Literary look back: George Stephanopoulos' classic 'All Too Human'

Book holds early clues to the Democrats' true intentions dating from the golden Clinton Era. Photo: Time Magazine/1994 White House photo

WASHINGTON, May 23, 2013 – As a nation, to rise above what can only be described as our extremely surreal present tense, it seems increasingly necessary to force ourselves to look back to our recent history to establish some perspective. Once we understand that our current situation is not an anomaly but the ground-up, Bizarro World fabrication of a once-great American political party, it seems much easier to face it head on.  

Upon re-examining former Clintonista Communication Director George Staphanopoulos’ 1999 political apologia “All Too Human: A Political Education” (Little, Brown & Co., 1999), it becomes easier to see that today’s Democrat Party is like a poison-filled sac dangerously close to bursting and spreading hyperpartisan sepsis throughout the already-weakened body politic. Somewhere behind the curtain we are not supposed to pay attention to, lies a party that is dying a painful and monstrously slow death, popular opinion notwithstanding. The elephant-in-the-room question is: Will the Democrats will take the country down along with them? 

“All Too Human” is chock full of hard proof that TV’s venerable “Meet the Press” is a farce, that journalists regularly cross moral and legal red lines to favor their friends with barely a second thought and that pacifists have a warm and tingly thing for vicious strongmen and murderous dictators. These manifestations are most noticeable, we might add, when a Republican resides in the White House. 

“All Too Human” cover image from original hardcover volume. (via Unisquare)

These days, George Stephanopoulos is best known for co-anchoring ABC’s predictably stupid, silly and ad-festooned pot of daily effluvia otherwise known as “Good Morning America.” The august Stephanopoulos can often be seen on TV in the morning tossing salads, interviewing the hyper-earnest authors of intuitively obvious self-help books or even juggling both extraordinarily complex intellectual challenges at once. 

Upon rereading the current volume and then reflecting back on the Clinton presidency that first put Stephanopoulos before the public eye, we suddenly realize that the Bill and Hill show was only a dress rehearsal for the Obama years. Now that we see the dreams of both the Clintons and the Obamas coming to fruition—namely the elevation of sheer power into the status of an organized religion, the act of winning ritualized as a sacrament, and the entire practice of politics transformed into a savage blood sport where the predetermined winner takes all—we can fully perceive the nature of the nascient single-party dictatorship that lies barely disguised beneath the Democrats’ gossamer-thin social justice veneer. 


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“All Too Human” originally came out in 1999. This reviewer was still a Democrat then but just barely. Want some advice? If you find this book in the remainder bin or at your local library’s fundraising sale, why not spend a quarter, or a few quarters, and buy as many copies as you can for every Democrat you know who might still, inexplicably, be perched nervously on the political fence. 

You won’t be sorry. You have my word. It’s a fast read and the price is so very right. I actually got mine for a quarter at the local library’s discard desk. But forget the price. It’s the quality of the cast of characters that counts, stupid, as Clinton aficionados might have said back in the day. Learning what the Clintons and their minions did behind the scenes in the 1990s gives us a more-than-useful insight into the budding American surrender to socialism and statism that is currently well under way. 

While you’re in the process of uncovering where you might find a copy of this priceless literary gem, why not take a breather? Relax for a few minutes and take our George Stephanopoulos Pop Quiz (patent pending) before you resume your epic Book Quest. The handy answer key appears below the quiz. (No cheating. This isn’t college.) 

But wait! There’s more! After cruising through our political nostalgia trip, check out the special Bonus Glossary that follows. No salesman will call.


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George Stephanopoulos Pop Quiz 

1. True or False: Stephanopoulos was a subject of criminal investigation by the FBI before he began working for the Clinton campaign. 

2. In “All Too Human,” Stephanopoulos employs italicized inner dialogue passages to reveal unexpressed thoughts. Check out the following pair of examples. Do you find them: Obtrusive? Overwrought? Insightful? 

Passage 1: Section 1505 indictment? Obstruction of justice? Five years in prison?  What are they talking about? It was a phone call. You can’t go to jail for yelling at your friend. Or can you? Maybe Stan’s wrong. Maybe I am in real trouble. Nah, these bastards are just trying to take me out— turn me into a junior Haldemann. 

Passage 2: You gave up on us? How could she say that? Nobody’s fought harder for them. I’m the most loyal staffer they’ve ever had. I went out there every day. On Gennifer. And the draft. And Whitewater. Sacrificed my credibility. I went out there on faith, without the facts, and would get killed, just humiliated. No matter what I thought inside, I went before the whole country like a crazy person, even said I believed he never had sex with Gennifer. People would laugh at what I would say. Then to get attacked – not for being wrong but for being disloyal for abandoning them.  F*** her. I’m arguing for what’s best – for her, for him, for all of us and everything we’re fighting for. F*** her. 

