The Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton: A Political Docu-Drama (英語) ハードカバー – 1997/11
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The Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton is a work of "future history." It shows how Clinton could be impeached within months. You'll learn how Congressional investigators could adopt 7 articles of impeachment against Clinton with known evidence, already on the real-life record; which of the many Clinton scandals pose a very real threat to his presidency; what specific crimes the 7 articles of impeachment will detail; how serious a threat to our Consitution Clinton really is; which 13 Democratic senators could join Republicans and vote to convict Bill Clinton; and how Clinton can be brought up on RICO charges - and found guilty of racketeering.
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Tyrrell's major handicap is that he is trying to move from the realm of journalistic editorship to the realm of novel-writing, and simply doesn't have the skills for it. Simply put, Mark Twain he isn't. When I read a novel, I expect an in-depth study of the characters and the situation. I expect to be told not just _what_ the characters do, but _why_ they do it. And the "why" inevitably goes much deeper than "that Bill Clinton may be a scumbag, but he's _our_ scumbag," and is definitely more complicated than that.
But instead of depth of characterization and background, I get Barney Frank and Charles Schumer acting like Rush Limbaugh's favorite caricatures of them. I also get Sonny Bono behaving as though he were once again doing one of his television shows, instead of participating in arguably the most _serious business_ of all our lives--and again, with no explanation of Sonny's behavior. And I get thirteen Democratic "crossover Senators" who make the difference between "Guilty" and "Not Guilty" in the Senate--but with no, or scant, explanation of _why_ they cross over. Compare Tyrrell's Frank and Schumer with Twain's "King and Duke," and compare Tyrrell's Sonny Bono to Twain's Tom Sawyer, and you'll see what I mean.
I would certainly hope that the _real_ Bob Barr (who has just filed an impeachment resolution in the House in real life), the _real_ Henry Hyde, and the _real_ Orrin Hatch and Arlen Specter would make a better effort than this to (a) gather intelligence on the other side, and (b) make a coherent plan to win people over, through appeals to emotions either noble or ignoble. Tyrrell's book is not a plan. It is a wish. A wish that I myself will fully acknowledge sharing, but a wish nonetheless. And again, as a novel, it is far too pedestrian ever to take itself, or be taken, seriously.
The trouble is that I think Bill Clinton _should_ be impeached, and for the reasons that Tyrrell states, and for other actions and policies of his that are tantamount to treason. But by the time the professional book reviewers--which is to say, those who actually write novels for a living--get through with this book, they'll start such a drumbeat against it that the American people will lose its message in their disappointment in the finished work. And that's too bad for the country.