The Clinton administration gave the country the only president ever impeached on grounds of personal malfeasance; the highest number of convictions and guilty pleas by friends and associates; the highest number of cabinet officials to come under criminal investigation; the highest number of witnesses to flee the country; the highest number of witnesses to die suddenly; the first president to be sued for sexual harassment; the first president accused of rape; the first first lady to come under criminal investigation; the largest criminal plea agreement in an illegal campaign contribution case; the first president to establish a legal defense fund; the first president to be held in contempt of court; the greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions; the greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions from abroad.
The compilation of the "sins" of the Clinton administration (as Ronnie Earle in his role as Fort Worth "evangelist" might have put it) goes on for eight pages.
Democrats think that by launching their vast left-wing political and media conspiracy against Tom DeLay and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (whose sale of health care stock before its price fell is being looked at by the Securities and Exchange Commission and federal prosecutors) they will elbow their way back into power.
That strategy occasionally worked for Democrats in the past, but not in a time of war. They'll have to do better than throwing around charges of corruption. Ronnie Earle seems to have a personal and political agenda, not only against Tom DeLay, but against conservatives, be they Republicans or Democrats. He has had mixed results in court.
In defense attorney Dick DeGuerin, DeLay has one of the state's best lawyers. Twelve years ago, DeGuerin lead the legal team that successfully defended Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas Republican, against corruption charges brought by Earle.
As for the valid criticism from many conservatives that DeLay and the Republican leadership have broken their promise to shrink the size, cost and reach of big government (they have), that's a subject for another column.
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