3. True or False: Bob Woodward’s book “The Agenda” greatly upset the Clintons. Soon after its release they invited New Age self-help gurus Tony Robbins and Marianne Williamson to a secret session at Camp David.

4. In November 1993, the Clinton State Department advised against Bill Clinton meeting with which author fearing it would increase the risk of terrorism against Americans, disrupt the Middle East peace process and alienate the Muslim world? 

5. On March 30, 1994, in the midst legal problems plaguing Stephanopoulos, halfway through cocktails at Mary McGrory’s annual, oxymoronic St. Patrick’s Lasagna Dinner, then-House Speaker Tom Foley rehearsed an impassioned speech in Stephanopoulos’ defense. This speech took place hours ahead of Foley’s “Meet the Press” appearance on the same subject. Tim Russert was in attendance, Stephanopoulos writes, as was columnist Mark Shields who chimed in with a supportive argument he had made that night on CNN’s “Capitol Gang.” How many ethical lines were crossed? 

6. True or False: The Josh Steiner Whitewater Diary Episode could have landed Stephanopoulos in prison. 

7. True or False: While driving to an appointment with his therapist, Stephanopoulos called “Washington Post” reporter Ann Devroy, off the record. Devroy advised against the official White House response strategy to a sticky legal situation. Stephanopoulos immediately called the WH telling Clinton hatchet man Harold Ickes, “Don’t ask me why, just kill it.” The WH statement was never released.  

8. True or False: On August 26, 1994 Congress chose to adjourn without acting on Hillary Clinton’s Health Care plan. Stephanopoulos writes, “By then it was a mercy killing.” 

Answer key: 1. TRUE. 2. ALL THREE. 3. TRUE. 4. Salman Rushdie. 5. Too many to count. 6. TRUE. 7. TRUE. 8. TRUE. 

Scoring the Quiz: Skeptical, informed, right-thinking readers will likely score well on this quiz, while those who derive their propaganda news exclusively from  “Politico,” “Media Matters,” “Daily Kos,” and “Puffington Host” will likely score poorly, believing that anything appearing on a “Washington Times”-hosted website is, de facto, a bucketful of mean-spirited lies and baseless innuendo. Check out your own political IQ in our scoring key below. 

0-2 Correct Answers: You are guilty of taking the Scooby-Doo Defense (“Who? ME?”). Cut your subscriptions to the “Washington Post” and “The New York Times” and tune into Fox News and Rush to infuse fresh, verifiable data into your rusty, exhausted memory banks.

3-5 Correct Answers: You’re beginning to learn. Help yourself to improve further by tossing out or burning all your old “Little Lenin Library” volumes along with anything written by Noam Chomsky and Paul Krugman.

5-7 Correct Answers: You’re progressing well in your rejection of progressivism. Throw out any remaining books, magazines or pamphlets in your personal library that have anything to do with Saul Alinksy and burn or destroy your Community Organizer merit badge (Chicago area readers only).

8 Correct Answers: A perfect score. You have concluded your triumphal exit from the Left Wing Reality Distortion Zone. Unfortunately, you are also still working through IRS audits of your 2010 and 2011 tax returns.

Bonus Glossary

Already lost, for some, in the dustbin of history, a working knowledge the following terms will help make your “All Too Human” research project even more rewarding: 

Bohemian Grove. Exclusive all-male club from which former Admiral Bobby Inman refused to resign to gain appointment in 1994 as Clinton’s Secretary of Defense.

mild disbelief. The tone Andrea Mitchell used when she called to ask, “George, what are you guys doing firing the [White House] travel office?”

Norm Mayer. Friend of Stephanopoulos and an American anti-nuke activist who was shot and killed by the United States Park Police after threatening to blow up the Washington Monument.

Red Adair. The late Texas daredevil famed world-wide as the conqueror of oil well fires.

rego action #39. Code for Al Gore’s pet project to “reinvent government,” which included a $2 million project to clean the air by cutting bovine flatulence.

“Those kids who got me elected who are smart but not wise.” A reference used by Clinton in comments to Stephanopoulos and others under forty.

zen spin. The virtue of letting a story go as opposed to spinning it even harder.

“All Too Human: A Political Education,” by George Stephanopoulos. Boston and New York: Little, Brown & Company, 1999. Illustrated. 456 pp. $27.95 list. First Back Bay pbk. ed., 480 pp. $24.99 list.

 

Patti Villacorta is a proud Jewess and an ex-Dem. She despises the #CocktailParty. Her work can be found in American Thinker, Pajamas Media and in an unpublished novel in a box under her bed. Join her. You won’t be sorry. 


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Patti Villacorta

Patti Villacorta is a Proud Jewess and an Ex-Dem. She despises the #CocktailParty. Her work can be found in American Thinker, Pajamas Media and in an unpublished novel in a box under her bed. Join her. You won't be sorry. 

 

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