FROM AT IT AGAIN. Ah, they apparently unlimbered the Jaws Of Life to pry Al From out of a corporate hospitality tent long enough to write another op-ed, this one for The Washington Post on Sunday. The equally inevitable Bruce Reed is accessorial to the argument in which the Democrats (again) are urged to knuckle poor people sufficiently so as to build a shining new Clintonism on their spavined bones. This is an old tune played badly, but even my cynical eyes popped at the following sentence: "Clintonism has never been about mushy compromise and electoral expedience."

Holy Jesus H. Christ on a suck-egg mule.

This is funnier than whistling fish. For all his obvious advantages, including his invaluable gift for making all the right enemies, Bill Clinton would have sold his white-haired granny to the Malay Pirates for four points in a Gallup Poll.

Not about electoral expedience? The man who left the campaign trail to sign the execution order for Rickey Ray Rector, who was so aware of events that he left the dessert from his last meal behind so he could eat it later? The man who saved us all from the existential threat that was Sister Souljah? The man who turned the screws further on an already punitive welfare-reform bill two months before the 1996 election? The man who hired Dick Morris...TWICE?

Not about mushy compromise? The man who signed the Defense of Marriage Act? The man who took the biggest whack out of habeas corpus since Lincoln, and who was the worst President on the Bill of Rights in my lifetime until the current crew arrived in Washington and started using it for a bathmat?

Al From's political raison d'etre is political expedience, for pity's sake. At least for now. He's obviously got a solid career as a comedian, if he wants it.

--Charles P. Pierce