Clicking on banner ads keeps JWR alive
Jewish World Review July 23, 2001 / 3 Menachem-Av, 5761

Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Condit should not resign -- IT'S rather quaint that cable TV talk shows have taken up the question as to whether Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif., should resign because he impeded the investigation into the missing Chandra Levy and lied to authorities in denying that they had an affair.

Bill Clinton put the country through the rancor and trauma of an impeachment vote by impeding an investigation and lying about an affair -- and few D.C. solons pronounced that he should resign.

OK, impeachment was not a matter of life and death, but it did divide the country and did set -- actually, lower -- standards of behavior that now make it easier for Condit to stonewall law enforcement and remain in public office.

If the president of the United States could commit perjury and lie to the country, yet face little pressure to resign, why should a lowly member of Congress sacrifice his political career for lying and obstructing?

What is it Clintonistas used to say: that the president should be neither above the law nor below it? Doesn't that mean that if Condit hasn't been convicted of breaking a law that he should not have to forfeit his office? And if Clinton didn't have to put the country before his career, why should Condit put the interests of a missing person first?

Besides, Condit was just lying about sex.


Of course, it would be wrong to make too many parallels between Clinton and Condit, even if it is clear that Condit is following the Clinton playbook.

One difference is that Condit doesn't have the White House and Democratic National Committee to do his dirty work for him. Condit's team of apologists took some two months to start besmirching Chandra Levy's reputation or the name of pro-law enforcement types. To the rest of America, they're high-priced suits. Next to the Clinton spin machine, they're a ragtag platoon of hapless amateurs.

Add: Mrs. C hasn't appeared on television to blame a right-wing conspiracy.

As with Clinton, some Republicans have called for a resignation. The bad news for Condit is that congressional Dems may follow. They don't have much to lose if he resigns, so they can suggest that Condit has an obligation to tell the truth when talking with law enforcement types -- if they're willing to risk holding Condit to a higher standard than Clinton.

Condit should be glad that, after voting in favor of holding the House Judiciary Committee hearings on impeachment, he voted against impeachment itself.

To the average Joe, the impeachment vote should not make a difference when it comes to his behavior in the Levy case. A young woman is missing; her parents are frantic and anguished. Who cares if Condit supported impeachment?

The answer: New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. She erroneously wrote that Condit voted for impeachment.

You see, an impeachment vote is supposed to make Condit's conduct worse. It would make Condit a -- boo hiss -- hypocrite. He can be a liar. Aren't all politicians? He can chase every skirt in Washington. Isn't that what men do? Even if he had something to do with Levy's disappearance, that has yet to be proven -- so he gets the benefit of the doubt.

Unless he voted for impeachment. If there's one thing Beltway punditry won't accept it's a liar and skirt-chaser who voted to impeach someone else for perjury. Hypocrisy -- unless it's the hypocrisy of a womanizer who opposes sexual harassment -- is a bigger offense than mistreating women, or, for that matter, foul play.

Lying to criminal justice authorities is a minor offense. Voting to do something about it is the real crime in punditocracy.

Comment JWR contributor Debra J. Saunders's column by clicking here.


07/18/01: Feinstein should learn her limit
07/16/01: A drought of common sense
07/13/01: The catalog has no clothes
07/05/01: It's Bush against the planet
07/03/01: The man who would be guv
06/29/01: Wheeled, wired and free
06/27/01: O, fearful new world
06/25/01: End HMO horrors
06/21/01: Either they're dishonest or clueless
06/18/01: Freedom is a puff of smoke
06/15/01: In praise of going heavy: Yes, you can take it all
06/13/01: McVeigh: 'Unbowed' maybe, but dead for sure
06/11/01: Gumby strikes back
06/08/01: Los Angeles' last white mayor?
06/07/01: Kids will be kids, media will be media
06/04/01: Draw a line in the sand
05/30/01: Just don't call him a moderate
05/29/01: Operation: Beat up on civil rights
05/24/01: Of puppies, kittens and huge credit-card debts
05/22/01: Bush needs an energy tinkerbell
05/18/01: Divided we stand, united they fall
05/16/01: Big Bench backs might over right
05/15/01: Close SUV loophole
05/11/01: Kill the test, welcome failure
05/09/01: DA mayor's disappointing legacy
05/07/01: If it ain't broken ...
05/03/01: They shoot civilians, don't they?
04/30/01: Executions are not for prime time
04/12/01: White House and the green myth
04/10/01: The perjurer as celeb
04/04/01: Bush bashers don't know squat
04/02/01: Drugging our oldsters
03/30/01: Robert Lee Massie exercises his death wish
03/28/01: Cheney's nuclear reactor
03/26/01: Where California and Mexico meet
03/16/01: Boy's sentence was no accident
03/14/01: Soft money, hard reform
03/12/01: Banks, big credit lines and consumer bankruptcy
03/09/01: Free speech dies in Berkeley
03/02/01: When rats have rights
02/28/01: Move a frog, go to jail?
02/26/01: They knew they'd get away with it
02/20/01: How Dems define tax fairness
02/16/01: The jackpot casino Carmel tribe?
02/14/01: You can fight school success
02/12/01: Hannibal -- with guts this time
02/08/01: A family of jailbirds
02/05/01: Reality's most demeaning TV moments
02/01/01: Justice for the non-Rich
01/26/01: Hail to the chiefs of D.C. opinion
01/24/01: A day of mud and monuments
01/22/01: Diversity, division, de-lovely D.C.
01/19/01: Parties agree: Give back the money
01/17/01: Get tough with the oil companies, or forget pumping more Alaskan crude
01/15/01: Mineta better pray that no attending confirmation senator has ever driven to San Jose during rush hour
01/12/01: Europeans should look in the mirror
01/10/01: Dems' reasons for dissin' Dubya's picks
01/08/01: Jerry, curb your guru
01/03/01: A foe of Hitler and friend of Keating
12/28/00: Nice people think nice thoughts
12/26/00: The Clinton years: Epilogue
12/21/00: 'Tis the season to free nonviolent drug offenders 12/18/00: A golden opportunity is squandered
12/15/00: You can take the 24 years, good son
12/13/00: Court of law vs. court of public opinion
12/08/00: A salvo in the war on the war on drugs
12/06/00: Don't cry, Butterfly: Big trees make great decks
12/04/00: Florida: Don't do as Romans did
11/30/00: Special City's hotel parking ticket
11/27/00: No means yes, yes means more than yes
11/22/00: The bench, the ballot and fairness
11/20/00: Mendocino, how green is your ballot?

© 2000, Creators Syndicate