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Thursday, July 08, 2004


LIFE IMITATING ART/POP CULTURE: KEN STARR, BILL CLINTON AND MAXIMUS (AS PLAYED BY RUSSELL CROWE IN THE FILM, "GLADIATOR") 


By Albert Greenland, guest blogger for The Galvin Opinion

"On my signal, unleash hell on them....What we do in life echoes in eternity.”

--Maximus, "Gladiator"


Attorney Ken Starr’s remarks in today’s Wall Street Journal were invigorating on so many levels. He is a man who literally gave up his reputation, his good name, and his peace of mind to pursue Bill Clinton (almost like Bill Clinton’s personal Fury. Note- The three mythological “Furies” were goddesses of punishment). I had for so long wondered why Ken Starr, a great lawyer, a former Federal Court of Appeals Judge, an incisive author and a respected man, would have wasted his time with Bill Clinton. It is a wonderful question, really. Was it merely to provide free material to radio talk-show hosts such as Bob Grant (commonly referring to Clinton as “the Great Stain-Maker”)? Come on now, why did Ken Starr mortgage his future and willingly don a scarlet letter for the sake of sullying Bill Clinton? The Answer is... See Maximus in the movie, "Gladiator."

Maximus’ family was murdered by the infamous and corrupt Commodus because Maximus would not pledge his life to that man. Maximus had already pledged his life to “the true Emperor” Marcus Aurelius before he was killed by Commodus, his own son. Maximus, escaping his own executioners and swashbuckling onward to become a great gladiator, could have left well-enough-alone to get on with his life. However, he made it his full-time job to kill Commodus to avenge the death of Marcus Aurelius and his family. In the process Maximus lost his own life and risked the lives of many others (including those of his fellow gladiators as well as Commodus’ sister who aided in the plot). In the same way, Ken Starr risked, and, in the opinion of most, lost, his own life (in the form of his career and reputation) and dealt a body-blow to the future of the Republican Party to gather up enough evidence to stick a dagger into Clinton’s political career.

In the Movie Gladiator, Maximus went about his mission for 2 reasons: 1) to avenge the deaths of those to whom he pledged his life; and 2) because he believed in the dream that was Rome.

Ken Starr for 2 analogous reasons: 1) to avenge the destruction of Richard Nixon Robert Bork to whom he had pledged his honer; and 2) because unlike the Democratic (Socialist) Party Apparatus, he believed in the U.S.A. (the city on a hill) and in the Constitution.

Ken Starr as a lawyer worked under Robert Bork, both were members of the Nixon Administration. Ken Starr believed in Bork (a father-figure) and Nixon (a true Emperor). Both men were hung out to dry even though Starr pledged to defend them. Nixon was forced to resign in infamy after a dubious partisan hatchet-job by the Democrats’ S.S. troops (the liberal media) and Bork was literally voted off the Island by the Senate. Remember that the Senate led by such colorful characters as Kennedy (who publicly questioned Bork as to whether or not he supported police officers raiding homes to steal birth control devices) quashed Reagan’s attempt to put Bork on the Supreme Court. Bork, who recently converted to Catholicism, would have been a fine Justice. Sad it is, really, that Bork’s name will always be synonymous with getting “borked” by the democrats—who utilize the courts to thwart democracy and the balance of power set out by the Founding Fathers.

First Among Equals: The Supreme Court in American Life
by Kenneth W. Starr

Therefore Ken Starr, like Maximus, was on a mission against Clinton to avenge Nixon’s and Bork’s honor. And Starr did a great job. Clinton will forever be known as the Great Stain-Maker and as the man who went where no other man would care to go with a fine cigar. I hope it wasn’t a Havana because I would hate to see a good cigar go to waste. For my part I think that Ken Starr, like other tragic heroes, was consumed by his quest for revenge. He acted too quickly when he realized that the Chief Officer of the United States both suborned as well as committed perjury and tried to convict a sex-fiend of high crimes and misdemeanors before a jury of sex addicts. It was just a bad idea. I wish that Starr had gone after Clinton for helping to sell U.S. military secrets under the guise of commerce and information technology to Communist China. He also could have “outed” Clinton for utilizing the FBI to spy on his enemies (remember Nixon just had a few dummies jimmy a lock to find one file). But Clinton, following the lead of those such as FDR and LBJ, and partially utilizing his mule Janet Reno, literally turned every agency and office of the United States government (where a democrat was in charge) into a tool to neuter the Republican Party and conservatives in general.

The second reason that Starr went after Clinton was based on his love of the dream that is the U.S. Constitutional Democracy. The Constitution sets up a tri-partite form of government (President-Congress-Courts) in which the Congress and President (elected by the people) make laws. As Justice Scalia says, the Courts’ only role should be to “stand in judgment” in individual cases. Instead, as liberals realized during the 1950’s and 60’s, they could use the courts for social engineering to set up a Utopian, quasi-Marxist society (and we all know the way Utopias go). Currently and unfortunately, judges make a lot of law. In the process they convert many practices abhorrent to most voters (i.e., homosexuals marrying one another and adopting children or abortion) into constitutional dogma. At the same time, ironically, liberal judges make illegal such practices as have been honored since time immemorial (i.e., saying a prayer in a classroom at the start of the day or putting a cross on public property). Starr, a fine lawyer, looked to punish Clinton and in the process to embarrass the Democratic Party which seeks to undermine the Constitution. Starr believes in the oath he took as a lawyer to uphold the [original] Constitution and is undoubtedly one of the finest lawyers that has ever lived.

I congratulate Ken Starr, a great man, because he tried. He tried where so many are pusillanimous wimps. Did he win? Did we win? Was it worth it? I don’t know.
See previous work by Albert Greenland... April 1, 2004, Why John Kerry should be refused communion.

See other blogs discussing Ken Starr's Washington Journal piece... Daily Pundit, Souther Appeal, How Appealing, PrestoPundit, Mark Kilmer, Bits Blog, The Commons, and Club for Growth.

Update II: See also... Powerline and The National Review's The Corner.

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