Now that it’s all out in the open or should I say, hanging over the bathroom sink what We The People, have from Mr. Starr’s endless “Whitewater Investigation” is a sad, lurid, impersonal and rather badly written 450-page pornographic novel about a young White House aide’s conquest of the Oval Office, a really stupid ex-Arkansas governor who thought he could get away with what Presidents (and men in general) have been getting away with since marriage was invented, the aide’s pathetic best friend who taped their phone conversations and lunch dates and, finally, a telling portrait of the author himself, who almost ended up on the Supreme Court of the United States and will, instead, go down (no pun intended) in history as a prurient, weaselly, dirty-mined little man whose singular goal of bringing down the elected leader of this country resulted in parents everywhere finding themselves trying to explain why Freud was entirely right about cigars all along.
None of that excuses Clinton’s stupidity in the least. I’m pissed off that he continually tried to tread the fine line between what is, in his and his lawyers’ opinion, sex and what isn’t. And I don’t frankly care about the legal definitions and skirting the issue and hiding behind very flimsy excuses. And I’m sick and tired of his repetitive statements to his political cohorts about how sorry he is. It’s a colossal joke. All of it. I think he’s practiced his crocodile tears in front of the bathroom mirror and been coached by Hillary how to carry it off. It’s gotta be no picnic to have your dirty laundry aired in the most public forum available and know the entire country is either laughing at you or angry at you or both.
It’s such an awkward mess that I can understand how we find ourselves here. I can vaguely follow the logical trail that Kenneth Starr felt he needed to follow in order to dig up some dirt, any dirt, along Clinton’s bread crumbs of deceit and lies. And I never for a second doubted that the tales of the President’s Peccadillos were true. Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, Monica Lewinski… Hell, I wouldn’t have been surprised had the entire line-up of the 1995 Radio City Rockettes came forward with a book deal detailing that one night of passion backstage with Bubba after he took Chelsea to see the annual Christmas Extravaganza and found he just couldn’t go another minute without getting off. This is one randy, vital guy, apparently.
What concerns me about this issue of his unfaithfulness, ongoing deceit and history of continued stupidity is how stupid I was to support the man in spite of my belief in all this. I never thought Monica made anything up. I thought what Tripp did was way too icky for words and see her as the sort of green slimy muck one scrapes off the back of aquariums. She may have been thinking in her head, “I’m doing this for the good of the country!” But can she really still believe that? What in the world is good about this? I know I should be mad at Bill. But I’m only disappointed in him. Who, when faced with this situation, where your every move is catalogued, your every word recorded, your every intent colored with implied wrong-doing, would not continually lie to cover up what you had done? While it ain’t exactly “there but for the grace of God” territory for your truly, when exactly was it decided that privacy disappears when one is elected to office?
No, he should not resign. No, he should not be impeached. At least, not for these offenses.
What, really, did he do except have an affair (or three) and then lie about it (them)? How does that compromise the political and economic future of the country? I think we’re all pissed off because we all look foolish. Why did no one ever ask whether the special prosecutor for the investigation into Whitewater was still investigating Whitewater? Starr’s report maintains that Clinton should be impeached in part for obstruction of justice because he tried to maintain lawyer-client privilege (which everyone except the President is entitled to, it seems) and keep the Secret Service from testifying (thereby damaging their ability to protect our country’s leaders who shall probably now think twice about having anyone so close to them when they are discussing matters that should not otherwise be discussed, and that ain’t just propositioning the occasional up-and-comer (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)) but, again, who wouldn’t try to protect their privacy and their rights?
Next comes the issue of morality and integrity. (Remember kids, I’m a card-carrying pessimist and part-time atheist, so keep that in mind.) In our little fantasy world of political correctness, we believe we are entitled to a leader who rises above our own limitations and manages to juggle the responsibilities of maintaining the free world, balancing the budget, keeping people employed, keeping the economy humming, keeping our enemies in line, keeping our friends on friendly terms, knowing when to help out and when to step back, and look good doing it. To sum up, we demand that our politicians are better than we are. Now, what’s wrong with that?
After all, everyone knows that Washington was a saint, Lincoln was a demigod and Kennedy was a self-important, overly-ambitious womanizer whose father’s money bought him an election.
What Clinton did was wrong and he got caught and he said he was sorry. He appeared on TV and got a little pissed off that the man who was investigating what were apparently baseless accusations of financial and political malfeasance couldn’t find any skeletons in that closet so he turned his dogs loose on what would be, for anyone else caught in the same situation, a private matter between a man and his family. Kenneth Starr had absolutely no boundaries to his powers. He gleefully destructed long-held legal structures, coerced witnesses, falsely imprisoned others (can Susan McDougall finally come home?), leaked information to the press while accusing the White House of the same practice and came away from his 4-year, $44million investigation with… what? A semen-stained blue dress, some taped telephone conversations and a lengthy, lurid report exposing that the President had an affair with an apparently ambitious and rather dim (oh, yeah, sure the President of the United States is going to leave his wife what, doesn’t Monica watch any television?) White House intern which he lied about during another un-Whitewater related sexual incident that was thrown out of court months ago.
Forgive me if I’m underwhelmed.
My problem is that, personally, I’m not horribly offended by Clinton’s deeds but I am worried about what it says to kids if he got caught doing something that often ruins lives and destroys families and he gets away with (not) saying, “I’m sorry.” In real life, that’s about all anyone can say. And when you’re face to face with someone, you judge their honesty by looking in their eyes. But as in everything political, Clinton’s behavior seems rehearsed and positioned for maximum effect. It doesn’t seem honest, but I don’t know whether that’s because it isn’t honest or because I’m so jaded I don’t believe anything any politician tells me anyway because I know that they’ll say anything to get elected. My distrust and dislike of politicians started with Nixon, grew stronger with Reagan and has been stoked and prodded by an inactive Congress and a series of Presidents and Vice Presidents whose sole pursuit was to make safe decisions and maintain status quo in order to secure themselves and their party candidates a re-election in order to continue to do nothing that might possibly offend some portion of the vast constituency who simply do not want to pay any taxes and then wonder why the schools and roads are all in such shitty states.
Starr In Stripes
However, I can say with complete comfort that I hate Kenneth Starr. I find him reprehensible, under-handed, self-righteous and scummy. He delighted in this job, clearly. At no point did it seem that he regretted having to expose the deeds taking place. It was not the search for truth that inspired him to purpose, it was the destruction of the Clinton presidency at any cost. All he could find, in the end, was this sad series of office blow jobs. I’m trying to picture the scene in the Office of the Special Prosecutor when it all came down to this.
“There’s nothing on Whitewater?”
“Nothing at all?”
“Not even a whiff of scandal? A bribe somewhere? Anything that connects the Clintons to…”
“I don’t know how else to say ‘nope,’ except to say ‘nope,’ Ken. You’ve got the President whacking off in the sink. You have him probably for lying about having any sort of sexual relationship with Lewinski, and that’s it. That’s all.”
“Fuck! Shit! Damn! Hell! In that order!”
“I gave up a cushy Malibu appointment! Pepperdine was calling!”
“Plus, that’s a lot of money we just spent, y’know. We have to show we weren’t just sitting on our asses here for the last four years. So, whuddaya wanna do? Go with the cigar story? I can throw in some scientific numbers about the DNA likelihood among caucasians. We can try to take the disgust angle, toss in everything and just shove it all at ’em. If we can’t dazzle ’em with data…”
“We’ll bluff ’em with bullshit. Yeah. Yeah! Okay, so, we can probably get an impeachment angle on the delays and blame him. Yeah! Blame him! And what else..?”
“It’s pretty clear that he did have a sexual relationship with Lewinski. That means he possibly perjured himself.”
“Great, great! You think? I mean, he didn’t come until…”
“That’s splitting hairs. We got oral-anal. We got blow jobs. We got… Ken, calm down. Stop rubbing yourself like that.”
Taking It Hard
The loser in all this is, of course, you and me (assuming you’re an Americanotherwise you can go back to laughing at us). Well, and Bill. I mean, can you honestly look at him anymore without picturing him standing at the sink with his fly undone, eyes closed, etc. etc.? Or see him sitting there grinning without mentally inserting thought balloons over his head involving pictures of cigars? So, his capability to do his job will be hindered until this thing reaches closure. As my coworker Jennifer put it, “there’s the job he does and there’s the shit he pulls.” And never the twain shall meet, or something like that. In other words, one should not know this much about what a President does with his dick.
The enduring problem here is that the dam has been burst and there seem to be no more rules of propriety in regard to what aspects of a public person’s life may or may not be exposed. I heard some “man on the street” interview where a “concerned citizen” said that because the President is an elected official whose salary is paid by the American people, the American people have a right to know what the President is doing on our time. The conclusion I draw from that is that our employers have every right to make demands of us about our own “private lives” and make decisions not based on the jobs we are doing but rather on the decisions we make in our “private lives.” Are you comfy with that? Do you think it’s okay if your employer sees what films you’ve been renting? What you do on your vacation time? Who you’re screwing? Do we really think it’s okay to make demands of our elected officials that we would likely toss out of office in a bloody uprising if they ever suggested such a thing?
Not that it isn’t already feasible that much of your privacy is already being sucked from you when they scan your Safeway card and record your purchases every time you need a six-pack, but that’s another issue, idn’t it?
So, if he isn’t impeached and he doesn’t resign, that leaves Congressional Censure. But what should they censure him for? For the affair? Personally, I’d rather his wife censured him for that. Kick his ass from here to Moscow and back again, literally. Take Air Force One. It’s on me, Hillary. Censure him for perjury before a Grand Jury? Well, that has yet to be determined. And if Nixon got away with fixing a national election, starting an illegal war, spying on private citizens and being an all-around paranoid asshole (he was, after all, issued a full pardon for crimes much, much more serious than Bill’s indiscretions) what should we expect here?
Here’s what I want, and I’m totally serious. I want to see Hillary kick his ass for all of us. I want to see the wrath of the people channeled through her pumps as they connect with his McDonald’s eating butt. I want to see his face beet red. I want her to twist his ‘nads in her hand and push his face in the dung of his own making. I want it broadcast live, on all networks and cable, with color commentary by two clay hosts of Celebrity Deathmatch. I want Chelsea in her mom’s corner to cool her down and egg her on like Burgess Meredith in Rocky.
Then, I want Chelsea to step into the ring and kick the shit out of Kenneth Starr for dragging us all through the mud. I want her to take it out on him, the embarrassment and humiliation of living through these years of her High School and College career with his ongoing and ultimately pointless crusade as her soundtrack.
Finally, in the evening’s Big Ticket, the two men Bill “Blow Me” Clinton and Kenneth “The Dirt Digger” Starr go mano a mano in the grudge match to end all grudge matches. Beaten, bloody, bowed but not quite broken, the two biggest idiots of the last several years duke it out once and for all and whoever’s left standing is declared the winner. The other must crawl away showered with public ridicule, never to be heard from again.
Think of a better solution. I dare you.
September 15, 1998