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  The Real Victims of the White House Scandal

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You are reading topic "The Real Victims of the White House Scandal" in forum "Politics As Usual!."

Edit Post
(Posted Saturday, September 26, 1998, 8:39:00 PM)

It's interesting how everyone here is able to shed tears for the perils of the president. While we're all so painting him as a victim of persecution on a par with the Spanish Inquisition, how about a bit of sympathy for some of the REAL victims of this fiasco.


Whether you believe Clinton is the scum of the earth, or Starr is the second coming of Torquemada, or both, the truth is they'll both come out of this whole ordeal relatively unscathed. The preasident won't even have to worry about paying any legal bills, thanks to his "legal defense funds". One further blessing for the country may be that Starr's lifelong dream of being a Supreme Court Justice is in the can.

Edit Post
(Posted Sunday, September 27, 1998, 12:42:00 AM)

We are the real victims of the current fiasco because GOP leaders in Congress have given time to this event that should have been devoted to tending the nation's business. We still haven't done anything significant to remedy shortcomings in the funding of social security; the current appropriations bill is a fucking mess, with oknibus measures covering Interior, for example, that include some of the most obscene pork barrel crap of the century; the knotty problem of medical care is about where it was six years ago. It's time for Newt, Trent, Armey and the lot to throw in the towel and let Congressional Republicans who still believe in serious public service take over their jobs. Clinton's sleaze is no where near as serious as the neglect Newt and Lott have shown to really serious business during the past two months. Too bad we can't impeach them! And before you say it, NO, I am not a Democrat. I'm one massively pissed off Republican.

Edit Post
(Posted Sunday, September 27, 1998, 5:34:00 PM)

The Country pays the price for Bill's

indescretions, lack of integrity, dishonesty,

and lack of character.

The Washington Post in an editorial

last week stated that "an honorable man

would have resigned from the Presidency

long ago...Bill Clinton is not an honorable

man. He put's his own ego and personal

desires before the Country's interest".

Edit Post
(Posted Sunday, September 27, 1998, 9:17:00 PM)

Hey, Jon, coulldn't you use the same WP quotation to describe Newt, Trent, and a whole lot of other assholes in Washington? Why single out William Jefferson (!) Clinton for special notice.

Edit Post
(Posted Sunday, September 27, 1998, 11:33:00 PM)

The Chicago columnist Joan Beck refers to Ken Starr as an "honorable man and respected jurist". Says a lot about his columnist.

If Ken Starr were and honorable man, he wouldn't have gone down the road of going to a man's sex life to ruin him and destroy his career and produce a scandal-sheet "report" worthy of Penthouse and then have his Greek chorus blame the president for "making America discuss oral sex."

Who the victims are in this scandal will be pretty obvious in the end. This is about character assassination and nothing more. All the so-called "harassed women" all had agendas and motives and are going to be able to peddle their stories for years to come.

George Stephanopoulos and all the other staff will be publishing books and columns for decades.

There was a time in America when the code of the day was "MYOB" (mind your own business), which means, there are times when you look the other way. Ken Starr couldn't do that because he was busy getting in touch with his "inner Puritan."

The level of hysteria in this witch trial is high enough. We don't need more opinions from the "sexually correct."

Edit Post
(Posted Monday, September 28, 1998, 8:11:00 AM)

What's being said about Starr and the others

may be true and correct, but isn't it really

all just diversionary? When you get right

down to it, the President, the Nation's

chief law enforcement official, perjured

himself. There can be no defense for this.

To say "others do it" and "it's ok, it's

only about sex" seems to me poor rationalization. The president committed

a crime and should be punished. Our constitution gives Congress the right to punish the President. I think we should just get along with this process.

Edit Post
(Posted Monday, September 28, 1998, 9:25:00 PM)

Jon, I don't mean to be too technical, but Clinton isn't the chief law enforcement official of the USA. That title belongs to Janet Reno. He's sleazy, yup. Guilty of impeachable offenses, not in my opinion. Now, as to sleaze, would you like to add some other Washington residents to that list?

Edit Post
(Posted Tuesday, September 29, 1998, 8:38:00 AM)

Well, I think we can all agree that Clinton

is pretty sleazy. But the sleaze isn't

what makes him impeachable. Its perjury...

a serious crime...and potentially impeachable.

I'm not sure the others you refer to ever

perjured themselves.

