Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Monday, June 28, 2004  

Waiting 'til hell freezes over

I keep hearing from time to time how intelligent and brilliant Bill Clinton is. This latest review from the Wash. Post of his lousy book:

"Despite all of this, Clinton's finished product evokes another quote from Twain: like Wagner's music, it's not as bad as it sounds. His life is too fascinating, his mind too brilliant, his desire to charm too strong to permit him to produce a boring book. The combination of analytic and emotional intelligence that made him a great politician now makes him a compelling raconteur. "

I'm from Missouri. Show me where the man has ever said, done, or written anything which is truly "brilliant" or original.

This piece of fawning rhetoric is just plain silly. His life is not that fascinating except in a negative way regarding his treatment of women and others who trusted and believed in him. Colorful in this case is more the Marion Berry variety, which is not fascinating so much as pathetic and depraved.

Nor is his mind that brilliant as previously mentioned. He is apparently very glib and facile, certainly manipulative, and cunning, but I don't think we've ever seen any kind of bright cleverness that leads to serious work or achievements.

As to his vaunted charm, Camille Paglia had him pegged when she suggested that if you met him without knowing who he was, he'd come across as a pasty faced, smarmy, glad handing, superficial, flim flam man. You'd count your fingers after shaking hands with him, and lock up your daughters and wife (and maybe even the dog).

I always have to wonder if people in New York and Washington, the literati and chattering classes know anything of life and people. They seem incredibly shallow in their assessments of their fellows, and easily impressed.

I will grant you that to win elected office, especially the presidency, is an accomplishment of no small thing. It is usually energy and ambition combined with a good dose of luck, but energy and ambition are not necessarily virtues in every man who has them. In fact, more often than not, they are negative signs which point to severe, personality disorders. (See Kennedy, Nixon, Burr, among others.)

Renown, though, succeeds on its success, as they say. There are many writers, painters, poets, composers today who are admired in glitterati circles for their accomplishment at becoming celebrated for creating horribly bad works of art.

Clinton has joined that crowd along with Jimmy Carter as an accomplished man who was lousy at his job. He is now famous for being infamous. But that's enough for many who probably still set a place for Marion Berry or Al Sharpton at their tables.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 12:58 PM |