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Jewish World Review / Dec. 11, 1998 /22 Kislev, 5759

Cal Thomas

Cal Thomas This sorry president

SINCE "ALL HAVE SINNED AND FALLEN SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD,'' as the Scripture says, the acknowledgment by President Clinton's special counsel, Gregory Craig, that the president also has sinned is not news. Unfortunately, they don't have altar calls in the House of Representatives or at the liberal Methodist church Clinton attends. If he went to the nearby Baptist church favored by his fellow Baptist, Jimmy Carter, Clinton could "walk the aisle'' and kneel at the prayer rail so photographers could capture his moment of contrition.

When lawyers talk sin and preachers talk politics, surely the demons in hell rejoice. Watching the parade of presidential apologists reminded me of a bad telethon. All that was missing was the president on crutches or in a wheelchair, pleading for his cause, while a big tote board kept track of the dollars being contributed to his defense fund.

The president didn't tell the truth --- but he didn't commit perjury. The country can't afford a long impeachment process. The president didn't "intend'' to break any law (try that one on the police officer who pulls you over for speeding). The entire House is a lame duck so nothing it does has any constitutional validity. We can't tie up the "business'' of the Supreme Court by having Chief Justice William Rehnquist preside over a Senate trial. These were just some of the arguments against impeachment presented by lawyers, academics, apologists and historical revisionists.

But the prize for the least relevant argument against impeachment goes to "moderate'' Republican Rep. Amo Houghton of New York. Writing in The New York Times, Houghton said: ``...the main issue is to heal, rather than further divide, the nation.'' No, the real issue is to abide by the law and do one's duty.

The expiation offered by Houghton is classic '60s philosophy. It says there is no right or wrong because that would presume a standard by which people could be judged and judgment (or "intolerance'' in the current lingo) is more evil than evil -- if evil existed, which it doesn't, because that would lead somewhere else that the flower children don't want to go. That's why 35 years ago they subscribed to the bromide that "God is dead.''

The reason the president's defenders behave as they do is that they are determined that no Republican, especially a conservative one, should run the government again. That's because this bunch has always seen itself as more virtuous than any other generation, living or dead. Recall they announced they would perform miracles no one else has ever done. Harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding. It would be the Age of Aquarius.

Because these people were more in touch with their inner selves, they would end racism, they would study war no more, they would re-create the Garden of Eden where we all would live in perfect harmony with animals and plants. And they could engage in any sexual activity or living arrangement they liked without consequence. They thought abortion on demand was an answered prayer to their pagan hedonistic god. They forgot venereal disease, broken relationships, abandoned children (who as teenagers commit suicide in record numbers) and a general decline in civility for which they are mostly responsible.

This most pampered generation never had to sacrifice for anything. And they disrespected those who did. President Clinton is their perfect leader because he, with Hillary's help, is the only one who can save our children, build bridges between black and white (and to the 21st century), rescue the environment from corporate polluters and care about average people because he understands their problems. It is, therefore, justifiable for this president to be kept in office by any means necessary because his and Hillary's goodness is all that is keeping our country from going back to the Dark Ages.

If you know this, you understand the scenario being played out in Washington. It isn't about the law; it isn't about the truth. It is about holding on to power.

As for sin, any cleric who believes in it will tell you that while God can forgive a person who truly repents, there are still earthly consequences for one's acts. Many convicted of capital crimes have sought and received forgiveness from God, but that has not, and should not have, cut them any slack with the state.


12/09/98: The eclipse of principle
12/03/98: Destroying Jewry on the installment plan
12/07/98: Before the Age of Clinton
12/01/98: Apathy and ignorance
11/19/98: Ken Starr's moment of truth
11/19/98: The fall of journalism's empire
11/17/98: Republicans drift while conservatives float
11/13/98: Supreme Courtupholds freedom of school-choice
11/10/98: The revolting Republican 'revolution'
11/06/98: Hulk Hogan for president?
11/03/98: Clinton's greatest peril isn't Monica
10/30/98: Mother Teresa was right about killing
10/27/98: Clinton to Netanyahu: 'You're despicable'
10/21/98: A 'peace' agreement: Wye not?
10/19/98: Vanity Fair snubs some of the greatest women 'leaders'
10/14/98:The mean machine
10/09/98: Impeachment: an outside perspective
10/07/98: The corruption of the Secret Service
10/02/98: Land erosion in Israel
10/01/98: The race panel: lies in black and white
9/18/98: The Clinton strategy and the Clinton legacy
9/18/98: Stopping him before he sins again
9/15/98: Repenting when the end is near
9/11/98: Faithfully executing: Congress vs. the President
9/10/98: The degrees of separation between Dan Burton and Bill Clinton
9/08/98: Joe Lieberman and the Democrats' conscience
9/04/98: Clinton vs. Reagan and the struggle for power
9/02/98: If only Bubba had been a Boy Scout
8/31/98: Liberal clergy and the Lewinsky affair
8/27/98: Combating the terrorists among us
8/25/98: The president as 'Chicken Little'
8/20/98: That was no apology
8/18/98: Big government's crab grab
8/14/98:Untruths, half-truths and anything but the truth
8/12/98: Lying under oath: past and present impeachable offenses
8/10/98: Endangered species
8/04/98: In search of an unstained president
7/31/98: The UK is ahead of US in one area...
7/28/98: Murder near and far
7/21/98: Telling the truth about
homosexual behavior
7/17/98: One Nation? Indivisible?
7/14/98: Who cares about killing when the 'good times' are rolling?
7/10/98: George W. Bush: a different 'boomer'
7/08/98: My lunch with Roy Rogers
7/06/98: News unfit to print (or broadcast)
6/30/98: Smoke gets in their eyes
6/25/98: Sugar and Spice Girls
6/19/98: William Perry opposed
technology transfers to China
6/19/98: The Clinton hare vs.the Starr tortoise
6/17/98: The President's rocky road to China
6/15/98: Let the children go
6/9/98: Oregon: the new killing fields
6/5/98: Speaking plainly: the cover-up continues
6/2/98: Barry Goldwater: in our hearts
5/28/98:The Speaker's insightful remarks
5/26/98: As bad as it gets
5/25/98:Union dues and don'ts
5/21/98: Connecting those Chinese campaign contribution dots
5/19/98: Clinton on the couch
5/13/98: John Ashcroft: another Jimmy Carter?
5/8/98: Terms of dismemberment
5/5/98: Clinton's tangled Webb
4/30/98: Return of the Jedi
4/28/98: Desparately seeking Susan
4/23/98: RICO's threat to free-speech and expression
4/21/98: Educating children v. preserving an institution
4/19/98: Analyzing the birth of a possible new nation
4/14/98: What's fair about our tax system?
4/10/98: CBS: 'Touched by a perv'
4/8/98: Judge Wright's wrong reasoning on sexual harassment
4/2/98: How about helping American cities before African?
3/31/98:Revenge of the children
3/29/98: The Clinton strategy: delay, deceive, deny, and destroy
3/26/98: Moralist Gary Hart
3/23/98: CNN's century of (liberal) women
3/17/98: Dandy Dan
3/15/98: An imposed 'settlement' settles nothing
3/13/98: David Brock's Turnabout

©1998, Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Inc.