The Right Coast

April 07, 2004
Lucifer to be dean of Pepperdine Law School
By Tom Smith

Oh no, not the prince of darkness, actually, but Ken Starr (via ProfBainbridge) Judge Starr is proof that everything the media tells you is wrong. Not only is Judge Starr not an evil stalker of innocent Democrats who have done no more than pursue a little good, clean tension-relieving not-sexual-relations-with-that-woman, he is in fact probably the nicest man at his level in the legal profession. That's just how it goes in the big, bad world. Judge Starr was on the D.C. Circuit when I clerked for Judge MacKinnon in the chambers next door. My judge was charismatic and lovable, but nobody would have called him nice. Judge Starr was sunshine itself, and this is not to underrate his formidable intelligence. What he was not, was particularly politically cunning. I would say he consistently underestimated his fellow human's tendency to lie, cheat and so forth, a good man's fault, but potentially a costly one.

Never had two more opposite characters been pitted against each other than when Clinton met Starr. A thousand doctors, priests and detectives couldn't find the truth in Bill Clinton with a flashlight. To get the truth out of Starr, you just have to ask him. I suppose you can fault him for naively thinking Presidents should not break laws to cover up their sexual incontinences, but you have to give him a break. This was before we discovered, with the guidance of the New York Times, Maureen Dowd, and innumberable shrill nobodies on cable TV, that it was fine for big, lovable Bill to do all those big, lovable things on people, and to criticize him was to be some sort of sex-obsessed grand inquisitor. I didn't know that at the time, and you probably didn't either, and what a relief to get that learned. Of course, we will have to unlearn it in a hurry if there is a Republican sex scandal, but sufficient unto the day are the troubles thereof, as they say in Arkansas.