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« Boy, Does This Need A Follow Up | Main | An Ode To Laziness »

More Thoughts On The Tenth Anniversary

From Tim Noah:

It was 10 years ago on Jan. 12 that Linda Tripp notified Whitewater Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's office that she had audiotapes of Monica Lewinsky telling her that she'd had an affair with President Bill Clinton, and that he'd urged her to lie if asked about it under oath.

Hint for the terminally clueless. This wasn't "getting a BJ." It wasn't "lying about getting a BJ." As clearly stated by Noah, it's called suborning perjury, in order to prevent a vulnerable young woman from getting a fair trial in a civil suit under a law that the suborner had signed with his own pen. Not to mention bribing and/or intimidating a witness to perjure herself, which is a more egregious instance of same.

Maybe I'm weird, but it seems very hard to reconcile that with upholding an oath to see the nation's laws faithfully obeyed. King William didn't think that the law should apply to him, either when in Arkansas when he allegedly raped a woman as the state Attorney General, or as President of the United States.

That was what the Lewinsky scandal was about.

And when considering whether or not to elect his wife, who helped orchestrate the attacks on the women that he wronged, to the highest office in the land, that is something to be considered. Particularly if one considers oneself to be a feminist.

I would also point out to Mr. Noah that, there is one person who, throughout, told the truth in this affair, and was never caught out in a lie, or lack of probity, despite all the attacks on her weight, her looks, or her "infidelity" to the "friend" who asked her to commit perjury. Her name was Linda Tripp.

And his comments about Jonah Goldberg are pathetic. If he doesn't like the idea of the book, he should read it and give it a serious review, something that no one else in his camp seems willing to do. And if not, like them, he should STFU.

Posted by Rand Simberg at January 17, 2008 06:49 PM
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Wrong button alert!!

My sister-in-law is and was always enamored with the Clintons. She in my mind is the typical liberal. Spoon fed by her parents until she was, let's say 42. She'll be 47 this year. She and her husband were handed a business her parents built up from nothing. She does not really understand where money comes from. It just "exists", and she just gets what she wants. Ergo, she thinks like a Clintonista, liberal, goof.

Hold on I'm coming to my point I had to set the stage...

When the whole Lewinksi issue blew up, chortle chortle, the sister-in-law kept saying that it was none of our, regular American's, business. This was JUST infidelity. And as such, it should be a family matter, not a Congressional matter. We should forgive, forget and support them while they worked this out.

I learned long ago not to discuss sex, religion or politics with my in-laws. They range from Holy Rollers to super libs, and somehow I'm always the odd man out. But so many times I wanted to ask if her attitude would have been as new age, liberal and forgiving if it had happened in her husbands office while he was making business calls. Or would she be so calm if it was one of her daughters who had the dress that needed dry cleaning?

I still have the scars from biting my tongue.

Posted by No name as my family sometimes reads this blog too at January 18, 2008 05:24 AM

Ok, Clinton got a blow job.

Under the Bush junta, the Neocons (formerly "Republicans") have become the party of malfeasance, executive abuse, gross neglect, mass death, sanctioned torture, mass deceit, state propaganda, warmongering, fearmongering, war crimes, economic ruination, larceny and treason.

Did I forget incompetence?

Posted by Your Gawd Is A Dawg at January 18, 2008 07:41 AM

In one of his books, David Horowitz pointed out that the Paula Jones sexual harassment suit was a legacy of liberal feminist politics. When the topic had become front burner in the wake of Tailhook and other scandals, feminists successfully lobbied changes in sexual harassment law, to make it easier for plaintiffs to put forth their cases. Specifically, the law was changed so that the defendant's entire history of sexual behavior, both nonconsensual and consensual, could be entered as evidence.

I found a Human Events article that quotes Horowitz on this issue:

"Monica Lewinsky herself was discovered through a liberal sexual harassment law that allows courts to investigate the entire personal sexual history of defendants. This was actually a radical law, departing from the normal paths of American justice, which had always preserved the principle that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty."

Posted by Alan K. Henderson at January 18, 2008 07:47 AM

Yet another anonymous Bush-deranged idiot, who didn't read, or comprehend, a word that I wrote.

Posted by Rand Simberg at January 18, 2008 07:48 AM

The Dawg is just another one of the species that "No-name" writes about. Comprehension is irrelevant. The party line, as delivered by Gore, Cho m s ky, Zinn, ANSWER, Soros - is all that matters. If they say it, it must be true.
(The filter objected to the three letters in Noam's last name)

Posted by ZZMike at January 18, 2008 09:50 AM

The best essay on the subject is probably Virginia Postrel's "License to Grill: How the Clintons Invited Ken Starr Into Their Private Lives", from the April 1998 issue of Reason.

