Jewish World Review May 26, 2000 / 21 Iyar, 5760
And that's because I didn't know they HAD lawyers in Arkansas.
I figured they just flipped coins there or maybe wrestled to resolve disputes.
But, no, it turns out Arkansas does have lawyers. And none of them ever tells lies.
Because if they do, they get disbarred, which is what an Arkansas Supreme Court panel wants to do to Bill Clinton.
Bill Clinton, as you may remember, lied when he said under oath in a deposition that he never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky.
I don't have an actual transcript handy, but I think the deposition went like this:
STARR: Did you have sex with Monica Lewinsky?
CLINTON: Which one was she?
STARR: Intern. Chubby. Brought pizza to the Oval Office. Flashed her thong.
CLINTON: What was on the pizza?
STARR: What difference does that make?
CLINTON: I am trying to remember if she was the chubby intern who flashed her thong and brought a pepperoni pizza, or if she was the chubby intern who flashed her thong and brought the half-sausage, half-green pepper pizza.
STARR: (exasperated) Did you have sex with either of them?
CLINTON: Define sex.
STARR: Define sex?
CLINTON: Define pizza.
STARR: Did you have sexual relations or not?
CLINTON: With the intern or the pizza?
STARR: The intern!
CLINTON: Nope, never, uh-uh, no way, negative, not.
STARR: Are you lying?
CLINTON: Define lying. Define are. Define you.
In any case, Clinton says he was not lying when he said he did not have sexual relations with Lewinsky because in his mind sexual relations is a home run and he got only to third base.
The American people apparently found this a very convincing argument, because opinion polls show that Clinton is the most popular president in history ever to get to third base with an intern in the Oval Office. While on the phone.
The only really serious thing that Clinton did wrong, apparently, was Lying While a Lawyer.
Apparently this is a very big deal in Arkansas.
Clinton has not practiced law for the last 28 years, but he sends in a $100 check to Arkansas every year to renew his law license. (For $200 in Arkansas, you get to be a judge. For $300, you get to be coroner.)
I don't know why Clinton bothers doing this. Maybe he gets a discount card for drive-in movies or 10 percent off all chainsaws. I have no idea.
But he who lives by his law license dies by it, and now Clinton may suffer the humiliation of having a bunch of lawyers in Arkansas saying he is not fit company for them.
David Letterman presented the Top Ten Things You Have to Do to Be Disbarred in Arkansas and they were:
10. Citing the wrong episode of "Matlock" as legal precedent.
9. Neglecting to remove hay from mouth before addressing judge.
8. Lying under oath without crossing your fingers.
7. Filing motion for "yee" without motion for an accompanying "haw."
6. Getting involved in crooked land deal, not letting your friends join in.
5. Taking too long with closing statement, forgetting courthouse turns into pool hall at 5.
4. Placing 3 X's on jug of moonshine when it's only strong enough for 2.
3. Letting possum out of your briefcase while court's in session.
2. Forgetting to tip the state trooper who brings you a hooker.
1. Too much fancy book-learnin' .
I thought this was a very funny list until I found out that every item was TRUE and taken directly from the Arkansas Official Standards for Lawyers and Stormdoor Salesmen.
For some crazy reason, Clinton is fighting his disbarment. Here is a guy who has been disgraced before the world, shamed before his wife, embarrassed before his child and impeached before history.
But what does he find too humiliating to bear? Getting kicked out of the Arkansas lawyer's club.
Clinton's friends have rallied around him. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has called the panel that recommended Clinton's disbarment a "kangaroo court" and then said: "They've already gotten their pound of flesh. What more do they want?"
I don't know. But a pizza ought to do