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June 17, 2004

Comments

Although never a Clinton supporter I am one of the few who believe that the Clinton/Lewinski matter was handled precisely as it should have been: Clinton was impeached—a permanent blot on his Presidency—but not removed from office.

And, of course, I was never disappointed by Clinton. His conduct as President was completely consistent with his tenure as governor of Arkansas.

"Because he could". Well, that's incredibly honest and i'm sure plenty of hypocrites (NY Post, are you listening?) will flog him for it. But that's what power does to people, it allows them to do things because they can. And I'd much rather see a man start an affair than start a war for that reason. An affair is not illegal by the way, so if you have a problem with that please get the legislation passed as i could use the entertainment.

Like him or hate him, this answer is bravely contrite and, personally, it does help me forgive him for the betrayal.

Sheesh, Ed. There's no such thing as "bravely contrite." If you do something wrong, you either you apologize and mean it, or you don't. In the latter case, you're a cad. But the former case does not get you bonus points.

People have got to get it out of their heads that apologies elevate the wrongdoer. They don't. At best, they merely keep the wrongdoer from sliding any further.

/rant

wilfred: An affair is not illegal by the way, so if you have a problem with that please get the legislation passed as i could use the entertainment.

Surely there is something about infidelity in this Defense of Marriage Act I've been hearing about, right?

Edward: "hit-by-a-truck shock of watching him admit that he had lied"

I hope that you were at the pre-puberty stage of life when Clinton disclosed his lie, since it would be very hard to understand any man being shocked that another would lie about sex.

If every man in the world who had lied about sex (or maybe only those who hold public office), had his nose turn green we'd have a population celebrating St. Patrick's day permanently.

Disappointed, yes. Shocked? Hardly....

"I think I did something for the worst possible reason -- just because I could.

And why did you lie??

Because that's what I do!! BRILLIANT

And are you sorry?

Every time!! BRILLIANT

My hero!!

"I think I did something for the worst possible reason -- just because I could.

And why did you lie??

Because that's what I do!! BRILLIANT

And are you sorry?

Every time!! BRILLIANT

My hero!!

I really wanted to believe him Jim. It was the juxtaposition on the news of him denying it followed by him coming clean that really drove home that he had lied to our faces, boldly.

It sucked and I really disliked him for it.

Von, I agree with your assessment. You can't bravely be contrite. I do think, however, in the overall public scheme of things that an apology does absolve you somewhat...I mean what else could?

what's your point RD?

They all lie...why not elevate the ones who at least admit it?

"Surely there is something about infidelity in this Defense of Marriage Act I've been hearing about, right?"

No, DoMA is concerned with saving marriage from sin. And marital infidelity isn't a sin. Oh. . wait. .

Von, a genuine apology does mean something. If George Bush apologized for leading us into this war the way he did, and for allowing everything that's been done in our country's name to be done - it would make an enormous difference to me. It would mean that he puts recognition of his mistakes - and the possibility of getting past them - above personal political gain. As it stands, right now I think he'll go to his grave maintaining he did the best possible job as commander-in-chief. And I would trade a thousand Monica Lewinskys for this Iraq.

Von, I agree with your assessment. You can't bravely be contrite. I do think, however, in the overall public scheme of things that an apology does absolve you somewhat...I mean what else could?

In my tradition contrition is insufficient for forgiveness—it must be accompanied by penance and the demonstration of a firm resolution to change.

In my tradition contrition is insufficient for forgiveness—it must be accompanied by penance and the demonstration of a firm resolution to change.

It's a start though, no? I wrote "it helps me forgive" ---not that all is forgotten.

I became a much stonger supporter of Clinton because of the whole Lewinsky episode.

I personally believe you should not cheat on your wife, but Bill's sex life was none of my business.

95% of the right-wingers who wanted to destroy Clinton over the Lewinksy matter just wanted to destroy Clinton, period. And the majority of Americans knew it - it's one reason that Bill Clinton became more popular than Ronald Reagan.

I guess it really was just about lying about sex, and not about obstruction of justice, suborning perjury, and various other non-presidential activities.

No Slarti, it was about an 8 year, 80 million dollar witch-hunt and that was all they could turn up. And the only thing he lied about was something they had no right to ask him about to begin with, adult consensual sex. Something millions of men have done unblinkingly to their own spouses since time began.

A genuine apology does mean something. An apology to help sales of your million-dollar book--not so much.

One of the greatest tragedies of the Clinton-Lewinsky episode was allowing the Rightwing to redefine criminal acts such as perjury, obstruction of justice and the like away from their legal definitions in the justice system.

The consequence is having the cream of Rightwing punditry blithely use terms such as 'treason' and 'sedition' to describe those who oppose their agenda.

"In my tradition contrition is insufficient for forgiveness—it must be accompanied by penance and the demonstration of a firm resolution to change."

Both of which, like the original events themselves, are none of our business. If President Clinton has engaged or will engage in penance and change, that's between him, his family, and any spiritual advisors he chooses to confide in.

Public contrition, however, is entirely reasonable, and that's what we got.

Sebastian: you really think Clinton made that particular statement just to help sales of his book? Gimme a break. The book would sell millions no matter how he answered the question. You might as well believe Clinton did the whole Lewinsky affair just to create sales for his future book. (hey, wait a minute...)

Slarti: no, it wasn't lying about sex, it was about trying to bring down the president. That was Starr's goal, that was the Elves' goal, that was the Clinton-haters' goal. Clinton got the perjury charge because Starr went way beyond the bounds of Whitewater with the specific intent of trapping Clinton with a lie under oath about Lewinsky.

