Jewish World Review Nov. 17, 1999 /8 Kislev, 5760
Our conveniently forgetful president
BILL CLINTON MUST BELIEVE that nine
months is the outer limit of the American memory. Either
that or he remains in a deep state of denial about the
humiliation he so recently caused himself and the country.
"I think that history will view this much differently," he said
in an interview with ABC's Carole Simpson. "They will
say I made a bad personal mistake, I paid a price for it,
but that I was right to stand and fight for the country and
my Constitution and its principles, and that the American
people were very good to stand with me.
"I think that over the long run, the fact that we
accomplished as much as we did in the face of the severe,
bitter, partisan onslaught... will, in a way, make many of
the things we achieve seem all the more impressive."
These words tell more about the president's state of mind
today than the true events of 1998 and 1999. He wants
his contemporaries to accept — and wants future
generations to be instructed — that his impeachment and
subsequent trial in the Senate resulted from behavior that
was entirely "personal" and charges that were entirely
Fortunately, a printed record displays both the public
nature of Clinton's misconduct and the bipartisan nature
of its condemnation.
Prior to the Senate vote on whether to remove Clinton from office, 29
members of the president's own party sponsored a resolution of censure.
Co-sponsors included liberals Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, Paul Wellstone
of Minnesota, Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Charles Schumer of New York,
Bob Torricelli of New Jersey, John Kerry of Massachusetts, as well as the
prime sponsor, Dianne Feinstein of San Francisco.
The resolution was also backed by Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of
It said that Clinton:
| "Uh, you do remember?"
(After the acquittal, Feinstein failed to get enough senators willing to bring any
of her several censure resolutions to a floor vote. In the end, 38 senators signed
a statement in February that censured Clinton's "shameful, reckless and
indefensible" behavior in his sexual affair with intern Monica Lewinsky. It was
entered in the Congressional Record.)
Engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate employee in the
White House, which was shameful, reckless, and indefensible...
Deliberately misled and deceived the American people, and people in all
branches of the United States government...
Gave false or misleading testimony and his actions have had the effect of
impeding discovery of evidence in judicial proceedings ...
- Demean(s) the office of the president... and creates disrespect for the laws of
- Brought shame and dishonor to himself and the office of the presidency...
Violated the trust of the American people... and that future generations of
Americans must know that such behavior is not only unacceptable but also
bears grave consequences, including loss of integrity, trust and respect...
Thanks to Sen. Feinstein and her liberal Democratic colleagues, the historic
record will forever contain hard documentation that the president's dealings
with regard to this sordid matter did not make his solid achievements "all the
more impressive" but rather made his arrogant and self-destructive behavior all
JWR contributor Chris Matthews is the author of Hardball. and hosts a CNBC show of the same name. Send your comments to him by clicking here.
11/15/99: Next president: Male, WASP, self-selected
11/10/99: Backroom Bill
11/08/99: Please don't feed the 'pander bears'
11/03/99: Battle of the Bubba clones
11/01/99: Pat Buchanan, kamikaze candidate
10/27/99: The year of the woman... voter
10/25/99: The Curse of the Bubba
10/21/99: GOP gives Clinton his finest hour
10/18/99: Clinton's last hurrah
10/13/99: Rough seas for Capt. Ventura
10/11/99: Gore targets Bradley's strength
10/06/99: Bradley's got the right Rx
10/04/99: Buchanan, Churchill and Hitler
09/30/99: Who'll spin political gold in Golden State — Gore or Bradley?
09/27/99: Here's a millennial checklist for candidates
09/22/99: The biography battle
09/20/99: Buchanan's new book is a must-read
09/15/99: Don't rule out Beatty
09/13/99: The man with the sun on his face
09/08/99: W. vs. Jr. on dope and the draft
The FALN: Hillary's Willie Horton
08/26/99: Bill's guilt fuels Hill's race
08/25/99: The seemingly inexhaustible strength of America's free enterprise
08/23/99: GOP candidates are weak also-rans
08/16/99: Bubba on Bubba
08/11/99: Hillary's agonizing attempts to understand
08/09/99: With warm regards, Richard Nixon
08/04/99: Weicker: real third party is on the Left
08/02/99: Dubyah's last hangover
07/27/99: Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh; capitalism is gonna win