Posted by Vast Right-Wing Conspirator at January 18, 2008 09:57 AM

Tim Noah's list of losers include:

The press was excoriated... Starr was condemned for collaborating with Paula Jones... Lewinsky was ridiculed... Clinton was vilified... Hillary Clinton was mocked... Congressional Republicans...ended up losing seats in the 1998 midterm elections, a setback that caused House Speaker Newt Gingrich to resign... Linda Tripp was rightly identified as the worst villain of all...

Somehow, he missed the biggest loser of them all. The feminists -- who labeled 1992 "The Year of the Woman" after the Clarence Thomas hearings and the Tailhook "scandal" -- demonstrated what a bunch of whores they really are.

Posted by Vast Right-Wing Conspirator at January 18, 2008 10:56 AM

"[The Lewinsky scandal should be an important issue in the 2008 election], [p]articularly if one considers oneself to be a feminist."

Thank you for telling me what I really think. However, the leading feminist blogs don't seem to agree. There were some shameful acts during that time, like the bombing of Sudan and Serbia, timed to distract people from the scandal, but I and other feminists don't consider the perjury to be important. Google Tripp, Gennifer, or Lewinsky and see what you come up with (I'll save you the trouble - you get nothing). Clinton was forced into an impossible situation through little fault of his own, and if not for the bombing, the scandal would shame Republicans, not Democrats.

Posted by Ashley at January 18, 2008 11:12 AM

Thank you for telling me what I really think.

I'm not telling you what you really think. I'm telling you what you should think, if you really believed that sexual harassment in the workplace was wrong, or that women who come forward with complaints shouldn't be slandered and attacked in the press by so-called "feminists." But I guess, as Gloria Steinem said, Bill was entitled to one free grope.

Posted by Rand Simberg at January 18, 2008 11:24 AM

I've never really liked Bill Clinton. There was always something slippery about him that made me distrust him. However, I still think the whole Lewinsky affair was a tremendous waste of time. It fits the pattern of many prosecutions where somebody is ultimately convicted of something like obstruction of justice when the prosecutors fail to make the major charges stick. Clinton lied about his affair, his adulterous behaviour was disgraceful, but it probably rated a censure and public approbation, not a trial for "high crimes and misdemeanors."

As it is, history will likely have little regard for Clinton as a president. His economic record was built on Reagan and Bush's economic policies and the end of the cold war. His foreign policy accomplished nothing and demonstrated a poor understanding of the issues. His social policies were a patois of '90s emotional psychobabble that made certain demographics feel good, but similarly accomplished nothing. One good thing to be said for his presidency is that it showed a Democratic president and a Republican congress do a good job of offsetting each other's economic excesses.

Posted by George Skinner at January 18, 2008 11:41 AM

Clinton lied about his affair

One more time, go back and read what I wrote. He didn't merely "lie about his affair." He suborned perjury from other witnesses, with both bribes and threats, in order to keep his accuser from getting a fair trial. If you think that such behavior from the man who is responsible for seeing that the laws of the land are faithfully executed is acceptable, I will never agree.

Posted by Rand Simberg at January 18, 2008 11:51 AM

Clinton was forced into an impossible situation through little fault of his own

After all, he's just a man. You can't expect a man to control his sexual urges.


Of course, expecting a woman to fault Bill Clinton for being a liar, crook and libertine when he's so good-looking, well, that's just silly.

See what I did there, Ashley?

Posted by McGehee at January 18, 2008 12:13 PM

However, I still think the whole Lewinsky affair was a tremendous waste of time. It fits the pattern of many prosecutions where somebody is ultimately convicted of something like obstruction of justice when the prosecutors fail to make the major charges stick.

Hear, hear.

Posted by Scooter Libby at January 18, 2008 12:17 PM

I would be happy to give him a blowjob just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.

Posted by Nina Burleigh at January 18, 2008 12:27 PM

I'm glad to see you've added "allegedly" to the original post. I've been reading you long enough to figure the reference to rape was a simple mis-statement of your beliefs, but you did have me worried for a sec...

Posted by Just a guy at January 18, 2008 12:38 PM

The real lesson of the Lewinsky scandal, for me, was learning that Bill Clinton wasn't smart enough to see the moves playing out against him and decided to lie under oath, stepping into the trap.

I expect the President to be smarter than that.

Posted by rjschwarz at January 18, 2008 01:34 PM

Nina, got your kneepads ready for George W because abortion is still legal... Didn't think so.

Posted by rjschwarz at January 18, 2008 01:37 PM

Right-click Nina's name, and you get this:

The real Nina Burleigh was a Time magazine White House correspondent who once uttered those words.

Posted by Alan K. Henderson at January 19, 2008 02:24 AM

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