Boy, the Clintons' left Washington about as quietly as Kid Rock leaves a Holiday Inn.

Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here but like an infestation of cockroaches, a drunken party guest or a super-virulent strain of antibiotic-resistant clap, the Clintons are proving almost impossible to get rid of. Hey, is there any way for an entire nation to file a restraining order?

Since we first met them, Bill and Hillary's political relationship has been defined by a series of scandals, providing their marriage a much-needed distraction from ever having to actually stop and figure out how to extricate themselves from their biggest predicament: each other. Let's face it. If the Clintons' marriage were any more about convenience, they'd have to install a Slurpee machine and a Slim-Jim rack.

We've all been watching in astonishment these last few weeks, as the Clintons merrily parade their greed and corruption past us like a garish Mardi Gras float powered by the drivetrain of Bill Clinton's gargantuan sense of entitlement. Hillary steers, while Bill sits on the top tossing pardons out to the crowd like a drunken Bacchus with a perpetual hard-on for a scepter.

And it turns out the Low Priest who shepherded many of the pardon petitioners to the quid-pro-quo altar is none other than Hillary's currently eight-and-a-half-months pregnant brother, Hugh Rodham. Hey, who could blame Jabba the Hick for acting as a supersized go-between? How would you like it if your sister was in the White House for eight years and you couldn't even cash in on it because of stupid laws and shit?

And the Hugh-Rodham-sponsored pardons were small, and quickly eaten, potatoes compared to the Marc Rich debacle. President Clinton has repeatedly insisted his pardon of Marc Rich was the right thing to do. Which should probably tip you off to just how wrong it undoubtedly was.

You almost have to admire the sheer audacity of granting pardons to two tax-scamming billionaire fugitives named Rich and Green. If the symbolism were any more obvious, Andrew Lloyd Weber would be writing music for it.

And speaking of vacuous songwriters, the Marc Rich pardon was facilitated by his former wife, Denise Rich. Now why would a former wife go to the wall for her ex-husband? Well, in this case, I can think of a couple of billion reasons. You know, she couldn't be any more in her former husbands hip pocket if she were a piece of lint. Think about it. Denise Rich is the perfect unwitting foil to do the bidding of low-rent Machiavellis like her ex and Bill Clinton. Every time I see that footage of her standing there on stage next to Clinton in her strapless, fur-trimmed, hey-baby-give-it-up-you're-in-your-mid-fifties Escada frock, smiling that lobotomized, open-mouth smile, all the while clapping her mitts together like she's a trained seal cleaning erasers, just so thrilled to be part of the action that all the naysayers once told her was way out of her league, well, all I can think is, "Wow, she's not even aware of what an incredible dupe she's being played for." You know, there's nothing sadder than a star-fucker who thinks she's a patriot. And I like her.

To be fair, it's not like other outgoing presidents and first ladies haven't been involved in sketchy pardons, taken gifts they weren't supposed to, or profited from their positions. It's just that no one has ever done it in such bulk, in so short a time, eliminating the mid-level operative and passing the scandal right on to you, the consumer. Let's face it: the Clintons are the Costco of Sleaze.

And all of the lying, cheating and stealing can't be good for either of the Clintons' karma. At this point Hillary's coming back as a dung beetle with an overdeveloped sense of smell, and Bill will come back as... uh... well, Bill. Face it, this guy's smarter than God.

But you must never count Bill Clinton out. He is completely alone right now, but this is when he's at his absolute best. When the whole world has turned their back on him, when the baying hounds are confusing the scent of his blood with someone else's who's about to take the fall for him... That is the precise moment he has you exactly where he wants you.

Perhaps Bill Clinton didn't so much betray his allies as seduce them into betraying themselves. From the women's rights groups who took Clinton's side against all the women he victimized to all the liberal compadres he discarded when it was politically expedient to do so, Clintons proffered deal has always been the same: I will help you achieve your goals if you simply abandon the ideals that made them worthwhile in the first place.

I guess what I'm saying, Bill, is, we're on to you, and it's over, understand? We've awakened from our long nightmare of codependence and addiction and we've found someone new. Maybe he's not as smart or as exciting as you, but he treats us nice and makes us feel pretty. We don't need you anymore, Bill, okay? So stop calling and stop driving past our house at night and stop looking at us like that. Now get off the porch and get out of here before we change our minds.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


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