Let’s see if I’ve got this Clinton victory right. A federal judge in Little Rock , Ark., has decided that the president is innocent of committing an “outrage” as defined by Arkansas law, or of inflicting any actionable damages on Paula Jones’ psyche. That leaves the president guilty only of indecent exposure. Sure, it’s “alleged.” But who in their own private counsels, or in their right mind, could believe that Jones and the six people in whom she confided at the time just made the whole incident up? And who, even among those who think it shouldn’t matter, doubts the president had sex in the Oval Office with a 21-year-old intern, not his wife, and lied about it to a court of law, and then lied about it directly and bald-facedly to the American people? Or that the commander in chief groped a troubled and confused Kathleen Willey. After all, Joe Klein’s “Primary Colors,” the most widely distributed full-length portrait of the Clinton character, reveals a man perfectly at home with such obnoxious behavior. And Klein was a Clinton fan and defender. Has there been even one review of the book or the film that even suggests the portrait of “Gov. Stanton” as sexual predator is inaccurate or unfair to the original?
Let’s accept for now the argument that the president’s sex life — even though it leaks into the Oval Office, even though it has penetrated the entire nation’s mental life, including that of its prepubescent children — is still a private matter. Let’s just ignore the fact that the president of the United States is a flasher, a sexual pig, a liar and even a perjurer in his compulsive and repulsive behavior toward women. Does this mean we can be done with the matter, just say “yuck” and put it behind us, as the groupthink induced by the Clinton spin staff seems to be demanding?
Let’s remember that not too long ago, we forced a president out of office and sent several of his aides to jail for far less than has been done by the Clinton White House. On this president’s watch, we have misappropriations of FBI files, illegal leaking of personnel files, defying of court requests and court subpoenas, missing records, destroyed records, massive illegalities in campaign finance, including breaches of U.S. security regulations and, of course, multiple coverups and potential obstructions of justice. Richard Nixon went down primarily for erasing 18 minutes of tape to cover up a burglary of which there is no evidence to suggest he had knowledge in advance. Moreover, the consequences of Nixon’s downfall were not small. His forced resignation led directly to the reversal of his Indochina policies, the cutting off of U.S. military and financial aid to the governments in Cambodia and South Vietnam, the fall of those governments and the slaughter of 2.5 million peasants by their communist rulers. Hillary Clinton, then a staffer in the Watergate investigations, was part of the crowd that thought the pursuit of a president they hated was more important than this.