committee that prepared impeachment procedings against President Nixon. In the 1990’s, you stood by your husband when he became only the second president in history to be impeached. Given your unique perspective on the matter, could you offer your opinions on the practicality of the calls for President Bush’s impeachment?
I’m so glad you announced you wanted to have a “dialogue” with America, Senator. I’ll be looking for you during your future trips to my home state of New Hampshire, and hope we’ll be able to discuss these matters.