Emmett Tyrrell
WASHINGTON -- They are back! I speak of the episodic apologists, who have been a phenomenon of the Clinton Saga since its earliest days, back when the Clintons were flipping real estate and exchanging bad checks in Arkansas. The episodic apologists, like the legendary court historians of Franklin Roosevelt's time, are an essential ingredient of the era in which they labor. The court historians gave us Roosevelt's "One Hundred Days," "He Saved Us From Communism" and other legends of the 1930s -- forget not, "He Ended the Great Depression."

The episodic apologists are admittedly somewhat different. Drawn from the ranks of journalists, historians and politicians, they have contributed more actively to the soap opera of the Clinton Saga than mere historians, for they are active participants in the drama. After every disappointment that the Clintons perpetrate, these saps go into an emotional tailspin: with all their trembling alases, forsooths and oh-woe-is-me's.

The Clintons were reputedly prodigies of public service; before he got caught with the fat intern, or the independent counsel fingered Hillary lying to the grand jury or scores of other scandals (Travelgate, Filegate, Bill's impeachment, the plundering of the White House, the presidential pardons). Then there was his performance in the 2008 election.

After every major Clintonian scandal, the episodic apologists go through their sorry act. The boobs are crestfallen. They denounce the Clintons in the firmest possible terms -- terms not easily erased from the public record. I have them all on file. Then, slowly and steadily, hope springs anew. Bill is "President of the World," according to MSNBC. Or Hillary's 2010 was a "good year," claims The Washington Post. Now along comes someone named Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post to note that all three Clintons have had their "best year" in 2011 -- "Mental note: Stop counting out the Clintons," he writes.

Cillizza brings in the hapless Chelsea, who has just signed a contract with NBC and been widely panned on her first interview. He praises a "fully rehabilitated" Bill Clinton for his new book, "Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy," a repudiation of much of what Bill did right in policy terms during his presidency when the boy president said, "The era of big government is over."

Yet Cillizza saves his most sanctimonious adulation for Hillary, who never lied to anyone, never obstructed justice and now, in 2011, "managed to stay gold" -- yes, gold, not golden.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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