Bill Press is co-host of CNN's Crossfire. He is
                          providing exclusive analysis to CNN
                 during the election season.

                    The Right-wing Posse Rides Again

                   By Bill Press/CNN

                   WASHINGTON (CNN) -- I know you're not going to
                   believe it, but one day this week I heard a little kid in
                   my neighborhood singing this refrain:

                   Watermelon Dan, Watermelon Dan,
                   Out to get the Clinton man,
                   Hell will freeze before he can,
                   But he'll keep trying,
                   Watermelon Dan.

                   And so it goes every spring in Washington: the
                   right-wing posse rides again, all three members, each
                   loonier than the last.

                   Their leader is Watermelon Dan Burton, who of
                   course got his nickname by inviting reporters to his
                   back yard and shooting a watermelon to prove (how?)
                   that Vince Foster did not commit suicide, a wacko
                   theory he still believes, despite at least four
                   investigative conclusions to the contrary.

                   Watermelon's right-hand sidekick is Lonesome Larry
                   Klayman, partner in the Vince Foster conspiracy, as
                   well as such other sinister conspiracies as: Ron
                   Brown's murder by Clinton operatives, just before his
                   plane crashed; Linda Tripp's stepmother's mysterious
                   divorce; and Harold Ickes's bizarre refusal to reveal
                   the names of his cats. All of which, in his Inspector
                   Clouseau style, Klayman has thoroughly investigated.

                   Rounding out the trio is far-right-hand cowboy
                   Redneck Royce Lamberth, federal judge who has
                   smiled brightly on nearly every one of the 31 lawsuits
                   filed by Klayman so far against the Clinton
                   Administration. Starting with calling former Clinton
                   aides "hooligans" and "con artists", Lamberth has
                   earned his reputation as #1 Clinton-hater on the
                   federal bench. In Lamberth's court, with rare
                   exception, whatever Lonesome Larry Klayman wants,
                   Lonesome Larry Klayman gets.

                   Of course, there's no such thing as a free posse. It
                   costs money, even to ride the range. No problem.
                   Money-Bags Richard Mellon Scaife rides to the
                   rescue, with over $1.3 million to Klayman's Judicial
                   Watch over the last two years.

                   And so -- with Scaife's money, Klayman's suspicions,
                   Lamberth's blessing and Burton's hearings -- the
                   right-wing posse saddled up again this week to pursue
                   their elusive prey, the wily Bill Clinton. This time, on
                   two new charges. Neither of which even passes the
                   laugh test.

                   One, raised by Klayman and ruled by Lamberth: that
                   Clinton violated the Privacy Act by making public the
                   warm, personal letters he'd received from Kathleen
                   Willey -- most of them signed "Fondly, Kathleen" -- in
                   one of which she called herself his "number one fan"
                   -- and all of them written after he had allegedly
                   fondled her in the Oval Office. Baloney! Personal
                   letters aren't covered by the act of privacy. And
                   besides, in this country, thank God, anybody accused
                   of sexual harassment has a right to defend his good
                   name and provide evidence to the contrary, even the
                   president of the United States.

                   Two, raised by Klayman and pursued by Burton: that
                   the White House conspired to cover up thousands of
                   White House e-mails that MIGHT -- just MIGHT --
                   contain incriminating evidence against Clinton or Gore.
                   Nonsense! Technicians who installed the new system,
                   designed to store and archive all e-mail, say the
                   computer simply crashed. As all computers do.

                   Besides, the White House has already turned over
                   7,700 pages of e-mails, which contained no damning
                   evidence. Unless, like Klayman and Burton, you see a
                   conspiracy under every rock, it's hard to believe
                   there's a smoking gun in the missing e-mails, either.
                   After all, what more could we possibly learn, or care
                   to know, about Monica Lewinsky? Enough already!

                   Still, the right-wing posse never gives up. Sure, they
                   struck out on Whitewater, and on Filegate, and on
                   Travelgate. Despite all the rhetoric, they never found
                   any illegal activity in the White House coffees or
                   phone calls or overnights in the Lincoln Bedroom.
                   And, while they did manage, with their allies in the
                   House, to get Clinton impeached for enjoying oral sex
                   with Monica, he is still in office, stronger than ever.

                   But, hope springs eternal in the breasts of the
                   Clinton-haters. Watermelon Dan, Lonesome Larry
                   and Redneck Royce have saddled up one more time to
                   go out and get their man. This time, they insist, they'll
                   bring him back, dead or alive.

                   Don't hold your breath.

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