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For the record, Starr said, “I had written instructions (as Special Prosecutor). I had a job assignment.” And his instructions didn’t include political game-playing, which he said, he did not do.
Somebody else asked him a much better question, which you can find answered in my column, “Make Them Fear You,” here.
WHAT I SHOULD HAVE ASKED, in the spirit of what the French call “esprit de escalier,” or “staircase wit,” a clever remark you think of too late, was this. It had the additional virtue of my really wanting to know, and now I still do:
“Judge Starr, during the troubles, James Carville called you a ‘hymn-singin’ Fundamentalist.’ You had told an interviewer you liked to relax in the evening by taking walks and singing hymns to yourself. What hymns did you especially like to sing? Were they of the ‘find a solace there’ variety, or more like ‘put on the Gospel armor?’”
Starr would have known the larger implications from the lines I chose. We Christians do signal one another like that. (See my column, “Sweet Hour of Prayer” here.) The first comes from “What a Friend (We Have in Jesus),” Joseph Scriven and Charles C. Converse, third verse:
Precious Savior, still our refuge — Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer.
In His arms he’ll take and shield thee. Thou wilt find a solace there.
The second, from the third verse of “Stand Up for Jesus,” G. Duffield and G.J. Webb:
The arm of flesh will fail you — Ye dare not trust your own.
Put on the gospel armor, and, watching unto prayer,
Where duty calls, or danger, be never wanting there.
Ken Starr is a hero of John Wayne-like proportions to the members of the MFI, who are themselves in large part hymn-singin’ Fundamentalists. The question would not have embarrassed him, and I expect he would have answered it with a careful selection of hymns straddling the prayerful and the exhortational.
The follow-up might have caught him off-guard: “Would you care to lead us in a hymn?”
Because the crowd wouldn’t have let him back out. No matter the quality of the Starr singing voice. (N.B. His speaking voice is much richer and less nasal in person than on TV. I wonder if broadcast engineers had it in for him, the way press photographers did for John Ashcroft when they regular focused on the A.G. with Justice’s boobs in the background.) He would instantly have been joined by a thunderous chorus of hundreds.
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?
H/T to National Review Online