Sunday, June 20, 2004

Just desserts

Bill Clinton couldn't disappear with decency for a few years like Richard Nixon - he has to keep sticking his his head back out. That would be OK if he had learned a few things since then, but no. His book got a review in the NY Times which said in part "sloppy, self-indulgent and often eye-crossingly dull-the sound of one man prattling away, not for the reader, but for himself and some distant recording angel of history". He rages in a BBC interview because the interviewer brought up the most memorable occurrence in his Presidency. And he speaks of his impeachment fight as a "badge of honor"..

Bill Clinton was not just a lawyer, but a former law professor. He lied under oath. The subject of the lie was immaterial - he was legally compelled to answer the questions truthfully and he didn't. He knew he needed to tell the truth, or ought to have, and he didn't. Case closed. That he was also a slut (where are the medical records?), and grossly irresponsible (were there no *discreet* Dem women who'd have him?) is just gravy.

But suppose we did, as the Democrats insisted, assume that this "did not rise to the level of impeachment" (an awkward phrase that became popular through Dem choreography). There's a case for that, but not for his subsequent behavior. That solipsistic jackass had his minions attack the fundamental morality of the US, and it's still going on today (if they didn't do it at his command, then the decent thing would have been for Clinton to call them off. But that would have taken some class). "It's just lying about sex". "It was just a blow job!", ad infinitum, just to save him from well-deserved ignominy. It's as if current charges against a certain celebrity were proven and he started a national campaign with a slogan "Boys - the other white meat".

But lying about sex was trivial?. Right. If it's so trivial, then why lie about it? "So I got a BJ, big deal - what's the problem?" Some even tried to get us to believe that in the same act, Ms. Lewinski had had sex but he had not.

The fact is that lying about sex was critical to his election hopes. That's what inspired him and Hillary to appear on "60 Minutes" for their little show of solidarity after the Gennifer Flowers situation. That's why he regularly had his little photo ops in front of left-wing churches with a Bible in his hand, while truly religious men like Ronald Reagan quit going to avoid burdening the churches with the security issues. He knew very well that his pluralities against two of the least charismatic men the Republicans had ever run might not have held had more voters known what kind of man he really was, and thought that Monica's behavior was more than an essential social skill.

Then there was that "sheet-sniffer" Kenneth W. Starr. What were Starr's offenses? He *published* what Clinton *did*, in accordance with his mandate. Now tell me again, who's the perv? By Clinton's standards, we should have let the "In Cold Blood" killers go and locked up Truman Capote instead.

Well, let's try this one - lying about sex was heroic! He did it to save his family! He was Tom Sawyer, lying to save Becky Thatcher's delicate behind from old man Dobbins ("Oh Tom, how could you be so noble!"). Sorry pal, but you don't save your family by lying about being a slut, you save it by not being a slut in the first place.

But hey, maybe he and Hillary had an "understanding", and her reported reactions were for show. There's still something to object to. I'd think that even a cursory look at this woman's background would have screamed "Indiscreet!" But as Gary Aldrich had already informed us in a book the Clintons tried hard to suppress, he had abandoned normal FBI screening practices for his staffers. So he didn't even have access to an FBI file about her.

Saddest of all was watching the Democratic Party play along with it. What a !@#$!@ disgrace to see them lined up defending him, which should have demonstrated to even the most naive of us that the Democratic Party abandoned all pretense that it was about anything but its own propagation.

Look, I'm no Hillary fan. I could feel sorry for her husband whoever he was, and if he had taken his medicine like a man I could have mellowed out on this. But if he made a deal with the devil let him pay the price just like she does.

Likewise I'm no Al Gore fan, dating back well before his haunting of the White House. Since then things have only gotten worse. I could give Clinton and the cynical yet sane Dems who supported him some points for doing what they could to keep Gore out of the White House if they hadn't supported him in the subsequent election.

But the day a President's private affairs get in the way of discharging their duties as President, and he hijacks the mechanisms of govt to defend himself to the detriment of such things as national defense ("Bin Laden? Save it in case we need to push Monica off the front page") is the day the President should resign. Bill Clinton did not do that. He failed to live up to the standards set by Richard Nixon, and thus must be judged as a failure.

No comments: