Beltway: Worse Than Ever
Jude Wanniski
May 5, 1999


Memo To: American Citizens
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Inside the Beltway

As you drive south from Morristown, N.J. to Washington, D.C., a trip of about 220 miles, the last leg is on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. At a certain point, before you get to the Capital, you cross Interstate 495, which is the Beltway that circles the District of Columbia. I've made the trip hundreds of times since 1965, when I first moved to Washington, traveling the route first to visit my parents in Brooklyn, N.Y., then from 1972 on, when I moved to Morristown in order to commute into The Wall Street Journal. In the early years I enjoyed the trip, but in recent times I've made it less and less, preferring to communicate with the Capital by phone, fax and e-mail. When absolutely necessary I fly down and back as soon as possible. On Monday, I left the house at 7 a.m. in my new Mitsubishi convertible, top up in a driving rain, and four hours later crossed the Beltway and was inside. Honest to God, I immediately felt slightly ill as my body realized where it was. I could feel myself being smothered with the dense clouds of lies that seemed to float in the ether. They were invisible, of course, but I could still feel them sailing toward me, leftover prevarications from recent congressional "debates," the President's grand jury testimony, behinds being protected at the Federal Reserve by the folks who masterminded the Asian crisis. There are so many lies told in Washington every day by people who know they are lying, but are paid to do so, that even in the best of times I remember getting a whiff of it in the air now and then. But in the last three days, since I arrived, I've come to realize there are now so many lies being told per cubic meter of ozone in the seat of our democracy, that D.C. would be uninhabited if the Environmental Protection Agency had truth squads on the scene removing people for lying.

The most discouraging untruths are being uttered by the propagandists for the bombings in the Balkans. Just as I crossed inside the Beltway, I turned on PBS radio and heard NATO spokesman Jamie Shea explain that our planes had blown up as many electrical power plants in Yugoslavia the night before, so the Serbian murderers and rapists would not have the electrical power for the radar system they use to try and shoot at the airplanes that are bombing the power plants!!! All over Washington I looked for a truth teller, to admit they had been part of this whole corrupt process. I could not find a single one, except when they invited me in their office, looked up and down the corridors outside to make sure nobody would be listening, and then acknowledged to me that yes, whoppers are being told night and day to cover up the mistakes of the President and the Congress, acting jointly, not only in the Balkans, but on everything else they touch these days.

Has the Constitution been suspended? Is Washington, D.C., under martial law, with a Thought Police that is being supervised by our Commander-in-Chief? It is no longer considered polite to mention that President Clinton has made perjury popular and to some, even chic. The President and his Vice President are now in the process of turning all of the powers of the government over to the approved international bureaucracies of the New World Order. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which have been free-floating international bureaucracies with the power to destroy entire national economies, are now totally safe from any foolish concerns of the American electorate. The World Trade Organization, the new kid on the block, knows its place under the thumb of the power elite. The major newspapers and electronic media are thrilled to pieces that NATO has become the new world police force, without benefit of congressional amendment of the NATO treaty. There will be lots of work for foreign correspondents, lots of news to cover, in all the new "humanitarian" wars coming our way. The Senate of course would not approve of any of this if it came to a vote, but decisions are being made hour-by-hour not to bring anything serious to a vote. An independent international tribunal is being vested with the authority to take the work load off the Supreme Court, and if Justice Clarence Thomas has any complaint, he will be tried as a war criminal along with Slobodan Milosevic, the monster du jour.

If he can't be thrown out of office for serial perjury, what can anyone do to rein in King Bill if he wants to help out Prince Albert by ratifying the Kyoto Treaty on Global Warming by executive order? If he can declare war by executive order against Yugoslavia, can he declare war against Congress by executive order? The President and his spokespersons and Cabinet members and Democratic congressional leaders have told so many lies that they now have to tell bigger and bigger whoppers about the humanitarian ends that justify their humanitarian bombs. I remember how Pinocchio's nose kept growing as he was forced to follow one lie with another, and that his new friends made a trip to Pleasure Island, where they all turned into jackasses, which of course is the symbol of the Democratic Party anyway. The Republican elephant lumbers about, pretending not to notice the lies being told, thus lying to itself about the condition of this intellectually corrupt government. Be patient, the elephant says. Wait until next year and George W. Bush will ride out of Texas and come to our rescue. Only then can we begin to clear out the toxic fumes and the rot in our institutions, and maybe give some of the government back to the people. Oh boy. Is that a whopper, or isn't it?