Inasmuch as it seems that the Clintons, like the poor, shall always be with us, it's some consolation to know that R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., is still with us too. He has had the Clintons' number from the beginning, and remains unsurpassed in his ability to shine the spotlight on their lies, failings, pomposity, and turpitude. "The Clinton Crack-Up," the latest addition to his five-foot shelf of books, is perhaps his best, if not his most important ("Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House" gets that honor) yet.
Three things stand out about Bob Tyrrell's writing, and "The Clinton Crack-Up" is evidence of all three. First is the thorough research he does. The distinctiveness of his prose hangs on a solid structure of documentation and cataloging. The second is precisely that prose. It's idiosyncratic ... flamboyant, even ... and can take some getting used to. But personally, I think it's wonderful to read something that was written for educated adults. The obvious, even clichéd, comparison is to Mencken, but it's clichéd because it's appropriate. If Mencken were alive today, I don't think he would mind.
And the third thing that stands out about Tyrrell's writing is that he is funny. He recognizes that fundamentally, the Clintons "have always been amusing" (p. 19). While so many "Clinton-haters" seethe in anger or call down the curses of the Lord upon Pudge and Ruffles, "insensate to the full comic dimensions of the Clintons' burlesque" (p. 43), Tyrrell laughs. It's one thing to be hated or feared. It's something very different to be thought ridiculous -- which is why Tyrrell seems to occupy a place of unique vilification among the Clintonistas.
One of the important things Tyrrell did in "Madame Hillary" was reveal the Clinton's standard four-point plan for responding to criticism: (1) Vigorously deny it; (2) Launch ad hominem attacks on the critic; (3) Act personally victimized by the criticism ("Why do they hate me?"); and (4) Say the critic is obsessing over "old news."
Reaction to "The Clinton Crack-Up" proves yet again the accuracy of his assessment -- particularly the inevitable "old news" charge. But not only is the news Tyrrell is reporting particularly current, much of it has also been largely unreported. With the other half of this tag-team match now making her own bid for power, the information in this book is not only an important reminder of the facts about Mr. President Clinton, they are also an important harbinger of what we'll get should we burden ourselves with a Mrs. President Clinton.
We won't be able to say we haven't been warned.
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Andrew S. Rogers (Cascadian)
Mostly, I'm a moderately prolific Amazon.com reviewer who's giving Lunch a try as another venue for my reviews.
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With his characteristic investigative eye and Menckenesque prose, R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. sheds new light on Bill Clinton's post-presidential emotional depression, globe trotting and international deal-making, financial ties to China and the United Arab Emirates, ongoing womanizing, vital support role in Hillary Clinton's anticipated run for the White House, and possible role as America's first "First Man."