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June 21, 2004

I Can't Believe I'm Saying This: Leave Clinton Alone

So, Clinton got all angry and heated when vigorously questioned about Monica Lewinsky on BBC.

Here's the thing:

The Democrats and their liberal media Spirit Squad claimed for years that the impeachment effort was "all about sex." No matter how many times we retorted, "No, it's all about the perjury and obstruction of justice; sex is just the subject matter of that perjury and obstruction," the Democrats and the liberal media Spirit Squad asserted that we were lying, that in fact it was the sex, and only the sex, we cared about.

But here's the thing: When Bill Clinton goes on to do these dopey interviews/advertisements, what does the liberal media ask him about?

The sex. And only the sex.

That's not what I'm interested in. To the extent I care anymore at all about Bill Clinton (and I care less and less everyday; I've even begun to forgive him), I care only about the lawbreaking. Not the sex.

If you're going to ask him questions, ask him about his decision to commit perjury.

Not the sex.

Look: cheating on a spouse with a young girl in a very subordinate position is bad. It's blameworthy. It may even be, in the liberals' favorite formulation, "indefensible and reprehensible."

It is also none of my fucking business. And I think most conservatives agree that it's none of our fucking business. And of course most Americans agree that it's none of our fucking business.

Cheating on a spouse is blameworthy and a betrayal, but it's a betrayal of the spouse. I may say that it's shabby behavior, but I'm not the one to whom an apology is owed.

The wife is, although we don't know what sort of an arrangement these two had. And, certainly, the daughter is owed an apology.

But I'm not owed an apology over the sex itself, and I never fucking asked for one. And conservatives have never maintained otherwise.

So please, please, please liberal media: Don't demand that Clinton apologize for schtupping an intern on my behalf. We're all grown-ups-- we understand, as we always have understood, that infidelity is selfish, hurtful, and regretably all too common. Clinton isn't the first famous, rich, powerful man to chase a little tail, and he won't be the last.

If you want to press Clinton, press him on the stuff for which he really does owe the country an apology: For committing crimes while President of the United States in order to conceal a sordid affair and thus plunge the country into partisan warfare and political paralysis for two long years.

The sex I forgive him for. No, I don't even forgive him-- I forgive trespasses against me, and his affair with Lewinsky was not a trespass against me. I have nothing to forgive on this particular score.

But note the effect of the media's focus on the sex:

1) It gets them ratings;

2) It stokes interest in Clinton's book;

3) It allows the media to claim they're "asking the tough questions, " when in fact they're hitting Clinton hard on sex to avoid the real tough questions; by asking Clinton about a very common and human lapse they use up the time that would otherwise be spent asking him about his criminal lapses;

4) It makes Clinton appear to be a more sympathetic figure, as the media pummels him with intrusive, personal questions about a subject matter they actually have little right to ask, thus casting him in the role of "victim;"

5) It continues the myth that this was "all about sex."

It wasn't then, it isn't now.

You know, if I should ever be caught committing crimes, I can only wish the media chooses to ask me about my various sexual peccadiloes while avoiding the dicey subject of my lawbreaking.

Let's all agree, once and for all: As regards the actual sex, it is time to move on.

Afterthought: Plus, we've got bigger issues to focus on. No matter how "big" Clinton's various crimes -- including taking money from the Chinese -- seemed at the time, they don't seem particularly urgent now. There are simply bigger issues to contend with, and besides, all of this really is in the past. All we can do now is argue about it, and I wonder what the point of that could be.

The impeachment effort failed. Maybe Bill Clinton deserved to be removed from office, but consider: Had we removed him from office, Al Gore would have become Commander in Chief.

Think about that.

Clinton was feckless and arguably negligent regarding national security, but consider what Al "They betrayed this country!!!" Gore would have been like.

In a way, Clinton did us all an enormous favor.

100 years from now historians may note that the most enduring part of his legacy was his courageous cock-blocking of Al Gore from the Presidency.

Hell, perhaps 100 years from now, given the fact that Al Gore was thankfully relegated to obscurity and, King Lear-like, howling like a wounded animal, people will say of Bill Clinton: "In a way, he really did save the Constitution. The sonofabitch's dick was smarter than all of us put together."


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posted by Ace at 12:49 AM

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