SEN. Bob Packwood is not the only one who kept a diary while serving in the Senate. And that's a serious problem. The Senate Ethics Committee may subpoena all the journals that its members produced during their years of government service.
Sen. Rabelais is one of those who kept a diary, and in many ways it's hotter than Bob's. I filched a copy from the Senate cloakroom and here are some takeouts.
"Dear Diary: I was walking down the hall to my office when this girl came up and pushed me. I pushed her back and she pushed me again. 'You can't push me,' I told her. 'I'm a United States senator.'
"She replied, 'You can't push me. I'm a woman.'
"An automatic-gun lobbyist came up to me and asked, 'What's the problem, sir?'
" 'She pushed me,' I told him.
" 'We'll take care of that,' the lobbyist said.
"I could see that I was getting in over my head. 'Don't shoot her. I'll deal with this in a political way.' I invited the girl into my office and assured her that I would not abuse her unless she asked me to.
"She declined, saying that that was why she pushed me in the first place. She knew that I was abusing all the girls in the office. This really boiled me because there were several that I had never propositioned although they owed their jobs to me.
"Then she said something ominous: 'I'll see you in court.'
"I didn't know whether she meant the Supreme Court, the Superior Court or the tennis court.
"In any case the Ethics Committee better not mess with me because I have stories on them that would make their hair stand on end. Take Sen. Speakeasy, who wants to subpoena my diary. Is he in for a surprise when he finds my description of him dancing in a tutu at a Tailhook Convention last year.
"And Sen. Absolution is in for a shock when he reads that he stole 40 rolls of stamps from the Senate mail room and charged them to the space program.
"If I go down, I'm going to take everybody with me.
"This includes Congressman Edgartown, who went on a fact-finding tour of Armenia with his illegal significant other from Cuba. While I'm at it, I am going to blow the whistle on the chairmen of every defense subcommittee.
"Their stories will be so explosive Phil Donahue will book everyone of the congressmen on his show."
Sen. Rabelais is not the only one to kiss and tell about his comrades in the U.S. Senate. There are an estimated 35 senators, not including Oregon Bob, who are ready to turn over their notes to save their skins.
Sen. Deadbeat told me, "We all knew how fond he was of women, but we never thought of him as Marcel Proust."
"Do you think that he's got the goods on a lot of you?"
"Heaven knows! The worrisome part of this is that we are all suspect until the diary is released. My constituents have already asked me to confess to them, and my opposition is running ads showing the cover of Packwood's diary with a voice-over saying, 'If you want to know what Deadbeat has been doing for the last six years, read about it on Saturday.' "
I said, "You're all being tarred with Packwood's brush. Do you think that the Ethics Committee will be tough on him because of his journal?"
"I hope so. If we can't punish someone for keeping a diary, then we'll give all our respected leaders a bad name."
Art Buchwald is a syndicated columnist.