Making lists is one of our culture’s great passions. So it should surprise no one that along to feed that addiction now comes the nation’s Indulger-in-Chief. Bill Clinton, ignoring the notion that former presidents are supposed to yield the spotlight, has just splashed across the news pages by issuing a list of his 21 favorite books.
Did anyone request this?
Repulsive though Clinton is, he is also a mesmerizing creature. And though we all say we would like him to go away once and for all, we are secretly glad that he insists on injecting himself into our lives. His utter shamelessness can be entertaining when we don’t have to worry about him selling out national security to the ChiComs or trying to model our healthcare system after Canada’s.
So it is the case with Clinton’s book list, which provides a valuable look at our 42nd president. A window into his soul, if you will.
See for yourself.
The first thing you notice is that the man is a liar. Hardly stop-the-presses news anymore. That Clinton is a congenital liar is established fact. As president he lied about everything - big things, little things, anything. When caught, he lied about lying. Most of the time, it seemed, he lied just for the fun of it.
With this most recent endeavor, it’s strangely comforting to see the old dog keeping his polished form.
How can you tell Clinton’s lying? There are two pieces of — ahem — fairly unimpeachable evidence.
First, he cites Hillary’s Living History as one of his faves. Clearly a lie. No one who has picked up that deadening doorstop can plausibly declare it one of the all-time best. It is patently unreadable, from start to finish. (Except when she calls The American Spectator “the right-wing propaganda publication.”)
Now, it’s possible — possible — Bill was parsing his words in choosing his accomplice’s memoir as a favorite. She pulled her punches in that book, and left a lot of dirty laundry in the hamper. Bill is undoubtedly grateful. So maybe it really is one of his favorites, for entirely selfish reasons.
Even if we grant him the benefit of the doubt on that possible sin of commission, there is no escaping his glaring sin of omission.
Peruse the list, which includes The Collected Poems of William Butler Yeats as well as T.S. Eliot’s The Four Quartets. What’s missing? It’s obvious: Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.
Even the most casual student of Clintonia knows the Arkansas Philanderer courted both Hillary and Monica with Whitman’s classic, and likely dozens of other conquests in between.
Throughout the decades, Bill Clinton has had no trustier friend than Walt Whitman. Not his reliable enabler Vernon Jordan, not even loyal Washington lickspittle Sidney Blumenthal.
With Leaves of Grass, Old Walt never let Bill Clinton down.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?