Bill Murchison

I have to say, Hillary Clinton is looking pretty good these days. I mean, up against an impressive number of fellow Democrats, including several who aspire to the presidency.

Say what we will (and probably should) concerning the former first lady, she is famous for a certain cunning. This seems to preclude her getting into bigger trouble than the normal hyper-ambitious pol gets into in the course of a political day.

She hasn't yet, for instance, slammed the administration for deceiving us into attacking Iraq through the concealment or distortion of relevant information concerning weapons of mass destruction.

Mrs. Clinton's reticence in the matter -- she has confined herself thus far to noting, factually, that "Serious questions have been raised ... " -- is setting no example for presidential hopefuls like Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who says President Bush's "credibility is at stake." Then there's fellow White House-seeker, and Florida senator, Bob Graham, who tells us the president "lied, in the sense that he didn't tell the whole truth." (As in "I did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky"?) Yet another presidential candidate, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, denounces the administration's "fraudulent approach to foreign policy."

Various Democrats clamored last week for a full-dress investigation into what the Bushies knew and when they knew it. Ah, the smell and savor of Watergate! Robert Byrd's West Virginia colleague, John D. Rockefeller IV, of whom little is normally heard, insisted that a private investigation -- one designed to protect national security -- would be "inadequate."

I could go on. Suffice it to say, with clasped hands: Oh, thank you, Mrs. Clinton, thank you. For a change.

The slopes of the Democrats' imposing molehill should not take long to ascend. It could be, in fact, that by the time the Senate intelligence committee's closed hearing into the matter gets off the ground, the long-sought weapons of mass destruction will have been located. Or maybe not. If not, will that prove U.S. deception or Iraqi cunning?

The oddness of this matter stands out a mile. What you want to say to these folk (from whom, in this context, serious Democrats like Joe Lieberman and even John Kerry distance themselves) is: Stop just a minute. Think. What's the purpose here, to keep Americans safe or to crack open a White House door recently believed sealed?

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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