- The Washington Times - Friday, December 29, 2000

Resolutions for the new year are about correcting sins of omission and commission. The basic idea is to make lists of our intentions to begin doing certain things we should have been doing, but weren't, and to stop doing certain other things we should not have been doing, but were.

This is a good thing to do. Nobody is perfect. So, in the spirit of the season, I will confess that during the last eight grueling years, I wrote a few unkind things about various people and groups. I wince when I remind myself of what I have done, but true repentance requires complete candor.

In that spirit, I must confess to having written bad things about various liberal heroes and icons. For example, I mischievously said of our statuesque vice president that his artificiality suggests he is not wooden as many contend, but plastic, and therefore a non-biodegradable menace to the political environment.

I called Bill Clinton “Beelzabubba.” I said he was an “energized bunny chaser.” On one occasion, I described him as Bill “I never dropped my pants” Clinton. I called him a scalawag, boll weevil, southern confederate. In the same venomous vein I wrote shamelessly about Kweisi “Boo Hoo” Mfume, Rep. David “I am dyspeptic” Bonior, and George “man-child” Poppycockopoulos.

I wince when I think about having described Hillary Clinton as “a ferocious, left-wing, radical warrior-woman, with a face of chiseled grit, and a burning passion to become the Great Emasculator” who occasionally transmogrified into a “frilly and frumpy housewife with a cookie cutter, gazing up at her husband with a look of dopey adoration.”

It was insufferable of me to refer to Clinton's cabinet as a freak sideshow, featuring a giant bearded lady, a couple of midgets, an array of bumbling Babbits, and cabinet clown, Joselyn Elders.

I was unkind to whole classes of people. I was particularly unkind to liberals. I wrote that “although they look and sound alike when they are snowing the public, in fact no two liberal flakes are alike.” I said liberals were so open-minded their brains fell out. I said liberalism was a disease, probably genetic, and apparently incurable. All of these were wince worthy.

I gave the Democratic Party some bold advice: I wrote: “You have an image of unmanliness. Overcome your terror of guns, your loathing of the military and your heterophobia. Fake it, if necessary.”

I advised Democratic party leaders to “Stop whining. But if you must whine, find some women to do it. It is unbecoming to see men pout and complain. This is women's work; we are better at it. The Democratic party is full of girls who have perfected the art of the nag, for example Barbara Boxer, Maxine Waters, Barbara Mikulski and Barney Frank.”

I said that historians would describe the Clinton administration not as a sea change in American politics, but as a toilet flush. I recommended we should round up all the people who voted for Bill Clinton and arrest them for committing a hate crime against America.

None of this was nice. The frothy, teeth-gnashing, apoplectic responses evoked by my commentaries helped me understand that I had not succeeded in bringing out the best in all my readers. I know it now. I know it because I am in receipt of a basketful of mean-spirited, uncivil letters from outraged readers who demand that I stop being so outrageously mean-spirited and uncivil. I winced when I first read these letters. I am still wincing. I can take a hint.

In the future I want to be more empathetic toward the people who disagree with me, however disagreeably they do it, and more indulgent of the ideas, however loony, with which they are afflicted. If the two journalistic giants George Will and William Buckley can take the heat for on the one hand being boring and on the other being incomprehensible, surely I can withstand a few barbs and death threats without wincing.

Therefore, I, Linda Bowles, being of conservative mind and body, do hereby make the following resolutions for 2001. I solemnly resolve to:

  • write a thank you note to Bill Clinton for enabling the Republican Party to take control of the House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and the presidency.
  • write a thank you note to Pat Buchanan for effectively destroying the Reform Party and enabling George W. Bush to become President of the United States.
  • ask Attorney General John Ashcroft to determine whether the laws which prevent criminals from profiting from their crimes will apply to Hillary's book deal.
  • stop wincing.


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