Tuesday, June 29, 2004

My youngest son, Jackson, is a huge Harry Potter fan. He taught himself how to read by reading “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” when he was 5 and devoured each of the four sequels. So we happily trooped off to see the latest movie, number three in the series, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” (We’ve been watching the DVDs of the previous two.) Which brings me to Gilderoy Lockhart.

Lockhart is a flamboyant teacher at Hogwarts, Harry’s wizardry school, in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” Handsome, charming, as egotistical as he is irresponsible, Lockhart is quickly spotted by the boys at Hogwarts as transparently phony — while the girls worship him like a rock star. Just like men are repulsed by, and women idolize, Bill Clinton.

Bill Clinton is such a repulsive subject I never thought I would ever write about him again after he was replaced by a man of decency and integrity in the White House. Yet the sight of all those women lining up to buy his book, to get that book autographed by a serial abuser of women, like prostitutes idolizing their abusive pimp, is sadly illustrative of a bizarre truth.

Bill Clinton is a compulsive abuser and user of women. Jerry Seper of The Washington Times has written of “The Missing Clinton Women” — listing a dozen women he exposed himself to, fondled, assaulted or sexually harassed. There are many more victims of Mr. Clinton’s predations who have chosen not to publicly reveal themselves, and many more still who willingly participated.

This is not news — it’s common knowledge. Why in the world then would women in the millions persist in voting for this man and continue to idolize him? I frankly don’t know — but it’s the same phenomenon J.K. Rowling (the author of Harry Potter, and a woman herself) depicts with Hogwarts’ girls swooning over Gilderoy Lockhart.

At the end of the Chamber of Secrets book, as in the movie, Miss Rowling writes one of the most insightful lines in literature. Harry is worried that he has a talent for bad magic, whereupon Professor Dumbledore explains to him: “It’s not our abilities that make us who we are, Harry — it’s our choices.”

It is startlingly instructive to see Bill Clinton seize the public limelight again immediately after the funeral rites for Ronald Reagan, to juxtapose the dignity of those rites with the deception of Mr. Clinton’s book, the national outpouring of grief and admiration for Mr. Reagan with the adolescent infatuation for Slick Willie.

Bill Clinton’s intelligence and abilities exceeded Ronald Reagan’s — but they don’t count. It was their choices that made the difference between Bill Clinton’s sleaze and Ronald Reagan’s nobility.

Recently, the American people have been pulled between two poles: the positive of Ronald Reagan’s appeal to the best within them and the negative of Bill Clinton’s appeal to irresponsibility and depravity. I am confident the pull of Mr. Reagan will be the stronger.

One reason is that it’s too blindingly obvious that Mr. Clinton’s book should have been titled “My Lie.” All of that stuff about Hillary being mad, making him sleep on the couch, going to marriage counselors for a year, yada yada, is all made up. They have had a pact for decades: He gets to fool around with women, and she gets to fool around with women (plus the occasional man like Vince Foster).

Yes, she’s bisexual — I disclosed that in an infamous Strategic Investment column in January 1993, and Dick Morris publicly revealed it a few years ago. You knew that, right?

The good news is that “My Lie” is going to sink without a trace upon the November election. One reason is that women can swoon over Slick Willie but they sure can’t over Hanoi John. Mr. Clinton plays the charmingly lovable rogue who can lie through his teeth and get away with it. There is nothing lovable about John Kerry — pompous, arrogant, stentorian, pretentious and so un-handsome he looks like a cross between Herman Munster and Gomer Pyle. Bill Clinton’s lies were dismissed. Mr. Kerry’s are discerned as flip-flops.

The effect of Bill Clinton will thus be ephemeral. The effect of Ronald Reagan will continue to be deep and profound. In November, American voters — women as much as men — will choose the moral decency of George Bush. Mr. Reagan’s faith in the goodness of American men and women and their capacity to choose the right will be fulfilled.

Jack Wheeler is publisher of www.tothepointnews.com.

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