Thomas Sowell

During Clinton's days as governor in Arkansas, state health officials who tried to enforce the law against the Clintons' business partner Jim McDougal were summoned to the governor's office and told that McDougal was a friend of his. When they failed to take the hint, and continued to cite McDougal for violations of state health laws, they were fired.

After Bill Clinton reached the White House, federal officials in Arkansas investigating the Whitewater scandal were suspended after they disregarded hints from their supervisors that people higher up did not look favorably on their investigation.

Personal destruction? This administration wrote the book! These stories planted in the media about Governor Bush and about Ralph Nader are only the latest chapters.

The media have not covered themselves with glory in this episode. Too many press pundits seem to think that everyone in public life owes it to them to tell them everything about their private lives. But we are not voting on people's private lives.

The distinction seems to be lost on too many people. What Clinton did with government employees in the White House is not his private life. Committing perjury in a federal court is not his private life.

As for Governor Bush, it may be revealing that he was not speeding, like so many people driving under the influence of alcohol, but was in fact pulled over by the police because he was driving too slowly. Apparently he was aware of his diminished capacity. Later, he became sufficiently aware of the problems created by alcohol that he became a teetotaler more than a decade ago.

We could use somebody in Washington with an awareness of his own limitations, instead of the arrogant recklessness and disregard of others that is all too apparent in the Clinton/Gore administration.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate