JWR Roger SimonMona CharenLinda Chavez
Jacob SullumJonathan S. Tobin
Thomas SowellWilliam PfaffRobert Scheer
Don FederCal Thomas
Left, Right & Center
Jewish World Review / March 22, 1998 / 24 Adar, 5758

Don Feder

Don Feder You should care about Clinton's 'private life'

NOW WE KNOW why Bill Clinton is so keen on gun control. He wants to keep firearms out of the hands of irate fathers and vengeful husbands.

It's hard to believe that there are those who saw Kathleen Willey's interview on "60s Minutes" and remain unconvinced. Could a woman who was once an avid Clinton campaigner be part of the vast right-wing conspiracy?

Could a then-marriedBill's babe woman in her late 40s be an infatuated groupie with an adolescent crush on the president? A publicity-hungry bimbo? Trailer-park trash looking for a windfall in a civil suit?

None of the innuendoes that the White House damage-control unit has deployed so successfully in the past work with Willey. That hasn't kept them from trying.

On Monday, the smear squad released a series of letters Willey sent to the president after the incident she recounted on "60s Minutes."

But during the Clarence Thomas hearings, weren't the same people, or their political soul mates, telling us that it's not unusual for a woman to maintain contact with her harasser -- especially if he's powerful and she desperately needs employment? Their icon, Anita Hill, says she finds Willey's tale "credible."

Clinton operatives who try to rationalize away the latest allegations are actually less ridiculous than ethics agnostics who tell interviewers or call-in talk shows that they don't care about Clinton's "private life."

This nihilism rests on one of two premises, either: 1) Sex has nothing to do with morality, or 2) They don't care if the president is a low-life, sleaze as long as the Dow Jones average continues to climb -- that personal immorality has no bearing on public performance.

Let's examine these positions in turn.

It is, of course, an organizing principle of modern liberalism that sex has no moral dimension. In fact, sexual conduct is morality saturated.

How we express ourselves sexually is a reflection of our deepest values. Do we view others as the objects of our desires (flesh-covered receptacles) or as individuals like ourselves -- things to be used, or people to be respected?

According to his former state-rooper bodyguards, Clinton frequently referred to women as "ripe peaches" and in other dehumanizing ways. That what is reported to be the president's preferred sex act gives pleasure to only one party (him) is telling.

Sex also speaks to loyalty, trust and commitments. When we swear fidelity before God and man, when we share life's most intimate moments (many outside the bedroom) with one person, what does the betrayal of that person say about our character?

Elitists who spent much of last fall sneering at Promise Keepers must be red-faced today.

Now, what of those who profess to be sublimely indifferent to what our boy-president-in-a-constant-state-of-arousal does behind closed doors? They are actually saying: I don't care if, as governor of Arkansas, the president sexually harassed a vulnerable state employee -- the economy's good. I don't care if Bill Clinton committed adultery in the White House with a woman half his age -- the nation is at peace.

It matters not one whit that the leader of the free world committed sexual assault on a distraught woman whose marriage and life were falling apart (on the very day her husband blew his brains out) -- he cares about "women's issues."

And, most particularly, I don't give a damn if the president of the United States repeatedly lied to the American people, lied under oath, is involved in a conspiracy and suborned perjury -- he's working for peace in Northern Ireland.

It sounds a bit different when it's phrased less ambiguously. As for public performance, it comes down to this: Does it make any sense to trust with the treasury and America's nuclear arsenal a man you wouldn't trust with your daughter?

Thomas Jefferson said, "When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property." Apparently, Clinton believes that on assuming a public trust he is entitled to treat others as his personal property.

By his persistent, hormonal antics, he has brought the office of president of the United States to an all-time low. "South Park" and "Beavis and Butthead" are easier to explain to our children then the current occupant of the White House.

If you don't care about that, you care about nothing.


3/19/98: Color-coded reading, product of obsessive minds
3/16/98: Amendment will end exile of G-d from our public lives
3/9/98: Havana will break your heart
3/2/98: Vouchers Terrify Teachers' Union
2/25/98: Presidential politics starts at a resort hotel
2/23/98: Hillary's support comes at a price
2/18/98: How many times must we say "no" to gay rights?
2/16/98: Enoch Powell spoke the truth on immigration
2/11/98: Bubba behaving badly
2/9/98: A conservative dissent on the flag-burning amendment
2/5/98: We get the leaders we deserve
2/2/98: Send a signal that could penetrate boardroom doors
1/27/98: State of the president: hollow rhetoric
1/25/98: For Monica's playmate, we have no one to blame but ourselves
1/22/98: At Yale, bet on yarmulke over gown
1/19/98: Commission tackles America's fastest-growing addiction, gambling
1/15/98: Capital punishment and the hard case: no exceptions for Karla Faye Tucker
1/12/98: Partial-birth abortion and the GOP's future: the "big tent" meets truth in advertising
1/8/98: IOLTA: the Left's latest scam to crawl into our pockets
1/5/98: Connect the dots to create a terrorist state
1/1/98: The Unacceptables of 1997: Long may they rave
12/28/97: Hypocrisy is a liberal survival mechanism
12/23/97: Chanukah is no laughing matter
12/22/97: No merry Christmas for persecuted Christians around the world
12/18/97: Bosnia, Haiti, and how not to conduct a foreign policy

©1998, Boston Herald; distributed by Creators Syndicate, Inc.