Vengeful Dick

Dick Morris, whom readers will recall was fired from the 1996 presidential campaign for sucking a prostitute’s toes, clearly has a love-hate relationship with Bill Clinton. It was therefore with great curiosity that Chatterbox approached a recent New York Post column in which Morris spelled out his view of Clinton’s proper punishment. Morris, is a censure, no-fine man, but he wants (or rather, says “a large majority” of the public wants) Clinton to suffer. His ingenious and somewhat sadistic solution is to “pass a bill stripping Clinton of his pension and his expense allowance after he leaves office. Leaving him to fend for himself, with only Secret Service protection provided by the taxpayers, would be a fitting punishment for the first president since Gerald Ford not to rate millionaire status.” Morris says that the Senate Democrats would not be “nutty enough to filibuster,” and Clinton wouldn’t “dare to veto it.”

Ouch! Chatterbox, like Morris, is a tough-censure advocate, but thinks Morris’ proposal is too mean. Hey, even Richard Nixon got to keep his expense allowance! Also, it could backfire. Clearly Morris harbors some fantasy that Clinton would end up like King Lear raging half-naked on the heath. But an equally plausible outcome is that Clinton would find some grotesque way to commercialize his ex-presidency–say, by endorsing a line of condoms–and would end up living next door to Ronald Reagan in Bel Air.

–Timothy Noah