Ahh, the good old days, when Presidents wiggled about the definition of "sexual relations" instead of the definition of "torture."

sidereal:

Both of which, like the original events themselves, are none of our business.

What makes any of this our business? Why is Mr. Clinton answering Dan Rather's questions? Why is he making comments quoted in the post at the beginnine of this thread in public?

"What makes any of this our business?"

Great question. My answer is nothing.
If you want to go from there to blame, I'd start with the people who made it our business.

That's crap, Edward. What the hell difference to you is it that two consenting adults do in privacy? If I was beseiged as mercilessly and as unfairly as Clinton I might be tempted to take a little solace as well. Anyway, the criminals here are the facist Republicans that used 80 million dollars to find something that isn't any of their business. It was a sin what they did to Clinton. I hope they go to hell. I hope your smug righteousness follows them. Clinton doesn't owe you, me, Dave Schuler or anybody else outside his family anything.

Ya know, this was a while ago and this VRWC guy did indeed lament the money and attention spent on the investingation and has been on record saying nice things about Clinton recently, buuuuut, some saw it as two adults in a consensual relationship.

Some of us saw it as the most powerful man on the planet possibly influencing some young woman into doing something she may not have really wanted to do.

So please Fabius, spare us the "facist Republicans" number.

At the risk of receiving a, probably well-deserved, Carnak award, its always been interesting to me how mature young Ms. Lewinsky was portrayed when it was Clinton she accused and how vulnerable she more than likely would have been portrayed had she been engaged in a consensual relationship with the CEO of Exxon or GE.

Stop. Breathe. Center yourselves, the lot of you. If you can't talk about this without losing your cool, then don't talk about it.

Moe, something tells me you didn't come from a big "Family", you know the kinds that even gays and single people come from (but don't tell that to "Family" restaurants etc. but that's for another thread). This is what we did nightly around the dinner table, especially in the Vietnam years and well, we're back there again. You just have to trust those of us who endured it. Fathers throwing out their sons because they grew their hair, only to learn from these mistakes.And we loved each other all the more for it after we survived it (as no one has made that paricular mistake again). What this should be telling you is what a nerve this is touching for most of us and this is cathartic. There really wasn't a Blogosphere in the 90's for us to express these feelings and this is really a good thing. Don't be disconcerted by this, it's healthy and passionate, like life... outside of Stepford.

"Moe, something tells me you didn't come from a big "Family", you know the kinds that even gays and single people come from"

Actually, I have four sisters, somewhere around forty aunts and uncles, over a hundred first cousins - and we're all shouters. So, watch those assumptions... :)

moe, i'm impressed. i'm one of 5 too. But you got to be 'the prince' as the only boy. and i bet your sisters gave you a wonderfully hard time. that must be the roots of that rumored 'cuddly side'.

Crionna, I saw it both ways.

Both Lewinsky and Clinton were legal adults. At some point you have to step back and say people get to make their own damn stupid mistakes, and that's that. If they'd been just two people who met at a book club, I might have blinked a bit at the age difference, but I know couples with that kind of age difference who have a very good relationship.

But, Lewinsky was an intern and Clinton was POTUS. There's no evidence at all that he ever coerced her - but, yes, I have issues with the power imbalance involved in a sexual relationship like that.

Ah, this makes me sentimental. I was half amused and half disgusted and half irritated (Venn diagram, me) when the news broke back then - and sickened when Clinton bombed the Sudan and Afghanistan with timing that looked calculated to distract the news services from his sex life - but wasn't it great when the main scandal involving POTUS just involved the President's sex life? Invading Iraq, Valerie Plame, Abu Ghraib... I'd rather Bush had blow jobs.

I have issues with the power imbalance involved in a sexual relationship like that.

Let's not forget the power of a sweet young thing with flashing eyes. The man was probably helpless. And she probably considered it an honor to raise the flag up America's staff. This concern about the power imbalance is ridiculous. She was treated alot better by Clinton than she was by Ken Starr. You can say the same thing about the country.

The real sex scandal in the Clinton administration was the number of perverts in the Starr commission, the constant talk of distinquishing marks on the presidential penis, the enumeration of blowjobs, and the naked power grab by a once Grand Old Party that is no longer able to win on the issues. I hate what they put the country through, it made me physically sick, and I don't much care for their defenders.

She was treated alot better by Clinton than she was by Ken Starr. You can say the same thing about the country.

Well, that's true.

That's crap, Edward. What the hell difference to you is it that two consenting adults do in privacy?

It's none of my business at all...never said it was.

Let me be really clear. I was not at all disappointed that Bill had an affair (I'm rather European in my view that one's political life and private life need not be seen as one in the same).

I was disappointed that he lied to us. That he looked into the camera and said (rather convincingly) that he had not had sexual relations with that woman.

I was disappointed because it meant I had to re-evalutate all the other things he had looked into the camera and said with conviction.

I was disappointed because it mean I could no longer trust him as I had once thought I could.

I know the reason he lied is none of my business. I would have supported 100% if, rather than denying it, he had told the whole nation to just mind their own damn business.

And she probably considered it an honor to raise the flag up America's staff.

i recall Dennis Miller saying something along the lines of "he's the damn President -- I'd blow him if I had the chance."

And she probably considered it an honor to raise the flag up America's staff.

One of my good friends knows the Lewinsky family fairly well. I didn't get much info -- I didn't really feel it was my place to pry -- but from what I understand the rest of the family, at least, does not regard her as a victim. Take that for what it's worth.

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