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Late Night: Like It’s 1999

In many ways, I’m nostalgic for the ass end of the last century, and not entirely because I was young and the economy was great; at that golden moment, Republicans appeared to have descended to a level of cuckoo that would render them forever obsolete.

I still remember the exultation I felt at an election night party in 1998; when righties got what they deserved for their panty-sniffing temper tantrum. I was foolish enough at the time to think they’d be chastened for their revolting hypocrisy and antediluvian puritanism.

That, of course, didn’t happen. The lame duck congress went ahead and impeached Clinton even as his popularity soared, just because. Later, when impeachment failed in the Senate, a chorus of righty pundits denounced not the craven absurdity of the whole spectacle, but the shabby moral state of ordinary Americans to tolerate, well, the sex. Especially in others.

Again, I thought the right lessons had been learned, and again I was proven horribly wrong. Gore promptly chose the odious turncoat Joe Lieberman as his running mate for no other evident reason than his schoolmarmish disapproval of Gore’s former boss, and (sort of) lost the Presidency he should have taken in a walk.

That President Obama would find himself set upon by a bunch of scandal-mongering crackers, albeit with better TV presence this time, just as Clinton had been at this stage, could hardly be a surprise, but yet the media, and more disturbingly, the Administration, treats it as such, at least publicly.

And therein lies the rub. Obama knows, as did Clinton before him, that his only option in even serving out a second term is to serially cave to Republicans on matters big and small, which coincidentally makes a lot of the right people very happy. And that makes your post-Presidency a lush one, as it always was for your minions along for the ride.

We’ve seen this movie before, and the ending is drearily predictable.

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