Somebody suggested maybe Bill Clinton ought to resign.
My initial reaction was no way should any president quit because of his sexual peccadilloes. Then, as I begin to think about it, perhaps it makes some sense.
Clinton has wounded himself, probably irreversibly. Despite the pious protestations, the attacks will continue as long as others feel there is political capital to be gained, and judging from the coverage so far, there is substantial political advantage in this situation, maybe?
I can’t imagine Clinton being able to get anything through Congress the next two years. The HMO reforms will die. “Big Tobacco,” which was on the ropes, will slide off and survive. All of his judicial appointments will be blocked. In effect, to use the appropriate analogy, he’s castrated his administration.
Congress will play with the idea of impeachment, and while all this is going on, everyone of them will watch the polls to try and sniff which way the public is leaning. They really don’t want to impeach him because a mortally wounded and ineffectual president, constantly having to defend himself, is much more valuable to them than a new president. Ultimately, what happens will depend on how we, the American public, feel.
The strangest part is that like most of us, I’m truly uncertain about how I feel. This isn’t an issue that just breaks into a simple partisan division. I can’t remember a political event where I’ve had such totally conflicting emotions, and I suspect I’m not alone in that regard.
I’m furious at Clinton for putting himself into this position.
I’m saddened to see a man of such promise self-destruct.
I’m appalled at the entire prosecutorial apparatus of Kenneth Starr and the utter amorality of the quest to destroy Clinton.
I’m fearful we are now into a new era of American politics, an era where there are no rules of civility. The simple fact is now nothing is off limits.
I suspect long after Clinton is gone, we the American people will be paying a fearsome price over this.
What last vestiges of idealism we had are gone?
Who can believe a word any politician says, whether it be the president, the speaker or any member of the U.S. Senate?
Who can believe that any of them have any morality that isn’t for sale to the highest bidder?
Who still believes that the FBI and CIA aren’t corrupt and out to protect their agencies at any cost, and the rest of us be dammed?
Who believes that the special prosecutor is not just a partisan instrument, willing to do anything to serve his masters?
Who believes that the judiciary, which supervises the special prosecutors, is anything more than a rubber stamp to a political agenda?
Who believes that the pundits on TV or in the national print are anything more than a bunch of guys on the make, looking for lecture contracts?
Who believes there is any significant difference anymore between the Star and the Enquirer, on the one hand, and the Washington Post and The New York Times, on the other hand?
Unfortunately this whole battle is a lose-lose situation for the American people.
It’s time for the Clinton administration to end and the presidency of Al Gore to begin.