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Jewish World Review April 19, 2000 / 14 Nissan, 5760

David Limbaugh

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President Clinton:
Teaching children responsibility


http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- PRESIDENT CLINTON can hold as many feel-good White House conferences as he wants but until he at least attempts to practice what he preaches, these ballyhooed confabs will hardly be worth the hot air they generate.

Clinton announced that he and Hillary will host a White House Conference on Teen-agers on May 2 to "talk through the challenges of raising responsible children." It seems that they were moved by an astonishing piece of research indicating that the preteen years set patterns for behavior in adulthood. Wow! You mean to tell me that a child's early influences may affect what he becomes as an adult? This is almost as shocking as that infamous Time Magazine story that revealed that men and women were actually born different.

It never ceases to amaze me how liberals commission studies to confirm what man has known since before the time he didn't descend from the Neanderthal. But far be it from me to discourage such studies, especially if they finally supply liberals with data the rest of us acquired by common sense.

Conservatives have always known that a child's upbringing will greatly influence the type of person he will grow up to be. Critically important are the example the parents set, the values they impart and the outside influences to which they expose the child.

As parents, you teach a child the importance of honesty and integrity by punishing him for lying. You teach responsibility by making him accountable for his actions. But all your preaching and discipline will be for naught unless you live your own lives in accordance with those principles. And even if you discharge your parental duties impeccably your child is still at risk of being corrupted by things beyond your control.

Though liberals may not realize this either without an expensive study, the president of the United States, through his words and actions, sets a moral example for our children. While parents don't expect to get much help from Hollywood in this department, they do have a right to count on their Chief Executive to reinforce the values they are instilling at home.

Bill Clinton can talk until he's blue in the face about teaching children to be responsible but he will continue to do more harm than good as long as his actions undermine his empty words. Even without benefit of a federal study, I'm prepared to tell you that his actions do belie his words.

While his presidential fate was in the hands of his Senate impeachment jurors, Clinton was issuing an apology a week and meeting incessantly with his spiritual advisers. His subsequent pronouncements on the subject demonstrate his lack of contrition.

According to Clinton, he only did one thing wrong and that was merely a mistake. (Just for the record, having relations with an intern in the Oval Office, lying about it to the American people and the court, suborning Betty Currie's perjury, and other miscellaneous obstructions of justice were not mistakes, but intentional wrongs.)

"I'm not ashamed of the fact that they impeached me. That was their decision, not mine, and it was wrong. As a matter of law, Constitution, and history, it was wrong. I'm glad I didn't quit, and I'm glad we fought it. ... I am proud of what we did here because I think we saved the Constitution of the United States."

Listen up, America's youth. It was Congress' and Ken Starr's fault that the president committed these crimes and other despicable acts. It was the Independent Counsel and Congress that subverted the Constitution for trying to make the president accountable for engaging in high crimes and misdemeanors.

The message: No matter what you do, if you deny it and blame your accusers, you'll get away with it. When possible, always pass the buck. If you repeat a lie often enough it will be accepted as truth. And, pretend to be sorry as long it serves your interests, but not a second longer.

The president could do a lot more for our children by accepting responsibility and accountability for his actions than by holding bogus conferences that pretend to search in earnest for answers that are right in front of our faces.


JWR contributor David Limbaugh is an attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and a political analyst and commentator. Send your comments to him by clicking here.

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Up

04/17/00: Elian, Marx and parental rights
04/12/00: Elian, freedom deserve a hearing
04/10/00:The fraying of America
04/05/00: Noonan: End Clintonism now
04/03/00: Bush: On going for the gold
03/29/00: Phantasma-Gore-ia
03/27/00: Treaties, triggers, tobacco and tyrants
03/22/00: Media to Bush: Go left, young man
03/20/00: Stop the insanity
03/15/00: OK Al Gore: Let's go negative
03/13/00: Deifying of the center
03/08/00: The media, the establishment and the people
03/01/00: McCain's coalition-busting daggers in GOP's heart
02/28/00: Bush's silver lining in McMichigan
02/24/00: A conservative firewall, after all
02/22/00: Bush or four more of Clinton-Gore?
02/16/00: Substance trumps process
02/14/00: The campaign finance reform mirage
02/09/00: President McCain: End of the GOP as we know it?
02/07/00: From New Hampshire to South Carolina
02/02/00: SDI must fly
01/31/00: Veep gores Bradley
01/26/00: The issues gap
01/24/00: GOP: Exit, stage left
01/20/00: Nationalizing congressional elections
01/18/00: Do voters really prefer straight talk?
01/12/00: Media's McCain efforts may backfire
01/10/00: Conservative racism myth
01/05/00: Just one more year of Clintonian politics
01/03/00: McMedia?
12/27/99: Al Gore: Bullish on government
12/22/99: Bradley's full-court press
12/20/99: Bush: Rendering unto Caesar
12/15/99: Beltway media bias
12/13/99: White House ambulance chasing
12/08/99: Clinton's labor pains
12/06/99:The lust for power
12/01/99: In defense of liberty
11/29/99: Are Republicans obsolete?
11/24/99: Say you're sorry, Mr. President
11/22/99: Architects of victory
11/17/99: Trump's tax on freedom
11/15/99: GOP caves again
11/10/99: Triangulation and 'The Third Way'
11/08/99: Sticks and stones
11/03/99: Keyes vs. media lapdogs
11/01/99: Signs of the times
10/27/99: The false charge of isolationism
10/25/99: A matter of freedom
10/20/99: Clinton's mini-meltdown
10/18/99: Senate GOP shows statesmanship
10/13/99: Senate must reject nuclear treaty
10/11/99: Bush bites feeding hand
10/06/99: Jesse accidentally opens door for Pat
10/04/99: Clinton and his media enablers
09/29/99: Reagan: Big-tent conservatism
09/27/99: The Clinton/Gore taint?
09/22/99: Have gun (tragedy), will travel
09/20/99: Hillary's blunders and bloopers
09/15/99: GOP must remain conservative
09/13/99:Time for Bush to take charge, please
09/10/99: Bush's education plan: Dubya confounds again
09/07/99: Pat, savior or spoiler?
09/02/99: Character doesn't matter?
08/30/99: Should we judge?
08/25/99: Dubyah's drug question: Not a hill to die on
08/23/99: Should Dubyah start buying soap ... for all that mud?
08/16/99: 'W' stands for 'winner'
08/11/99: The truth about tax cuts
08/09/99: Hillary: Threading the needle
08/04/99: What would you do?
08/02/99: No appeasement for China
07/30/99: Hate Crimes Bill: Cynical Symbolism
07/26/99: Itís the 'moderates', stupid
07/21/99: JFK Jr. and Diana: the pain of privilege
07/19/99: Smith, Bush and the GOP
07/14/99: GOP must be a party of ideas
07/12/99: Gore's gender gap
07/08/99: Clintonís faustian bargain: our justice
07/06/99: The key to Bush's $36 million
06/30/99: Gore: a soda in every fountain
06/28/99: 'Sacred wall' or religious barrier?
06/23/99: GOP must lead in foreign policy
06/21/99: Crumbs of compassion
06/16/99: Compassionate conservatism: face-lift or body transplant?
06/10/99: Victory in Kosovo? Now What?

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