IT'S THE STUPIDITY, STUPID by Harry Shearer

IT'S THE STUPIDITY, STUPID

Why (Some) People Hate Clinton and Why the Rest of Us Have to Watch
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A review of Shearer’s thin satirical treatise is like one of those trailers that you know contain all of the movie’s good parts Shearer’star of screen, (Spinal Tap), TV (The Simpsons), amd radio (his own show)” wonders why some people hate Clinton so much when he really hasn’t been all that bad a president. Things are pretty good, if a bit dull; Clinton wanted to be Kennedy and ended up Eisenhower, but that’s no reason to hate him. Hate itself is not always bad, Shearer suggests, and he provides a list of things we really, and justifiably, hate: airline food, telemarketing, lists inserted in small books just to pad them. But why Clinton? Some supporters might hate him for his always safe positions (had he been a woman of his generation, he would have burned half his bra), but they don’t. Sure, some people got pretty upset after the Lewinsky thing—Democrats wanting to got reelected, for instance—but there are some people who hated him way before that. Culture has a lot to do with it, Shearer concludes. Clinton grew up southern poor, and he has offended that culture. He hangs around with rich Hollywood types. He married a northern girl. Of course, he cheated on her, but he still married her. He dodged the draft. Beyond regional reasons for hating Clinton is the fact that he has been self-righteous, and this has not served him well as his reckless exploits have become known. So even though Shearer finds most of Clinton’s deep enemies to be “cranks and bigots,” themselves “donning the raiment of moralists,” they have helped us see Clinton more clearly. In an odd way, Shearer concludes, William Jefferson Clinton may have gotten the enemies he deserves. Jonathan Swift’s reputation as a satirist will remain intact, but this book does offer about an hour’s worth of silly reading pleasure.

Pub Date: Feb. 7th, 1999
ISBN: 0-345-43401-3
Page count: 112pp
Publisher: Ballantine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1999