NASHVILLE, TNA week after Paula Jones' sexual-harassment suit was dismissed by an Arkansas judge, President Clinton once again found himself the subject of formal scrutiny Monday, when he was ordered to appear before the Grand Ole Opry on charges of cheatin', lyin' and runnin' around.
"At some point, President Clinton must be made to realize that, just because he is the most powerful man on the planet, that don't give him the right to go honky-tonkin' 'round with every gal in town," Grand Ole Opry lead counsel Porter Wagoner said. "This country was built upon the unshakable principle that your cheatin' heart will tell on you, a principle for which the president has displayed a whole bushel of disregard."
Wagoner has been empowered under a special provision of the Acuff-Rose Act to investigate possible presidential wrongdoings, including allegations that Clinton had an affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky and subsequently asked her to lie about it under oath. Clinton, who has denied the accusation, claimed exemption from testifying under executive privilege, a move many Opry members view as Clinton "gittin' above his raisin'" and "actin' all high-hat on the American people."
"Prosecutor Wagoner has informed me that President Clinton has been seen riding around town, kickin' up his heels, leavin' his wife Hillary at home with a handful of bills," Tennessee Sen. George Jones (R-Twitty City) said. "If true, this would represent a serious moral failure on the part of the president and a significant breach of trust between him and the American people. Now, here's Roy Clark."
Wagoner asserted that his case against Clinton is "not one hoot" weakened by Judge Susan Webber-Wright's dismissal of the Paula Jones suit. "My report to the Opry will contain a wide range of evidence demonstrating a long history of sexual misconduct on the part of the president. And we ain't talking about just some single, isolated incident in which he done a good girl bad, neither," Wagoner said. "We're talking 'bout a man who, for years, has done his woman wrong, and I will not rest until I put a stop to his low-down ways."
Added Wagoner: "This here prosecution is brought to you courtesy of the fine people at Goody's Headache Powder."
Wagoner said he can provide the Opry with hard evidence that Clinton accessed confidential FBI background files on Republican Party officials; falsified tax records which may have implicated shine-runners and whiskey-trippers in the Whitewater real-estate venture; and, while campaigning for president in 1992, shot a man in Reno, NV, "just to watch him die."
According to Opry officials, for all the diverse evidence Wagoner has collected, his inquiry will likely focus on the Monica Lewinsky affair.
"These here are serious matters," said Opry veteran Hank Williams, Jr. "Even if Miss Lewinsky let the stars get in her eyes and the moon steal her heart, Clinton may be guilty of talking out'n both sides of his mouth. My old dad himself ruled that, once a man got hitched, he had to throw his old date book over the fence, buy a new one for five or ten cents, keep it 'til it's covered with age, and write his wife's name on every page. Fifty years later, I stand by my daddy's words."
Longtime Opry insider Charles Louvin, of the influential Nashville family firm of Louvin, Louvin, Delmore & Carter, agreed. "The President of the United States should be held to the highest moral standard. He shouldn't smoke and shouldn't chew. And he shouldn't go with the girls that do," Louvin said. "But right now, the American people wouldn't be surprised if Clinton had a girl in the Cumberland gap, and her with a kid what calls him Pap." Louvin further speculated that Clinton's long history of wrongdoing may represent conclusive proof that Satan is real.
Clinton said he will fully cooperate with Grand Ole Opry investigators, expressing a desire to "bring matters to a quick resolution and get on with the business of running this country." If he is found guilty, it will represent the Opry's first ruling against a sitting president since 1974, when the Cash-Haggard Commission found Richard Nixon guilty of being a dirty old egg-sucking dog.