Edit Post
(Posted Tuesday, September 29, 1998, 3:18:00 PM)

I'm sure that some will dismiss me as a blind defender of Clinton, but even if you stipulate to Clinton's alleged purjury, Anthony Lewis' column in today's NY Times is no less accurate in pointing out the danger to the ATKOL forums inherent in what is going on, and how gays are likely to be among the "Real Victins...."

September 29, 1998


The Piper and the Tune

BOSTON -- One political force is more determined than any other to drive President Clinton from office for his behavior, and the same force would be the big political gainer if he is removed. That is the Christian right.

Elizabeth Drew, writing in The Washington Post last week, said that the President "will be impeached." One reason, she said, is that "the ever-stronger Republican base, the Christian right, demands that it happen, and few Republicans will risk crossing them. This is more important to most Republicans than the President's job approval ratings."

Impeachment needs only a simple majority in the House. Conviction in the Senate, requiring a two-thirds vote, is much less likely. But even impeachment -- the course on which House Republicans seem to be set -- would have enormous consequences for our politics.

The Christian Coalition and other religious conservatives would become still more influential in the Republican Party. In recent years they have had a disproportionate voice in the writing of the party platform and in Presidential primaries. In the year 2000 they might well control the choice of the nominee.

George W. Bush, the centrist Governor of Texas whom many regard as the front-runner for 2000, said the other day that seeing Washington in its uproar over Monica Lewinsky made him wonder about running for President. In any event, he could have trouble winning the nomination in a convention dominated by the right, whatever his poll numbers.

The shift to the right would be just as consequential in Congressional policy terms. The social issues that mean so much to religious conservatives -- the issues that President Reagan pushed aside to concentrate on economic policy -- would come to the fore.

Abortion would be targeted for a range of new restrictions, including even a constitutional amendment to outlaw it. And concern with sexual matters would not be likely to stop there. There would be legislation to limit U.S. help for population control efforts around the world. Federal regulations to give equal treatment to homosexuals would be another target. The law forbidding grants to "indecent" art could be expanded to other fields.

Criminal law is another possible area for punitive moralism. House Republicans have already acted under cover of the Lewinsky turmoil to try to sneak a harsh new measure on juvenile crime onto the statute books. They have attached to a non-controversial bill a rider requiring the states, among other things, to put more children in prison with adult criminals.

If you think about all those things, it is clear that there is an effort under way to bring about a fundamental change in the political direction of this country, effectively changing the results of our last two national elections. It would be a coup d'Útat.

Long before Linda Tripp gave her tapes to Kenneth Starr, there really was a right-wing conspiracy of sorts to bring down this President. Richard Mellon Scaife gave The American Spectator millions for its Arkansas Project to find dirt on Bill Clinton. Crazies spread tales that he was involved in murder and drug-smuggling. Conservative groups financed Paula Jones's lawsuit against the President. (Her lawyers hired as investigators members of a Texas church that tried to remove "Moby Dick" and "To Kill A Mockingbird" from the local high school reading list.)

It was President Clinton's arrogant folly that opened the way for the religious right and others long frustrated in their desire to destroy him. And they are dead serious in their determination to exploit the opportunity he gave them.

The outside world looks with astonishment at what is happening here. A columnist of The Financial Times of London, Philip Stevens, put it: "As the days pass, the proposition that the most powerful nation on earth could sacrifice its leader to lies about his sex life becomes ever more eccentric."

Many Americans who do not agree with the religious right -- who want this to remain an open and tolerant society -- are unhappy about President Clinton's conduct. But as we consider how to deal with it, we have to be aware of the political consequences.

Edit Post
(Posted Tuesday, September 29, 1998, 3:56:00 PM)

As to whether Clinton's perjury is impeachable, we'll have to wait and see. In the end, the language of the Constitution is so broad that grounds for impeachment are whatever Congress wants to make them. Against the instances in which the process was used, from Justice Pickering through Richard Nixon, however, congress has read the article with some limitations: removal from office on the gorunds of incompetence (Pickering) or attmepts to subvert justice by using executive power (Nixon). I find it hard to see that Clinton did anything as damaging as Nixon or that his mental competence is in question. As to the radical religious right: it's out there and it's gearing up for a major anti-gay campaign; pandering pols like Newt, Lott, Armey and all will be happy to abet the next witch hunt. The only effective resposne will be political activity and organization: join, work, contribute!

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